Lead Educator (Seniors) / Wed. & Thu. Classes
Teaching in gifted education brings continued variety that builds on my previous experience in education. I have trained and taught as a primary school teacher, having senior teaching roles and moving into a Deputy Principal position. I have also enjoyed being involved in a range of learning environments including home education and tutoring roles that has allowed me to work more closely with individual learning styles.
I live on a lifestyle block with my husband and 3 children (the eldest is at University.) I enjoy developing gardens, caring for our livestock (including two goats with big personalities!) and I have a passion for cooking.
Educator (Juniors) / Mon., Tue. & Fri. Classes
Ko Jess tōku ingoa
Ko Coombe tōku whanau
No Feilding ahau
engari kei Ngamotu e noho ana
Ko Taranaki te maunga
Ko Rangatikei te awa
My name is Jess and I am so excited to have the opportunity to work at the Head Office.
I have had a wonderfully diverse career working in Film and Television, Health Promotion and now teaching. I absolutely love being a teacher. I am excited to be an educator at the Head Office to empower and support young minds so they can reach their potential.
I am an international relations scholar with research expertise in public international law. I gained my first teaching experience at the University of Queensland teaching under- and postgraduate courses on international relations and politics as well as mentoring postgraduate students in political science.
Originally from Germany, our family moved back to New Plymouth a couple of years ago with our two young girls.
I sincerely enjoy working with primary school aged children, especially building their enthusiasm for and interest in lifelong learning skills as well as continuing to learn myself. I am currently studying for my teaching degree.
My name is Velvet! I am a trained yoga and mindfulness teacher and I guide regular classes and workshops around Taranaki and online. I am constantly studying personal development and fascinated by the many facets of the human experience. I’m passionate about creating safe, caring and inquisitive environments for adults so getting the chance to work with these brilliant young minds has been a gift! It is a constant reminder of how important it is that our young people get the emotional and physical support they need to help them connect with each other, themselves and the experience of being a bright mind in an intense world!
Originally from the UK, I spent more than a decade focussed on my musical career. I travelled and lived in a number of countries around the world, eventually settling in New Zealand where I fell in love with Taranaki! My pull to stay is not only because of the magnificent nature that this region presents but also in the incredible people I have met and connections I have made here. My enthusiasm for Japanese Jiu Jitsu has found a home in New Plymouth as well as my love for writing poetry. The transformation I have been able to experience here in my own wellbeing has led me to the incredibly humbling work that I do now and the opportunity to work for this much needed organisation.
Originally from Sydney, I studied Psychology at Macquarie University before spending time travelling and working overseas. I’ve been living in New Plymouth for over 7 years now and am a mum to 3 school-aged children.
With a strong interest in education and learning, I have enjoyed varied and interesting roles including working with International students in London, working for the College of Surgeons in Melbourne, teaching English to migrants, and have most recently been involved with early childhood education as a member of New Plymouth Playcentre following the philosophy of parents as first educators.
I joined the TGC Trust in June 2020 and am excited to be a part of such a passionate and dedicated team.
Our Board of Trustees
I am originally from Wellington and have recently returned from working overseas. I have had the great pleasure of working in several countries including Nepal, Malaysia, England, Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates.
My most recent roles have included being Deputy Primary Principal, chair of Student Services Committee, Accreditation Coordinator, ESL Coordinator and class teacher.
I am excited to be part of the TGC Trust, supporting learning in our wonderful students. I have two sons and for fun I like to go for long runs, explore the bush and swim in the sea. I also enjoy coffee, music and travel.
CEO & Trustee
Originally from Germany and with a background in Economics and Tourism Management, being involved in Gifted Education was quite a career change. As a parent of two gifted children I saw the highlights, struggles, frustrations and failures that came with the gifted label and noticed the lack of support in our region.
I am a founding member of the Taranaki Gifted Community Trust and CEO of our organisation. I am also President of the local branch of the NZ Association for Gifted Children (Taranaki Explorers).
Grants Manager & Trustee
Raised in Taranaki, I studied Law and Commerce at Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in Accounting and Commercial Law. My husband and I travelled widely after university, and I have been fortunate to have worked in a number of countries, with a varied career mostly in Accounting & Systems Analysis, giving me a strong diversity of skills. Once we had children, we found the pull to come back to Taranaki and family irresistible. We are co-directors of local consulting company CodeFluent Limited, but I have been in the fortunate position of giving my family priority when considering career options and am grateful to be able to contribute to our local community. I am a Trustee of the Taranaki Toy Library, and a founding trustee of Flourish Taranaki Community Trust, as well as joining the Taranaki Gifted Community Trust Board in 2017.
My amazing family inspires me daily and I have seen my children benefit first-hand from the amazing work that these Trusts do. It is humbling to work alongside such hard-working, selfless people who work to enrich the lives of children, their whanau and our local community.
Treasurer & Trustee
Roland is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years’ experience in the commercial sector. In his role as Treasurer Roland ensures the Trust is financially sound for its stakeholders including its member schools, gifted learners, their parents and teachers, as well as ensuring compliance with the Charities Commission.
Education Support & TGC Trust Committee Member
Cushla is a registered primary teacher with 15 years education experience in resource and course development, and classroom teaching.
Cushla is a founding member of the TGC Trust, leader of the Trust education team and Gifted and Talented Coordinator at St. John Bosco School in Fitzroy, New Plymouth.
TGC Early Childhood Advisor
Carola is a registered Kindergarten teacher (ECE) and a consultant in the field of early childhood education specialising in gifted & talented education and assessment.
She is an active member of NZAGC and contributing member to giftEDnz and their Early Years group. Carola advocates through presentations in Australia and New Zealand, and contributes to gifted publications in books and journals.
Carola is a founding member of the Taranaki Gifted Community Trust.