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Samuel Marsden Collegiate School’s new Principal starts

Ms Narelle Umbers, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School’s new Principal, welcomes new and returning students this week. Ms Umbers is the school’s twelfth Principal and will be officially commissioned in February. “I would like to welcome everyone to the Marsden 2018 school year, both our returning students and their families, and particularly our new students and their whānau. I know from personal experience that they are joining a very warm and welcoming community. I have been overwhelmed by the kind and thoughtful way that I have been welcomed to the school over the last few weeks. I arrived to my office to find the most amazing array of handmade ‘welcome gifts’ from the staff including creative, beautiful, humorous and practical items introducing me to Marsden, Wellington and New Zealand that I will keep and treasure.”

“It is with much pleasure that we welcome Narelle Umbers into the Marsden family as our Principal,” said Cheryl Middelkoop, Board Chair of Samuel Marsden Collegiate School. “Ms Umbers brings extensive educational experience, a strong interest in student well-being and future thinking to the role, ensuring that the Marsden Schools, at Karori and Whitby, will continue to lead the field in providing educational excellence and ensuring students are well-prepared for their futures beyond school.”

Ms Umbers joins Marsden School from Peninsula Grammar, a prestigious co-educational independent school of 1,400 students in Melbourne, where she was a Deputy Principal. Previously she held a number of senior positions at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar, another leading independent school and has spent time in corporate roles in the information technology sector. Ms Umbers is a highly qualified teacher of Mathematics and Information Technology and holds a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) and a Master of Education (University of Melbourne). She also has a Graduate Diploma in Computer Education from the Melbourne College of Advanced Education and completed a New and Aspiring Leaders Programme through the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2016. Her passion is developing young people.

“After a rigorous and extensive recruitment process both in New Zealand and internationally, Narelle won the Marsden Board over for being a passionate educator, leader, strategic thinker and innovator. We believe she will be a great standard bearer for the spirit and values of Marsden”, says Mrs. Middelkoop.


“It will be both an honour and a privilege to lead the Marsden community. 2018 will be an exciting year as we celebrate Marsden’s rich heritage and reputation in the school’s 140th year,” said Ms Umbers. “We will continue to do what Marsden has done so effectively throughout its history; that is to constantly re-imagine what it means to lay the foundation for lives of meaning, accomplishment and genuine happiness for our students now and for their futures in a fast-changing world. I am excited about what that will mean for the development of our academic, wellbeing and co-curricular programmes. Expect to see a continued focus on the essential ‘enterprise skills’: communications, problem solving, creativity, teamwork and critical thinking, underpinned by Marsden’s strategic Learning pillars of Excellence, Creativity, Resilience and Giving”.

Personally Ms Umbers has played netball extensively and is keen to explore the NZ outdoors. She is joined in Wellington by her husband and is enjoying meeting staff, students and the wider Marsden community.

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School in Karori and Whitby invite you to come for a tour anytime, or you can attend their next Open Days, on Friday 23 March, between 8.45am and 12pm at the Karori campus and between 10am and 2pm at Whitby.

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School has been providing quality independent education for 139 years. Today it has two campuses. The Marsden School Karori campus provides Preschool education for boys and girls, and education for girls from Years 1 to 13. Marsden Whitby provides education for boys and girls Years 7–13. As a not-for-profit organisation Marsden School expresses its vision in terms of what it ultimately wants to achieve for its students. That is to lay the foundation for lives of meaning, accomplishment and happiness, in a rapidly changing world. marsden.school.nz


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