Board Newsletter 

Term 1 2024

Appointment of new Principal for Te Kura o Tawatawa | Ridgway School.

The Board is delighted to announce the appointment of Acting Principal Sarah Patterson as the new Principal for Te Kura o Tawatawa | Ridgway School.

The role was advertised early in the term and attracted five high quality applicants. The Board followed a robust recruitment process which included consultation with our tamariki, staff and parents - thank you to all who contributed their thoughts to this process. The feedback we received was included in the shortlisting and interview matrices used to assess the applicants.

The selection panel, made up of four Board members and one external Principal from another South Wellington school, said they were impressed with Sarah’s passion and vision for the school.

Sarah has worked at Tawatawa - Ridgway since 2016 and held the Deputy Principal role under former Principal Kathryn Smith for seven years.

We hope you will all join us in congratulating Sarah and welcoming her in the new role. 

Farewell to Raelene

At the same time as we welcome Sarah into her new role, we bid farewell to a long-standing and well loved member of the Tawatawa - Ridgway team. 

Office Manager Raelene Sloper is retiring after 20 years at the school.

The Board would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Raelene, for all the work she has done to support the Board and for being such a warm and welcoming face for the school for all these years. 

Changes at the Board of Trustees

There are further changes taking place within the Board - Board member Monica Serrano and her family are leaving New Zealand for Mexico in July.

The Board would like to thank Monica for all her work on the Board, particularly for her careful oversight of the finances, and delicious baking. We wish Monica and the family well on their new adventures!

We have received two expressions of interest from the school community in taking on Monica’s place on the Board - we will update you once a replacement has been confirmed.

Board member Jo Pohatu decided last term to step aside from her role as Presiding Chair which she has held since February 2022. While Jo will (thankfully!) remain in her role as Board member, we would like to recognise the outstanding work as Presiding Chair, particularly for steering the school through the rebuild process which was a significant and hugely successful project.

Stepping into Jo’s shoes are Kayvan Bahraini and Sophie Hazelhurst who will share the role as Co-Chairs of the Board. You can reach both of them on the Board email -

Pou for our kura entrance

As you will have noticed work is underway to complete the landscaping for the entrance to our kura. Part of that will include pou.

Members from the Whānau Hui rōpu have been working with a local carver on the whakaaro (thoughts) for these pou.

We are in the design phase, and that will soon be confirmed.  Once  that is done, the carving will be done and it is hoped that the pou will be fully carved and ready to be installed by the end of November this year.

When we are set to unveil the pou, we will invite our community to come celebrate this.

Lastly - A message from our friends at VBC

Kia ora Ridgway whānau!

In our school neighbourhood we are lucky to have the Vogelmorn Bowling Club (VBC) - a community space that is open to all! 2024 is the 10th anniversary of this special resource and there will be a celebration later in the year to mark this milestone of community ownership.

Meanwhile, there is a space opening up on the Vogelmorn Community Trust, that governs both the VBC and the contract to operate the Vogelmorn Hall. If you love the Ridgway community, and are interested in finding ways that Ridgway and VBC can work closer together, or if you just want to be part of supporting and guiding this local treasure, you might be a future Trustee! No previous governance experience required. Please contact to learn more.

Or, if getting involved with smaller tasks is more your thing, you can always reach out to Venue Manager Sarah at There's always something to help with and it's a great way to meet and connect with neighbours you might not otherwise come across :)

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