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 3, 60 Khyber Pass Road, Grafton, Auckland at 9:30am.

Meeting DatesRatified Minutes
24 February 202324 February 2023
15 March 202315 March 2023
6 April 202306 April 2023
25 May 2023
15/16 June 2023
July 2023 - No Meeting
17 August 2023
21 September 2023
19 October 2023
16 November 2023
7 December 2023
School closes 12 December 2023
Meeting DatesRatified Minutes
17 February 2022February 2022
17 March 2022March 2022
April 2022 - No Meeting
19 May 2022May 2022
16 June 2022June 2022
7 July 2022July 2022
18 August 2022August 2022
13 September 2022September 2022
3 November 20223 November 2022
17 November 202217 November 2022
1 December 20221 December 2022
School closes 9 December 2022

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.

Joanne Walker

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.

Patricia Mitchell

Patricia is passionate about outcomes for rangatahi/young people and brings a long and varied experience to the board table.

Patricia believes driving purpose led governance through continually raising the standards of leadership is the foundation of innovative and sustainable education services in Aotearoa New Zealand.

As founder and disruptor of a health focussed business, a Board Member for a National and Local NGO and Advisory Board Member, Patricia has the governance, leadership and community experience at both local and national levels.

Patricia has experience of authentically collaborating with Māori and Pasifika which has built robust foundations to serve Māori and Pasifica communities under-served by traditionally focussed approaches.

A committed proactive lifelong learner, Patricia has roots as Registered Nurse, holds a Master of Nursing and is a Chartered member of the Institute of Directors.

John Huston

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.

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.