Introducing 2017 School Staff

Developing the right team is critical to building a quality school. This applies not just to the senior leadership team but to every single staff member within the school.  We are proud of the high calibre of our staff and to introduce them to you. 

All our teaching staff are strong in numeracy and literacy.  We also have a sound base in teaching languages, the arts, information communication technology, science, physical education and more.  The teaching team come with proven expertise and the ability to raise student achievement.

Our support staff includes teacher aides,  an office manager and a groundsman.

Kyran Smith – Principal

I have been Principal of Kahurangi School since it opened in 2013.  I’m impressed and excited about Kahurangi School’s vision and how it has grown from the aspirations of the community.  I’m focused on making sure the dreams of our community are kept alive. 

I taught for 18 years prior to becoming a Principal, starting as a new entrant teacher and moving up the ages to teach Year 7/8 for the last eight of those years.

Prior to studying to be a teacher I worked in Early Childhood Education.

I was raised in Red Beach (North Shore, Auckland), and moved to Wellington to train as a teacher.  Wellington quickly became 'home' so I have never left.  I live in Miramar and love being a part of the community I work in.

Isabella Ioapo - Deputy Principal & Year 1 Teacher

I have taught at Kahurangi School since 2013 and seven years prior to that at Miramar South School.  I’m excited by the enjoyment children have about what they learn.  It’s great to see children try new things and celebrate their success, and be a part of their learning journey.  As a teacher I aim to instil a passion for learning, encourage students to try new things and celebrate little and big successes with them.

I am half Samoan, half German.  I was raised in Miramar and attended local schools.  My family  lives in Miramar and my three children also attend local schools - primary, secondary, university.

Niamh King – Assistant Principal – Year 2-3 Teacher 

2017 is my third year as Assistant Principal at Kahurangi School.  I’m inspired by the creativity of our students.  I aim to promote active learners with a zest for creativity and innovation who care for each other.  I have an opportunity to encourage and influence modern learning in a school where everyone can find success.

I’m originally from the UK with Irish heritage.  I came to New Zealand and fell in love with the deep blue skies, beaches, mountains and sound of the Tui!

Judy Bragan - Year 1 Teacher & Reading Recovery Teacher

I have taught at Kahurangi since the beginning in 2013.  I’m excited to teach the warm, open children who create a friendly and caring culture, in an environment that is a pleasure to work and learn in.  I aim to provide a safe and stimulating learning environment where the children feel motivated and supported to succeed.

I grew up in the South Island and moved to Wellington in my mid-20s.  I also have a nursing background.  We bought our first house in Miramar and have lived in the Eastern suburbs with our family for over 20 years.

Claire Brown - Release Teacher

I have been teaching at Kahurangi School since the beginning of 2014, my first teaching position.  I enjoy the diverse cultures, awesome teaching team, beautiful spaces and motivated learners at Kahurangi School.  As a teacher I aim to develop positive relationships with all my learners.  I support learners to achieve and experience success at school.

I grew up in Wellington and attended Wellington East Girls’ College.  I studied in Dunedin for four years and then completed my teaching qualification in Wellington.

Kathryn Jennings – New Entrant Teacher

I have been at Kahurangi School since July of 2015.  I am excited by the Kahurangi community, the supportive environment, caring culture and positive atmosphere.  As a teacher I aim to inspire, motivate, challenge and develop each individual child to be the very best they can be, and be able to contribute positively to their whānau and community.

I was raised on a farm in Hope, south of Nelson and am the youngest of five children.  We have three children and have been privileged to live in many places around New Zealand and the world.

Margaret Hudson – Office Manager

I have been Kahurangi School’s Office Manager since it began in 2013.    I love my job.  Every day is different and very busy - I think I was born to organise things!  I love seeing little five year olds start school, and very quickly become grown up and confident and ready to take on anything.

Prior to being at Kahurangi I worked for Westpac for many years and then as a School Secretary.

I am the middle of five children, and grew up on a dairy farm in Levin.  I moved to Wellington in the 1980s to attend Polytech and stayed.  I live in Lyall Bay and have a daughter at college, so I’m busy keeping her busy.

