Deputy Principal, Curriculum Lead, Head of Senior School

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Deputy Principal

Deputy Principal, Jenny Caldwell (nee Shanahan) joined us in April 2023. She came to us from St Mary’s College in Wellington where she was Deputy Principal, and is a proud Marsden Old Girl and parent of one of our current students. Jenny’s connection to Marsden is long and varied. She and her three sisters and cousins all attended school here, and even her son Finn was at Marsden for preschool. Jenny has also served Marsden as a member of the Foundation Board and 10 years ago did her teacher Training placement with us.

Path back to Marsden

Jenny’s path back to Marsden was not traditional. Upon finishing school, her plan was to go to Fine Art or Design school - but instead she did a year towards a Bachelor of Arts before deciding that Design school was the way to go. For 12 years, Jenny worked in global advertising and design agencies in New Zealand and in London before retraining as a Visual Arts teacher, motivated by her desire to give back what she had learnt to future creatives. “So full circle I have come, and I am privileged to be here and working with the next generation of women leaders."

I owe a great deal of thanks to my parents who saw from the beginning, Marsden’s values as important and I was blessed with the Ad Summa work ethic and the reality that women could do anything they chose to do.

Passionate Teacher

Jenny is a passionate Visual Arts and Design Teacher and says a lot of that is due to the influence of her teachers. “My teachers had a huge influence on me. I remember Mrs Hawke, my Art History teacher, showed me there was more to the visual world and encouraged my love of travel, History and Art. School is about curiosity. Participating in a wide range of experiences and activities, saying ‘yes’ to as many things as possible and exploring how we can care for our planet, is what it's about.”


Jenny’s commitment to excellence was recognised with the awarding of the VUW Teacher Excellence Award at Victoria University in March 2013. This award was given to those finishing in the top 5% of the year group for 2012 at Victoria University. She graduated from Massey University with a Postgraduate Diploma in Design, First Class Honours, and Victoria University of Wellington with a Graduate Diploma in Education, Secondary Education and Teaching. In addition to her experience as Deputy Principal of St Mary’s, she was Head of Arts Faculty at Wellington College for many years, was in charge of Curriculum and Teaching and Learning at St Mary's, and has worked with Kāhui Ako.


Jenny’s breadth of experience, intimate working knowledge of the school and inter-generational community connections combine to make her the perfect professional to lead our curriculum and support the Principal and wider team in achieving our strategic aims.

A balanced life

In her spare time, Jenny enjoys exploring her creativity by painting and printmaking which she often exhibits at local galleries such as the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts and Mitchel studios. She likes to maintain balance with walking, weight training, spending time with her wonderful family, and meeting up with bookclub friends!