As an integrated school, Raphael House is governed by the Board of Trustees and the Proprietors Trust.
The Board of Trustees provides strategic leadership and governance for Raphael House. Working in conjunction with the principal our role is to ensure the best possible outcomes (achievement and wellbeing) for all our students. It is an honour to be a Trustee and a role we take seriously.
The Board develops and is guided by the school’s strategic and annual plan. Our current focus is on strengthening our financial position, leadership and culture within the school.
This page will be updated regularly with Board meeting updates and minutes. Updates will also be posted in the Bush Telegraph.
Thank you for trusting us to govern Raphael House.
I have varied qualifications and interests that have led to an equally varied but fulfilling life. I was raised in a small rural community in Northland and came to Wellington to study music and economics. I started my working life in investment banking while pursuing musical interests too. I then accidentally landed in the IT industry which led to a career as a management consultant – specialising in organisation design and improvement, strategy development, programme and project management for business-focussed and technical changes.
I moved to England in my late 20s, had my son, obtained an MSc in Homeopathic Medicine and worked for a FTSE 100 consultancy organisation. I have (tried to) balanced a homeopathic practice, consultancy work and family life ever since. I returned to NZ three years ago and am now based in Lower Hutt – still doing these three things plus the Board of Trustees work (and some swimming coaching).
Why did I join the BoT? I have spent many years helping large (usually government, including education) organisations develop and/or redefine themselves to improve services for customers/citizens. I wanted to bring this experience to an organisation where I not only made a positive difference to the customer, but to one where I have a specific personal interest.
I am very passionate about Waldorf education and the value it offers, and have seen (too many) businesses with great philosophies and a lot to offer struggle or fail due to an imbalance in subject expertise vs leadership and management expertise. This is where my skills and experience can add value. I would ultimately like Waldorf education in NZ to be recognised for the value it brings and to have a consistently strong reputation, inside and outside the Waldorf community.
Chris Rae has over twenty years’ experience as a strategic partnerships specialist most recently at UNICEF the world’s largest organisation for children. His focus is help companies realise long-term strategic relationships, particularly where they deliver broader corporate value to the community and the environment.
Chris has two daughters at Raphael House and is the business manager of our Proprietors Trust.
CHAIR; Parent Representative
I have two children at the school, Sol in Class Three and Zac in Class One.
My wife Angie and most of her extended family are also part of the school community. I have worked in information security and privacy for longer than I care to admit, 11 years of which I ran my own companies. I’m a member of the Institute of Directors and enjoy the opportunity to use what I have learnt through their board training programs to make a positive contribution to the school and community.
Out of work I spend time with Angie and our boys, extended family and friends. When I’m not socializing or working round the house, I enjoy brewing, sustainability technologies, home automation and permaculture agriculture. Weather and time permitting, I love to get out for a ride on my ebike.
I am honoured to serve the Raphael House community on two governing bodies; as a Trust member and Trust Representative on the Board.
I am a state and Steiner qualified teacher and, although now retired from the classroom, I have had a successful teaching career in both lower and upper schools.
I have also had the privilege of leading four different Steiner schools as Principal in both Aotearoa New Zealand and three Australian states.
I have a deep and ongoing involvement in the study of anthroposophy and contemporary education as well as helping to further Steiner/Waldorf education in Aotearoa and the world.
I have had several of my four children attend Raphael House and other Steiner schools as well as two grandchildren, so the family has had a long association with Raphael House.
My experience in leading schools has led me to an acute awareness that the three areas of governing, relational and systems leadership. All need to have a sound understanding of their roles and to be working to support, check, balance and correct one another in order for the whole school system to function healthily.
Currently, my paid work is that of CEO for Steiner Education Aotearoa.
I am a Raphael House parent and ex-pupil (Class 12, 1999). My daughter Zoe is in kindergarten and my son Eli is at the Steiner Cottage.
I’ve been on the Board since 2019 and bring over 15 years’ experience in Marketing and Communications with me. I am excited to be part of creating a strong and sustainable Raphael House for our children and our grandchildren.
Esmee has currently two children at Raphael House in the Upper School, originally being schooled at Te Ra.
I am a current class 12 student and have been at this right through Raphael House starting in the kindergarten when I was 4. I have been a part of the student leadership group since 2018, and have always had an interest in being a voice for students and sharing their opinions and ideas to the rest of the community. In my spare time I enjoy playing the piano, taking photos and spending time with friends. I’m excited to be part of the Board and am looking forward to making a positive difference in our school this year.