Ngā Kaiako Kura Tuatahi | Primary e-Teachers

Learning online in our Primary programmes wouldn’t be possible without our wonderful team of e-Teachers.

  • Alana March – Languages, Literacy

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    Kia ora, bonjour! My name is Alana and I love learning and teaching languages.

    I am an NZ registered teacher and for the last seventeen years I have taught intermediate, secondary and tertiary students French and Esol. I have enjoyed studying Italian, Spanish and currently, Te reo Māori.

    I live with my husband, two young children, and two labradors in the Western Bay of Plenty. Life is busy but I enjoy working in my garden, cooking, reading and spending time with friends when I can. Learning and teaching languages has enriched my life beyond measure. I look forward to meeting you and sharing my love of language with you!

  • Alia Malik – Physics

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    Kia ora koutou, My name is Alia Malik and I was born and raised in London. I have been in NZ since 2012. I have spent time all over the North Island especially in Hawera, Taranaki and Auckland. Recently I ventured south and moved to sunny Blenheim.

    I have two children, Hāmid and Hafsa who love to keep me on my toes while I am not teaching.

    In my spare time I love to explore and try out new desserts. We love ice cream.

    I have been with Kotui Ako VLN for more than 5 years and have taught a variety of STEM subjects.

    Hope to see you all soon. Ngā mihi nui, Alia.

  • Carol Reid – Te reo Māori

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    Kia ora koutou katoa.
    Ko Whaea Carol taku ingoa.
    Ko Taupo te moana
    Ko Tauhara te maunga.
    Ko Ngati Tuwharetoa te iwi.
    Taupo is the lake
    Tauhara is the mountain
    Ngati Tuwharetoa is the tribe.

    I have spent many years off and on teaching and learning our beautiful indigenous language Te Reo Māori.

    I am currently living in Taupo but travel to Hamilton to look after my mokopuna. I have 4 tamariki and 8 mokopuna.

    It will be my pleasure to be involved in the journey of tamariki learning Te Reo Māori.
    Naku noa
    Whaea Carol

  • Carrie VanderZwaag – Secondary Gifted Learners Project

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    Kia ora tātou katoa.

    Ko Carrie Vander Zwaag. Originally from Alaska – I love new experiences, adventure and travel, having lived and taught all over the planet (from urban LA to remote Amazon jungles). However, the beautiful moana, maunga and people of Taupō, Aotearoa, captured my wanderlust heart. 

    The opportunity to ako (teach and learn) with incredible akōnga (students) and whānau of diverse backgrounds has enriched my life and enhanced what and how I teach. I’ve taught students from years 0-13 in private and public schools around the world from Reporoa to Los Angeles and Guyana (South America) to Pohnpei (Micronesia). One of the most unusual challenges faced was teaching computer technology class in a school without electricity!

    My greatest passions in teaching are helping ākonga discover and grow who they are through authentic, challenging learning and whanaungatanga (relationships) both within and outside the school community. I also love hands-on science and technology, critical thinking (particularly problem-solving), creative thinking, communication (speaking, writing, listening), fitness/health and anything to do with nature/environmental sustainability.

     I’m excited to be a part of the VLN community to develop and support the secondary gifted programme and ako with a whole new group of leaners from across Aotearoa.

    Ngā mihi me te aroha nui.

  • Gayleen Mackereth – Languages

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    Bonjour- Je m’appelle Madame Gayleen Mackereth

    Buenos dias- me llamo Senora Gayleen Mackereth

    Let me introduce myself. My name is Gayleen Mackereth. I have been Head of Languages at a number of Auckland and Waikato secondary schools and I am a very experienced teacher of languages. In 2004 I was also an E-Fellow working with schools to teach languages online in order to analyse the best student outcomes. 

    I was teaching in schools until I was knocked off my bike cycling to school and can no longer walk well. Since my accident, I have been teaching online to students from around the world, and now in New Zealand.

    I have led many student trips to Europe, Japan and New Caledonia and you may see a few photos of my students in the work I give you. 

    We live on a small block with our 3 Wiltshire sheep and our dog Ollie (who is a “Pound Pup” – we rescued him). We also have a bigger farm up North running cattle.

    Despite my accident I still swim most mornings and I also ride with Riding for the Disabled. I am looking forward to getting to know you all.

    A bientôt

    Hasta luego

  • Jan Bolton – Songwriting, Music

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    Kia ora tatou

    I am Jan, a composer, and music/performing arts educator at both Secondary and Primary levels. Some of you will know me too as a teacher educator at Victoria University for many years.

    A Wellingtonian, I now live north of the city at Waikanae Beach. I make sure the sea and all its magic and beauty is in my life every day as well as music. And yes young people are special to me too – I keep learning lots from them and with them!

  • Janine Campbell – NZ Sign Language (NZSL)

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    Kia ora koutou, I’m Janine Campbell. I was born in Hāwera, Taranaki. I live in Waikato now. I am Deaf and have been a registered Teacher of the Deaf for nearly 25 years in Auckland, Hobart in Tasmania and Waikato.

    I enjoy reading, travelling, photography and playing with my two cats, Nari & Fuji. I look forward to teaching you my unique language, New Zealand Sign Language and Deaf culture.

