Board of Trustees

Sara Gordon


I’m the Chair of the Hagley Board of Trustees. I’ve been a parent representative since 2010 and was elected Chair in February this year. Both my children have attended Hagley and have thrived in the flexible and diverse learning environments offered here. This, together with the positive and supportive guidance from the staff, has allowed them to focus on what excites and inspires them. I have always been interested in education and as a family we have been involved in Montessori education, home schooling and schooling overseas.

I feel hugely privileged to be able to support the excellent work of the College in my role as Chair. I am frequently amazed by the success stories I hear as students overcome barriers and embrace their own special passions to succeed and grow. In my opinion, these opportunities are worth gold.


John Davey


I’m the Deputy Chairperson. I providie support for our Chair Sarah Gordon. Our role as a Board of Trustees is to formally define, preserve and develop the special character of Hagley College.

As a product of alternative education myself, it is easy for me to grasp the concepts around this unique and much valued school. My day job as Director of a company providing inspirational presentations to university students across New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, means I have a great deal to offer here at Hagley. This is not just a place of learning, although it certainly excels in this realm, but a place that really does inspire the futures and transform the lives of our young people. The future is bright and the possibilities for development are endless.


Mike Fowler


As Principal I have the role as chief adviser to the Board of Trustees. I love the challenge and excitement of this unique institution and its talented staff and students. My key responsibilities include College operations and developments, as well as the Hagley rebuild. I’ve been at Hagley since 1987, initially teaching part time in the evening College programme, then as Head of English for 14 years and a Deputy Principal for the last seven years.

I look forward to realising the potential our College has as a designated character school – and to being part of a Board that helps that happen. Let’s continue to innovate, to create opportunities for secondary learners of all ages across our region. Let’s continue to look outwards to collaborate, invite community connections and connections with other educational institutions. It’s exciting to be involved in how Hagley’s mission statement “lifelong learning that is accessible to all” is played out every day in all that we do. Hagley’s values bring that mission statement to life. Those values are based on the relationships our teachers build with our students. It’s how our teachers value students as individuals that sets Hagley apart – that is the Hagley way.


Ngā mihi nui kia koutou


Terri Gledhill


Kia Ora!

Ko Terri Gledhill toku ingoa.

Ko Ngai Tuhoe toku iwi.

He kaiwhakarite haereere ahau.

Ko Jonty toku tama.

He akonga ia i a Te Puna Wai O Waipapa.


Hi, my name is Terri Gledhill.

Ngai Tuhoe is my tribe.

I am a travel agent.

Jonty is my son.

He is a student at Hagley College.


Tena koutou katoa!


I am very proud and honoured to be part of the Hagley College board of trustees as the Maori representative. My passion is inclusive education. I believe everyone should be involved in education. Especially, our youth who are our future and through education they will make change. But even you should be involved because as Mahatma Gandhi said, “Real education consists of drawing the best out of yourself”. With this belief in mind, I will be completing an Open Wananga Course in Maori tikanga (culture) and te reo (language) this year.


Furthermore, I will seek to represent you all with integrity, sensitivity and commitment. So do more than just exist! Get involved in education.


Nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa!


Michael Herman


I’m originally from Cape Town, South Africa, by way of the Middle East, Great Britain, and Johannesburg. My family and I settled in Christchurch 13 years ago and two of my three children attend Hagley.

Most of my professional life has been spent in the media and community sectors on initiatives that help build effective organisations or which address suffering and the consequences of inequality, or both of these. The organisation’s I’ve worked for have focused largely on strengthening community and promoting social justice such as Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation Trust, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Society of Canterbury, Father & Child Trust, Community Action Youth and Drugs, Creation Arts Space, and The eARThquake Therapy Initiative.

I’m currently the manager at Petersgate Counselling Centre and have served on several boards, including Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation Society Canterbury, Community Broadcasters Society, 198 Youth Health Trust, and Lyttelton Youth Council.


Cat Scott-Hewitt


I was born and raised in Canterbury, my training as a teppanyaki chef has provided fantastic opportunities to work in Asia, Europe, the US and throughout the Pacific. These days, I have a catering company based in North Canterbury, where I live with my husband and two daughters.

My girls have attended Hagley since Year 9 and my delight in their experience has led me to serve on the BOT. I am passionate about Hagley and feel privileged to be on a board whose focus reflects dedication to enhancing each student’s learning in such a happy, welcoming environment. I embrace the challenge of finding the right candidate to become the new Principal here at Hagley. This is a special place and it is the people who make it so. He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!


Derek Benfield


I’m a chartered accountant and have worked in a number of businesses. I was on the Hagley Board from 1999 to 2008, being co-opted on when my daughter attended the College. I was chair of the finance committee during that time and deputy chair of the Board for three years, having previously been on the Boards at Christchurch Boys High, Papanui High and a North Island primary school while my children attended those schools.

I was co-opted on to the Hagley Board after the elections in 2013 primarily to chair the finance committee. Before that I spent three years on the Christchurch Polytechnic and Institute of Technology Council as a Ministerial appointment. In my employment role, I do a substantial amount of recruiting so I’m very familiar with those processes and the identification of the priorities.




I am the newly elected student representative on the Board of trustees. I would like to thank Hagley students for giving me their support to serve our great community in this very unique position. I am humbled, I feel privileged and uniquely honoured.

My aim as the student representative is to ensure all the members of the College are treated equally and furthermore to promote the values of transparency and accountability throughout all the Board’s decision making. I’m also there to represent students concern on what is going around the school for the betterment and the smooth running of the institution.


I would like to join UC next year to pursue my career degree in civil engineering. This year my highest priority is to help as many students as I can to make Hagley a better working environment to learn. If you feel like something is not right or have ideas you want to share, don’t hesitate. Come and talk to me and I appreciate your concern. My message to Hagley students is that
” Tauturu i nga wa katoa te Atua te hunga e te tauturu ia ratou , me ona roto i te mātauranga i reira te ora te wairua faka’ofo’ofa me tumanako te rangi anake fiefia whatu”.


Julie Mitchell


Last September I was elected as staff trustee on the Board. I’m a Christchurch born mother and grandmother. I joined Hagley College as a support staff member for mainstream learning support In February 2009. However, as time has passed my role has extended to English Language Learning (ESOL), Textiles technician and relief administration.

My passion is providing equal opportunities for all students. My vision as a trustee is to see Hagley continue to grow and extend its arms to all sectors of the community, offering a special type of education for our unique students.

mainstream learning support In February 2009. However, as time has passed my role has extended to English Language Learning (ESOL), Textiles technician and relief administration.

My passion is providing equal opportunities for all students. My vision as a trustee is to see Hagley continue to grow and extend its arms to all sectors of the community, offering a special type of education for our unique students.