Mary Sherratt is the President of the Old Girls’ Association and a member of the Board of Proprietors at Woodford House. She loves being involved with her old school and seeing the progress and achievement of one of New Zealand’s top girls’ schools. Mary was a boarder from Gisborne and remembered by many as the most homesick 3rd former in her year! Mary was a Prefect and Frimley House Deputy Leader. She played netball, was captain of the cricket team, and was very proud to place 7th in the senior cross country during her last year. Mary says she couldn’t sing in tune, but she loved singing hymns in the Chapel.
“Even now I can hear Jo King teaching us how to sing hymns and psalms and think of her when I hear mistakes in hymns at weddings and funerals.”
She loved Art and Art History with Miss Bowden.
After graduating from Woodford House, Mary went to Palmerston North Teachers College and gained a Teaching Diploma. Her first job was in Gisborne where she met up with Randall Sherratt (her now husband) who she first met at primary school. Mary and Randall have two sons and a daughter. Her daughter, Anna Sherratt, went to Woodford House from 2008 -2014.
Mary is now the secretary at Flemington School in Waipukurau and also teaches a class.
Jan Marr is the Executive Assistant for the Woodford House Old Girls’ Association. Jan attended Woodford House for one year as a boarder before returning to Gisborne Girls’ High School for the remainder of her schooling. She has a long history with Woodford House, with three older sisters, a grandmother and great-grandmother also attending.
Jan remembers turning up to trial for the Woodford House Cricket Team, assuming she would be a natural like her two older sisters, Mary and Lou who had both been top players, only to be bowled out for a duck! Athletics turned out to be her preferred sport. Her best memories were sticky buns in the afternoon and Frimley winning the House Music competition.
After graduating from high school Jan went on to study Tourism and worked for Club Med before travelling overseas for three years. Jan has two children and has held various operational roles including creating New Zealand’s first Vegetation Management System for WEL Networks in Hamilton and Department Coordinator at Waikato University. Currently, Jan is the Partnering and Sponsorship Manager at Child Matters, a charity educating those who work with children to be able to identify and respond appropriately to child abuse. Jan has also spent 10 years on Primary and Intermediate School Boards.
Sarah McGill describes her time at school in the late 60s and 70s as being “more like a convent than the amazing educational establishment it is today”. She remembers having three exeats a term, and only one of those was an overnight stay. She recalls fish Fridays, sausages with marmalade, and skin on rice pudding served with jam.
Sarah says she met girls who became part of her family, and who have grown into the most wonderful women today. Sarah loved the stage and acted and sung whenever she could. She also loved English lessons.
On leaving Woodford House, Sarah attended Christchurch Teachers’ College. She taught in Hawke’s Bay for two years before spending the next 30 years travelling, living in England, having a family and teaching. Her primary teaching role morphed into teaching English at secondary schools before starting a career in a specialist teaching service where she worked with language disordered students and those with social communication disorders.
Sarah moved back to New Zealand in 2012 and now runs a Bed and Breakfast in Puketapu. She also teaches literacy at St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ College and takes the minutes for her local primary school’s Board of Trustees. Sarah is also a member of the Woodford House Foundation.
Georgina Miller started at Woodford House in 1986 in Form Two as a boarder and left in 1990. George participated in a lot of sport, including swimming, diving, A Cricket (from 3rd form), A Netball (from 5th form), A Basketball (from 5th form), A Volleyball (from 4th form). At the end of Sixth Form, her 5th year as a boarder, Georgina felt like a change, so she went to Havelock North High School for her final year.
Georgina went on to Massey University where she completed a Bachelor of Arts (Social Anthropology) before moving to London. During her three years there, she worked in accounts for Pearson TV, Booz Allan, Hamilton, Walker Hamill and Maersk Shipping. She also married her husband, Matt Miller, in London.
Georgina and Matt founded Mogul, a digital marketing company in 2007. Mogul exports 40 per cent of their work offshore and has worked with numerous New Zealand companies and organisations including, Gemco, Hastings District Council, World of WearableArt, Sport NZ, Redcurrent, Massey University and the Human Rights Commission, to name a few.
Georgina has two daughters at Woodford House, Poppy and Scarlett.
“It is hard to comprehend, but we will be doing the school run until 2023,” she says.
During the past 10 years, Georgina says she hasn’t been able to be a school mum – participating in every outing and initiative. But now they have more people in the business, she has more time to contribute, and wants to spend her time on something she is passionate about.
Brenda Roberts loved her five years at Woodford House. She was School Council Prefect, team member of a lot of sports teams and she met her best friend of 32 years, and counting, in third form.
Leaving Woodford House, Brenda studied accounting through EIT and Massey University in Taradale. While working in the local bar, she met her husband who she has been married to for 23 years. Brenda has a daughter and a son who have both finished high school. Her daughter, Emily, completed her amazing Woodford House years in 2014 as Wallingford House Prefect.
Brenda now works part-time at Knowledge Accountants and looks after private clients the rest of the week. She is also the Treasurer of the Woodford House Old Girls’ Association, and Swim Hawke’s Bay. Brenda also manages the Hawke’s Bay Year 8 Netball Team.
Over the years, her children were involved in long term in sports so she was the Treasurer for the Heretaunga Sundevils Swimming Club for 9 years, Treasurer of Hawke’s Bay Rowing and a Board Member for Hawke’s Bay Poverty Bay Swimming.
Margot attended Woodford House as a boarder from Whangara, Gisborne and is a member of Rouncil House. Margot was very involved in sport; swimming, life-saving, cricket, athletics, hockey, and gained colours in all of these sports. She was also in the Hawke’s Bay Secondary School Girls’ Representative team for Hockey.
Margot’s favourite school subjects were English, Art and Art History, thanks to the inspiring Miss Cameron and Miss Bowden. She left Woodford House at the end of her 6th form and went to Lytton High School in Gisborne for her final year.
Margot went to the Auckland Secondary Teachers’ College (now University of Auckland) where she graduated with a Secondary Teaching Diploma and a Degree in Education, majoring in Psychology.
She taught in Auckland and Gisborne before living overseas for almost seven years where she worked in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, India and South-east Asia.
In 1997, she moved to Wellington with her three children, Oliver, Hugo and Isabella, and studied Psychology at Victoria University. Since graduating, Margot has worked in public mental health and in a private practice specialising in adolescents/ young people through to young adults and their families.
Margot is proud to work alongside the WHOGA Executives who are a passionate team of wonderful women focused on continuous progress and achievement of Woodford House.