Staff Blog 2024

- Senior Team
Senior Team

Hannah Assistant Principal, Marina, Deputy Principal and Marriene Tumuaki. We work in the same office space "Tuna" in the admin block "Kīwai." We have adapted a scrum system to ensure that we address strategic work and don't get caught up in administrivia. Helen and Rachael are essential to our operation, and between the 5 of us, we oversee the safe and smooth operation of the school. We laugh a lot, even on the most difficult days. It's a pleasure coming to school knowing that we have a great team working for a great team..

- Marriene Langton - Principal
Marriene Langton - Principal

Tēnā koutou e te whanau. This is my 16th year as tumuaki of our lovely kura. I am one-eyed when it comes to providing the very best education for all of our tamariki, strong connections to whanau and applying attachment theory so every child has a champion adult at our school who believes in them unconditionally. I just can't see past it.
Our kaiako and kaiawhina go the extra 50 miles to give our children the best chances to succeed.
My family is number one. After 20 years of camping holidays in Kaiteriteri, Graham and I are recidivist "glampers " and ready for new adventures in our latest caravan. It's brilliant when our family joins us too.

- Marina Shehata - Deputy Principal
Marina Shehata - Deputy Principal

Tēnā koutou,
I am Whaea Marina. I am the Deputy Principal and SENCO (Special Education Needs Coordinator). This is my 4th year of leadership at Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School. The best thing about my job is ensuring that all tamariki reach their full potential and leave our kura knowing that they are loved. Outside of school, I am a wife and mum to a six-year-old (Noah). I love spending time with my family. We love going for walks and being outside.

- Hannah Gardiner - Assistant Principal
Hannah Gardiner - Assistant Principal

Kia ora whānau,

I am Whaea Hannah and I have been teaching at the awesome Te Ara Koropiko for almost 5 years. I love transitioning new whānau into our kura and supporting the tamariki to grow as they begin their school years. I also keep busy with the curriculum refresh, new enrolments and leading Puna Hao (our junior school). In my spare time, I love being at home in the garden or cleaning, out shopping and with my dog, Brie.

- Leadership Team
Leadership Team

- Administration Team
Administration Team

- Helen Ross - Personal Assistant to the Principal
Helen Ross - Personal Assistant to the Principal

Kia ora I'm Whaea Helen PA to the Principal. This is my fourth year at TAKWSS and you will find me in the school office. I support the leadership team with the day-to-day running of the school. I enjoy working with such positive and vibrant colleagues who are inspiring to be around. Our school has a very special community connection. Outside of work, I am a wife and busy Mum of two teenagers. My interests are travel, exploring other countries and cultures, camping, skiing, arts, cooking and op shops. I love a renovation or upcycling project. Coffee is a good friend of mine too. If you are new to the school please come say hello. I look forward to meeting you!

- Rachael Stafford - Clerical Officer
Rachael Stafford - Clerical Officer

Kia ora, I am Whaea Rachael and I have worked at Te Ara Koropiko for four years and been a member of our amazing school community for over eight years.  The office is always a busy place but always filled with fun and laughter. It is a privilege to support our tamariki and whānau in any way we can.

- Custodian Team

- Dennis Nuberg - Caretaker
Dennis Nuberg - Caretaker

I am Matua Dennis, and have had the pleasure of joining the TAKWSS team a year ago. Trained in Europe as a Gardener,
I am loving the diversity of work that school maintenance brings with it. The interaction and information sharing with the curious minds of active children is a true bonus to the work environment. I have also been busy in the world of dogs for many years running a dog walking and training business.. This remains a part of my working week to this day.
Fun fact : Owned the only half wolf (hybrid) in NZ that came with us, to NZ, under the guise of a Husky!

- Jamie Harrison - Cleaner
Jamie Harrison - Cleaner

Hi Im Jamie. I have been working at Te Ara Koropiko for the past year. I am originally from Christchurch and love this local area. I am a Mum of 3 and a Grandma of 5.

I love working at this school and working in this amazing environment. If you see me around make sure to say ‘hey’.

