Waitākere College

Meet The Team

Arifah Wright

International Director

Mrs Arifah Wright

Arifah was appointed as the International Director in November 2023. Student’s well being, as well as their personal and academic success, is paramount to Arifah. She encourages students to be the best version of themselves by helping and supporting them so that they have positive and life-changing experiences. 

Arifah previously worked at another Secondary School in West Auckland in the International Department.  She worked there for five years, and has experience working as the international student administrator, international homestay coordinator and international director. 

Having lived overseas for her entire childhood, and only coming to New Zealand for tertiary study, Arifah has a strong understanding of the challenges people face when coming to a new country alone.

Kaitlyn Taurere

Homestay & Group Coordinator

Ms Kaitlyn Taurere

Kaitlyn comes from a Social Services / Housing background and has experience working closely alongside youth to support them into housing, education and employment.

She has worked with a wide range of people and cultures, providing them with assistance out of hardship, emergency/social housing and supporting them towards positive life-changing experiences.

With her previous employment background, Kaitlyn understands the many challenges new migrants are faced with when moving to New Zealand and has a solid insight of the housing industry and requirements to ensure students are provided with safe accommodation throughout their stay.

Mr Mark Shanahan


Mr Mark Shanahan

Mr Shanahan has been the Principal at Waitākere College since 2007. In 2012 he was awarded the NEITA Excellence in Education Principal's Award.

Auckland born and bred, Mark was educated at St Pauls College in Ponsonby, The University of Auckland and UNITEC.

Before arriving at Waitākere College, Mark was the Deputy Principal at Kelston Boys High School and Assistant Principal at Northcote College.

Jane Coup

Deputy Principal

Mrs Jane Coup

Jane Coup has been a Science and Biology teacher for over 20 years. In that time, she has worked at Waitākere College for 11 years. Recently, she has overseen the International Department in her senior leadership role as Deputy Principal.
Jenny Booman

Head of Department ESOL 

Ms Jenny Boomen

Jenny Boomen, who has a Master's degree in Language Teaching and Learning (First Class Honours) from Auckland University, has worked as the Head of the ESOL Department and International Student Academic Advisor at Waitākere College for 20 years.
During this time she has had the pleasure of supporting the pathway of international students from many countries as they progress through the school. It has been particularly fulfilling to follow many of these students' careers as they successfully graduate from Waitakere College into their chosen University degree.