Meet the Team

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DANIEL BIRCH

Principal

Daniel is our foundation Principal at HPPS.  His vision for HPPS is to make schooling focussed on the learners and for us take the opportunity to reimagine the possibilities of what we can achieve.  Through approaching education in a future-focused and evidence-based manner we have had over 4000 educator visitors come to see what we are all about thanks to his encouragement, leadership and visioning.  He has connections with some well-known educationalists such as Dr Julia Atkin who have partnered with us in the foundation stages helping to set us up for success in a rapidly changing world.

Daniel is driven, energetic and a leader who is extremely hardworking.  In a growing school, he always puts children first and can often be found in the kitchen sharing his love of cooking with our learners. 

His family moved to Auckland in 2012 for exciting possibilities and to watch Hobsonville Point Schools' grow.  His two daughters and son, are or were enrolled at HPSS and wife, Sarah is a teacher at HPPS.   Prior to moving, he was Principal of Discovery 1 school based in Christchurch's CBD. 

He has a wealth of experience in pushing the boundaries of education and supporting schools through change.  He is an accomplished presenter and facilitator with a passion for supporting others to succeed.  He has been recognised as an Apple Distinguished Educator and has embarked on his Master's in Education journey. 

In his spare time, you'll find him at Muriwai Beach, spending time with family, collecting vinyl records and cooking up delicious meals. 

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LISA SQUIRE

Deputy Principal

Lisa is the foundation Deputy Principal at HPPS, joining the school in 2012 before it opened with students.  She saw this position as an opportunity to be an influencer for state schooling in NZ and to help create a school from the ground up.   She has been teaching for 20+ years in primary and intermediate schools as well as in private sector educational consultancy. 

For her, the best thing about teaching is helping to make a real difference for learners, their families, and the wider community – a big responsibility, humbling, and very rewarding.  She believes that children’s uniqueness is a gift and everyone has something meaningful to contribute to society.  She loves it when former students contact her to share their current accomplishments.  She loves learning and challenging the status quo in education towards more innovative practices that meet diverse learning needs.  Her supplementary qualifications include a Post Grad Certificate in Digital and Collaborate Teaching & Learning, Certificate in Counselling and papers towards a Master’s degree in Education with a focus on contemporary education. 

 

Lisa is an active person who enjoys adventure, sports. road trips, spending time outdoors, and keeping up with her three energetic children and dog.  Her less active interests are eating out, fishing, gardening and relaxing with a good book.   If she were ever to change her career she would explore doing something creative and hands-on.

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KRISTYN DEMPSEY

Deputy Principal

Kristyn is a foundation staff member of HPPS who was attracted to this brand new school because its vision and pedagogy offers students authentic learning that helps them to develop the real skills to be successful citizens.  She is passionate about teaching children to understand themselves as learners, how to deeply reflect on their academic and dispositional learning, and how to make good learning decisions so they can reach their potential.

 She presented at the International Thinking Conference in 2013 on ‘empowering learners with the tools to drive their successes’. 

 

For her, the best aspect of working in education is that every day is different and that she has the opportunity to help people grow and develop to be the best they can be.  She is passionate about coaching and also skilled in coaching adults and young people to reflect on their thinking and actions in order to enhance their performance.  In fact, she always answers a question with a question!  If she wasn’t a teacher she would likely be involved in a coaching role within a range of professional settings. 

Kristyn enjoys sport and has been involved with soccer, netball, cricket, softball and basketball.  She has also run large sports competitions for schools across the West Auckland cluster.  Her other interests are drawing, painting, and photography.  When not at school she enjoys spending time in the outdoors with her family whether that’s boating in the Hauraki Gulf, mountain biking, tramping, or walking and park-hopping around Auckland.  In fact, her ‘happy’ place can be summarised as exploring nature anywhere in the outdoors with her husband and children.   

 
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JANENE LEVETT

Deputy Principal

Janene joined the school in 2022, due to forecast roll growth. She is passionate about ensuring equitable, accessible education for all and strongly believes in rejoicing and celebrating cultural diversity. She aims for all students to have a holistic and global view of the world with a key focus on developing a growth mindset in doing so. Her extensive past experience in a realm of different areas and school settings has given her a multitude of lenses through which to see a school in its entirety.  Janene has taught abroad and engaged in conferences about International Education, including visits to investigate cultural norms in Korea, China and Japan. Janene thrives on empowering people and seeing them flourish.  She has a core belief that we need to rejoice in each other's strengths as everyone has valuable contributions to make - students, staff, whānau and the wider community. 


Janene enjoys traveling with her husband Reuben and their two daughters. Family highlights include annual vacations to Fiji, where the snorkeling and beach lifestyle is right up their alley.  You may find Janene deep in the middle of the latest bestseller or more likely unpacking the current research, trends and the next steps of Educational Leadership whilst on vacation.  She begins each day with a beach walk to set herself up for a successful day ahead. 