Rebecca McKenzie-Pollock - Year 4 Teacher

I join Kahurangi School for my first teaching position.  I'm excited to begin my teaching journey, and Kahurangi has shown itself to be a positive and forward thinking environment in which to start.  I aim to create an environment where students are inspired and enjoy learning.  I wish to make every student feel valued and welcomed in their learning environment.

I come from Nelson but have lived in Wellington for four years.

Geraldine Price – Reading Recovery Teacher

I have been Reading Recovery Teacher at Kahurangi School from the beginning in 2013.  I have been a classroom teacher for 22 years at various levels and schools, and a Reading Recovery Teacher for 17 years.  I enjoy the one to one contact with the children and the opportunity to improve their literacy.  I aim to improve each student’s confidence in their own abilities and expand their competence in reading and writing.

I am the youngest of three girls, and was born in Taranaki on a dairy farm.  I live in Rongotai, am married and have five grown children, four sons and a daughter, and I have four grandchildren.

Abby Waterson - Year 4-5 Teacher

I have been teaching in various roles for 13 years, and working at Kahurangi in a part time capacity for the past four.  I love working with a team of dedicated and supportive teachers and being in an environment that has diverse cultures that are celebrated and treasured.  I aim to create a learning environment that is encouraging, challenging and fun.

I am originally from Hamilton and have spent many years travelling and living in different parts of the world.  My family has put down roots in Wellington and now share this wonderful city with our young daughter.

Meta Beyers - Year 4-5 Teacher

I have taught at Kahurangi School since the beginning of 2013.  I love the diversity of the people in our community and enjoy hearing other languages spoken at school.  Our children are enthusiastic about learning and discovering new things.  As a teacher I aim to help our children become kind, empathetic, compassionate and responsible citizens of this beautiful planet.  I want to inspire interest and enthusiasm for living sustainably, Science, Technology, Maths and the Arts.

I started my working life as a graphic designer in Cape Town.  I immigrated to New Zealand and studied to become a librarian.  I later managed the Petone Public Library.  I have a grown daughter who was born in Wellington and I trained to become a teacher when she was seven years old.

Samantha Renner – Teacher Aide

I have been a Teacher Aide at Kahurangi School since 2013 where I am able to work with children of all ages.  I enjoy being able to work one on one with individual children, and often with small groups. I love watching the progress the children make.  This is my first experience working in a school and it's great to be part of such a friendly, supportive team.

I was born and raised in Miramar, and still live in the area.  I am half German and half Samoan, and I have a ten year old daughter who attends Kahurangi School.

Katie Makinson - Year 6 & 7 Teacher

This is my first year teaching at Kahurangi School.  I recently taught at Richmond School in Napier, working with Year 4-6 students.  I'm looking forward to working with supportive staff who are passionate about what they do, and the awesome children I've met and heard so much about.  I aim to create a relaxed, fun environment for my students to learn and explore in.

I was born in Harrow, England and moved to New Zealand when I was four years old.  I have lived in the Hawkes Bay ever since until my recent move to Wellington.  I am a keen volleyball player, and enjoy Winnie the Pooh!

Ruth Cooper - Year 7 & 8 Teacher

This will be my fifth year at Kahurangi School, having spent seven years prior to this teaching in two other Wellington Schools and in the Waikato.  I love that we are a free school with a diverse range of learners and cultures.  As a teacher I aim to help every child realise the potential within themselves and find ways to develop this.

I come from a close family based in Wellington, many of whom are, or have been teachers.

Daniel Bell - Year 1-2 Teacher

I have been teaching at Kahurangi School in my first teaching position since the beginning of 2015.  There are new challenges every day, and I enjoy seeing the children excited about learning and discovering new things.  I value working with talented and experienced teachers who are passionate about what they do.  I aim to provide my students with fun and exciting learning experiences, and to ensure they have a safe and happy learning environment.

Prior to teaching I studied film and media at university, and worked for several years in events management.

Kirsty Shaplin - Social Worker 

I have been the Social Worker for Kahurangi School since July of 2016.  I am excited to work within the Miramar Peninsula, where I have lived for the past five years.  I graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from Whitireia Community Polytechnic and also hold a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Education, along with a Postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills.  Although new to social work, I have worked with children and families in a variety of settings for many years.

I grew up in Hamilton, but have called Wellington home for nine years now.


Fono Ioapo - Caretaker

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