- Puna Paranui Team Year 4/5/6
Puna Paranui Team Year 4/5/6

- Lou Nuualiitia - Team Leader / Puna Paranui Tahi
Lou Nuualiitia - Team Leader / Puna Paranui Tahi

Kia ora!
I am Whaea Lou and I am in my 6th year of teaching at Te Ara Koropiko. I love celebrating our tamariki as they prepare to leave our kura for their next step in their education. We are a busy team with Dancing Like the Stars, Camps, sport and much more! I am also the Māori lead teacher at our kura. I love supporting akonga in the language and kapa haka. I am passionate about keeping te reo alive and flourishing at our kura.

- Charlotte McCone - Puna Paranui Rua
Charlotte McCone - Puna Paranui Rua

Kia ora,
I'm Whaea Charlotte, and I've been a teacher at Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School since 2019. Currently, I'm a member of Puna Paranui, the senior team for year 4-6 students. Before this, I taught year 3/4 for three years. As the Out of School Sports Coordinator, I enjoy encouraging students of all ages to participate in team sports. I firmly believe that involvement in sports not only brings physical benefits but also nurtures various social skills. Additionally, I collaborate with Whaea Libby working with the School Leaders. Outside of my professional life, I'm an enthusiastic reader and a social butterfly. Interactions with people truly fill my bucket :)

- Tamara Kepa - Puna Paranui Toru
Tamara Kepa - Puna Paranui Toru

Kia ora, Im Whaea Tam and I have been teaching for over ten years at Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School. I am lead teacher in ICT and support teachers and students with all areas of the digital world. I love teaching art and science. My favourite part of the year is school camps. I have a dog named Bear, a cat named Storm and two chickens named Henny and Penny. I like watching movies and have the title of 'Favourite Aunty' in my family.

- Glen Campbell - Puna Paranui Whā
Glen Campbell - Puna Paranui Whā

Kia ora koutou,
I am Matua Glen and this is my fifth year at Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School.
I am lead teacher of the Performing Arts and love watching the tamariki grow in confidence when performing on stage or learning an instrument.
I enjoy sport, music and spending time exploring parks with my family.

- Megan Stewart - Puna Paranui Rima
Megan Stewart - Puna Paranui Rima

Kia Ora, I'm Whaea Megan. I have been teaching for more than 15 years and this is my sixth teaching at TAKWSS. In 2024 I have made the move to the year 4-6 Puna Paranui team. I am also the lead teacher for Health and Psychical Education. I love hands on experimental learning. When I am not at school I can be found 'pretend farming' with a few sheep and looking after my garden. I also enjoy spending time with family, reading and riding horses.

- Puna Hao Team Year 0/1/2/3
Puna Hao Team Year 0/1/2/3

- Amy Duckmanton - Puna Hao Tahi
Amy Duckmanton - Puna Hao Tahi

Kia Ora, I am Whaea Amy and I teach in Harekeke with the NE/Yr 1 this year! This is my third year at TAKWSS which is super awesome. I am very lucky to be part of such a strong community. I am really excited for another great year, getting to know tamariki and their whānau and building relationships! I love playing netball, hanging out with my friends and family and I also enjoy running. My favourite place to go on holiday is Kaiteriteri with my beautiful family.   

- Hannah Gardiner - Team Leader / Puna Hao Rua
Hannah Gardiner - Team Leader / Puna Hao Rua

- Libby-May McColgan - Puna Hao Rua
Libby-May McColgan - Puna Hao Rua

Kia ora,
My name is Whaea Libby and I joined our kura back in 2014. I have been working as a release teacher for the past few years but this year I have the privilege of working in Puna Hao Rua with Whaea Hannah. I am really looking forward to getting to know our new families and welcoming them into the Te Ara Koropiko whānau.
I have 3 tamariki who keep me quite busy. Isla-May is 6, Archie is 3 and Gracie is 8 months old. In my spare time (if there is any) I enjoy reading, gardening, shopping, baking and spending time at our family batch in Lake Brunner.