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MARGO THORPE

Associate Principal

Margo applied for a position at HPPS because it values dispositions, teaches the whole child, and has a vision that resonates with her own values and beliefs of education.  She loves being part of learners’ journeys, helping them to own who they are and use their strengths to define their learning path.  She has been teaching for a number of years and has vast leadership experience both with children and adults.  She brings enthusiasm, expertise and a willingness to push the boundaries to our team.

She is passionate about learning and has completed her Master in Education focused on seeing how the wonderful key competencies are lived out in school - she has a deep knowledge and understanding of the learning process and applies her extensive experience into her learning environment at school.  For her, watching her learners become the best version of themselves is like gold. 

Outside of school, her interests are in visual arts and design, and social issues.  She also enjoys being in the outdoors, cooking, entertaining friends and family, and travelling with her family to explore new parts of the world.  In her spare time, she is planning a new home.  If she wasn’t a teacher, she would like to be a chef or involved in something creative.

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ERIN HALL

Associate Principal/SENco

Erin was a foundation staff member before we officially opened with children. She listened to Daniel speak about the vision for the school and was hooked.  She loves a challenge and sees our environment as a great fit for her.  She is a passionate educator with a love of getting students out of the classroom and engaged in real-life learning.  In her spare time she loves being on the water and is our go-to person for fishing tips.  

Her personal interest in gardening sees her leading learning out and about amongst the veggies and flowers developing mini horticulturists. Close to Erin's heart is celebrating students' achievements as it boosts self-esteem and is inspirational to others.  She is driven by teaching children to love learning and designs projects that are creative and hands-on.  Erin is a strong advocate of student voice.  She also works tirelessly to support some of our more vulnerable students in her SENco role.

If Erin wasn't a teacher she would be a florist as it combines two of her favourite things - flowers and making people happy which is a winning combo!  During the weekend you'll find her spending as much time with family as possible and pursuing her interests in photography, fishing, bushwalking, and being at the beach.

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REID WALKER

Senior Leader

Reid is happiest learning, whether it is his own education or working with others to inspire and lead them. Before Reid joined HPPS in 2015 he had already worked in several other roles that have helped to form a teacher that can thrive in our setting. Reid has worked in hospitality, sales and retail management settings, while completing his Masters in Tourism at the University of Otago he began tutoring and this has ignited his passion for teaching and learning. He went on to teach Tourism, Marketing and Event Management at PIHMS (Pacific International Hotel Management School) before retraining to become a teacher. PIHMS blended the theoretical and practical side of hotels and provided Reid with a vision for authentic, hands-on and collaborative learning.

Since becoming a teacher Reid has regularly engaged in or led large collaborative projects such as the Kidedchat twitter program, collaborative Timelapse projects across NZ and the Hobsonville Point History Game. He regularly presents these passions and experiences to large groups, enjoying the chance to inspire or upskill others. His time at HPPS has included running our growing sports program, taking ski trips to Queenstown and looking for ways to collaborate with the high school.

Reid’s life outside school is dominated by his two children Abby and Elliot, and his wife Hillary where cooking, lego, making books come alive, Star Walks, and bike riding are the order of the day. Reid is an avid golfer, enjoys biographies, dark comedy and fantasy, is learning to love gardening and most importantly sharing quality time with friends, family, coffee and food.

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MEGAN BOWDEN

Senior Leadership Team Support

Megan is a retired primary school principal who supports the senior leadership team at HPPS.  She was on the Establishment Board of Trustees for both Hobsonville Point Schools and returned to work at the primary school as she loves its positive culture and attitude towards children as people and as learners, its innovative approach towards learning and teaching, and its friendly and supportive staff.  Highlights of her 50 year teaching career were being a Commonwealth Exchange Teacher to England in 1976, the foundation principal of Oteha Valley School, and being awarded a Queen’s Service Medal in 2012 for services to primary education. 

 

She has always believed in helping students to be positive and resilient, to interact successfully with others, and to develop the skills of ‘how’ to learn.  She so enjoys watching her former students grow into stunning and successful adults.  Since her Teachers’ College days she umpired netball, holding the NZ level qualification for 28 years and umpiring at many national tournaments.  She is now a Life Member of Netball North Harbour.  Another interest is music education and, in retirement, she leads ‘Mainly Music’ sessions for pre-school children every week.  She is also involved with the ‘Seasons for Growth’ programmes that provide support for people coping with significant loss or change in their lives.  At home she enjoys her wonderful pug dog and trying out sophisticated recipes in her Thermomix.

 

Administration Team

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Karma

                      Administrator

Karma joined the HPPS staff a few weeks after the school opened in 2013 and, at that time, was the only administration person.  She loves working with the children and also being employed within her local community. 

