Our Board of Trustees works on behalf of all of the school's stakeholders and is directly accountable for the performance of the school. The Board works in the area of governance which involves:

  • strategic leadership
  • setting of the vision for the school
  • ensuring compliance with legal and policy requirements
  • clear delegation for the day to day management of the school to the Principal

Zara McIndoe, our Principal, acts in a CEO role on the Board reporting to the Board as a whole. The Board does not involve itself in the administrative details of the day to day running of the school. The Board is positive and proactive in its operations. Our elected parent representatives, along with the Principal and Staff representative form the Board. At all times they aim to support the Principal, staff and students with a clear focus on enhancing student learning.

Board meetings are public meetings and parent attendance is encouraged. Meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday of the month. Dates and times will be advertised in the school newsletter, a copy of which is available in the Newsletters section of this website.

If you wish to contact a Board member, please do so through the school office, or feel free to contact us on bot@ops.school.nz.

Stephanie Macdonald

Board Chair

Steph Macdonald is a returning trustee, having already served one term on the Board. She has recently been voted in as the Board Chair. Currently employed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council as their Community Engagement Team Leader, Steph works with diverse communities in decision making processes. She brings strong communication, facilitation and advocacy skills, to the Board.

I have two children at Ōtūmoetai Primary (Samantha Yr 4 and Hazel Yr 1). Locally, I’ve gained valuable experience working with community funding, volunteer organisations, environmental programmes, plus earlier experiences teaching English abroad.

Despite the obvious challenges of covid in recent years, Ōtūmoetai Primary has maintained great results for our students while also rebuilding the relationship with Ngāi Tamarāwaho, significant property works and welcoming International students to the school. I look forward to working with the rest of the Board and management team to support all students to achieve their best and grow as actively involved learners.

Brett Farquhar

Parent Representative

Brett is a returning trustee in his 5th year on the board. He is a degree-qualified Resource Management Planner and Director of Stratum Consultants Ltd, which is a local Bay of Plenty planning, engineering and surveying consultancy. He brings strong business management skills and board experience to the OPS BOT.

I am married to Bridget and we have lived in Ōtūmoetai for the last 17 years. We have one child at Ōtūmoetai Primary School now; Mason in Year 6. Our eldest child previously also attending Ōtūmoetai Primary School, and is now Year 8 at Ōtūmoetai Intermediate School.

Part of my role as one of the business owners of Stratum Consultants Ltd is to manage the company’s strategic direction, personnel and financial affairs. 

I have a passion for sports and the outdoors with many of my personal and family extra-curricular activities based around this. You will often see us out kicking/hitting a ball around, at the beach or the lake, or mountain-biking.

I have been immensely privileged to serve on our schools Board of Trustees in the last board term. Ōtūmoetai Primary is a fantastic school and I look forward to continuing to make a meaningful contribution to ensure it continues to thrive.

Jeff Stringer

Parent Representative

Jeff is a returning trustee. He is a solicitor, currently an Associate at Cooney Lees Morgan Solicitors in Tauranga. He brings a diverse professional background to the role.

Kia Ora, my name is Jeff Stringer. I am one of the parent representatives on the OPS board of trustees. I joined the board in July 2021, following a vacancy. In my time on the board I have learnt a lot and also found opportunities to contribute.  

I grew up in Timaru and attended university in Christchurch. Following an OE and four years in Wellington, I moved to Tauranga in 2008, chasing my now wife; Catherine. We have lived in Ōtūmoetai for over 10 years and our children attend OPS (year 4) and Ōtūmoetai Intermediate (year 8). Our family has enjoyed becoming a part of the school and its community. Being involved as a trustee is an opportunity for me to do something of use for our community. 

I bring relevant skills and experience to the Board. I am a solicitor and my role includes advising clients around risks and obligations, and ensuring good governance principles are observed. Prior to this role, I was a commercial banker for eight years, so I have a good understanding of financial matters. I have also worked in central government, as an adviser  on economic policy, including a stint in the Beehive in the office of the Minister of Commerce.  My background means I have experience in working successfully with a variety of people, and building and maintaining good relationships, often while helping resolve complex issues. 

I am honoured to serve the school community by representing you on the OPS Board.

