North + West Auckland & Canterbury
Graham and Helen Wilson
0800 161 131
We believe in giving children every opportunity to develop life skills and to empower them to be the very best that they can be. This wonderful programme is designed to encourage all children, from the very shy to the most extroverted, to understand and harness their own potential to achieve great things. Most importantly for children, it is enormous fun.
We are qualified teachers of the Helen O’Grady Drama System and the Executive Principals for New Zealand. We have gained extensive life skills through our involvement with theatre, marketing and teaching roles. As the parents of two children we understand the challenges that young people face and we also know the importance of being well prepared for life. We know how important it is for children to have the self-confidence to try anything, to be able to communicate clearly, and to mix with anyone.
Our classes provide a safe, fun and highly supportive environment to ensure your children are given every opportunity to express themselves without fear of judgment or ridicule. We reinforce courtesy, acceptance of others and the sheer delight that comes from expressing yourself. Our teachers are carefully selected and have to pass a rigorous selection process and training programme. They have empathy with young people and a background in theatre and education.
Every year we have the enormous honour of working with young people and helping them gain confidence and self esteem by engaging in our programme.
We value the opportunity to help your children realise their true potential. We look forward to meeting you and your children at one of our classes throughout New Zealand.
We know we can make a positive difference in your child’s life.
Bay of Plenty
07 576 4400
I am a UK trained primary teacher and have taught in New Zealand after emigrating to Tauranga with my family in January 2006. I became Principal of the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy (Bay of Plenty) in July 2008. I feel extremely privileged to be part of such an exciting, creative, and fun organization.
My vision for the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy - Bay of Plenty is to be a leading provider of a fun and dynamic self-development programme for children and teens. My mission is to develop the following skills through a variety of structured verbal communication and drama-based activities:
I strongly believe that we owe it to our children to help them become successful in whatever they choose to do in life. This can be achieved through developing their self-confidence, communication and social skills. We want our young people to become valuable members of society, comfortable taking risks and able to mix with people from all walks of life. Creative thinkers will be the next generation's leaders. How wonderful to think that we can guide our children to become future leaders. In this rapidly developing technological age where computer games, iPods, cell phones and the TV are constant companions for so many youngsters, it is vital for us as parents, to ensure we give our children every opportunity to develop life skills which they will take with them into adulthood and ultimately ensure they will be successful in life. The Helen O'Grady Drama Academy has made such a difference to so many children's lives, and their parent's too! I consider myself very fortunate to be involved!
Waikato and Rotorua
07 827 0526
I took on the role of Principal in the Waikato region at the beginning of 2007 and Jim is my right hand man with the practical side of productions, taking charge of staging, lighting, props etc. Prior to joining the Helen O’Grady team, I taught, for 20 plus years, at all levels within the primary sector and we have both always had a high interest and involvement in music and the arts, both as teachers and through involvement in local repertory societies.
I fell strongly about giving children the skills they need to be able to reach their potential now and in the future, and believe that the skills of communication and self worth are an important part of this. A positive sense of self is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child. When children feel good about themselves, and have the confidence to reach their potential, it sets them up for success — in every aspect of their lives. If children are confident with their abilities and have strong self esteem, they are more likely to try new challenges, act independently, assume responsibility, help others, cope with mistakes, stand up for themselves and bounce back from adversity. Self-esteem is the foundation of a child’s well-being and the key to success as an adult.
I am passionate about the Helen O’Grady programme and the skills I see it developing in children every week, and feel incredibly lucky to be able to working in a field that makes such a difference in children’s lives.
Auckland Central, East + South
09 836 0233
I believe in empowering and encouraging children to be the very best they can.
I love to share this wonderful programme with our children because I know that it makes a difference in their lives, and, I can see such valuable life skills developing in each child. For me to be able to develop higher self-esteem in children, and to watch them blossom, is every teacher's dream. That we are having fun at the same time is great!!
We have a team of dedicated and enthusiastic teachers who actively share our programme. I visit classes regularly and love to see the growth in each student's confidence and speaking skills. What more could we want for our children?
A highlight for us are the Parent Days, held at the end of Term 2, and the end of year Plays. This is when the students work co-operatively with others and perform for their families and friends.
I am a qualified school teacher with teaching experience in both the Primary and Secondary sectors. I have been teaching with the Helen O'Grady Children's Drama Academy since 1993 and have been the Principal of Auckland Central and South since 1999.
06 354 6323
Sophia Parker is a qualified and experienced teacher. She has past experience teaching in primary schools and teaching/managing a music academy. She has also been involved in theatre performing for many years both amateur and professional. She has a real love for music and the performing arts.
Sophia is a very vibrant and enthusiastic person with a real passion for teaching, children and performance.
"It is so rewarding to be able to teach a programme that children love, but also teach a programme that is going to change their lives in such a positive way. I see it happening on a weekly basis and get such positive feedback from parents, which makes it even more worthwhile. As a parent myself,I believe it is so important to give our children every opportunity we can for them to succeed in life. This programme is designed to do exactly that...and the best part about it is that it is so much FUN! I am passionate about what I do and because of this I hope to continue doing it for many years to come."
Denise and Phil Wakem
Denise is the Principal for Wellington and Phil, her husband, contributes part time as a theatre specialist primarily during the performance season. Denise, who is a vibrant and caring professional, is also a qualified registered teacher with over 20 years experience in the education of children specialising in both Music and Drama. Her greatest joy is that she can now share this passion for music and drama with her students. Denise says, "Confidence, effective communication and creativity is so important in every part of our lives. It is extremely rewarding for me to watch each child develop as the Helen O'Grady programme unfolds throughout the year. I am passionate about the teaching of drama to children of all age groups and I am proud to be part of such a dynamic and caring team".
Denise and Phil are both trained singers and carry a wealth of experience in vocal technique, theatre acting and stage performance