St Andrew’s College announces appointment of new Rector

30 May 2024

Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson has been appointed as the new Rector, starting in January 2025

Renowned Christchurch co-educational independent school, St Andrew’s College, has announced the appointment of Mark Wilson as its new Rector. He will take up the position in January 2025, following the retirement of the College’s current long-serving Rector, Christine Leighton.

The St Andrew’s Board of Governors is delighted about the appointment, which follows a robust four-month recruitment process, says Board Chair, Felicity Odlin.

"Mark has a wealth of experience as an educator, leader, strategist, and communicator, who for the last 15 years has made a positive impact leading two large co-educational schools. St Andrew’s is in great heart, and we are confident Mark will continue to build on the College’s strong foundations, while fostering our long tradition of academic, sporting, and cultural excellence, and growing well-rounded young people who flourish in the world beyond school."

Since 2019, Mark Wilson has been Executive Principal of Kristin School, on Auckland’s North Shore, which, like St Andrew’s College, is a large co-educational, independent school. For the previous 10 years, he was Principal of Cashmere High School. “Mark is already familiar with the educational landscape in Christchurch and understands first-hand about guiding a large school and the complexities it entails,” says Felicity.

Mark is delighted to have been appointed to his “dream job” at St Andrew’s and feels a strong synergy with the College.

"St Andrew’s is my school of choice for many reasons, from its traditions and character to its inclusive environment, holistic educational offering, highly successful achievements, faith-based values, character development and engaged community."

He says returning to Christchurch will be a homecoming of sorts. Although he grew up in Waikato, where he met his wife Judi at university, Mark’s family are originally from Christchurch and his wider family live in the Christchurch area.

The fact both Mark and Judi have Scottish ancestry gives extra meaning to the special character of St Andrew’s, he says.

"As a former History teacher, I’m passionate about our links to the past. Alongside the College’s Scottish Presbyterian traditions, it is also important to recognise its relationship with the mana whenua, Ngāi Tahu. I’m committed to continuing to strengthen the place of Te Ao Māori as part of our educational experience at St Andrew’s."

Mark is looking forward to joining St Andrew’s College in January 2025, and getting to know the staff, students, and wider College community. Felicity says Mark has alignment with St Andrew College’s ethos, values, and traditions, and will bring strong interpersonal skills to the role.

"We are privileged to work alongside our current Rector, Christine Leighton during the final six months before her retirement, and thank her for her wonderful tenure of outstanding leadership and service. We are also excited to begin a new chapter in 2025, working alongside our new Rector, Mark Wilson, to continue realising our shared vision."

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