Board and governance

We are extremely lucky to have a group of dedicated professionals and parents supporting the school. They all give their time so generously and continue to help us to implement our vision for the school.

Bruce McIntyre

Trustee and co-founder

I have 4 children and 6 grandchildren. My son loved his time at Seven Oaks but had to move on when we ran out of classes for him. However his maturity as young adult, compared with so many of his peers, is testament to the social and emotional skills he developed at Seven Oaks.

After a year at university, I decided to start my own business. Macpac grew to be a substantial and successful business, employing up to 250 people in factory and office. We cared a lot about environment, product performance and an open, friendly, egalitarian culture. I bring 50 years of innovation, leadership and a wide range of business experience to my roles on the Trust board and the school board.

Kane Bunting

Parent co-chair

Returning from the UK in 2007, I switched from working in contract management to a procurement role with City Care. After seven years growing procurement at City Care, I created a residential property management company and now work from home. The work flexibility I now have has given me the opportunity to join the school board.

I am married to Jo and we have three children, Cooper (9), Tait (7) and Miri (5). The school has been a great choice for our family with the tailor-made education for each individual child, holistic curriculum and ethos a match to our parenting style at home.

I look to bring commercial business experience and support to the finance committee.

John MacDonald

Parent co-chair

I’m married to Fiona and we have two children at Seven Oaks.

Coming from a science background, I now focus on developing people to realise their potential, growing leadership capabilities, talent management and succession planning and the usual range of personnel-related activities. A large portion of my role involves me working at a strategic and governance level to be future-focused on the needs of the organisation.

We chose Seven Oaks because of its holistic, child-centred approach to education. In today’s environment of large class sizes, Seven Oaks provides a great alternative where the needs of the individuals can be catered for and supported by appropriately paced learning. Children at the school have the opportunity to build quality relationships with educators who care deeply for their wellbeing.

Bridget Edwards

Parent and treasurer

I have been a qualified Chartered Accountant since 2007. I have worked in a variety of different sectors, including an accounting firm, a large registered charity and CFO for our own high growth business. At the start of 2020, I finished working in the family business to focus on our family. This has given me time to help at Seven Oaks. I am excited about being on the Board of Seven Oaks School. I use my accounting knowledge and business experience to help with treasurer duties and advice.

Kurt Janssen and I are parents to Theo and Harvey. Our boys absolutely love Seven Oaks as it allows them to develop at their own pace in a peaceful, caring, and supportive environment. The school has given them a positive disposition towards learning and they are moving ahead in leaps and bounds.”

Heidi Phillips

Parent

I am an admitted Barrister and Solicitor. I have practiced in the areas of Family and Property Law.

Since becoming a mother in 2015, I have spent my working hours building a small rental property portfolio. I love all things design and build, and seem to always be in the midst of some type of renovation. I’m grateful for the flexibility this has given me to prioritise raising my daughter.

My husband and I chose Seven Oaks because we want our daughter to be in an environment where she can thrive and be her brilliant unique self. We want her to be equipped with the resilience and confidence to carve her own path in life.

I am passionate about children’s nutrition and the vital role it plays not only in their learning but in their whole wellbeing. I would like to focus my efforts on establishing a strong garden-to-table programme at Seven Oaks. Through enhancing this connection to nature, children (and parents) can feel empowered to take ownership of their own health.

Ellie Bell

Parent

Originally from the UK I moved to NZ in 2013 to work as an event director for Wellington and Napier venues for Cricket World Cup 2015. During this time I met my now husband Matt and we moved down to Lincoln from Wellington in 2019 before the birth of our second daughter.

My background is working in marketing, communications, and major events both here and in the UK. I decided after having children that I wanted a change of career and I am now a certified life coach who supports women to access their inner wisdom to be the person they want to be for themselves and for the people important to them.

Our eldest daughter Emily started at Seven Oaks at the start of 2022 and our youngest, Phoebe, is at the Seven Oaks Preschool. We chose the school because of the values and principles it stands for and with the work that I do, I think it’s important we teach our children how to be confident in who they are and what they stand for, Seven Oaks seems to be a place that encourages and inspires children to do just this.

I have joined the board as it’s important to me to give back to my community and I want to be able to support the vision of the school to a wider audience so that we can continue to grow.

