Our Team

Leadership Team

The principal has been delegated authority by the school’s board of trustees to take responsibility for ensuring the school’s strategic plans and annual action goals are successfully achieved, and for leading the day to day operation of the school. The principal works in collaboration with the leadership team composed of 2 deputy principals and a SENCO leader in order to continuously improve the educational experiences of our students. Our Leadership Team at Whangarei Primary School are:

Danny Jewell


Kia ora koutou whanau, Ko Exmoor te Maunga, Ko Exe Te Awa, No Somerset, England ahau, Ko Ngapuhi tonu te Iwi, Ko Donald toku papa, Ko Celia toku mama, Ko Tanya Maich toku hoa rangatira, Ko Ella toku kotiro, Ko Oliver raua Milan oku tama, Ko Danny Jewell toku ingoa, Ko au tumuaki te kura o Whangarei Primary. No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa.

My name is Danny Jewell and I am privileged and excited to be the new Principal of Whangarei Primary School, from Term 3, 2019. I have been teaching and leading in education for the past 25 years in a diverse range of locations, schools and ages. In England I taught for 10 years in private schools, where I honed my skills in leadership as a Head of Sports for four years at Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School in Elstree. I arrived in New Zealand in 2005 and taught at Tauraroa Area School for 10 years, where I had experience teaching in Years 4-9, and was Deputy Principal in charge of the Primary area for 6 years. in 2014, I moved to Parua Bay School as their Principal, where the roll rocketed from 220 - 390 in two years. Under such extraordinary circumstances, as a first time Principal, I learnt very quickly about the varied roles of a Principal. My educational philosophy is really quite simple: the student is front and centre and needs to be engaged, stimulated and empowered to learn; the teacher is the most valuable resource a school can have, and needs to be supported, valued and motivated; and whanau is at the top of the pyramid, and connections between student, school and parents need to be strong and based on relational trust for optimum learning to happen. Therefore, I would urge that you, as parents and whanau, get involved in your children's education - get to know your child's class teacher, take every opportunity to visit the school, make connections to the school and ensure your child has the best possible chance of achieving by becoming involved in the school. I look forward to connecting with you at school, and ensuring that your child is happy and successful at Whangarei Primary School.

Ange Vette

Deputy Principal

I am a born and bred Northlander having done all of my schooling in the Tikipunga area before spreading my wings in the big wide world.

After teaching around New Zealand and around the world I finally returned to Whangarei in 2000 to start my family.  I now live in Tamaterau with my husband and my two children.

My most recent teaching has been in the year 7 and 8 area and as  a Deputy Principal locally. Over the past 18 months I have been volunteering  within St John  and working part time in schools around Whangarei. The rest of my spare time is spent following my kids around their sports indulging my family's love of fishing, travelling as much as possible and spending time in the paradise that is the Whangarei.

My passions in education are wide and varied but you are most likely to find me in classrooms encouraging a love of oral language, drama, sports and  finding the fun in learning. I look forward to working with the students and community of Whangarei Primary.

Rob Jones

Deputy Principal

Kāore te kumara e kōreo mō tōna ake reka

Throughout my career I have had the great fortune to work in many schools, with wonderful teachers and genuine, caring leadership teams. I now add Whangarei Primary to that list.

I love working within schools as I find them to be hives of creativity, full of wonderful people both young and old.

My passion is literacy, both personally and for students. For me, it is essential we  understand how we can better communicate with each other as human beings.

I am a born and bred South Islander but have probably spent more of my life now in the North Island. Christchurch was home but now I find that home is the beautiful Te Tai Tokerau with its rich history and beautiful environment.

Whangarei Primary School has recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. I feel privileged to be part of its next chapter.

“Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen” - Bob Marley

Board of Trustees

All of New Zealand’s state and state-integrated schools have a board of trustees. The board of trustees is the Crown entity responsible for the governance and the control of the management of the school. The board is the employer of all staff in the school, is responsible for setting the school’s strategic direction in consultation with all stake holders, and ensures that the school provides a safe environment and quality education for all of its students. Boards are also responsible for overseeing the management of personnel, curriculum, property, finance and administration.

