The Senior Leadership Team



 Mrs Robyn Thompson

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Deputy Principal

I always wanted to be a teacher so, after leaving school, I trained at the Otago School of Physical Education in Dunedin. Prior to coming to Ellesmere College in 2006, I taught Physical Education and Health at Tawa College, Palmerston North Girls’ High School and Rangitikei College in Marton. I am passionate about helping students achieve their best and always look for different learning pathways that cater for each individual student.

I have an active involvement in the sport and cultural activities of the College and regularly coach teams. When I was in standard three my teacher told my mum that I got my letters and numbers mixed up. My mum never told me this because she did not want me to use it as an excuse. To this day, I have never used it as an excuse and set high personal standards for myself while having a deep understanding of those who struggle with learning.


Mr Bert KnopsBert Knops resize

Assistant Principal

I am looking forward to becoming part of the Ellesmere learning community. I am a trained Physical Education teacher. At Aranui High School I was a Head of Department for thirteen years. I then became an Assistant Principal, then more recently, a Deputy Principal. These roles have provided me with a huge range of experience in a variety of areas.

I have an extensive sports background having represented New Zealand as a player and coach in basketball. I also played for and coached the Canterbury Rams for many years. During my involvement in basketball I have been privileged to have contested 24 National Championship Grand Finals at various levels, winning 15. I am looking forward to meeting the students and families of Ellesmere College and its community.

My role at the College includes responsibility for Pastoral care, staff and systems. This is an area I have a real passion for as I enjoy working with the students and their families/whanau.