Priority Learners and Mentor Teacher
Hi my name is Michele Gordon, I have a variety of roles at Te Totara Primary School. I am the leader of the schools Mentoring Programme for Begining Teachers. This means I help them with their planning, and assist them in their classrooms to ensure that their teaching is catering for the needs of their students. I also help Jennie Brooke-Watt with our Teacher Aide Programmes. As Leader of Priority Learners I check in with teachers and offer advise and help for those students who are struggling with their learning.
I am an experienced teacher who has a passion for Literacy. I have written and published many student readers. I am married and have a teenage daughter. We enjoy the outdoors and relaxing at Whangamata Beach.
Kia Ora Koutou
My name is Sally Mowbray. I completed my Diploma of Teaching and Bachelor of Education Degree in 1991 and began teaching at a school in Rotorua. I entered into a senior teaching role early on in my teaching career in Rotorua. When I moved to Hamilton I secured a job at Tamahere Model Country School and taught there for several years prior to the birth of my first son, Alyx in 2002. I soon returned to work full time at Tamahere School until the birth of my second son, Marc in 2004.
Missing my family I returned to Rotorua and opened a Homewares Business for a change. In 2008 I moved back to Hamilton with my boys and worked in the school they were attending. When I moved house, I started working at Te Totara School as a relief teacher. I am now working full time as a CRT(Classroom Release Teacher) of the senior teachers/ beginning teachers in the school. My passion in teaching and learning is Literacy, Numeracy, the Arts and Sports.
My hobbies include the outdoors, travelling- because it expands the mind!, reading, art and exercise.
My role as a support teacher at Te Totara is to give CRT (Classroom Release Time) to our leadership teachers and classroom teachers. Over the year I will be fortunate to teach in nearly all classes.
I enjoy working with all age groups, and a major highlight of my job is to work with your children year after year and see them grow as young people.
Outside of school I was lucky to be a stay at home dad to our twin girls for several years. I also have a wide and varied background and interests. I have competed internationally in sport. I have spent time in the army and travelled and lived overseas extensively. I enjoy tramping and a huge passion of mine is cycling.
My name is Suzanne Newrick and I am the specialist music teacher at school. I began my teaching career 36 years ago and for the last 14 years I have specialised in teaching music. I joined the Te Totara staff in 2009 when I moved from Auckland and since joining the staff I have enjoyed working part time as a music specialist and a support teacher.
I use the Orff Approach to teach music and have completed my level one and level two Orff courses. The Orff method is a way of teaching children about music that engages their mind and body through a mixture of singing, dancing, acting and the use of percussion instruments. The Orff method often uses intruments like xylophones, metallophones, marimbas and glockenspiels but I also like to introduce children to the ukulele and the recorder.
My name is Kelly Fletcher and I have been part of Te Totara Primary School since it opened. I have had the pleasure of teaching Year 2,3,4,5 and 6 during my teaching career. I have also been a Team Leader and have teams with all those levels. I left in 2014 to have my first child and have worked part time at Te Totara ever since. This year I am working as a Mentor Teacher with Jessica Grimson and Craig McAuley. You may also see me in other classes around the school.
I am an experienced Teacher who enjoys seeing the students and teachers that I work with learning and progressing in their learning journey. I am married and have 2 sons who keep me very busy. I am looking forward to this year at Te Totara Primary School.
Reading Recovery and Learning Support
Hi! I’m Megan (Mrs Reid).
After being a classroom teacher for 12 years and joining the teaching staff at Te Totara Primary School during 2013, I am now enjoying providing more specialised teaching support to students and teachers both one-on-one and within the classroom environment.
I have previously taught at Silverdale, Woodstock, Mercury Bay (Whitianga) and Te Rapa, and feel very privileged to be working at Te Totara with children who are eager learners, and who have supportive families that are passionate about their children's learning.
Although I have always thought a career in education was for me, I started out studying law at Waikato University. I have lived in the United States working as a nanny while travelling there, and have also lived in Australia for a time. On returning to New Zealand, I worked in predominantly administrative roles including conference organisation and supporting the regional Coroner as the Coroner's Clerk, before following my true passion and becoming a teacher (following in the footsteps of my father, aunt, grandparents and one of my brothers!).
I have one son who is currently studying at university, as well as five siblings who live around New Zealand and in Australia, who I am very close to. I am a keen sportsperson and love almost all sports. In the past I have competed in rowing, netball, hockey, soccer, volleyball, cricket, touch rugby, tennis, swimming and surf-life-saving.