At HPPS she enjoys seeing how education has changed since she went to school, and observing the way teachers and children develop relationships and work together.  As well as her administrative skills she is very good at ‘patching up’ children and nursing them with love and kindness when they are unwell. 

Her other talents are baking and sport, particularly netball.  She loves playing pranks and can often be traced as the initiator of funny things that happen.  Outside of school her time is taken up with her own family, being ‘mum taxi’ to and from her children’s sports activities, and playing netball herself. 

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Yodette

                      Administrator

Yodette began her career in travel and spent over 15 years travelling the world through her work and during her time living abroad. 

She is one of the early settlers to Hobsonville Point and it wasn’t long before she looked for the opportunity to enjoy working in the wonderful community her family calls home. 

She encourages the children to be kind and be the best version of themselves by taking the time to listen & care for them.  Outside of school she is happiest when spending time with family and friends and her interests are reading, being at the beach and travelling with her family in tow.

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Carmen

           Office Support/Library

Carmen came to us with many years of administrative experience starting her career in banking through to working where her tamariki attended Kohanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa Māori.  She has seen the growth of HPPS and enjoys the challenges of her job working alongside staff and continuing to build relationships with students.  She loves the engaging and collaborative environment here at HPPS and observing the differences with Māori education. 

Carmen's happy place is being surrounded by books!  Our children really appreciate her knowledge of books and often you'll find them having a chat with her as they discover their next adventure found in the pages of a novel.  

Outside of work she is busy with her tribe of 6 tamariki and her 2 mokopuna.  She has spent many years supporting her tamariki in Kura Kaupapa Māori and in their sporting pursuits of Touch, Tag, League and Netball.  She remains actively involved in her son's Kura as Treasurer for the board of trustees.

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Sarah M

              Office Administrator

Sarah is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Applied Counselling. She thought a school environment as innovative as HPPS, would be the perfect place to amerce herself during her studies.

As a former nanny, she loves watching the children discover and express their individuality.  She has an incredible passion for exercise and nutrition, and is constantly looking for ways to self-educate in these fields.

Outside of school you will find her being active, reading or spending time with her friends, family and dog.

 

LC 1 Years 6-8

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Caitlyn Crivelli

Caitlyn is thrilled to begin her primary teaching journey with HPPS in 2022. Her former education roles have traversed age ranges and countries; albeit predominantly with our youngest citizens in early childhood environments here in Aotearoa.

She loves learning, having dabbled academically in the science of well-being, developmental psychology, Māori, Italian, teaching approaches, and education philosophy at various universities. Inside the classroom, Caitlyn takes inspiration from her experiences in both Reggio Emilia and Reggio-inspired schools/centres. She values process-driven art, creative expression, a design approach, investigative learning, and hands-on encounters.

Outside of the common’s four (plus) walls, Caitlyn is big on ecological literacy and kaitiakitanga (nature, the outdoors, and taking care of our whenua/land). A fan of trying new things, the last couple of years have seen Caitlyn dive into vipassana, surfing, embroidery, herbal tea concoctions, and dancing on roller skates (read: trying not to fall over in roller skates). Outside of work hours, she is proud to support two incredible non-profit organisations: annually she pitches in behind the scenes at CBT courses for More To Life, and for over ten years she has been facilitating residential camps for young people for Camp Quality.

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Michelle Warren

Michelle joined HPPS after completing her placement with us whilst studying her Masters Teaching & Learning in 2019.  The proposition of working in a future-forward, innovative education environment was too exciting to ignore and she is eager to be immersed here.  Her previous 5 years of teacher aiding experience and raising her two children have developed her passion for supporting learners through their own unique learning journeys.   Being able to teach and learn presses all of Michelle's buttons and she is particularly excited to be able to support cross-curricular learning with her own strengths and interests in Science, Social sciences, Maths, Technology, and the Arts.  Outside of school, Michelle is found on the side of a court or field either, coaching, spectating or playing.  She loves discovering the nooks & crannies of New Zealand and having adventures in new places with her family. Her happy place is outside covered in dirt, sand or water followed closely by her head being in a book.

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Sarah Birch

Sarah is passionate about children, embracing their uniqueness and being comfortable with that.  She has a talent for working with children who have diverse learning needs and, with her wealth of teaching and mothering experience, is constantly reflecting on and refining her approaches to effectively engage with these students.

She was drawn to work at HPP because of the alignment of the school's philosophy to her own, that being to innovate, and to make learning exciting and inclusive for everybody.  With her 'can do' mindset and a passion for trying out new things, she enjoys unchartered waters.  She relishes the opportunity to be creative and to problem solve alongside her learners so that learning is fun.  Sarah is a strong advocate for student agency and believes in children driving their own learning alongside a mentor who can guide and challenge them.

During the weekend she loves spending time with her family and friends, and particularly enjoys time at the beach.  

