Meet the ISNZ team
Deborah James: Executive Director
Deborah James has been appointed to the position of Executive Director of Independent Schools of New Zealand (ISNZ).
Deborah has a long and strong history within the private schools sector. She has worked in many and varied roles including development/advancement, communications and marketing and also in governance as both a board member and chairperson.
She was educated at Chilton Saint James School and her four children were educated at independent schools in Christchurch.
Deborah returns to ISNZ having formerly held the position of Executive Director from 2008 – 2015.
Beryl Duncan: Executive Assistant
I joined the team at ISNZ at the end of November 2016 as Executive Assistant to the Executive Director. I have extensive EA/Office and Facilities Management experience (at a senior level), and held various EA/PA roles in both the private and public sectors including IT, Telecommunications and Education.
One of my previous roles was as EA to the Registrar and Associate Principal at Wellington College of Education where I greatly enjoyed seeing the students come through the system and develop and grow to achieve their Teaching Diplomas. I found it an exciting environment and enjoyed feeling part of the growth the students made during their time at the College of Education.
In addition, many of my nieces and nephews have attended private schools including Marsden Karori, Scots College and St Kentigern’s and all have done exceptionally well.
When I am not in the office I enjoy gardening and socialising with friends and family in my spare time.
Kate Davidson: Communications Manager
I came on board at ISNZ in June 2017, after working in communications roles at Inland Revenue and Barnardos. Prior to this, I spent two years working on projects and administration at the Ministry of Education.
Originally from London, I was a journalist and editor in the UK before heading off on my big New Zealand adventure in 2008. It was meant to be an eight-month working holiday, but after falling in love with Wellington and meeting my husband here, we decided to call this beautiful country home.
I have two young children, and am passionate about education and the importance of a wide range of choices when it comes to selecting the best possible schooling for your child.
Valentina Paladini: Events Manager
I joined ISNZ as Conference and Events Manager after working for several years in one of the largest conference companies in New Zealand.
At ISNZ, I work with our Executive Director, Deborah James to offer our members an extensive range of seminars and professional development opportunities. I also look after the ISNZ Annual Conference, bringing inspiring speakers and fresh topics onto our agenda.
Originally from Italy, I had the privilege of studying in two renowned private schools and graduated at the Catholic University of Milan. I recently moved from Auckland to Wellington and I’m advocating the beauty of Auckland’s North Shore among my new Wellingtonian friends with not so much luck. When I’m not at work, I enjoy hiking and exploring Wellington and its surroundings with my husband and our baby.
Charles Fairbrother: Accountant
Charles works in a part-time capacity on financial matters at ISNZ. He has been with us since 2011 and is an integral part of our team.