St Canice's School

Our Board of Trustees

Leah Marris


As the principal, I fully immerse myself in all areas of school, in governance, management, teaching and learning. I feel extremely privileged to be able to work with a supportive board who have a shared vision for the education and well-being of our tamariki. The cohesive governance team helps contribute to the whanaungatanga felt when you visit, work or learn in our kura.

Fr David Gruschow

Proprietor’s Representative

St Canice’s Parish owns St Canice’s School and so the Parish Priest has always been very involved in school life. One of my tasks is to be an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees. In the various parishes I have served in, I have generally been on the BOT of the parish school, and have been the chair on two occasions. I bring to our current BOT many years of experience on boards of trustees, and also, with the other proprietor’s representatives, a watching brief on the faith implications of what we discuss. I have also been a teacher, so am familiar with some of the challenges teachers face both in delivering the general curriculum, and in endeavoring to pass on the faith to our tamariki.

Claire Hart

Parish Representative

I was invited to join the board by the parish priest and saw it as an opportunity to contribute to the school. I have had three children attend St Canice’s, joining the board was a way to show support for the principal, staff, students and parish. Being on the board is rewarding and I would recommend becoming a trustee.

Sean Casey

Parent Representative

I joined the Board of Trustees because after having four children attend St Canice’s, I felt that I could offer my knowledge and experience in looking at our future needs, especially in the areas of property and building. I am able to bring my skills in construction and employment and financial management to the Board. Being on the BOT is a wonderful way of being involved in the outcomes of your child’s education, and I would encourage people to consider standing at our next elections.

Marie Ryan

Parent Representative

I am Mum to Caelan, an Irish Physiotherapist and have been living in Westport for the past 16 years. I have been part of the Parish community/family since then. I have been involved with St. Canice’s School since my son started school. I feel strongly about our children’s education and want to help in any way to shape and support their pathway at St. Canices’s. I am looking forward to continuing to work within the school Board of Trustees. I feel I have the knowledge and skills needed to support the school as I have been employed mainly with the West Coast DHB, and so I am extremely organised, a good listener and able to work well in a group setting. I have a strong work ethic. I am committed to helping maximise educational outcomes for our students.

Gareth Allen

Parent Representative

I have enjoyed seeing the school development process; the ongoing curriculum and culture changes and the modern learning environments. I have the relevant skills to make a valued contribution to the school with my governance and financial knowledge and skills.

Dylan Taylor

Parent Representative

My wife and I have three daughters, two of whom currently attend St Canices School. Everyone can be proud of the nurturing environment that is a testament to the hard work of past and present staff, management and governance as well as the parents and children that make up our school community. My decision to join the Board of Trustees was underpinned by a willingness to share knowledge and skills for the betterment of our school community contributing to a team of likeminded people who strive for the best learning environment for our children. My experience includes senior leadership/management positions in the civil and construction industry over the past 10 years. These roles have provided me with the ability to think critically while also being able to relate well to people of all ages and backgrounds in order to achieve desired outcomes. Formal training completed has included leadership and governance courses.

Brooke McDonnell

Staff Representative

As a teacher, I believe it is important to have knowledge of all areas of school life which has motivated me to join our school Board of Trustees. I am committed to ensuring our students receive the best education possible and I look forward to contributing to this through the Board.