Michelle Spencer – Principal
Tena koutou, greetings to you all. I am excited to lead the learning at Rapaura School, a successful and highly regarded school that engages, challenges and supports students to improve their all-round achievement and interpersonal skills. I aim to build on these strengths and to enhance our reputation as a successful sought-after school.
Trish Weaver – Deputy Principal, Teacher Gifford Room, Yrs 7/8
Nominated twice for the National Excellence in Teaching Awards, our Room 1 teacher has over 25 years of teaching experience. Trish nurtures – and challenges – the potential of our senior students by fostering their critical and creative thinking abilities, and their belief in themselves. She has set up the Rapaura Young Leaders Programme which has our Year 8s go on to college as self-motivated, confident, achieving learners.
Erin McPhail – Junior Syndicate Leader, Teacher Jellyman Room, New Entrants
Erin, our New Entrants teacher has a passion for providing quality learning programmes which help children develop foundational literacy and numeracy skills, curiosity about the world around them and creative thinking. She strives to create an environment where a love of learning can grow and all learners can have the best possible start here at Rapaura School. In her spare time Erin enjoys spending time with her family, exploring Marlborough’s beautiful outdoors, cooking, and travelling.
Phil Funnell – Teacher Bassett Room, Yr 6
My name is Phil Funnell and I originally hail from the UK but moved to The Land of the Long White Cloud 7 years ago. I have been a teacher for 12 years and love every minute of my job. Having taught New Entrants to Year 6, I have a wide knowledge of how children learn and it is always a great experience watching their learning journeys each year.
In my free time, you may see me running, cycling or going to the gym. As a keen gardener, I grow all of my own vegetables and fruit and try and live as much of a sustainable life as possible!
Chris Valli – Teacher O’Dwyer Room, Yr 4/5
I am excited to implement my passion for Performing Arts (drama/music) at Rapaura and look forward to giving students the confidence and opportunity that comes with performing. I thrive on teaching literacy and physical education. I enjoy developing open relationships with all students where they are challenged right across the curriculum. In my spare time, I enjoy all sports and a good sports book.
Giselle Otway – Teacher Soper Room, Yrs 2/3
Giselle has previously taught at tertiary level and has retrained for primary. Full of enthusiasm, Giselle aims to extend our students and build each students confidence in their own abilities. Keen on sports, Giselle is often found at the weekends on the sideline of sporting fixtures.
Julia Lambie – Teacher Coleman Room, Yr 1/2
Miss Julia Lambie, a second year graduate from Canterbury University, is teaching in the Coleman Room.
Honour Welbourn – Teacher Soper Room, Yr 4
Honour, new to teaching in 2017, strives to get the best from each of her students by really getting to know the individuals within the class and finding out what makes them tick, ensuring authentic learning. Her aim is to nurture curiosity, independence, creativity and the love of learning.
Jenny Stark – Teacher Aide
Known for her cheery nature, Jenny is our treasured teacher aide. Recently referred to as the “incomparable Mrs Stark” Jenny has been helping Rapaura students achieve – and surpass – their personal best for over 20 years. Jenny also gives a lot of her time to sport at Rapaura as well as other extra-curricular activities. A committed volunteer with a number of community organisations, Jenny and her husband live on a lifestyle block just outside of town.
Shirley Brown – Office Administrator
After a long career at Inland Revenue, Shirley came to Rapaura School eight years ago. Shirley grew up on a farm and learnt to ride a motorbike when she was seven. The only staff member at Rapaura to have been to Mt Everest base camp, Shirley’s other interests include mountain biking, horses, tramping and photography.
April Morris – Finance Officer
April and her family moved to Marlborough in July 2013, and they are loving Blenheim and all the wonderful people. After working in finance and administration for the majority of her career she graduated as a Teacher Aide in 2009. In her spare time she enjoys getting out into the great outdoors with her family and exploring the beautiful South Island and all it has to offer.
Nikki Martella – Library Manager, Steps facilitator
With an administration background, co-ordinating Junior Doctors at Wairau Hospital, then a full-time Mum, Nikki has taken on the role of our Library/Resources Manager and teaching Steps programme. She has a love of reading which she thinks is very important for children from a young age. Nikki lived in London for a period and has travelled through Europe and Africa. Her other interests include cooking and gardening.
Shona arrived in NZ during 2016, leaving her home country of South Africa. Shona brings a bright smile and lots of fun to brighten up our school day. She works alongside our students in the middle school as a teacher aide. Shona’s back ground is a trained dietician and the majority of her work was working with patients in a hospital setting.
Jo joined the team 2016 initially as school cleaner but now as our caretaker/cleaner and pool supervisor. Jo is passionate about presentation and always ensures our school grounds are looking tidy and looked after. We are very appreciative of the time she dedicates to our school. Jo is always ensuring our school grounds are safe but if there is ever a temporary hazard or something that is of concern please inform Jo or the school office.