Our Board of Trustees

Dorothy Taare-Smith - Presiding Member

Ko Hikurangi te Maunga

Ko Waiapu te Awa

Ko Horouta te Waka

Ko Ngãti Porou te Iwi

Ko Dorothy Taare-Smith tōku ingoa

I feel privileged to undertake the position of Presiding Member at Riverdale School. I eagerly anticipate facing both the challenges and triumphs inherent to this role. My commitment is to steer and advise the board with professionalism, honesty and integrity.

Āku mihi kia koutou katoa.

Ruby Neshausen - Deputy Presiding Member

Ko Whetumatarau te maunga

Ko Karakatuwhero te awa

Ko Horouta te waka

Ko Hinerupe te marae

Ko Ruby Neshausen toku ingoa

I was asked to join the School Board of Trustees as parent representative 3 years ago.

Without hesitation I jumped at the opportunity.  To be able to contribute to our Riverdale whanau was fantastic for me.

Fast forward 2024.

I was appointed Deputy p\Presiding Member of the Board of Trustees for 2024.

I'm community driven and thriving too.  I aim to navigate alongside our Riverdale whanau.

Lesley Small - Parent Representative - Finance Portfolio

My name is Lesley Small. My family consists of my husband and two boys. My youngest has autism and is part of the Paoa syndicate here at Riverdale School.

I am a Chartered Accountant but am currently taking a break from this career.

This is my first time sitting on a school board. I'm looking forward to learning new skills and being part of building an environment for all of our children in both the Paoa and Kiwa syndicates to thrive.

Danyon Thompson - Parent Representative

Ko Hikurangi Toku Maunga 

  Ko Waiapu Toku Awa

  Ko Horouta Toku Waka 

  Ko Ngatiporou Raua ko Rongowhakata Toku iwi

  Ko Danyon Thompson Toku ingoa 

  Kia ora Whānau 

  I'm Danyon, a young Father who has a young tamariki attending the Kura. 

  Many of the community might know me as Kooch. 

  Much love whānau and God Bless.

  As a Board member I aspire to bring a sense of Professionalism, Aroha, Honesty,

  and understanding within Representing the Stakeholders, and to be

  Approachable to whanau if needed as we all are within the Board .

  Nga Mihi 

Ariana Peneha - Parent Representative

Kia Ora, ko Ariana Peneha ahau, he uri no Nga-Ariki-Kaiputahi me Ngati Kahungunu. 

I am a mother of 4, 3 of whom have attended Riverdale Primary School with my son Uenuku currently in the Paoa unit. I strongly believe in the nuturing of ‘ilys’ - Academically - Physically - Mentally - Emotionally - Socially - so our tamariki are realistically prepared to lead the future. I feel to best achieve this the 3 pillars must grow together.                            WHANAU - TAMARIKI - SCHOOL.

I hope to support our pillars by communicating whanau needs and concerns whilst presenting solutions, innovative teaching methods and funding avenues I’ve learnt and observed throughout myself and my children’s education journeys. Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi. With your food basket and my food basket, the people will thrive.

Nga mihi, Ariana

Kristen Simmons - Staff Representative

Kia Ora, my name is Kristen Simmons and I have been teaching at Riverdale School

since 2020. I am serving my second term as the staff representative on our Board of

Trustees, working alongside our dedicated team. I am originally from Ashburton, lived

most of my adult life in Christchurch and moved to Gisborne 14 years ago with my

husband and our three children (who are now all grown up). I have been teaching since

1989 in Christchurch, London and Gisborne.