In 2018 we are excited to explore a flattened leadership model - recognising the depth and capability we have within the school. This team is a significant group of individuals committed to seeing our school achieve great outcomes.

John Petrie


Years ago whilst I was on holiday with close family friends, a friend declared, “I have come to realise if my children get one great teacher in their life they are lucky”. Whilst I grieved at the comment I have come to realise my mission in life is to create an environment where teachers can move from being successful to significant. Significant teachers bring their passions to the classrooms, they are risk takers, innovators and restless with the status quo. Release the creative, inspiring teachers to position their teaching on “the edge of possibility” is what makes my day. I am convinced all children are endowed with seeds of greatness. My responsibility is to create an environment where children and their teachers can flourish. To quote Picasso All children are born artists - the problem is to remain one. The environment where this best occurs is one where innovation and creativity is king, there are powerful tools at the disposal of the learner and the delivery is through an authentic real life learning context. 

I joined Huapai at the end of 2016. I am grateful of the opportunity to work with such open minded and child-centred staff. We’re going to do great things in 2018

The foundations of creativity, curiosity, imagination, risk taking and collaboration is in our bones and part of our human nature and experience - Yong Zhao

Barbara Flavell

Deputy Principal | Oversight of specials needs (SENCO), Student Welfare, Reporting practice
"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." - L. P. Hartley

Emily Cleary

Team Leader (Yr 1) and new entrant liaison

Kids are creative, thoughtful, hilarious, full of energy and bundles of joy. We all have memories of what school was like for us. Memories that whether good or bad, hold significance and shape our perspective of school life. I have a chance to help little ones create positive, fun and safe memories that fuel a love for learning. Encouragement and kindness are verbs for me that shape how I lead and teach. I believe that developing and maintaining nurturing relationships with students and parents for successful learning to occur, particularly as kids transition into school for the first time. As Dr Suess says “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” I aim to see every child in light of their uniqueness and celebrate them for who they are. Every child can learn. Every child learns differently. Every child is significant and can experience success.

"A person's a person, no matter how small' - Dr Seuss

Louise Moss

Team Leader (Yr 2) and positive behaviour for learning (PB4L)

Kids are cool. Every single one of our students bring their uniqueness and sparkle to our lovely school community. It is wonderful to build relationships with each child, to help them become the best they can be for themselves and in our community. We love to make the learning journey fun and purposeful. At year 2 we love to develop empathy, team building, self-control and independence skills. We work to build on the foundations, to strengthen their core curriculum needs, but with a drive to develop opportunities for student voice, choice and wonder. It is spectacular working in a collaborative learning space, to teach the skills needed in our new and challenging world, with a skilled team of staff.

Be a dreamer. A doer. A thinker. See colourful possibilities everywhere and live the journey!!!

Sue Aston

Team Leader (Yr 3 & 4) and health & safety

"The success and failure of my students’ learning is about what I do or don’t do. I am a change agent." John Hattie

I’m a change agent! My ultimate desire is to help kids and teachers exceed their potential. My aim is to improve outcomes for all students through collaboration, design and reflective practice.

I believe it is critical within our environment to build professional courage and integrity where team members feel free to open up and acknowledge what they do not know, take risks and use their knowledge and expertise to support each other. If we strive to design our learning programmes to be engaging, relevant and highly responsive to the needs of our children and their changing environment it seems important that teachers also view themselves as learners. Learners alongside learners, helping students to master the process of learning; building self confidence, perseverance and a proactive disposition to problem solving. For learning to happen I recognise the need for an empathetic, supportive environment where encouragement and feedback are commonplace.

It’s amazing to think that we truly have the power to make such an impact on the life of another human being.

"Promise me you'll remember, you are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem, SMARTER than you think." - A.A. Milne

Sophie Bartlett

Team Leader (Yr 5 & 6) and Asessment & Reporting practice

As a learner I am motivated through new challenges, feedback and the success of others. I strive to provide an inclusive, fun,  learning centered environment where ideas are challenged and learning is balanced with creativity and a will to succeed. I have a strong sense of self-belief about learners and am committed to ensuring all students have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. It is truly rewarding seeing growth in the people that I work with.

"In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn" - Phil Collins

Keryn Annan

Team Leader (Yr 7 & 8) and Asessment & Reporting practice

I have been told that I am a “born teacher” but this is not the case. If anything, I was born a learner, and along the way I learned how to teach. In fact, my teaching style and techniques are evolving daily as I learn through professional development, by studying my peers, and most importantly by listening to my students. To me, a large part of teaching is figuring out how people learn. I am passionate about education because I am a constant learner myself.