 

LC 2 - Years 0-2

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Rita Pule

One of Rita's most impressive skills is being able to build positive relationships with children and whanau.  She has a wealth of experience working in different roles, especially in ECE before coming to HPPS in 2018.  She has three young boys and as a mum and teacher, it gives her different perspectives about helping to shape education.  She is passionate about influencing the learning design across our school to best meet the needs of our Maori and Pasifika learners and families.

With extensive knowledge and experience of the Reggio Emilia approach and ability to weave through the Te Whariki values she brings great skills sets to our team.  Her children flourish in her learning spaces.  She loves supporting children to ask questions, investigate and problem solve through rich learning experiences that are hands-on and relevant to the interests of the learners allowing them to make personal connections.

During the weekend you'll find her with her favourite people - her family, doing waka ama or with her active boys at swimming and basketball.

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Tara Mallie-Hutchinson

Born and raised on the NSW Central Coast, Tara relocated to Auckland in 2013. She initially joined HPPS in 2020 as a Learning Assistant, where she saw the positive impact we can have with children, which inspired her to become a teacher.

Tara is excited to be beginning her teaching journey at HPPS in 2022, where she is motivated to make a difference, by empowering each child to thrive. She believes in consciously connecting with the child and their whānau, while also facilitating and personalising teaching and learning, where both the teacher and child reciprocate learning and teaching.

Prior to becoming a teacher, Tara had a background in architecture and social housing policy. She lives in the community with her husband, son and daughter, who both attend HPPS. Tara enjoys reading, building Lego and tending to, and propagating her growing collection of houseplants.

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Letisha griffith

Letisha was drawn to Hobsonville Point Primary School because she is excited to teach in a collaborative teaching and learning space. She is excited to share her strengths and learn new and exciting things in our wider learning community.  Relationships are very important to her and facilitating learning to help bring out children's caring and resilient qualities.

She is passionate about the arts and wants to create hands-on learning experiences based on children's interests.

In her free time she enjoys going on walks, swimming, reading, yoga, and baking. She is also very close with her whanau.

 

LC 3 - Years 0-2

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Kylie Lennan

As a child Kylie was very shy so she now likes to focus on building confidence and self-belief in the children she teaches.  She chose to teach at HPPS to be immersed in a school that has a future focus and values progressive thinking. 

Her experiences when teaching overseas in vastly different cultures have taught her to be adaptable and resilient, and to know what it’s like to be a visitor in another country.  This helps her to identify with and settle students who are new to NZ.  Outside of teaching she enjoys gardening, recycled resources, and spending time with friends and family.  Her happy place is at the beach in the sun, feeling the sand beneath her toes and swimming in the ocean.

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Trudy Brushell-Jones

Trudy has experience teaching English as a second language in a High School in Japan and to refugees in Australia.  Additionally, she has taught literacy to street kids in India and at an International Kindergarten in Vietnam. 

At the moment she is learning international sign language so she can teach other children to share this visual and expressive language. 

She holds a Master in Environmental Planning and  Post Graduate Diploma in Human Rights.  She is an active learner and has just completed her Teaching degree.  When she is not in the classroom she can be found reading, tramping, kayaking, going to films, watching football and spending time with her awesome family.

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Angela James

One of Angela's favourite aspects of working in education is to share teaching passion with other like-minded educators, this is one of the reasons why she loves HPPS' collaborative approach to schooling.

She has over 22 years of experience teaching young people and is constantly reflecting on her practice, seeking ways to make learning fun and engaging.  She is inspired by the children to find out more and challenge herself.  She particularly enjoys fostering a love of books and teaching children to feel confident in their reading, opening them up to new ideas and knowledge through the written word.  She encourages her learners to be curious about numbers, what they represent but also explore them through real life contexts.  

With a DIY attitude she applies her practical skills and creativity to her learning environments so when the children walk through the door they are met by a place of stimulation and a teacher who will give things a go.

In her spare time, Angela enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenage children, in the garden or doing a spot of family genealogy research.

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Kiri Olds

Raised in Pito-one, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Kiri has always been passionate about children and education. Having completed the Masters of Teaching and Learning programme at AUT in 2021 she is very excited to begin her first year of teaching at HPPS. Kiri had the privilege of growing up immersed in te reo and tikanga Māori at her local primary school and has extended her knowledge through her university studies. She is keen to share her passion and love for Aotearoa’s indigenous language and history and believes that education can be a vehicle for generating positive and sustainable change. Kiri is passionate about social justice and the arts. When she is not at school you can find her in the ocean or river no matter how icy, amidst the trees deep in the forest, or way above on the mountain tops.

