School Board

School Board

The Northern Health School Board are appointed by the Minister of Education, rather than elected as in most state schools. The Board functions in the same way as a regular school board with monthly meetings where policy and strategic decisions are made.

Unless otherwise stated, meetings are held at Level 1, 60 Khyber Pass Road, Grafton, Auckland at 9:30am.

Copies of previous years’ Board Minutes are available on request from

Meeting DatesRatified Minutes
22 February 202422 February 2024
21 March 202421 March 2024
April 2024 - No Meeting
17 May 2024 - South Auckland Unit at 11:45am17 May 2024
12 June 2024 - Special Public Excluded Board Meeting Online 11:00 am
20 June 2024
July 2023 - No Meeting
15 August 2024
19 September 2024
7 November 2024
5 December 2024
School closes 12 December 2024
Meeting DatesRatified Minutes
24 February 202324 February 2023
15 March 202315 March 2023
6 April 202306 April 2023
25 May 202325 May 2023
15 June 202315 June 2023
July 2023 - No Meeting
17 August 202317 August 2023
21 September 202321 September 2023
19 October 202319 October 2023
16 November 202316 November 2023
7 December 20237 December 2023
School closes 12 December 2023

If you have an interest in being considered for co-option to the Northern Health School Board, please complete the application form below and email with your Curriculum Vitae to

The Presiding Member
Northern Health School Board

NHS Board Co-Option Application form

The board members

Richard Winder


Richard is currently the principal of the Northern Health School and he has a background in primary education and a Masters degree in Education Administration.

He has a strong interest in learning, pedagogy and building the capacity of teachers. To this end he has presented locally and internationally in the area of education for students with chronic illness. He is currently secretary of HELP, an Australasian association for educators, parents and other professionals working in this area and part of the team responsible for the Continuity in Education Journal.

John Huston

Presiding Member

A graduate from the Victoria University of Wellington and teacher trained in Auckland, John has taught in secondary schools in Taranaki, the Kāpiti Coast, Auckland, Horowhenua, and Porirua City. He held middle management positions in three schools and in two schools was deputy principal. A teacher of history, John has been a chief examiner for the School Certificate history examination, a moderator for Tonga’s School Certificate history examination, and the recipient of a Fulbright Educational and Cultural Grant to the USA in history teaching and assessment.

John has been involved with school boards since the inception of ‘Tomorrow Schools’ in 1989. Before his ministerial appointment to the Northern Health School board, John was previously an elected parent representative on the board of his children’s primary school and a ministerial appointee to the boards of the Ōtaki Health Camp School and the Central Regional Health School.

Alongside his involvement with education, John has led a New Zealand aid initiative assisting a small NGO in India to install drinking quality water wells for poor rural communities. For this he was awarded a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship.

Joanne Walker

Deputy Presiding Member

Joanne has worked in a variety of roles in schools across New Zealand, including teaching (primary & secondary); itinerant teacher of deaf children; psychologist; lecturer; Professional Learning and Development facilitator (Inclusive Practice, Learning Support); Head of Initial Teacher Education, UNITEC. In addition, she has been Project Director for five specialist teacher education programmes and National Director of the Resource Teachers Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) programme. Her research involves senior leaders, teachers, students and their families across a range of educational settings (urban & rural, early childhood, primary, secondary, special & mainstream schools).

Joanne has a positive and practical inquiry approach, working alongside schools to help them understand the ways in which their current school systems and classroom practices can be strengthened to improve the engagement and achievement of all students, especially those with additional needs.

She is currently working as a critical friend for two Ministry of Education funded Teacher-led Innovation Fund (TLIF) projects and is the schools’ facilitator and researcher for six Auckland schools for the Better Start Literacy Approach project.

Jenny O’Leary

Staff Representative

Jenny is the staff representative elected by staff to sit on the School Board.

Jenny is an enthusiastic primary school educator who has worked with children in all areas of the curriculum in a wide range of school settings. Over the years, this can-do educator has been involved in mentoring students and beginning teachers. Jenny has also been lead teacher on a variety of school wide, ministry-approved professional development programmes. She has worked in ‘Normal’ schools where best practise is modelled and new directions in pedagogy trialled. Jenny has a passion for contributing to and implementing positive change that helps raise the standard of teaching as well as student learning.

Jenny has been teaching at the Northern Health School for over six years and is based at our Unit in Starship Children’s Hospital.

Grant Kelly

Grant lives in Opotiki and has  worked in the Bay of Plenty as a transition teacher in secondary schools and found developing community-based programmes for students not finding a good fit in mainstream school enabled better educational and vocational outcomes for them and their whanau.  For Grant this way of working with individual students and their whanau led to training and qualifying as a school guidance counsellor as well.

Another dimension to Grant’s experience and learning has been working through with his own whanau how to best support their child (and later young person) negotiate the world while living with an emerging disability. This personal journey led Grant to do further training in health and disability (NC L4 Health & Wellbeing – Advanced Support) and to specialise in working with other whanau who chose to look after their own disabled child/young person at home.  For the last 4 years Grant has been a facilitator in Peer Group Supervision for a large number of health and disability Support Workers in the Bay of Plenty.

Grant is excited to now have a special role working  as a Board member for NHS in support of the very unique opportunities the school and staff offer children and young people with health and  disability challenges to stay engaged  in learning and achieving.

Megan Campbell

Megan is a co-opted member of the NHS Board. She is an experienced Coach, Mentor, Board Director, Trustee, Advisor and Lobbyist. Megan is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has served on sixteen boards in the areas of education, health, mental health, sport and recreation, and governance services. Within education, Megan has served on the Elected Board of Te Totara Primary School, the Establishment Board (as Chair) of Rototuna Junior and Senior High Schools and the Elected Board of Rototuna High Schools (Te Kura Nui o Rototuna).

Megan has a particular interest in education, and is focused on ensuring students receive engaging teaching and learning so they can progress and achieve to their potential. She is thankful to have the opportunity to work as a board member to support the NHS school and staff so that they can provide excellent teaching and learning to children and teens with health challenges. While unwell, Megan’s daughter also utilised the unique educational opportunities and environment that NHS provides.

Susan Willis-Baker

Susan has held senior management roles in education, health and finance. She has served on several Social profit Boards, including ten years with A’oga Fa’a Samoa. She is a founding Director of a community Early Learning Centre licensed for 130 children in South Auckland.  In her previous roles as General Manager for two Private Tertiary Establishments, Susan oversaw community programmes such as Alternative Education and educational initiatives in Youth Justice.

Susan is dedicated to the well-being of children and families and strongly focuses on supporting targeted learners. In addition to her passion for education, she has mentored young professionals. She is genuinely interested in leading change for the benefit of the community, having also completed postgraduate studies in Leading Change for Good.