- Epenesa Iva - Puna Hao Toru
Epenesa Iva - Puna Hao Toru

Talofa lava, o lo'u igoa o Whaea Nesa. I am super excited to be teaching in Harakeke with the NE/Yr 1 this year. I am a New Zealand born Samoan and I love to share my knowledge, culture and background with those around me. I started working as a teacher aide here at TAKWSS in 2017-2019 and truly found a passion for teaching. Four years later and I'm back as a qualified teacher. Yay! When not at school, you'll find me with family and friends most likely eating somewhere. I also love all things music.

- Denali Lord - Puna Hao Whā
Denali Lord - Puna Hao Whā

Kia ora,
I have enjoyed all of the many roles that I have had at Te Ara Koropiko. Over many years (too many to count) I have transitioned from past pupil to classroom teacher, release teacher and ESOL teacher. Now that my three children have grown just that little bit older I find myself back in my favourite role - classroom teacher!

I love the outdoors, exercising, reading, camping and being at the beaches around Golden Bay and Nelson. Spending time with family and friends brings me great joy. I look forward to seeing each child shine at school this year!

- Ashleigh Service - Puna Hao Rima
Ashleigh Service - Puna Hao Rima

Kia ora,

I am a beginning teacher here at Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School. I am excited to be a part of this Kura and our community. I look forward to getting to know our tamariki and whānau. I am very excited to be teaching in the Junior School!

I love any and all board games, reading any book that finds its way into my hands, writing and baking regularly.

- Janice Krammer - Puna Hao Ono
Janice Krammer - Puna Hao Ono

Kia Ora, I'm Whaea Janice and I have been at Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School for a few years!!! I have taught most levels throughout the school. I am involved in the enviro side of the school and lead the introduction of the new maths curriculum. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, walking and cooking. 

- Jorja Te Hau - Puna Hao Whitu
Jorja Te Hau - Puna Hao Whitu

Kia ora koutou,
My name is Whaea Jorja and I am in my first year of teaching at Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School! I completed my final teaching placement here last year and loved it so much I couldn't bring myself to leave! When I'm not teaching I enjoy being with my family and friends. You will often find me playing sports or exercising. I have a dog named Mana, who is four years old. I am very excited for the year ahead in the Junior School!

- Tony Flanagan - ICT/Teacher
Tony Flanagan - ICT/Teacher

- Support Staff
Support Staff

- Marg Smart - Teacher Aide / Learning Support / Librarian
Marg Smart - Teacher Aide / Learning Support / Librarian

Kia Ora,
My name is Whaea Marg (Margaret is too long!!)  and I have been at Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School for a very long time!!
Originally from the West Coast I came to Christchurch to train as a School Dental Nurse and worked in a number of Primary Schools. I have also worked at Fendalton Library and began working in schools with Learning Programmes after doing a Certificate in Special Needs at Teachers College.
I am in charge of our School Library and keeping an up to date selection of books is a major goal of mine.
Outside school I enjoy gardening, spending time with our family and reading a good thriller.

- Ange Fridd - Teaching assistant / Learning Support
Ange Fridd - Teaching assistant / Learning Support

Hi, I'm Ange.
I began working part time at West Spreydon School 12 years ago on February 22nd 2012. Then went full time with my variety of roles increasing. Behaviour support, RTLB / ORS. A selection of reading, maths, phonics programmes, working alongside teachers with students when and where required throughout the curriculum.
I was fortunate to grow up in Oxford on a farm. A particular pet lamb I had would walk to the corner down from my school and wait for me to leave school some afternoons.
I played netball, softball and volleyball.  I began a career in nannying that included working for an All Black Physio. My dad was a shearer. I followed in his footsteps living life in the shearing sheds. After four years I left, to pursue more nannying. Dad taught me how to shear sheep. Climbing Mount Oxford was a feat I accomplished with dad.
Baking, cake decorating, jigsaws, diamond art, gardening, playing my vast music collection, road trips on our Harley Davidson, Ruapuna Speedway occupy my spare time.
Last, but not least, it is a huge honor and privilege being part of and contributing to, a highly successful, experienced and supportive teaching assistant tribe.  =^..^=

- Megan Hilton - Teacher Aide / Learning Support
Megan Hilton - Teacher Aide / Learning Support

Kia Ora I am Whaea Megg, I am one of the fabulous teaching assistants here at TAKWSS. I have been here since 2021. I have 3 children of my own and ever since my daughter was 4 years old (now 12!)  I have been helping with coaching and managing all of her sporting teams alongside my partner. I love working with children and supporting them with all their needs. I don't have much spare time outside of working and playing taxi to my kids but if I do I love hanging out with my family friends, shopping and Netflix!