 

LC4 - Years 4-6

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Polly Sills-Jones

Polly is in her thrid year teaching at HPP, a newcomer to NZ arriving from the UK.  Her background before teaching was in policy implementation, particularly around the well being of future generations.  She's worked with young offenders on court orders as well as children at risk of exclusion, and supported them to build on the skills they have to help them engage with education in a meaningful way.  Additionally, she spent many years advocating progressive approaches to teaching and learning and has a doctorate in how school culture affects the behaviour of learners.  She's also achieved Grade 8 in singing, and wants to start a ukelele band at HPP and support our choir. She also loves teaching science so the children understand the world in which they live.  

Polly is very proud of her newly acquired SUP board.  She loves spending time with her family, and listening to books on audible whilst on road trips.  For the family, she can recommend the fabulously thrilling adventures of Lyra in Phillip Pullman's trilogy "His Dark Materials".

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Bruce McMillan

Within school Bruce loves it when students are talking about their own successes that they have personally driven and, more importantly, knowing how and why they have been successful.  He encourages them to share their skills with others.  When students are endeavouring to grasp difficult concepts he looks for innovative ways of making authentic links to support the learning, particularly with mathematics.  It was the school’s values that attracted him to HPPS as he believes they are essential components for learning.  He is currently completing the final paper of his Masters of Educational Leadership degree, and knows this study has given him a greater understanding of how and why school leaders make their various decisions.  Bruce’s wife is from England and he has spent a large part of his life in the UK.  He has two daughters, both of whom play tennis and netball, so much time is spent courtside as their #1 supporter or as ‘taxi driver’ to their various sporting venues.  He is still very active himself, going for lengthy training runs and completing half marathons.  One of his happy places is when approaching the final stages of a half-marathon, knowing that his ageing knees make him less competitive yet still appreciating the challenge of running and the companionship of the other competitors.  Another love is the sea, and sailing to the UK on a Tall Ship is on his bucket list.  Meanwhile he’s satisfied with walking alongside the ocean and looking out to the islands on Auckland’s east coast or breathing in the ocean spray tossed up on the western beaches.  If money wasn’t an issue Bruce would happily travel the globe, stopping at new places and interacting with different cultures as he believes travel is an amazing opportunity for learning.

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Bridget Donovan

Bridget applied for a position at HPP because she values teaching and learning in an environment where her love for learning and developing the whole child, her curiosity to learn, problem-solve and opportunities to take risks are valued.

She has taught across all year levels across multiple schools around both New Zealand and within London, UK. Throughout her career, relationships have always proven to be her most enjoyable and important aspects of education.

Bridget loves to spend her time outside of school traveling and experiencing new places, spending time with friends and family in the outdoors or in the gym, and capturing it all through photography.

 

LC5 - Years 2-4

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Carrie Shirley

Carrie is a beginning teacher, who recently relocated to Auckland from Dunedin, after completing her studies at the University of Otago. She was drawn to HPPS due to its student-centered approach, as well as her love for working collaboratively.Carrie is passionate about building relationships, as she believes these are the foundation of creating a positive and valuable learning experience.Within the classroom, she encourages learning through having fun and engaging in hands-on activities, in particular, she enjoys P.E, the Arts, and Literacy.In her spare time, she loves to spend go on adventures with her friends and whānau, discovering new treasures around New Zealand. Carrie is excited to be a part of this school community, where she will continue to learn alongside both the children and her colleagues.

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Gemma Bryant

Gemma is a passionate learner and educator. She has been teaching for 8 years now and in that time, has developed and worked in a range of flexible learning environments.

Gemma enjoys implementing innovative and purposeful learning programmes to suit the needs of her learners. She values developing relationships with her students, families and colleagues and sees this as a fundamental to successful and positive learning.

Gemma is an energetic and hardworking person who loves working within a team. She is an action oriented person who enjoys seeing concepts and ideas come to life in the classroom.

In her spare time, she enjoys going on new adventures and finding new places to eat delicious food. Gemma enjoys friends, family and exercising.

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Tessa Zuilen-Hampe

Tessa is drawn to education to make help make a difference in the lives of her learners through imagining the possibilities then making it happen.  She loves being part of team as she believes education has some of the best people in it and she wants to help make a difference. 

She is an energetic, actions orientated person.  She is involved at Kidzplay netball helping mentor young umpires and support the sport.

With a passion for creating spaces where children learn what is valuable, she's spent time teaching overseas, in Germany where she taught lots of children who didn't have English as a first language.  She connected with them by bringing fun into the curriculum through doing lots of investigations, hands-on learning and cool science experiments.

In her free time, one of her happy places is looking out over snowy vistas enjoying chocolate covered pancakes. 

 

LC6 - Years 2-4

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Georgia Comber

Georgia began teaching at HPPS in Term 4 of 2020. She loves collaborative teaching and being a part of this teaching and learning journey with students and staff. She is excited to continue her second year of teaching at HPPS. 

