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Introducing the new Principal

Last year, the Trust Board informed the Saint Kentigern community of their decision to return to a single College structure, with one Principal, from the start of 2020, moving away from the separate Middle College and Senior College model first introduced in 2017.

The Saint Kentigern Trust Board is very pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Russell Brooke as the new Principal of Saint Kentigern College.

Mr Brooke was the Principal of ACG Parnell College over the last three years and was the unanimous choice of the Trust Board.  Chairman of the Board, Dr John Kernohan says, ‘Following an extensive selection process, we were delighted to appoint someone whose experience in education is so well-suited to leading the College today, and into the future.

‘Mr Brooke impressed the whole Board with his genuine alignment with our Saint Kentigern values. He has a proven commitment to creating a positive environment that allows all students to thrive and encourages excellence across all aspects of school life.’

In his former role, Mr Brooke led significant growth in the roll, presided over a leading academic record, and increased student participation across a wide range of co-curricular and sports activities. Prior to joining ACG, Mr Brooke was Associate Principal, then Principal of Long Bay College, where over 13 years, he established a reputation for outstanding educational leadership.

His earlier educational career was spent at St Peter’s College and Westlake Boys High. Mr Brooke held roles as teacher of Mathematics and IT, Head of Music, and Director of Curriculum. 

‘Joining the College represents a very special opportunity for me to lead a faith-based school of such very high standing,’ Mr Brooke says.

‘I have huge respect for Saint Kentigern’s history and its impressive record in academic achievement, performing arts and sport. I am very much looking forward to getting started.’

Mr Brooke holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Auckland, a Diploma of Teaching and a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership. With personal strengths in mathematics and music (he once played trumpet in a Shirley Bassey concert tour), Mr Brooke’s educational ambition is driven by a love for what he calls ‘a school in its fullest sense.‘

‘This means all the elements that are already part of Saint Kentigern; morning sports training, chapel in the evening, music, all the events that go into a full school life. I look forward to being part of the success of a school where everybody wants to be, where as a student you get a good start in life, no matter who you are. That really fits with the Presbyterian tradition; it’s for everybody, a place where everyone can flourish.’

Mr Brooke has two children who, as young adults, are starting their careers and he is a huge admirer of the work of his wife, Michele, who is Head of the Special Education Unit at Takapuna Grammar School. As well as playing music, he uses his spare time to indulge a passion for yachting and restoring classic cars.

Mr Brooke took up his role in early 2020. His priority is getting to know the College well, while looking forward to being part of its ongoing evolution in a vibrant and modern context.

The Trust Board’s decision to return to one College was taken after long and careful consideration, following two rigorous reviews that both indicated that a single College was the right fit for our community.

As we move into the next chapter for the College, the Trust Board offers their sincere gratitude to the current Principals, Mrs Suzanne Winthrop and Mr Duncan McQueen, for their dedication and hard work. They have been true servants of Saint Kentigern who have led by example. Mrs Winthrop is currently considering her next steps. At the start of 2020, Mr McQueen will take up a new role at the College as Director of Campus Life and Special Character.

The Trust Board is confident that Mr Brooke will provide robust and effective leadership for the College as it continues to build on the strong foundations and achievements of the past 67 years of Independent Education. We welcome him to Saint Kentigern.

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