Ayeisha Thornley

Parent

Happily born in Christchurch, attended High School in Adelaide, Australia.  Returning to Christchurch at age 18, I went on to start my own roofing company at age 24.  Whilst roofing, I began investing in real estate and renovating properties to sell. After 8 years, I sold the roofing business to create time for having my two lovely children and to continue to grow the real estate portfolio and building business. This early hard work now allows me time to work in the community and be a part of the awesome team at Seven Oaks School.

My husband, Justin, and I have two beautiful daughters that are smarter, funnier and more enlightened than us: Zia (10) and Ariya (6). Since the girls have joined the Seven Oaks community (we did try out another private school first), I have watched them blossom and bloom in every area. As my girls explain to me, ‘we learn more when we’re happy and having fun’. Seven Oaks makes this environment possible, which we love.

After studying the Emilia Reggio method of learning in Italy four years ago, a child-led learning philosophy, it has been my mission to elevate as many children as possible to achieve their absolute best and fill their lives and those around them with joy, and this brings me a great deal of fulfilment. Children at Seven Oaks are inspired to excel and follow their passions. I will continue to ensure the children at Seven Oaks maintain their unalienable rights to glow, grow and thrive in a truly nurturing, free space.

Mike Rea

Educator

I have been an educator at Seven Oaks for the last 5 years and have been closely linked to the development of the curriculum and vision of the school. Every day I work with the children, guiding them to achieve their full holistic potential and gain a range of fulfilling life experiences. Through this time, I have also achieved much growth myself, as an educator, board member and personally.

I am married to Laura and have 2 wonderful children, Layla who is 8 months old and Tobias who is 4 years old. Before beginning my journey at Seven Oaks, I travelled for 5 years teaching and living in Edinburgh before working on Organic Farms throughout Europe. I have a passion for bio dynamic and organic gardening as well as cooking, travelling, playing guitar and sport. My goal on the board is to be a clear voice in keeping the vision at a working level within the school.

“Both of our children instantly felt a strong sense of belonging at their new school”

The decision to move our children to Seven Oaks School was based upon the fact that we wanted our children... Read more

Leeane, parent

“We love the wide curriculum”

Seven Oaks School offers the individual approach we were looking for our children and we would highly recommend it. We... Read more

Jo, parent

“Our son thrives when he can learn in a hands-on environment”

Seven Oaks has been a fantastic fit for our family. In particular, the play-based learning philosophy for the new entrants... Read more

Matthew, parent

“All about developing more than just educational outcomes!!!” 

The right school... Small class sizes. Play-based learning is developing our child amazingly well. Key element for me is it's... Read more

Liam, parent

“Can’t wait to send our youngest next year!”

We are happy we made the choice to send our 5-year-old son (now 6.5) to Seven Oaks. He has been... Read more

Kurt, parent

Hear it from our families

“Both of our children instantly felt a strong sense of belonging at their new school”

The decision to move our children to Seven Oaks School was based upon the fact that we wanted our children... Read more

Leeane, parent

“We love the wide curriculum”

Seven Oaks School offers the individual approach we were looking for our children and we would highly recommend it. We... Read more

Jo, parent

“Our son thrives when he can learn in a hands-on environment”

Seven Oaks has been a fantastic fit for our family. In particular, the play-based learning philosophy for the new entrants... Read more

Matthew, parent

“All about developing more than just educational outcomes!!!” 

The right school... Small class sizes. Play-based learning is developing our child amazingly well. Key element for me is it's... Read more

Liam, parent

“Can’t wait to send our youngest next year!”

We are happy we made the choice to send our 5-year-old son (now 6.5) to Seven Oaks. He has been... Read more

Kurt, parent

“Both our children have thrived”

We chose Seven Oaks because of its holistic, child-centred approach to education. In today’s environment of large class sizes, Seven... Read more

Fiona, parent

“His energy can be focused on learning and not worrying”

Seven Oaks School would have been off my radar had it not been recommended by a leading Christchurch businesssoman, whose... Read more

Di, parent

“Our boys look forward to going to school and they are engaged”

We are delighted with our experience at Seven Oaks School. All of the educators, as well as the head of... Read more

Cecily, parent

“Everything from emotional intelligence to eco-literacy”

Seven Oaks School offers the individual approach we were looking for our children and we would highly recommend it. We... Read more

Jokacota, parent