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 for the opportunity to work with such open-minded and child-centred staff.

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

Keryn Annan

Deputy Principal, In School Leader (col) and Assessment & 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

Sophie Bartlett

Assistant Principal and Assessment & 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

Maree Lloyd

Assistant Principal, 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.

Louise Moss

Associate Principal, Team Leader Year 4 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!!!

Emily Soong

Acting Assistant Principal

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

Kelly Charteris

Learning Support Coordinator

I am very excited to be in the new role of Learning Support Coordinator at Huapai District School. I have a background as a Speech Language Therapist, Autism Specialist and as a Special Education Teacher and I look forward to being able to use the skills I have developed in these roles to support the students, families and staff at Huapai District School. I believe that each child can learn and reach their full potential when the right supports are in place. I am a firm believer in listening to the students whether it be their voice or actions to find out how we can support them to be the best they can be. I look forward to working closely with whanau and staff to access the best supports for our learners.

Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti aroha o tātou mahi - Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work

Year 1 Team

Deidre Neill

Studio 5A Teacher
"A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination and instill a love of learning". Brad Henry

Suzanne Vogel

Studio 6A Teacher
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn" Benjamin Franklin

Jo Redman

Studio 6B Teacher
"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." Aristotle

Year 2 & 3 Teams

Emily Soong

Studio 7a Teacher
"A person's a person, no matter how small' - Dr Seuss

Tracey Bough

Studio 8a Teacher

Jemma MacKenzie

Room 6 Teacher

Jenelle Sutherland

Room 7 Teacher
"Believe you can and you are half way there." - Theodore Roosevelt

Year 4 Teams

Louise Moss

Room 8 Teacher & Associate Principal
Be a dreamer. A doer. A thinker. See colourful possibilities everywhere and live the journey!!!

Ben Shrimpton

Room 9 Teacher
Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. Michael Jordan

Anna Peterson

Room 10 Teacher
"Treat others as you want to be treated" Lou Holtz

Year 5 & 6 Teams

Nigel Bacon

Room 1 Teacher

Diane Thomas

Room 2 Teacher
Be the change that you wish to see in the world - Mahatma Ghandi

Breanagh Chisnall

Room 3 Teacher
“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” - J. K. Rowling

George Te Tai

Room 4 Teacher
E kore e taea te whenua Kotahi Te raranga i te whāriki Kia mōhio tātou ki ā tātou. Mā te mahi tahi ō ngā whenu, Mā te mahi tahi ō ngā kairaranga, Ka oti tenei whariki. The tapestry of understanding cannot be woven by one strand alone. For us to complete the tapestry we must connect the working together of strands and working together as weavers, then the tapestry will be complete.

Year 7 & 8 Teams

Tasha Gover

Studio 3A Teacher
"IMAGINE with all your mind. BELIEVE with all your heart. ACHIEVE with all your might." Anon

Ana Taione

Studio 4B Teacher
“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.

Joseph Du Plooy

Studio 4a Teacher
“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” (Anonymous)

Specialist Teachers

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!

Stacey Wheeler

Performing Arts Teacher
"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

Montessori Team

Anita Gokal

Studio 1 Teacher
"The purpose of life is to obey the hidden command which ensures harmony among all and creates an ever better world. We are not created only to enjoy the world, we are created in order to evolve the cosmos."

Neil Cameron

Studio 2 Teacher
The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, ’The children are now learning as if I did not exist.’ Maria Montessori

Support Staff

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.

Gail Rowe

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

Karen Hook

Teacher Aide & Medical High Dependancy
"We don't grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges". - author unknown

Kelly Hancock

Teacher Aide
"Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing, and there is so much to smile about." Marilyn Monroe

Stephanie Wales

ESOL & International Student Liason
Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going. Rita Mae Brown

Cathy Gray

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

Luke Kearney

Huapai Plus Programme Manager
“We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.”

Operations Staff

Jo Johnson

Business Manager
The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. Oprah Winfrey

Angela Trimmer

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

Ashley Dalrymple

Office & Finance Administrator

Nadia Norton

Student Services Support

Garry Wells

Never forget what defines you as a person.

Board Minutes 09 February 2020
Parents are most welcome to attend our monthly Board meetings held in the School Staff Room at 6pm.
Scheduled Board Meetings for 2021 are as follows:
Tuesday 13 April
Tuesday 11 May
Tuesday 08 June
Tuesday 10 August
Tuesday 14 September
Tuesday 09 November
Tuesday 14 December

If you would like to contact the Board of Trustees, please email: hdsbot@hds.school.nz

Meet our Board of Trustees:

Hamish Taylor


My wife Molly and I have three boys at Huapai, and have absolutely loved the environment and ethos of the school since we arrived in the region nearly two and a half years ago. As a former Early Childhood educator, I appreciate the broad emphasis on emotional, cultural, and physical education, as well as intellectual. I believe that Huapai is growing well-rounded students capable of tackling our ever-changing world.

