Staff

Mark Ellis

Principal
Mark is the Principal of Rakaia School and has been here from the start of 2006. He was previously the Principal at Mayfield School for 7 and half years. He is a member of the Ashburton Volunteer Fire Brigade and turns out for the Rakaia brigade while at school.A keen sportsman achieving Karate Black Belt  in 2012. Mark was also a member of the New Zealand Principal's' Federation and was a member of the executive committee during 2005 and 2006. Mark is married to Dulcie and they have 2 children, Corey and Chelsea and beautiful grandson Kyas.

Jill Cogger

Deputy Principal
Jill has just joined us from the West Coast where she has been a principal and senior teacher for many years. Her experience and approach will be a wonderful asset to our school and we welcome Jill to our family. 

Shane Dawson

Mahi Tahi Leader- Year 5-8 Teacher
Mr Dawson has joined our team this year from West Melton. Shane brings his love for the outdoors and sport with strengths in numeracy.

Kara Wilhelmus

Mahi Tahi- Year 5-8 Teacher
Kara joins us as a new teacher after working with youth and also completing her degree while working full time in hospitality. Kara enjoys playing the drums and is building a house with her fiance. 

Pauline Doody

Relieving Teacher 
Pauline has been a wonderful part of Rakaia School for many years and has now retired. She is working for the school as a reliever and we are thrilled to still have her influence with us. 

Elyse Adams

Ako Team Leader
Elyse rejoins the Rakaia team after the birth of her first baby, Frankie. Elyse will be working 3 days a week and leading the junior team. It's great to have her back with us.

Rebecca Wiseman

Rebecca works for us 9 hours a week as a teacher aide and has made a wonderful contribution to our school. We are thrilled to have her on board

Grandma Honey

Grandma Honey is a teacher aide at school and has an educational background after many years teaching in Australia. She has grandchildren at school and supports us when ever she is home from her globetrotting adventures. 

Alissa Anderson

Ako Team- Year 2 Teacher
Alissa has joined us from Methven and also had a 2 year job teaching in Rarotonga. She is covering a maternity position and living in Ashburton. Alissa will be looking after sport at Rakaia School. 

Bridget Grant

Ako Team- New Entrants Teacher
Bridget joined us in 2017 from Tinwald school and after a 6 months in Mahi tahi has joined the junior team where she taught at Tinwald. Bridget is the new Special Needs teacher and works together with a successful and caring junior team. 

Claire Bell

Whanau Team- Year 3-4 Teacher
Claire joins us from Teachers College to take up a permanent position in the Whanau team. She is keen on ICT and lives in Burnham with her partner. 

Lagan Gardyne

Mahi Tahi Team Year 5-8
Lagan is in her second year of teaching and teaches collaboratively in our Year 5-8 team. Lagan's passions are art and ICT.

Natasha Jenkins

Whanau Team Leader- Year 3/4 Teacher 
Natasha joined us from Mayfield School in 2015 and has made huge impressions with her ICT knowledge and dedication. Natasha leads our middle team and also is our lead ICT teacher.

Simone Stapleton

Release Teacher
Simone has worked at Rakaia School for a number of years before leaving to have her own children.  Simone currently works as a release teacher in four classrooms and does an amazing job with our students. We also love her baking!

Mandy Beevor

School Secretary
Mandy is the first person you meet when you come to Rakaia School. She keeps the school running along in a very efficient manner. Mandy is our admin angel, we hope that Solutions Services read this.   Mandy has been at Rakaia School for five years and is currently the Board of Trustees Staff Representative.  Mandy enjoys working at Rakaia School with the friendly and inspirational team.  

Carol Muckle

Teacher Aide/Librarian
Carol is one of our fabulous Teacher Aides and also has her own children at Rakaia School. Carol and her family have been in the Rakaia area for many years and in fact her children are 4th generation Rakaia School students. She currently has one child at Rakaia School.

Olivia McLennan

Teacher Aide
Olivia has just started at Rakaia and has two sons here. Olivia will be working with senior students in Mahitahi and we look forward to her input. 

Dave Eddington

School Caretaker
Dave joined us in 2018 and does an amazing job looking after the school. We are thrilled to have him on board. He has been the Rakaia townsman before and has pride in our school and wider community. 

Gretchen Ford

Office Admin and Teacher Aide
Gretchen supports a student in Room 8 as well as helping in the office in the afternoon.Gretchen has 3 daughters at Rakaia School and also supports the school garden keeping it fresh and thriving. 

Lara Reihana

Teacher Aide and Co Chair of the School Support Group
Lara joined us this year and supports students in the junior school.