My personal style of teaching brings enthusiasm and authenticity into the classroom, to increase learning motivation and engagement. I teach with a contagious smile and open personality that helps me interact with my students as I guide them through the learning process. The relationship I build with students is a key to success. It is dependent upon openness, trust, accessibility and commitment. Learning success is the result of high expectations, nurturing and mutual responsibility. The learning environment I work in inspires and challenges, yet it is safe. Ideas

"I saw as a teacher how, if you take that spark of learning that those children have, and you ignite it, you can take a child from any background to a lifetime of creativity and accomplishment." Paul Wellstone

Anna Sephton

In School Leader (COL), E Learning, collaborative practice and Inquiry

What an exciting time to be in education!  Our world has never been more connected and we have never had this much access to information and technology.  Our education system must change to meet the needs of the 21st Century students we teach.  These children are growing up in a world far different from the one we grew up in.  They do not know a time without internet, mobile devices, video chat and gaming.  Many of the jobs that we do today, will simply not exist when these kids enter the workforce.  So how do we prepare them for this?

Today’s learners need to be able to collaborate, take risks, problem solve, show empathy, and communicate effectively with a wide range of people.  I strive to create opportunities for learners - both students and teachers - to develop these skills and attributes.

"How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world" Anne Frank

Anna Taione

In School Leader (COL), Inquiry. Culturally responsive pedagogy

I’ve always been one who has believed in making every child I interact with, feel as important as the next. A philosophy I have always held close to the heart. Being truthful and treating people as I would like to be treated is a value I treasure. I am excited to continue on a journey where positive relationships are at the forefront, in order for our children to shine. Our children are faced with challenges unlike ours were as youngsters, and I am keen to continue in realising each child’s potential, and facilitating their achievements wherever they may lay.

 ‘He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata’. (What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people).

“Inā kei te mohio koe ko wai koe, I anga mai koe i hea, kei te mohio koe. Kei te anga atu ki hea”. If you know who you are and where you are from, then you will know where you are going.

Maree Lloyd

School wide driver - Sports, Culture and Leadership development

In order to teach, we must continue to learn.  As a teacher in the 21st century, we must accept that we are not simply a fountain of knowledge for our students.  Rather, we should aim to be ‘fire starters’ striving to spark the inferno of love of learning within a child.  When this passion has been ignited, all children are capable of great success.  I am an outgoing, supportive person who believes in telling it straight.  I know that children can see through adults quite quickly to find those who truly care about them and their lives.  I am grateful for the trust that students have in me to accept challenges and to take risks.  I believe that leadership in children needs to be nurtured carefully and that one of the greatest gifts we can give a child is to empower them to stand up, head held high and speak from the heart to positively impact others. 

Be kind, be humble, and strive for excellence.

Year 1 Team

Cherie Bennett

Year 1

"Put your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success". Swami Sivananda

Jo Redman


"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." Aristotle

Suzanne Vogel


"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn" Benjamin Franklin

Tracy Brown


"Imagination is the source of all human achievement" Sir Ken Robinson

Emily Cleary

Team Leader and Teacher

"A person's a person, no matter how small' - Dr Seuss

Masina Parkes


"Speak to your children as if they are the wisest. kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth, for what they believe is what theyll become."

Alexandra Prosser


Sandy Tollemache


Learning ignites curiosity we never even knew we had

Year 2 Team

Louise Moss

Team Leader and Teacher
Be a dreamer. A doer. A thinker. See colourful possibilities everywhere and live the journey!!!

Lissa Elliott

“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined.” - Dr Seuss

Joshua Fielding

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall" - Confucius

Anna Peterson

"Treat others as you want to be treated" Lou Holtz

Year 3/4 Team

Jenelle Sutherland

Teacher - Year 3 and 4
"Believe you can and you are half way there." - Theodore Roosevelt

Sue Ganley

"Teaching is not the filling of the pail but the lighting of the fire." William Butler Yeats

Sue Aston

Team Leader and teacher
"Promise me you'll remember, you are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem, SMARTER than you think." - A.A. Milne

Breanagh Chisnall

My quote is: “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” - J. K. Rowling

Jenna Rutherford


Year 5/6 Team

Sophie Bartlett

Team Leader and Teacher
"In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn" - Phil Collins

Tasha Gover

"IMAGINE with all your mind. BELIEVE with all your heart. ACHIEVE with all your might." Anon

Susan Hall

"Every child deserves a champion - an adult who will never give up on them, who understanda the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be." - Rita F Pierson

Joseph Du Plooy

“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” (Anonymous)

Year 7/8 Team

Ana Taione

“Inā kei te mohio koe ko wai koe, I anga mai koe i hea, kei te mohio koe. Kei te anga atu ki hea”. If you know who you are and where you are from, then you will know where you are going.

Stacey Wheeler

"Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be." - Rita Pierson

Keryn Annan

Team Leader and Teacher
"I saw as a teacher how, if you take that spark of learning that those children have, and you ignite it, you can take a child from any background to a lifetime of creativity and accomplishment." Paul Wellstone

Anna Sephton

"How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world" Anne Frank

Specialist Teachers

Renee Cosio

"Gratitude is the music of the heart, when it's chords are swept by the breeze of kindness" -Unknown.

Maree Lloyd

PE / Sport
Be kind, be humble, and strive for excellence.

Traci Mihaljevich

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." Dr Suess, Oh the Places You'll Go!

Montessori Team

Claude Noronha

"We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust our sails" Anonymous

Claudine Noronha

“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reasons of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future" Maria Montessori

Support Staff

Julianne Bryant

Teacher Aide
You're not going to always say and do the right things, and that's fine. You're not here to be perfect, but to be real. Anon.

Cathy Gray

The first to apologise is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest, the first to forget is the happiest

Emma-Jean Wilson

Teacher Aide
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. " Dr Seuss

Tracy Taylor

PE Assistant
"Nothing worth having comes easy, strive to be the best you can be"

Christine Mackay

Teacher Aide

Esther Young

Teacher Aide
May every child receive the love, guidance, challenge and encouragement they need to find and embrace their own unique awesomeness, and truely be the best they can be.

Kerry MacFarlane

Teacher Aide

Gail Rowe

Teacher Aide
Bless those who see life through a different window and those who understand their view. National Autism .

Kelly Hancock

Teacher Aide

Carol Brown

Teacher Aide

Operations Staff

Sam Wells

School Secretary / Receptionist
Friends are family you choose.

Stella Smith

Accounts Administrator
I've learned.. that It is not what I have in my life but who I have in my life that counts.

Angela Trimmer

Office Assistant
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but there echoes are truly endless. Mother Teresa.

Garry Wells

Never forget what defines you as a person.

If you would like to contact the Board of Trustees, please email:

The Board of Trustees team is made up of the following:

Rachel Hale


Over the last 15 years I have had a career as a Personal and Executive Assistant. I am the PA to the Principal at Rutherford College and own my own Virtual Assistant business.

I have an interest in special needs education, for those students who struggle to fit into the everyday mould of school learning. Whether that’s due to learning difficulties or learning acceleration, my wish is to help provide an environment that makes all students engaged and passionate about learning for life.

Sarah McIlroy

Deputy Chair

There's no vision I care about more than for every child to "be the best they can be" - this vision encompasses so much - resilience, self-esteem, creativity, and kindness - to name a few!

I really believe in our school and the path it is on to ensuring every child has the opportunity to be their best and knowing that being your best is different for every child.  Each and every child has their own strengths and it's from this that we can give children the opportunity to find their spark and passion.  It's through this that children gain confidence and a strong sense of self and with this can grow to be strong, independent, happy adults.

I’m a Chartered Accountant and enjoy running my own Accounting and Business Advisory practice here in Kumeu.  My experience in business has seen that success often comes from having a strong positive culture and it’s no different for a school - both for the kids, staff and not to mention the parents who are also a big part of our school community.  I’m enjoying being part of such a passionate team who are so dedicated to the continued development of our fantastic school.

Craig Hughes

I’d like to introduce myself to the families of the Huapai District Primary School community. My name is Craig Hughes and I am the father of a Year 4 student who has attended HDPS since her 5th birthday. We have lived locally for 21 years and are extremely proud to call this area our home.

Our family has a vested interest in education, with my wife being an educator and myself a Police Officer of 28 years. The last 21 years of my career in the Police, has been spent on the Police Maritime Unit.

I look forward to serving the School, supporting the management team and staff to continue to develop as the school of choice for our community. This will create a school which promotes the belief that your child is; ‘the best they can be’.

Anna Sephton

Staff Rep

Erana Jonkers

I am an active parent within the school. I am at pick-up most days and speak to other parents, teachers and see the children in their learning environment. I believe this exposure gives me a good perspective of some of the challenges that our school faces and and feel this is beneficial for my position on the Board.

My daughter is a year 2 student so our journey within the school is still relatively young. I am committed to bringing positive change, effective and transparent governance and striving for continuous improvement within the school.  

As a family we are committed to the district and believe that the rural fringe meeting developing urban offers a unique situation for the education of our children.

Alec Lowe

I am the proud father of two girls (currently aged 9 and 5) who attend (and will attend) the Montessori unit.

I also help coach the under 11 basketball team and it is great seeing the children grow, not only their basketball skills but also their self-confidence. Not only trying to be their best for themselves but also trying to be the best for the team.

As an accountant I have seen roles change over the years and when I think back to my own education, one realises how much things have evolved.

The children of today will be doing jobs that are yet to be invented and it is our responsibility as parents and a community to ensure our children have the skill set to thrive in a constantly changing environment.

How does one prepare for the future that is yet to be found?