Lisa Kerr

Parent Representative

Lisa is a newly elected trustee. She owns a small, fun restaurant and bar named Fox’s Hawker House at the Mount. She has numerous years management in the service industry from large UK corporations to New Zealand-based franchised businesses. She has experience in change management, people management, communication, and building communities.

I am a business owner and mother of two: Elias, a bubbly 6 year old in Year 2, and an energetic four year old, Adeline, who will be starting OPS after the summer holidays! I believe OPS is an amazing school and is on the path to do what’s best for the leaders of the future. I would love to help contribute where I can, to see our kids thrive in today’s world. I believe in inclusive learning and having an evidence-based path for our neurodiverse and children with extra needs. I get pretty passionate but just want the best for our children!

Kayla Kerr

Parent Representative

Kayla is a trained teacher and used to work at OPS part time in between having her four tamariki! Kayla will bring her valuable knowledge of education to the BOT, as well as local knowledge of the Ōtūmoetai community and Tauranga.

Kia ora, I’m Kayla Kerr. I was born and raised here in the beautiful Bay and am a proud ex Ōtūmoetai pupil. I'm a mother of four; three girls, two of whom are in years 5 & 3 here at OPS and my eldest in year 7 at OIS, and my son who is three. I’m also a teacher, which I love. I look forward to the day I’m back in the classroom full time but at the moment I’m making the most of being māmā to my children and know how privileged I am to be able to do that. I am also currently teaching in a part time position in year 8 at Ōtūmoetai Intermediate.

Virginie Lafont

Parent Representative

Virginie is a newly appointed trustee. She is a business owner and is keen to share her skills as a trustee.

Bonjour, everyone! I'm Virginie, I'm French born and partially New Zealand raised. My son Louis is in year 3 at Ōtūmoetai Primary. Lou has nothing but flourished since being there and both him and I have loved being a part of the community here.

Most of my time is spent in my business Housing for Communities and my skin clinic in `Ōtūmoetai called Lafont Advanced Skin Clinic.

Housing for Communities develops and grows portfolios for residential investors and provides more rental properties for the wider community. It's very rewarding work and I thoroughly enjoy it.

Overall, my skills lie in financial management, project management, managing business operations, portfolio growth and management.

I am currently the chairperson for a committee that oversees a large residential unit complex in the Bay of Plenty, for which I am responsible for managing finances, legalities, growth and long term property maintenance.

Outside of overseeing my businesses, I soak up the time I can with Louis and being at home. I love to learn languages, read and bake. 

Service is a big part of who I am and I thoroughly enjoy giving back so I look forward to contributing to our community as part of the board as much as I can.

Zara McIndoe


Tēnā koutou! 

Zara McIndoe is Ōtūmoetai Primary School's Principal.  Her teaching and leadership experience spans over 30 years in a range of schools in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

Our school is bursting with enthusiastic children, dedicated and hard working staff, friendly and involved families and a supportive and committed PTA and BOT all working together towards our school vision of being ‘Actively Involved Learners’.  
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, Engari he toa takitini.
Success is not the work of one but the work of many.

Carmelina Taylor

Staff Representative

Carmelina is a part-time teacher at our kura and is excited to be our staff representative on the Board of Trustees.

I am originally from the USA and moved to Tauranga 8 years ago with my husband Garth.  I earned my teaching degree in the States and worked for six years as an intermediate teacher. After my first child reached school age, I continued my teaching career in New Zealand.  I feel very privileged to teach part-time at Ōtūmoetai Primary School as a release teacher, as well as have my two children attend this amazing school.  I love working with the kaiako and ākonga at Ōtūmoetai Primary and I look forward to being a part of the Board of Trustees. 

Felicity Balmer

Board Secretary

Felicity has supported the board for a number of years as our board secretary and brings a wealth of expertise having 20+ years as an executive assistant across many industries within NZ and abroad.

My husband Lyndon and I have our youngest child Rosie (year 4) at Ōtūmoetai Primary School, and our eldest child Tom (now year 8 at Ōtūmoetai Intermediate School), also attended. OPS is an incredible primary school and I am proud to be part of the team.



Financial Statements

The audited financial statement can be downloaded here: