Introducing our new staff

By OBHS | Posted: Monday January 29, 2024

We would like to welcome our new staff to the Otago Boys' High School community.

Gena Bagley

Kia ora,

As a passionate teacher of English and Drama, I am thrilled to be joining Otago Boys’ as the Head of English this year. My enthusiasm for teaching, combined with my family’s long-standing connection to the school, makes this opportunity truly special.

Both my schooling and university days were spent here in Dunedin, before my husband and I moved to Wanaka in 2004. Throughout my career, I’ve taught Dance and Drama at Columba College, served as the Head of English at Mount Aspiring College, and most recently, held the Assistant Head of English position at Queen’s High School.

Beyond the classroom, I take great pride in my family - my husband, George, and our four children. We embrace an active lifestyle and prioritise time together. I look forward to bringing my passion for education to Otago Boys’ and to contributing to the rich educational legacy of the school.

Paddy Cass

Kia ora,

My name is Paddy Cass and I am excited to have recently moved to Dunedin to teach Design and Visual Communication at Otago Boys' High School. I consider it an honour to be teaching in such a historically and architecturally significant school and city.

I am originally from Rotorua, and after spending much of my life living in England and other areas of New Zealand recently found myself back in Rotorua teaching at Western Heights High School. Despite living in many places throughout New Zealand I have never lived in this area and am really enjoying exploring Dunedin and the region with my wife and two daughters.

When I’m not teaching much of my holidays and weekends are taken up with renovating my house and gardening. I am looking forward to seeing what the boys I am teaching this year are able to create and to getting to know the staff and community at OBHS.

James Dale

My name is James, and I am starting at Otago Boys' as an English teacher and Assistant Head of Department. Having recently returned from teaching in Australia, I am excited about reintegrating myself into the New Zealand education system.

I originally hail from the North Island and grew up in Taupo. After finishing school, I went on to complete undergraduate studies at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch and my postgraduate studies at Waikato University. My first teaching position was at Henderson High School in West Auckland for three years. Afterward, my partner and I decided to head across the ditch to teach in Australia, working in a tiny town on the southeast coast named Mallacoota.

Outside of teaching, I enjoy surfing, diving, and spending time outdoors.

It is a privilege to work at a school that has such a strong reputation and tradition. I am looking forward to teaching at Otago Boys’ High School and hopefully making a positive impact on the school and its learners.

Raúl Martin Gommez

Kia ora

My name is Raúl and I am from Spain. I studied Industrial Engineering in Spain and France and commenced my career as a Technology teacher in a Spanish High School in 1998. I have engaged in various sports throughout my life and was a member of the Spanish National team in Orienteering for many years. After serving as a coach for some of the Spanish National trail running and orienteering athletes, I also decided to acquire accreditation to teach Physical Education in high schools. Since 2018, I have been teaching both Technology and PE.

In September 2022, I moved to Dunedin with my family to pursue a PhD at the School of PE, Sport and Exercise Science. My research combines both of my passions: technology, as I work with new sensors and devices, and physiological and biomechanical metrics, not only for sports but also for general health.

At OBHS, I will be working as a Teacher Aide, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity to assist Tom and also to immerse myself in your incredible culture.

Holly Hope

Kia ora my name is Holly Hope and I am excited to teach English and Social Sciences at Otago Boys’.

I grew up in the beautiful Tairawhiti, Gisborne before coming down to Otago University where I completed my Bachelor of Arts, and Master of Teaching and Learning (Secondary). I then taught English in the Hawkes Bay region.

Dunedin has always had a special place in my heart, and I am thrilled to re-experience the opportunities Dunedin has to offer. I look forward to being a part of Otago Boys’ High School, and its wider community. 

Kenneth Mitchell

Kia ora, I'm Kenneth Mitchell. 

I'm really excited to be teaching junior Science and Social Studies at OBHS this year.

This is my tenth year living in Dunedin. I completed both my Bachelor of Science and my Master of Teaching and Learning at the University of Otago. Dunedin is where I've met most of greatest friends and had most of my favourite memories.

I spent much of last year relieving here at OB's and found the culture very welcoming and supportive. The students here are creative, enthusiastic, brave, and kind as are the staff who teach and administrate them. When I was offered the opportunity to join the team on a more consistent basis it was a very easy choice for me to make.

Outside of work I enjoy martial arts, board gaming, reading and writing, and spending time with my friends. My favourite writer is Brandon Sanderson and my favourite guitarist is Brian Carroll, better known as Buckethead.

Fiona Thomas

Kia ora, koutou

I am very happy to be here at OBHS and looking forward to being part of the team nurturing and growing our young men.

I am originally from the UK, was born in Edinburgh and brought up in the West Country. My initial training was as a mining engineer and I spent 15 years prior to teaching working on major projects and underground structures in the UK and overseas. in 2006 I decided to train as a teacher and found that I loved the job. I have worked at a variety of schools, boys and co-ed in NZ and the UK.

We moved to NZ in 2008 and spent 8 years teaching on the West Coast where I led the Mathematics department in Westport. Whilst we loved the incredible community and outdoor lifestyle, we wanted to explore some other parts of New Zealand and so moved to Dunedin in 2014 when my son was 4. He still regards himself as a Coaster!

I live in Broad Bay and Doctors Point, with my son and partner. We enjoy the beach, swimming, chilling in the sun, mountain biking and walking.

I am excited to be a part of such an illustrious tradition and to make my contribution to the school. I expect that the boys will have much to teach me about the traditions and ways of OBHS. 

Franki Traini

Kia ora,

My name is Franki Traini and I am excited to teach Health and Physical Education at Otago Boys’ High School.

I am originally from South Africa and have called New Zealand home since 2013. Over the years I have taught in South Africa, Thailand, Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington, and have enjoyed teaching in Dunedin for the past two years.

Health and wellbeing is a passion of mine and it is a privilege to be able to contribute to a school and wider community that embodies the values that align with my own.

In my spare time you’ll find me playing or coaching sport, disconnecting on a mountain, or taking advantage of the various outdoor opportunities available in Dunedin. 

Carl Wright

My name is Carl Wright and I am a new teacher of Mathematics and Digital Technology. After leaving school I joined the Territorials as an infantry soldier and worked as a gib stopper and exterior plasterer for five years, eventually running my own business with about six employees. I decided to completely change my career and chose to study computers and obtain a degree.

After completing my Bachelor of Information Technology in 2004 my first teaching position was in Australia, in a small town called Moree where I taught a combination of Physical Education, Mathematics, and Computer Science. I then moved back to New Zealand and taught a mixture of junior Mathematics and Digital Technology for nine years at Tauranga Boys’ College. My last teaching position was at Mountainview High School in Timaru teaching Digital Technology for six years.

I am excited about the opportunities and experiences awaiting me at OBHS and look forward to the year ahead.