She considers forming positive relationships highly important in her practice and strives to learn more about the students each day in order to understand their passions and learning needs. She has always dreamed of being a teacher since she was in primary school, so is delighted to be living out the start of her career alongside supportive staff and innovative students. 

In her spare time, Georgia loves spending time with her family and friends, reading books and exploring new parts of New Zealand.

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Whitney Pond

Whitney began her teaching career in an Early Childhood Centre while she completed her studies for Primary School Teaching. Through ECE teaching she learnt a vast amount about inquiry-based learning, child development, respectful learning-focused relationships, and acknowledging each child for their own values, beliefs, and identity. She then moved to HPPS in 2019 and has loved being able to continue to learn and work alongside others to create innovative and engaging learning for her students.

Over the past few years, she has learnt about the importance of nurturing strong relationships with students and their whanau to create a respectful and inclusive classroom community.

Whitney values creativity and expression through art she also has a passion for all things outdoors ranging from sports to the environment and wildlife.

 

LC 7 - YEARS 2-4

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Ashleigh Pearson

Ashleigh joined the Hobsonville Point Primary whānau in 2021. She has eight years teaching experience; previously teaching at a school in Hamilton before making the move to Auckland.

The core values at HPPS were a drawcard for Ashleigh when applying for jobs. The focus on relationships, innovative learning, and emphasis on empowering students to become lifelong learners resonated with her and her teaching philosophy. Ashleigh enjoys working and collaborating with other teachers and supporting students to do the same.

She has strengths in literacy and Te Reo Māori and a real passion for singing and music and enjoys sharing these with her students. She values the importance of building relationships with students and their families by getting to know students for who they are as a person and as a learner, then finding ways to integrate their passions and interests into the classroom.

When not in the classroom, Ashleigh enjoys spending time with her family and friends, singing, listening to music, crafting, and eating out.

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Ashleigh Oliver

If Ashleigh wasn't a teacher you would find her travelling the world.  She is an avid explorer, seeker of new experiences and is a continuous learner.  She loves gardening, house renovating, swimming, camping, baking and spending time with her husband Dan and their beautiful dog, Baxter.

Her enthusiasm for living life to the fullest is evident in her teaching.  She is passionate about making a difference, helping children see the connections between school and life through developing their skills, self-esteem and self-worth.  She brings a breath of experience having taught in the UK and NZ.  She's taught across a range of ages from 4-year-olds through to 12.

She loves colourful floral dresses, pineapple lumps and laughing loudly. 

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Darlene Avia

Darlene is in her third year of teaching. She discovered her passion for teaching and working with children when working as a teaching assistant in England. Darlene moved to Auckland from Wellington last year. She wanted to work at HPPS because she loved the idea of collaborative teaching and 21st century learning. She is passionate about equipping the next generation with the skills to be successful in this ever-changing world. 

Outside of school Darlene loves to sing and take fun dance classes. She also enjoys playing with her fur child Kovu, spending time with her three sisters, being active and exploring new places. 

Darlene is passionate about creating a safe and inclusive environment where children feel welcome and accepted. Building relationships is so important to Darlene. She is also passionate about te reo Māori and ensuring the language is used and valued in the classroom.  

 

LC8 - Years 0-2

Before coming to Auckland, Linyu lived and worked in Shanghai as an English teacher.

She believes in holistic development and hopes children can grow up as proactive, empathetic and resilient learners. 

She loves how HPPS values relationships, student agency, dispositional learning and innovative practice and feels very lucky working here.

She have a huge passion for sustainability, both socially and environmentally.  In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, hiking, swimming, diving and cooking.

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Davida Phillips

Davida joined HPPS midway through 2020, excited by the opportunity to be a part of educating children in ways that will prepare them for the future that awaits them. She values relationships, and in educational environments, believes they are key to a successful and meaningful learning journey. Davida enjoys working as part of a team and has around 10 years of experience in the Junior levels. She has had the pleasure of teaching at a number of different schools in New Zealand and the United Kingdom and has also lived in South Africa during her childhood. 

Davida's other passions include being a mother to her two dinosaur loving boys, capturing memories through photographs, discovering street art, trying all the desserts, and going on adventures and experiences with her family

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Linyu Zheng

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Sian Foley

Sian has been teaching for many years, in a variety of places, in a variety of roles, around the world. She joined the HPPS team in 2020. She relishes lifelong learning, actively seeking out new and exciting opportunities both personally and professionally. Sian was drawn to HPPS by the progressive, exciting, boundless approach to teaching and learning. She has experience teaching and leading teams in the early years of primary school and is passionate about cultivating positive dispositions for learning. She is driven to make meaningful, personal connections with children and their families, to discover how to ignite excitement and ensure that each child sees themselves as active explorers of the world. Spending quality time with family and friends “fills up her cup”, as does camping by the sea, devouring delicious food, running and enjoying a great game of social netball!