For myself, I have tried to engage in school life as much as possible, including helping with Reading Recovery, the Breakfast Club, and coaching sports teams. I believe strong parental involvement helps to create a fuller, richer education experience for our kids.

Rachel Hale

Deputy Chair

Hi, my name is Rachel and I live in Huapai with my husband, Vince and our three children. Ethan and Austin are both students at Huapai District School and Amelia is at Jojo's.

I am Auckland born and bred and work as the PA to the Principal at Rutherford College in Te Atatu Peninsula. I have been working as a PA/EA for the last 15 years.

I believe that values education is an important focus for our kids. I also have an interest in special needs education, for students who struggle to fit into the everyday mold of school learning. Whether that’s due to learning difficulties or learning acceleration.

I hope my time on the board may help to grow an environment that makes our students feel supported, confident, engaged and passionate about learning in all aspects of their life.

Will Eastgate

Parent Representative

Kia ora, my name is Will Eastgate and I am married to Kelly and have two boys Lucas and Benji.

I work as a Health and Safety Professional and also have a number of years’ experience in Risk Management and Commercial Insurance.

I am passionate about success and helping all of our children move forward with their education, be that academically, culturally, in sports or any other area that will help them grow. By providing direction and the right tools for the teaching team and the school, we can create a great environment for the future of our children to continue helping and improving what is already a strong and well performing school.

Kristian Cook

Parent Representative

I'm Kristian Cook and I'm pleased to represent the needs of our kids and community on the board. I'm married to Beks and have two kids - Brierley and Jayden both of which attend Huapai.
I'm passionate about embracing the unique needs of our kids and empowering them to be as successful as they can be - the world that we live in has changed and the opportunities that present themselves are vastly different from what we had as parents.

I work in the IT and communications sector across Commercial, Government and Enterprise clients and bring a wealth of commercial experience and passion for providing the best outcomes - nothing is more important than the education and betterment of our children.

Jenny Bull

Parent Representative

Hi, my name is Jenny and I am proud to be a Huapai local, having now lived here for over four years (and counting) with my husband and daughter.

I’m extremely passionate about Huapai District School, everything it stands for, including the students, staff and wider school community. I am a roll-your-sleeves-up and get-amongst-it type person, who is not afraid of hard work or making hard decisions. Making a difference for our tamariki on their educational journey in life is something I hold dear to my heart.

I work as a Business Development Manager in the Finance Industry with a background in Sales.

Daniel Rode

Parent Representative

Kia ora, I’m Daniel Rode and our family has been part of the Huapai District School Community since mid-2017. Our son George started his school life at HDS and is now in Year 3. I also have two older sons who are both studying at Auckland University.

My partner Victoria and I have enjoyed being part of the strong school and wider local community and I would like the opportunity to contribute more to the development of our fantastic school.

 I’m a General Manager at one of Australasia’s largest tourism companies and oversee the marketing and digital strategy for multiple brands in New Zealand and Australia. While this would be my first  position on a school board, I have previously served three years as a board member of the NZ Backpacker Youth and Adventure Tourism Association and have contributed to several local and national tourism strategy working groups.

I believe I would bring valuable digital experience to the HDS Board. This is an increasingly important area as our children do more online in their learning and socially, and I would welcome the opportunity to help support our children and the school in this.

Jenelle Sutherland

Staff Representative

Ko Tinana te waka,

Ko Hikutira te maunga,

Ko Te Rewa te urupa,

Ko Ngai Takoto te Iwi,

Ko Te Paa A Parore te marae,

Ko Alex Reid taku Papa

Ko Donna Ward taku Mama

Ko Shane Sutherland ko taku tane

Ko Cohen me Ayla aku tamariki

Ko Jenelle Sutherland ahau.

“They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel”  Carl W Beuchner

I began my teaching journey as a young 21 year old who had visions of making each child feel special, valued and enjoy their schooling more than I had. It excites me to be part of the recent shift in education and the possibilities and opportunities that this journey presents.

To put my whakatauki to the fore, I strongly believe in building positive relationships with colleagues, students and their whanau. I make it an important part of my practice to take the time to know people and to understand their diversities and uniqueness. My focus is to provide a learning culture where values shared by highly ethical and caring citizens are integral to the curriculum.

My skill set comes from a place of reflection, and passion. I am a naturally reflective person and do this constantly. I have the passion and drive to learn about new pedagogies and I also possess the willingness to change my practice based on current outcomes. I have a passion to drive collaborative inquiry, an enthusiasm which is both contagious and supportive in nature.

My overall desire is to raise student capabilities across the school by encouraging positive relationships, engaging in new pedagogies and building student agency through a collaborative approach.