Director of Performing Arts and French teacher
House Staff Hadfield-Beere
Old Girl and Director of Performing Arts Sarah Wilson has spent much of her adulthood as an important member of the Marsden whānau.
After attaining her Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University where she studied French, German, Education and Linguistics, Sarah came to Marsden for her very first teaching job back in 2000. Other than a year off in 2009 to teach in London, she has been here ever since and has taught French, German and Drama.
First a student, then a valued staff member
Sarah loved her time at Marsden as a student, in particular her French and German classes, so she was excited to be offered a one year contract upon completing her teacher training. Having proved her commitment and ability, she was quickly made a permanent member of the staff. In her role as Director of Performing Arts Sarah is responsible for Marsden’s performing arts programme, and she continues to teach her favourite subject, French.
Sarah says she loves how interested the students are in learning. “Students and their families know the importance of a good education and they come to school eager to learn. A lot of our students have already travelled overseas and plan to travel later in life too and want the language skills to be able to do that. I see my role as being able to open up opportunities to students, be that learning another language and inspiring them to travel overseas and use it, or through offering performing arts related activities to try or to further develop their skills.” Sarah also maintains a connection with our Old Girls who have gone on to work in the performing arts and is able to share their stories to inspire our current students.
Extra curricular commitment
Sarah appreciates that Marsden teachers are supported in their own learning as well. She was able to take a sabbatical in French-speaking Canada and the USA in 2019, and that now forms part of her senior teaching programme.
Sarah produces the school production, including managing the lighting crew, and runs our debating programme as well. She also offers valuable assistance with admin for kapa haka, choirs and music and dance groups.
What keeps Sarah at Marsden?
Many things have kept Sarah here for all these years - she says that Marsden is small enough to be welcoming and supportive, but big enough to offer lots of opportunities.
Everyone is encouraged to do their best, whatever that looks like to them. We are not just an academic school. We provide a well-rounded education. You tend to know most of the students and get to know those who may not necessarily be in your classes. Student wellbeing is prioritised and giving students strategies for managing the ups and downs of life is something that is really important to us.”
Life beyond Marsden
Sarah has a diverse range of interests outside of school - from ballet, piano and acting, to gardening and DIY, she keeps busy. She also enjoys international travel, especially to see musical theatre productions, and volunteers for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. One of her Visible Wellbeing Strengths is ‘Love of Learning’ so she is always looking for opportunities to learn - including learning Italian at night school a few years ago. She believes “life is nothing without something to look forward to”.