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Zoey Lovegrove

Zoey has 10 years of teaching experience working with 5-7 year olds.  She is passionate about teaching children about sustainable practices and to care for our environment.  She's led enviro-schools programmes, achieving recognition with green/gold awards.  

She has recently joined our team after being drawn to our innovative and collaborative teaching approach.  She is keen to foster children's self-worth and empathy.  She is also passionate in teaching children to be critical thinkers and problem solvers.

When she is not at school one of her happy places is with her family, spending time with her toddler and baby.  She also enjoys camping at NZ beaches and hitting the slopes during the winter.

 

LC9 Years 3-5

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Amy Coleman

Amy is a passionate and enthusiastic second year beginning teacher. She started her teaching career in a single cell classroom but was drawn to Hobsonville Point Primary School for its open, collaborative and learner focussed culture. She values learners as individuals and strives to empower students to grow in their unique abilities and interests.

She is passionate about reading and enjoys expressively reading out loud. Amy thrives in collaborative environments and enjoys listening and learning from others. In her spare time,

Amy dabbles in music, playing piano, guitar and ukulele. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends wharf jumping, going on bush walks and generally spending time in nature.

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Elizabeth McMurdo

Elizabeth started with us in 2016 as a beginning teacher.  Prior to this, she had a career with the military as a medic. 

One of her drivers is seeing others grow and so the collaborative environment where she could work in a close-knit team appealed to her.  Additionally, she was also keen to work somewhere where children are respected and their voices heard.

She feels that we are all life long learners and she creates learning environments where children can reflect on themselves, learn about their learning preferences and collaborate with peers.

In her spare time, Elizabeth loves spending time in the outdoors, reading and camping with her family

 

LC 10 - Years 6-8

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Jody Curran

Jody loves teaching collaboratively with others.  She enjoys sharing expertise and supporting each other to be innovative in teaching approaches.  She has senior leadership experience at Ahipara School where she taught in the senior school.  Also, she has taught in the UK and other local schools. 

Her passion is art and she brings this talent to school, sharing her interest and facilitating lessons.  She loves celebrating students successes with them no matter how big, or seemingly small. 

She has post-graduate qualifications in education and is a life-long learner who is willing to be adaptive in her curriculum delivery. 

When Jody is not at school she loves travelling with her family, spending time at the beach, surfing and diving.

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Amy Croxford

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Amy is a foundation staff member of HPPS, having spent the previous 15 years teaching in NZ and UK, and was attracted to the position by the opportunity to reimagine what primary schooling could be in a brand new, flexible space learning environment. 

Her special strengths are in the IT and web design areas.  She has represented NZ in surf lifesaving so it’s not surprising that one of her favourite places is at the beach.  Keeping up with her active children and her husband keeps her busy outside of school. 

She also enjoys shopping, and being with family and friends.  If she wasn’t a teacher she would like to be a professional surfer, a clothes buyer, or a graphic designer.

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Richard Meehan

Richard is new to teaching and joined the HPPS team following seven weeks here as part of his training. He loves the collaborative, supportive and innovative environment at HPPS and was excited about the learning opportunities he saw children experiencing.

Prior to teaching Richard had an interesting job history including Police Officer, various Human Resource-related roles and managing a contact centre with a leading insurance company. He enjoys meeting new people, and in his short time at HPPS, has fostered relationships with students and parents alike. 

 When he's not working Richard supports his four children in their chosen sports, currently netball and basketball. A keen sportsman himself, Richard is passionate about rugby and rugby league, and is currently playing summer touch. His claim to fame was playing for the NZ Universities Rugby League team in a test against Australian Universities. For relaxation Richard loves being outdoors, listening to and playing music, and socialising with friends. 

 

LC11 - Years 4-6

LC12 - Years 5-7

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Ashlee Dean

Ashlee was drawn to apply for the position at HPPS by the schools values, approach to education and dynamic learning environment.

Ashlee's love of photography awarded her an internship where she was able to travel through the UK and Europe. The past six years she has spent in Ohope Beach operating her successful Cafe and Paddle Board School and teaching in the wider Bay of Plenty community and has recently relocated back to Auckland.

In education her strengths are developing strong relationships with students and child wellbeing and development. 

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Sam Maloney

Sam loves making school a fun place to be for both the students and colleagues around her.  One of her passions is finding ways to put a creative and playful spin on anything and everything she does.  
Making children feel safe at school whilst creating opportunities for them to feel excited about learning are two things of high importance to her.  She was drawn to HPP by the modern and fresh approaches to teaching and learning which resonated with her own teaching philosophy and the incredible feel of the place - the people, the environment... all of it.
She loves working collaboratively and being around people, so this environment suits her well.  When she is not in a classroom she enjoys playing netball, adventuring with her husband, picnicking in pretty places, and shopping! 

