New Principal for Iona College

"Nicole brings a wealth of innovative strategic leadership as well as proven people management skills to this Principal role. Congratulations on your appointment Nicole! We are grateful to the Iona College governance groups for the opportunity of working in partnership with them and the wider Iona community." - Ian Taylor, Managing Director, Sheffield North Island

Press Release 

It is with great pleasure that we, on behalf of the Iona Board of Trustees and Iona College Council, announce the appointment of Ms Nicole Billante as Principal of Iona College, with effect from the beginning of term three 2024.

Nicole is currently the Deputy Principal - Teaching and Learning, at Christ’s College, Christchurch, where she has held leadership roles since 2017. Prior to that, Nicole spent four years in Operations and Curriculum positions in International Schools in Taiwan. Nicole began her teaching at Cashmere and Mairehau High Schools in Christchurch, where she also held leadership roles in both Pastoral and Curriculum areas.

Although Nicole was raised in America until the age of 16, she has followed her mother’s family in calling New Zealand home for most of her life. She returned to New Zealand after her time in Taiwan, because of her huge respect for the New Zealand education system.

A graduate of University of Canterbury, Nicole has a Master of Arts with Distinction in Political Science. She also holds a Graduate Diploma of Arts in English and a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning. Nicole is currently studying her Doctorate in Education with the University of Canterbury.

Iona College, in conjunction with Sheffield Search, has conducted a robust appointment process, with an expanded appointment panel from both the Iona College Board of Trustees and College Council, which has additionally included external expertise, staff and student representation. We are appointing a principal with nearly 20 years’ experience in the New Zealand education system, and with a clear respect for and understanding of the significant difference Special Character schools offer our girls.

Nicole brings to the position strong educational leadership experience, having worked across pastoral, operations and curriculum roles, led strategic projects and worked collaboratively with alumni and communities to achieve successful outcomes. Nicole articulates a great respect for Iona’s history, achievements and its place in the community as a respected leader in girls’ education.

Nicole is very enthusiastic about the prospect of working with the staff at Iona, engaging with the girls and wider community and leading the College through the next stage of its journey.

We look forward to Nicole’s arrival in July to commence her role at the start of the third term. When the opportunity presents, please introduce yourselves to Nicole and her partner Neil, as they are very much looking forward to connecting with our families and immersing themselves in our school community.

Press Coverage 

Hawkes Bay Today

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