Meet our Board of Trustees (BOT)

Brendan Hearle

Both of my children (Cienna and Xander) attended Wanaka Primary School and have benefited greatly from their experiences at the school. I have 20+ years of Financial Management experience in the Banking & Finance sector which I have leveraged while being the Finance Representative and Chairperson of the Board over the past few years. My governance philosophy ensures that the children and teachers are at the centre of all the decisions made at a board level. I’m passionate about ensuring that the children attending Wanaka Primary School have the best start possible from a learning perspective.

Frank Jasper

I am the parent of an energetic skier, mountain biker and hopefully an equally engaged maths, english and science student!!   I am excited to be on the WPS Board using my commercial and governance skills to help maintain and build the school we all love. My career background is in the financial markets as an equity market strategist and share portfolio manager as well as senior leadership roles including responsibility for managing over $15b as Chief Investment Officer.  From a governance perspective, I have served on a number of company boards including holding the chair.

Mitch Campbell

Hi, I’m Mitch Campbell. I have been on the Wānaka Primary School Board for the last 3.5 years and have really enjoyed supporting the school’s governance and strategic direction. My wife Portia and I have two children at school, our son is in Pod 4 and our daughter is in Pod 7. They keep us very busy with their involvement in activities, both during and after school! Our family moved to Wānaka just over five years ago from the North Island, where both my wife and I worked in senior management roles in Auckland. I’ve found my experiences in corporate leadership positions have been really advantageous in assisting the Wānaka Primary School board as an active board member. With a background in property and housing, I successfully project managed the new build for Wānaka Primary School’s rental house, here in town. I am an active member of the community and believe that we’ve got great opportunities on offer here in Wānaka. You will often see me coaching the kids’ cricket, rugby and soccer during respective school terms. My wife has just completed her Masters in Child Psychology and the knowledge that she shares with me is invaluable as we navigate new challenges

Melissa McFarlane

My name is Melissa McFarlane.  My husband Ben and I relocated to Wanaka from Dunedin in 2008.  We have three young daughters – Isabella and Madeline currently attend Wanaka Primary, and Penelope attends a local daycare centre.   I am excited to be a part of the Wanaka Primary School community, and as a parent I have a vested interest in the school and its students.  I believe in the importance of children having the right environment and opportunities provided to them, to enable them to become the best version of themselves.  I am a Director at Fyfe Karamaena Law in Wanaka, and outside of work I like to run and keep fit and I play social netball in the winter months.  As a family we love to travel and do a range of sport and outdoor activities together.  We always encourage our daughters to give things a go, as a way to discover their own strengths and find what they really enjoy.

Stephanie Welch

Hi, I’m  Stephanie, and mum to son Lachlan. I am a Chartered Accountant by profession, with over 15 years of experience working in corporate finance roles. I am serving my first term as a parent-trustee representative. I strongly believe in the importance of good governance at schools to support the well-being of our students and staff and I encourage active engagement with the parent community. I am collaborative, have good communication skills and I am passionate about making Wanaka Primary School the best it can possibly be so that all students, now and in the future, can excel at learning and grow into happy, caring and thriving children.

Tom Syben

My name is Tom Syben, my wife and I moved to Wanaka in 2016 after spending some time working overseas.  We have two boys at Wanaka Primary.  One in Year 6 and another in Year 4.  We also have a four-year-old who attends a local pre-school and will be starting at Wanaka Primary in early 2025. We own and operate tourism businesses here in Wanaka and on the West Coast.  I also enjoy giving back to the community in my role as a Station Officer for the Wanaka Volunteer Fire Brigade as well as serving the community as a Justice of the Peace. I’m excited to be a part of the Board of Trustees and am looking forward to working with the rest of the board and the school staff to ensure our children have the best possible start in their learning journey.