Mrs. Helena Royden
Head of School and Teacher
Bachelor of Science
Graduate Diploma in Teaching
Montessori Leadership & Training
The founder of Golden Grove School, Helena brings 16 years experience in the education sector to her very active, hands-on Head of School role.
A passionate believer in a holistic approach to children’s education, Helena is involved in every aspect of the School’s operation.
In her own words, Helena’s vision for Golden Grove School:
Our goal is to ensure that each child feels that they are unique and to help them reach their full potential; we believe that every child is extraordinary. Helping children reach their potential is the first step to our world reaching its potential—a potential we believe is extraordinary.
Mrs. Janett Singh
Masters in Culture & Media Pedagogy
Graduate Diploma in Teaching
Janett is the junior teacher at Golden Grove School, responsible for the learning of children in years 1 to 4.
Janett has trained both here in New Zealand and at home in her native Germany. Her passion for teaching is clear in her approach to the learners and her dedication to excellence.
Janett has a strong love of music, dance and creative movement and regularly spends time passing these loves onto the children.
Miss Samantha Richardson
Bachelor in Education
Sam is the lead teacher in the senior classroom. She received training at Golden Grove School as a student teacher in 2016 while finishing her degree at Auckland University of Technology. Sam began to teach full time at Golden Grove School from January 2017. She is an enthusiastic, energetic teacher who brings her passion for education and her youthful personality into every lesson and activity.
In her spare time, Sam loves to go 4×4 driving, baking or cooking up a storm in the kitchen. She also enjoys new adventures and travel; anything that can bring a challenge.
Miss Sarah Taylor
Bachelor of Arts in Second Language Education and Religious Studies
Master of Teaching (Primary)
Sarah is a teacher in both the junior and senior classes at Golden Grove School. She spent a few years teaching English in Japan before coming back to train as a teacher in New Zealand.
She is highly motivated and dedicated, specialising in ESOL teaching, mindfulness education, the arts, sustainability and accelerating learning in mathematics.
Sarah loves to practice yoga, lift weights, travel, garden, read books and write in her spare time.
Mr Dave Mason
Bachelor of Commerce
Graduate Diploma Secondary School Teaching
Diploma Outdoor Recreation Leadership
Dave provides an extended curriculum to both classrooms in outdoor education, physical education, mathematics and a range of applied activities.
Dave is a highly experienced outdoor education specialist. He has taught at the high school level for 15 years before beginning at Golden Grove school. Before that, Dave worked as an adventure guide, personal trainer, accountant, and recreation centre manager, among other things. He loves sports, the great outdoors, woodwork projects, plays the ukulele and meditates regularly.
Ms. Nirvyaja Holley
Nirvyaja is the school administrator. She has been with Golden Grove School since November 2015.
She is responsible for student enrolment and information as well as scheduling and organising the school events calendar.
With a holistic perspective on health and self-care, Nirvyaja enjoys meditating regularly, spending time with her family and fostering deep connections with others.
She comes from a teaching background and has a passion for creating a supportive and peaceful environment for staff, children and parents alike.
Ms. Shvastanee Ballantyne
Shvastanee is an experienced financial manager. She has been with Golden Grove school for many years now. In the past, she ran own business for over 10 years and worked at BNZ bank. She now manages all financial matters related to the school.
Her hobbies include cooking and traveling; however she is an avid follower of national and international sporting events.