Thanks to complications following a knee reconstruction (netball.....), I am resigned to being a spectator for the most part now! I have completed three skydives and two bungy jumps as well as being involved with Camp Quality (supporting children with cancer and their families) by dressing up and driving an old fire engine in several fundraising drives throughout New Zealand. Other than sport and staying active, I love travelling (Canada is my favourite so far!), walking, cooking, fishing, cake decorating, movies, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Kiaora! My name is Sarah Kovacs. I am teaching reading recovery for the rest of the 2017 school year. I have over 20 years teaching experience, teaching in Hamilton, United Kingdom and Auckland schools. I have taught all levels but am passionate about teaching in the Junior school.
I am married to Jani and we have two children aged 7 and 9. We have just returned to Hamilton from Auckland after living there for 13 years.
In my spare time, I love to travel, I like to craft, have an interest in photography and spend time as a family doing things together.
My name is Annette Toombs and I have recently retired from full time teaching after 30 years in the classroom. I am an experience Junior school teacher with skills in working with both Gifted and Talented and Special Needs children. My last position was in a Normal school and I have many years experience at working with trainee teachers, and alongside the Faculty of Education.
Retirement has given me the freedom to work part-time, day to day relieve and volunteer in schools, as well as having the time to enjoy my 4 grandchildren and be involved in their lives. In our spare time my husband and I enjoy reading, gardening and supporting our 2 grown up boys and their families .
It is a privilege to be teaching at Te Totara School and I look forward to sharing in your child's learning.
Kia ora koutou, my name is Whaea Becky and 2018 is my tenth year at Te Totara Primary. I love being part of such a vibrant, busy and dynamic place. My school role is quite different this year as I am supporting English Language Learners for three days a week within our school, then working within the Kahui Ako (Our Community of Learning) with teachers from other schools for the other two days.
My teaching career began in 1997. I have taught all year levels from Year 0-10 and in both mainstream and Maori Empasis classrooms. During this time I have also been involved in adult education, lecturing in Mathematics Education at the UNversity of Auckland for a semester, working as a visiting mentor for 13 Auckland schools for a year and supporting student teachers in Professional Practice tutorials.
I believe that all learners should be encouraged to be creative thinkers, self managers and risk takers with a high level of resilience and initiative - while being mindful that they are a part of a larger community (a classroom, a school, a family). I strongly believe that 'difference' and diversity in culture, learning styles and 'ways of being' should be celebrated, enjoyed and catered for. I try to provide a learning programme which inspires curiosity and excitement, is interactive and allows the students to take increasing responsibility for their own learning.
I have a Masters Degree (1st class) in Education with a dual focus of Mathematics Education and Teacher Supervision / Professional Development. I love learning and take time to study myself, continuing to be a 'lifelong learner' alongside my students. 2018 is my 11th year at university and I am excited to be completing another post graduate qualification in teaching English as an additional language. I will use this to better meet the needs of the learners in my TESSOL roll this year.
My partner and I live in zone. We have two amazing sons, both of whom attended Te Totara. One is at Hamilton Boys' High School and the other is at Rototuna High School. We enjoy watching movies together (especially Sci-Fi), geocaching, and walking our dogs.
My name is Renee Morgan and this is my seventh year at Te Totara, where I have taught in various teams and year levels. As well as being a classroom teacher I have been a support teacher in the area of Digital Technologies, which is my role in 2019 before I go on Maternity leave. My main focus this term is supporting staff in implementing the new Digital Technologies Curriculum into their programmes which is very exciting and will be hugely beneficial for our students.
Prior to teaching at Te Totara, I taught in London for two years whilst enjoying some time to travel around Europe. I am an experienced teacher and have taught all levels from Year 0-6.
In my spare time I enjoy reading a good book, relaxing outdoors or at the beach, and spending time with my husband, son, family and friends. I am looking forward to 2019 with my role at Te Totara and welcoming my second child into the world.
Hello,my name is Rebecca Gardyne and I am very excited about 2019.
I always love hearing about the wonderful Te Totara community and am so glad to be part of it. I am dedicated to doing the best I can for students in my class, pod and the wider school.
I enjoy making learning fun, hands on and relevant. I love outdoors and am very passionate about bringing the outdoor environment into my students' learning. I enjoy all sports and love teaching my class about physical education. I love being amongst nature, keeping fit, reading and relaxing with friends.
I have an open door policy, so if you have any questions, concerns or just want to say hello then feel free to come in any time. I will look forward to meeting you.