Trustees are elected every three years by the school’s parent community and staff members. Our school’s Board of Trustees is generally made up of four trustees elected from amongst the parent community, one elected staff representative, and the principal of the school. The board can also co-opt additional trustees when it needs a particular skill set in order to strengthen its operation.

The Board of Trustees at Whangarei Primary School are:

Erica Phillips: Presiding Member
Ray Campbell: Treasurer
Victoria Bell: Member
Rewi Henderson: Member
Nic Te'o: Member
Teresa Battersby: Staff Trustee
Danny Jewell: Principal

Teaching Staff

We are most fortunate to have an extremely dedicated and very capable team of teachers at our school, who have a reputation for going the extra mile for the students in their care. The on-going professional development of our team has a high priority in the school’s strategic plan, and as such every teacher has access to regular training opportunities to ensure they remain at the forefront of the most effective research based teaching practices. Our team of teachers at Whangarei Primary School are:


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Junior Syndicate

Trish Cooper

Room 01 - Year 1 & 2

"Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges." – Joyce Meyer

Antonia Fiteni

Room 02 - Year 2

To be added

Barbara Lints

Room 03 - Year 2

"The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr Seuss

Kim Tavinor

Room 04 - Year 2 (Syndicate Coordinator)

"In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity."

Madhu Graham

Room 06 - New Entrants

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart." -Helen Keller

Indira Harypursat

Room 07 - New Entrant

“Art is the truth delivered through the medium of beauty.”

Tania Dobbs

Room 08 - Year 1

"Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching."

Middle Syndicate

Danni Crosbie

Room 11 - Year 3 & 4

To be Added

Trish Nees

Room 12 - Year 3 & 4

"Book and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world." Jeanette Winterson

Lara Whitehead

Room 13 - Year 3 & 4

Be yourself, follow your 💙 & enjoy the journey. Kia pono, whaingia to 💜 me kia ngahau to haerenga.

Melissa Aarsen

Room 14 - Year 3 & 4

To be added.

Sarah Sofala 

Room 15 - Year 3 & 4 (Syndicate Coordinator)

"Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. BE OUTRAGEOUS go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is SO COMPLETELY CRAZY it's unbelievable." - Matilda, Roald Dahl

Jakki Tuhaka

Room 16 - Year 3 & 4

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

Senior Syndicate

Elizabeth Roberts

Room 17 - Year 5 & 6

To be added.

Samantha Parkins

Room 18 - Year 5 & 6 (Term 1 & 2)

To be added.

Teresa Battersby

Room 18 - Year 5 & 6 (Term 3 & 4)

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."

Julianne Newbold

Room 19 - Year 5 & 6

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

Dylan Tavinor

Room 20 - Year 5 & 6

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid," - Albert Einstein

Samantha Long

Room 21 - Year 5 & 6

"What we learn becomes part of who we are."

Natasha Gunson

Room 22 - Year 5 & 6 (Syndicate Coordinator)

“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world” - Nelson Mandela

Specialist Staff

Sarah Graham

Reading Recovery

To be added.

Lynda Ireland

Reading Recovery

"Your attitude determines your altitude"

Gabrielle Badham


"If at first you don't succeed, you're normal!" - Kid President

Brittany McKenzie

Room 23 - Music

"Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire."

Desirei Davis

Room 24 - Te Reo

"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." - By Maya Angelou

Admin Staff

Sheree Johnson

Executive Officer


"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Sherleen McKay

School Secretary


"It takes a big heart to help shape little Hands."

Sonja Hyman

Office Admin


"God give strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Tim Dobbs

Property Manager


R J Caulfield

Grounds Assistant

"Hello Trouble."

Mat Barton

ICT Technician

Jen: "How can you forget everything you know about computers, Moss?" Moss: "Let me see, maybe it isn't everything. [thinks] No, it's definitely everything!" IT Crowd

Other Support Staff

Adrienne Birch

Teacher Aide

"Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, others make it happen." Michael Jordan

Julie Hepi

Teacher Aide / ESOL Teacher

"Imagine with all your mind. Believe with all your heart. Achieve with all your might."

Megan Scot

Teacher Aide

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

Taylah McKay

Teacher Aide

Not Available

Trish Waldeck

Teacher Aide

"It takes a kind heart to help shape developing minds."

Vickie Whitehead

Teacher Aide