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 the deputy principal, assistant principal and SENCO leader in order to continuously improve the educational experiences of our students. Our Leadership Team at Whangarei Primary School are:

Martin Van Rijswijk

Principal

After a successful career working as principal of leading international schools in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, Martin returned to New Zealand to take up the role of principal in our school in July 2014. His experiences overseas have emphasised the importance of preparing our young people for lives as 21st century global citizens.

Kath Corby

Deputy Principal

I have currently been teaching for 18 years and arrived at Whangarei Primary School to take up the Deputy Principal position at the start of 2015 from Wellington. Whangarei is home for me, and where I taught before going to Wellington so am honoured to be home with family and friends and working at a school with passionate students, staff and families who together, who are dedicated to equipping our students to be 'Kiwi Kids who are global citizens equipped or success as lifelong learners'. I am forever grateful to be in a career that allows me to shape and equip our young people for their present day and whatever the future may bring them.

Danny Clarkson

Assistant Principal

Prior to moving my family to Whangarei in 2016, I worked at a number of schools both around NZ and abroad. Since working at Whangarei Primary I have enjoyed working in an environment of high challenge and innovation having been the Curriculum Leader for both Literacy and Languages along with sitting on most other curriculum lead teams while teaching in the senior syndicate. I am passionate about empowering students throughout the learning process and feel privileged to be part of this great teaching and learning team.

Lynda Foster

SENCO

I moved to Whangarei in 1993 with my husband, after teaching in many schools around NZ and overseas. I taught at Portland Primary for a number of years before joining the Whangarei Primary School team in 2007. During my time at WPS I have carried many roles including teaching NE and Years 5 and 6 classes then specialising in Reading Recovery and my present role, supporting families and students with special educational needs. I have a love and passion for teaching and a commitment to empower students to achieve personal success. I believe in forming strong, trusting relationships within a safe, caring and positive learning environment; where students feel valued and understood; an environment that allows students to develop self-confidence and positive self-worth and in doing so build the courage to try, succeed and be proud.

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 Burrows: 
Chairperson
Ray Campbell:  
Member
Jarrod Goodall:  
Member
David Pomare:  
Treasurer
Renee Proctor: 
Member
Dallas Wrack: 
Member
Lynda Foster: 
Staff Trustee
Martin Van Rijswijk: 
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:

Foundation

Barbara Lints

Room 05 - New Entrants & Year 1

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

Sherryn Coxhead 

Room 06 - New Entrants & Year 1 (Syndicate Coordinator)

"Colour your life outside the lines."

Caitlin Brierley

Room 07 - New Entrants & Year 1

"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." Anthony D'angelo

Junior Syndicate

Melissa Thomas

Room 01 - Year 2

"Curiosity is the engine of achievement." - Ken Robinson

Baz Hauraki

Room 02 - Year 2

"Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best" Bob Talbert

Mark Adam

Room 03 - Year 2

"You don't need eyes to see. You need vision."

Janine Thorne

Room 04 - Year 1 & 2

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” - C.S. Lewis *

Tania Dobbs

Room 07a -  Year 1 & 2

Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching.

Jill Fuller

Room 10 - Year 1

"Think and wonder. Wonder and think."- Dr Seuss

Robyn Shore

Room 11 - Year 1

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if you only try.” by Dr Seuss

Sarah Sofala 

Room 12 - Year 1 (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

Middle Syndicate

Jessie Maihi

Room 08 - Year 3 & 4

"There are secret opportunities hidden inside every failure"

Brittany McKenzie

Room 09 - Year 3 & 4

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

Rob Geaney

Room 13 - Year 3 & 4

Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. A. A. Milne

Natasha Russell

Room 14 - Year 3 & 4

"Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you!" - Dr Seuss

Samantha Taylor 

Room 15 - Year 3 & 4 (Syndicate Coordinator)

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

Tessa Herbert

Room 16 - Year 3 & 4

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

Ros Murphy

Room 26 - Year 3 & 4

"I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Senior Syndicate

Isaac Jerez

Room 17 - Year 5 & 6

"Students don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" Anonymous

Teresa Battersby

Room 18 - Year 5 & 6

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

Yvette Meara 

Room 19 - Year 5 & 6 (Syndicate Coordinator)

"If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good." Dr Seuss

Lara Whitehead

Room 20 - Year 5 & 6

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

Hone Tata

Room 21 - Year 5 & 6 (Boys)

He aha te mea nui o te ao, maku e ki atu. He tamariki, he tamariki, he tamariki ma. What is the the greatest thing in this world. It is the children, it is the children, it is the children.

Miringa Silipa

Room 22

Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia ō tātou māhi - "Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work"

Specialist Staff

Donna Maree Gilmour

Reading Recovery

Learn from the world around you.

Lynda Ireland

Reading Recovery

"Your attitude determines your altitude"

Gabrielle Badham

Release Teacher

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

Julie Widger

Release Teacher

NA

Jo MacDonald

Release Teacher

NA

Addy Wihongi

Room 24 - Te Reo Maori

Ki whakanui i te tikanga, i te reo, i te wairua me te iwi. To celebrate culture, language, Spirit and people.

George Karklins

Room 23 - Music

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed "until" it is faced."

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 Assistant

"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."

Marlie Walker

Library Media Centre Co-ordinator

"If knowledge is power, and a library is full of knowledge, then we have a powerful library."

Tim Dobbs

Caretaker

R J Caulfield

Grounds Assistant

"Hello Trouble."

Other Support Staff

Adrienne Birch

Teacher Aide - NZEI Support Staff Tai Tokerau Rep

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

Andrea Buchanan

Teacher Aide

TBC

Anne Morgan

Teacher Aide (Senior School)

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

Beth Selby

Teacher Aide

"If you can imagine it you can create it! If you dream it you can become it!"

Gemma Giffard

Teacher Aide

TBC

Julie Hepi

Teacher Aide / ESOL Teacher

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

Leonie Rapana

Teacher Aide

"Behind every good teacher" "There is a great Teacher Aide"

Mat Barton

Technician - ICT Support

"Have you tried turning it off and on again?" - IT Crowd

Megan Scot

Teacher Aide

TBC

Trish Waldeck

Teacher Aide (Junior School)

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