- Sonya Watson - Teacher Aide / Learning Support
Sonya Watson - Teacher Aide / Learning Support

Kia ora , I am Whaea Sonya I have a strong background in women's mental health supporting mums, dad's, caregivers and families with postnatal distress/depression and anxiety for over 10 years in Canterbury. I have a passion for wellbeing within the family unit and have spent time educating many health professionals about mental health and the importance to listen and support effectively. I bring experience from Ferndale base school working with special needs and challenging behaviours.
I enjoy camping with my husband and my 2 children along with gardening, art and watching my kids play sport. I love how welcoming everyone has been since joining TAKWSS last year. I'm looking forward to connecting with your child/children this year in our classroom or out in the playground.

- Jan Murray - Reading Recovery
Jan Murray - Reading Recovery

Kia ora koutou. Ko Jan toku ingoa. My name is Whaea Jan. I started at West Spreydon teaching ESOL part time and later trained as a Reading Recovery teacher. I taught in London and Auckland for many years before moving to Christchurch with my husband and two children.
I love learning, so apart from my previous qualifications I also have a Diploma in Te Ara Reo Maori. I am passionate about teaching and I am excited to see my students grow in their learning.
I love to travel and experience new places and I enjoy reading and getting outdoors.

- Part-time Teachers

- Fiona Kenneally - Release Teacher
Fiona Kenneally - Release Teacher

Kia ora koutou, my name is Whaea Fiona and I have been in our kura as both a release teacher and a parent for the last 2 years. This year I am looking forward to continuing in this role.
I love being able to share in both the community and teaching whānau.
I love seeing our tamariki involved in sport, especially Netball. I have really enjoyed organising Netball within our kura.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my whānau and friends, playing Netball and gardening.

- Lisa-Maree Nakon - Release Teacher
Lisa-Maree Nakon - Release Teacher

Kia ora koutou, I am Whaea Lisa-Maree and I have this amazing opportunity of Releasing our very special Kaiako here at Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School.
This has always been my favourite Kura and I am continually "blown away" by our gorgeous tamariki here ~ their resilience, their love and caring natures towards one another, and their deep seated "love of learning". I adore spending quality time with my family and friends, exploring nature and pottering at home.

- Stephanie Thompson - ESOL Teacher
Stephanie Thompson - ESOL Teacher

Kia ora, as-salamu alaikum, namaste, xin chao, kumusta, salam, talofa, hallo, konnichiwa, vanakam, malo e lelei, fakaalofa atu, bula and hello!
My name is Whaea Steph and I am the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teacher. I work with individual students or small groups of students on a Tuesday..
I have two children - Evie (6 years) and Hazel (4 years). Evie also goes to our kura, and is in Whaea Denali's class.
Before I became a parent, I worked as a classroom teacher in Christchurch for 13 years and then as an ESOL teacher for two and a half years. I have also taught in London, where I worked with a variety of ethnicities and cultures. I loved my time overseas, as I got to experience many different cultures, and see a lot of beautiful and interesting countries.
I enjoy playing netball, reading, music and going for walks on the Port Hills.

- Anita Magele - Release Teacher
Anita Magele - Release Teacher

Mālō e lelei & Talofa lava, my name is Anita and I am a new release teacher here at Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon. I am looking forward to being part of such a strong school community where ākonga thrive! In my spare time I love to spend time with my family and church community.

- Jo - Release Teacher
Jo - Release Teacher

Kia ora koutou.  I'm Whaea Jo. I am a release teacher and I work with children who have extra needs.  I am thrilled to be back on the Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon staff having had a break from teaching last year to further my knowledge around how to help our neurodiverse ākonga.  I love getting out in nature, geocaching with my family, walking my lovely dog, baking and doing amigurumi crochet.

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