School board

Anouk Verheijen

Co-founder, Chair

Anouk is a school parent and mother of four children. She works as a consultant in the international development space, focussing on small scale renewable energy market development. She is passionate about doing things differently and finding innovative and practical solutions to development problems on the ground. Anouk brings in expertise in fundraising, budgeting, strategic planning and HR.  As Chair she maintains oversight on all school activities, drives the school’s fundraising efforts and manages the HR and external communication portfolio. Through her work and being a Dutch national she can tap in to a wide network of international funders. 
Click here to read more about Anouk’s involvement in the school

Eleanor Galpin


Eleanor is a school parent and the mother of three children. She has always had an interest in child-development and education, a passion that was inspired by her mother who was both a teacher and a head-mistress for over 25 years. Eleanor is working as a GP in Kenton, and enjoys linking her medical insights with her desire to see children grow and develop in supportive, loving and nurturing environments.  As Vice chair, she supports the chair person in managing the HR and external communication portfolios.

Stephen Wigley

Co-founder, Treasurer

Stephen is a school parent and father of four children. He is a civil engineer by trade and has fulfulled management positions in multiple construction companies in South-Africa, Namibia, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. He currently works as a property developer in the Kenton area. Stephen brings in expertise in building, budgeting, accounting, taxation and contracting. He is closely involved in the construction and maintenance of all our school buildings. Next to this he manages the tax and legal portfolio.

Jessica van Graan

Co-founder, Educational Liaison

Jessica is the  Grade 3 teacher at Bushwillow school, a school parent and a mother of three children. She has twelve years of teaching experience in multiple schools around South Africa and has home schooled her own children. As a board member she brings in expertise in child-centred and holistic curriculum development, school organisation and event planning. Her creativity and child-focused approach are key assets to our board!

Peter Smailes


Peter Smailes has almost 30 years of experience in education in both South Africa and the United States. His passion for teacher upliftment and creating opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds draw him to Bushwillow school. Having worked as a teacher, head master and consultant in this sector, he brings in a wealth of experience in school operations and strategic planning. As a co-trustee, he supports the rest of the team in curriculum development, strategic planning and fundraising.