    Handwaves, Janine

  • Jen Hammonds

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    Kia ora koutou, nau mai! I love being in education – it plays a role in all areas of my life. Whether mountain biking, skiing, fishing or speaking te reo, I find myself learning, growing and sharing. Making the most of where we are and what we’re doing by learning to learn is something I’m passionate about and hope to share with my students at Kōtui Ako VLN.

    I teach te reo Māori, Spanish, Digital Technology, Design, Web Design, Visual Arts & Life Skills. I support other eteachers to develop their learning programmes.

  • Katherine Stewart

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    Katherine teaches across a range of subjects in Digital Technologies, Creative Arts and Literacy. She has previously taught in Kotui Ako secondary in Art History and Classical Studies. She lives in Tāmaki Makaurau with her partner and three children.

    Katherine also co-ordinates fortnightly PLD experiences for eTeachers through Nex Kōtuitui. Her interests include cooking, art history and learning more about the Classical world.

  • Kay Bannister-Rye – Maths

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    Tena koutou e hoa ma. Ko Kotiana me Aotearoa te whakapaparangu mai. 

    Hello to you all. I am of Scottish and Māori descent.

    We are an intergenerational whanau living on a lifestyle block. My brother says it is a Life Sentence block because we always seem to be fixing or building something when he visits!I am the whanau factotum which means I do all the things everyone else is too busy to do. I am planning a 100th birthday celebration in memory of my dad as well as writing his life story.I practise yoga, I am learning to play croquet and I study te reo Māori with Te Wananga o Aotearoa. 

  • Lucie Lindsay – Digital Technologies

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    Kia ora koutou. Welcome to online learning with VLN Primary School! I’m the Deputy Principal and the eLearning Lead, here to help learners connect online.

    I am a NZ registered, experienced primary teacher. I teach Digital Technologies Extension classes on computing concepts, coding skills and creating digital solutions.

    My professional background includes Primary class teaching, IT roles, and creating teacher professional learning. I also study part-time researching networked learning design. 

  • Madlen Kunath – German

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    Madlen grew up and studied in Germany and has been living and teaching in New Zealand since 2011.

    Madlen is passionate about languages and trained to teach ESOL, German and Geography. She has also studied Spanish, Russian, Latin and some Mandarin. MadIen has taught at a variety of schools in Germany and New Zealand and completed the programme Transforming Practice in Language Teaching (TPLT, formerly TPDL). She has worked with Asian languages teachers at International Languages Exchanges and Pathways (ILEP) as a Teacher Development Adviser providing e-tools and support. Madlen has delivered e-learning and language pedagogy workshops and worked with teachers individually.

    Madlen’s free time is spent playing the viola in an orchestra, reading and travelling the world to experience new cultures and languages. 

  • Olivia Graham – Japanese

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    Konnichi wa, my name is Olivia Graham and I am a Taupō native and classroom teacher at Wairakei Primary School in Taupō.

    I studied Japanese throughout college and university, and spent four years living and teaching in Japan. I have taught Japanese to students throughout my teaching career. I am excited to be a part of the Kōtui Ako VLN team and work with students all over New Zealand.

  • Tewaiehu Savage – Kaiarahi/Kaiako Reo Māori

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    Tīhei mauri ora,Ko te reo kia tika, ko te reo kia rere, ko te reo Māori.

    Nau mai, whakatau mai ki te kura tuatahi o VLN. Ko tōku tūranga he kaiako Reo Māori, he Kaiārahi i ngā tikanga Reo Māori o te kura hoki.
    Kua tohungia e au ki ngā tohu e rua. Tuatahi, he Tohu Paetahi mo Te Reo Māori me ngā tikanga Maori hoki.
    Tuarua, he Pōkairua Paetahi mō te whakaako i te taumata Kohungahunga.I tēnei wā kua tīmatangia e au i taku Tohu Paerua hei Kaiārahi Matauranga. 

    “Mā te rongo, ka mōhio,
    Mā te mōhio, ka mārama,
    Mā te mārama, ka mātau,
    Mā te mātau, ka ora.” 

    Mā te whakataukī o runga e tutuki ai ngā mahi kei mua i a tātou.

    Greetings to you all. Let my language be true, let it be heard far and wide and let it be Māori. 

    I have joined the Kōtui Ako VLN leadership team as a Kaiarahi/Kaiako Reo Māori to work with the growing number of kura and Kaiako needing support for te reo Māori me ōna tikanga and support for ākonga who are accessing our online reo Māori programmes. 

    I am a registered teacher, with a background in ECE. I have a Bachelor in Te Reo Māori and Tikanga Māori, Graduate Diploma in Teaching, and I am working towards a Masters of Educational leadership. I am experienced in supporting Kaiako with tikanga Māori and te reo Māori.

     “Through listening comes awareness,
    Through awareness comes understanding,
    Through understanding comes knowledge,
    Through knowledge comes life and well-being.” 

    The proverb above will guide and support the foundations for learning here at Kōtui Ako VLN.

  • Yu Wang – Chinese

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    Ni hao, my name is Yu Wang. I have been teaching Chinese as a second language for about 20 years and have worked in many countries, such as China, South Korea, the U.S., and NZ. My students are various in levels and ages, from primary kids to adult and teachers. I enjoy my work and love to spend my leisure time in reading, travelling, cooking, and meeting with friends. I am excited to be part of the Kōtui Ako VLN team and looking forward to sharing Chinese language and culture with you.