Woodford house

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Senior Leadership Team


Our Principal

Julie Peterson joined the Woodford House team as Principal in 2015 bringing fresh energy balanced with an extraordinary career at the forefront of girls’ education.

Julie’s focus at Woodford 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.

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

+64 6 873 0705


Deputy Principal

Catherine Bentley joined the Woodford House family in 2012. Catherine is currently Deputy Principal – Director of Students, with responsibility of the girls’ pastoral care and day to day management of the school. After fourteen years as a primary teacher, Catherine moved into the secondary sector where she continued to expand her teaching expertise at all levels. Catherine is passionate about working alongside the pastoral team to create a learning environment which helps ignite dreams in our girls. She is highly skilled in providing opportunities which enable students to explore the courage, resilience and determination it takes to fulfil significant goals and developing an optimistic outlook towards their future.

Mrs Catherine Bentley, Deputy Principal – Director of Students
BEd, Dip Tchg

+64 6 873 0708


Director of Learning

Dionne Thomas joined the Senior Leadership Team in 2011 as Assistant Principal – Director of Learning, after formally being Senior Dean (Year 12 and 13) and Head of PE and Health. She brings an extensive range of skills to support her philosophy of ‘the learner as at the centre of the matter’ to oversee teaching and learning via the curriculum and assessment/reporting. As the Principal’s Nominee to NZQA, Dionne is responsible for internal and external assessment through NCEA. She completed her Masters in Educational Administration and Leadership in 2013 with a broad focus on gender, adolescence and motivation. When not at school, Dionne involves herself in the community with netball and a busy family life as wife to Phil, and mum to her three boys Ben, Dan and Josh.

Mrs Dionne Thomas, Director of Learning
MEdAdminL, BPhEd, Dip Tchg

+64 6 873 0709