 

 
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Anna Meuli

Anna is thrilled to begin her teaching journey in LC12 this year, after spending seven weeks at HPPS during her training. She was drawn to HPPS because of its collaborative, dynamic learning environment and the opportunities this offers children to feel inspired and excited about their learning. 

Anna has a passion for visual art and writing, which she enjoys sharing with her students. Anna loves challenging herself and has a passion for keeping active, whether she is dancing, boxing, or training for a running event, such as the Auckland Marathon. Anna has a passion for mental health and wellbeing, which drives her belief in building strong relationships with students and encouraging them to achieve their personal best. 

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Reid Walker

Please see above.

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Max Brown

Max is the type of guy who is at his happiest when he has an idea and is in the middle of trying to figure it out.  He is highly creative and brings his passion for the visual arts into the classroom.  He is keen on art and illustration, especially the digital medium and often you'll find him helping children find the artist within themselves.

He's been teaching for quite a while including time in the UK.  Some of his best teaching has been using an inquiry approach of asking questions then investigating really authentic real-life experiences. Once he ran a project where young reluctant writers wrote a series of books for some children in Samoa.  The books were such a hit they were published and sold.  They were called 'The Island Tales' and had six interesting characters.

Max joined us in 2017 as he was excited by the opportunities for students and teachers to collaborate.  He believes that it is really important students see themselves at the centre of their learning and are able to do anything they set their mind to.  He feels one of the best things about education is the chance to make a difference.

In his free time, Max enjoys spending time with family, walking, watching movies and making art.

 

LC13 - Years 6-8

 

Specialist Learning Advisors

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Matua Regan

Te Reo

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Hayley 

Sports/P.E Co-ordinator

Hayley is passionate and enthusiastic about all things sport and physical education.

She was drawn to Hobsonville Point Primary School because she is excited to teach in a space where children are offered the opportunity and feel excited to participate in physical education.  

When she is not working, Hayley enjoys spending time getting active in the outdoors with her 2 boys.  She enjoys adventuring, travelling, and spending time with friends.

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Kothar

Learning Advisor

Kothar honed her skill in teaching through working as an outdoor instructor before completing her Master's degree in Teaching.  She worked with groups of children in the outdoors - tramping, kayaking and rock-climbing.  She qualified as a rock climbing leader, and also gained her bronze medallion for surf lifesaving.

As part of her teacher training, Kothar did a placement with us at HPPS and loved it so much that she joined us the next year as a teacher in our senior school.  She is passionate about helping children understand their worth, their strengths and what makes them unique.  She believes that it's her role to help facilitate them in building up the skills they need to grow, learn and survive in our changing world. 

Kothar is a natural leader who helps others find resilience in themselves, compassion for others, and to consider all parts of well-being in their everyday life.

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Ina

Learning Advisor

Ina chose HPPS because she was keen to work collaboratively and loved the school’s dispositional focus. 

She is happiest when working directly with students, teaching the dispositions, and she enjoys teaching across all curriculum areas.  Ina likes to celebrate students’ progress however big or small and whether it is over a long or short period. 

In a school no day is ever exactly the same and she thrives on the excitement of maybe not knowing what might happen next.  Outside of school Ina enjoys spending time with family and friends. 

Her hobbies are drama, dance, photography and sport.  If she ever decided on a career change then it’s likely that she would develop her own business related to one of these hobbies such as becoming a photographer, or perhaps acting on the stage.

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Margo Thorpe

Please see above.

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Hayden Walsh

Hayden was born and raised in Waitakere and has recently returned after a three-year stint in Masterton. He enjoys football, baseball and playing music when he is not being kept busy by his two wonderful children.

In education, Hayden enjoys giving students opportunities to follow their passions beyond the school walls to trade beyond experience, helping them develop new learning and to see how the real world works. He has taught a range of year levels, from new entrants to Year 8's. If he wasn't a teacher Hayden would probably be doing something outdoors, working in the Waitakere Ranges surrounded by our native wildlife.

amy mc 2020

Amy Croxford

Please see above.

 
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Charlotta

Teacher Aide

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Tracey

Teacher Aide

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Carolyn

ESOL Teacher Aide

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Amanda

ESOL Teacher Aide

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Megan

Teacher Aide

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Robyn

Teacher Aide

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Gwen

Teacher Aide

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Chantal

Teacher Aide

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Suzy

Teacher Aide

Support Staff

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Sharon B

Teacher 

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Caroline G

Teacher

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Sharee H

Teacher

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Amy J

Teacher

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Julia

Teacher

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Kirsten

Teacher

Staff on Leave

 
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Rosie Patterson

Parental Leave 

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Nikkii Heard

Parental leave 

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Cindy Duhem

Parental Leave 

Chalkboard Drawings

Clarinda Lau

Parental Leave 

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Emily McChesney

Parental Leave 

 

Programmed Facilities Management

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Aaron

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Marcello