Richard Dykes. Photo: Supplied.

New headmaster for Nelson College


Nelson College’s new headmaster says he is relishing the opportunity to lead the school.

After an extensive recruitment process the school’s board has appointed Richard Dykes as its next headmaster.

Richard is currently principal of Glendowie College in Auckland and will bring a wealth of experience to the role, having taught in Christchurch, Nelson, Taupo and Auckland, holding leadership roles in his last three schools.

He replaces Gary O’Shea, who stepped down after 13 years in the role.

The Nelson College board says, in his five years as Principal of Glendowie College, Richard has strengthened the school’s academic results, instigated a plan for new buildings, remodelled the junior curriculum, and  developed a leading mental health and wellbeing framework.

He is the current president of the Auckland Secondary Schools Principals Association and has been a leading voice on national education issues such as the teacher supply crisis, recent education reforms, and wider social concerns.

In 2019, Richard received a Woolf Fisher Fellowship, visiting Canada, UK and USA where he participated in a week-long course at Harvard Graduate School of Education in Boston.
The fellowship enabled Richard to investigate three key issues in education: governance, assessment and well-being.

Nelson College Board of Trustees Chair Dennis Christian says: “On behalf of the Nelson College Board I am pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Dykes to the role of Headmaster.

“Richard is an experienced principal who has worked at a variety of schools throughout New Zealand. We know he will bring a fresh perspective to the college balanced with an understanding and appreciation for our culture and heritage.”

Richard says he is looking forward to joining the college.

“Nelson College enjoys a legacy of excellence. I believe the school is well placed to build on this legacy and take its place at the forefront of education in New Zealand. It is a school where our young men learn from the past to invent the future. I relish the opportunity to lead the school and its community as its next headmaster.”

Richard will take up the position at the start of term three or earlier.

The board also acknowledged the work of Tim Tucker in his role as acting headmaster.