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Senior Leadership Team 2017

Top private girls' school in Havelock North, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Mrs Julie Peterson, Principal
BA (English), Dip Hort (Distinction), Dip Tchg

Mrs Julie Peterson’s focus at Woodford House is to provide a supportive environment, outstanding staff and a full range of opportunities for each girl to be equipped to live and lead an extraordinary life. Having experienced boarding school as a child, Julie believes that excellence in pastoral care is at the heart of our ability to respond to the needs of our girls. Coupled with a culture of continuous improvement that makes sure we constantly review and refine the way we nurture and educate our students.

Julie’s professional pathway extends beyond the classroom into leadership, advisory roles and specialist educational mentoring. Julie is a recipient of the coveted Woolf Fisher Research Fellowship.


+64 6 873 0705

Mrs Hazel Redpath, Deputy Principal – Teaching and Learning.
MA (Hons), PGCert Tchg

Hazel Redpath joined Woodford House in Term 2, 2017 as Deputy Principal – Teaching and Learning.

Originally from Scotland, Hazel moved to New Zealand in 2005 to join the staff at Hamilton Boys’ High School – where she was Director of Learning.

Hazel’s focus at Woodford House is to enable every girl – and every member of staff –  to be part of a community of motivated and engaged learners where we maximise the potential of new learning environments and the opportunities they provide, while at the same time respecting and acknowledging the traditions and values of the school.

As a committed, life-long learner, Hazel’s professional pathway includes leadership and adult learning, including an annual role as a facilitator at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education on the Leadership Evolving Vision (LEV) programme. This involves extended learning in the key areas of strategy; culture; change management; leadership; teacher education; and innovations in learning and teaching.


+64 6 873 0709

Mrs Stephanie Russell, Deputy Principal – Student Wellbeing
BA English and History (Hons), Dip Tchg

Mrs Stephanie Russell joined the Woodford House family in Term 2, 2017 as Deputy Principal – Student Wellbeing where she is responsible for the care of our girls and day-to-day management of the School.

Stephanie holds a BA (Hons) in English and History from Victoria University and has a Diploma in Secondary School Teaching from Waikato University. She also brings a wealth of experience, having held senior positions at Melville High School in Hamilton, Takapuna Grammar in Auckland, Hasting Boys’ High School in Hastings and, most recently, Napier Girls’ High School in Napier where she successfully developed and implemented a Scholarship programme.

Stephanie approaches education from a pastoral centre. She says positive relationships are key to success: an ability to know, connect with and respond to the individual is necessary in any school.

Her aim is to foster critical thinkers and adaptive, confident young people armed with a sound set of skills, values and experiences.

Stephanie has lived in Hawke’s Bay for almost 20 years. She is married to a sheep and beef farmer, Sam Russell, and they have two teenage daughters, Margot and Helena.


+64 6 873 0708