Teaching staff

Kaye website picKaye Brunton – Principal

I became principal of this wonderful little school at the end of 2014. In this time I have come to know the children, teachers and whanau and there is huge spirit and strong heart at this school.  I only ever wanted to be a teacher, and over the years have deepened my knowledge of teaching and learning through various roles in schools, study to Masters level, teacher education and professional learning of teachers contracts. From all of this, I have come to believe strongly that what is really important for learning to happen,  is the quality of the relationships we build with one another and the focus we have on our children, knowing them well and providing the opportunities for them to develop a love of, and curiosity for, learning.

KathrynKathryn Pierre – Associate Principal

I have been living and teaching in the Titahi Bay and Porirua area for the past 15 years.  Prior to that I taught in Taupo and Wellington.  I love this school and our families.  I really enjoy meeting new children and their families as they begin at Ngāti Toa.  It is my favourite part of my job to make the first terms happy times for children as they begin their learning journey.  I believe all children have the potential to enjoy the best of what our community has to offer and that their bright futures are something that they can expect to create and fully realise.  I get excited when I find ways that help them achieve their early steps towards this reality.  I have a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English and a Diploma of Teaching.


Nicole Avatea – Associate Principal

I began teaching at Ngāti Toa School in 2008. I had a crazy chaotic first term, but enjoyed being part of a learning community who were all so inviting and supportive. I knew then that this was where I wanted to be. I strive to create an inquiry-driven programme that supports individual learning goals and incorporates the purposeful use of technology. Teaching can be hard work but I love what I do. I have a passion for teaching which drives me to work hard. The challenge excites me and forces me to think, learn and grow. I operate the classroom with an open door policy, so please feel free to come in and chat.  I look forward to meeting you all, and catching up with familiar faces at some stage this term.

EranaErena Latu

After graduating from Massey University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, I came to Ngāti Toa School in 2013 as a student teacher for seven weeks. I was then offered a teaching position in the senior school beginning in Term 1, 2014. I’ve always had an interest in education and teaching. This was further fuelled after I had my own children so I decided to go back to university and study again for a Graduate Diploma in teaching. I hope to inspire students to have the same love of learning that I do. I love seeing them achieve a goal that they previously not thought was possible. I love the warm, friendly, family feel that Ngāti Toa has and feel privileged to be a part of the school.

JudithJudith Nieland

I LOVE learning and teaching. For me learning is a lifelong source of pleasure and growth. I delight in sharing the strategies and skills for learning with my students.

I feel extraordinarily lucky to teach here at Ngāti Toa School. It is a real privilege to be able to contribute to the understanding and success of the learners at Ngāti Toa School, to play a part in their journey towards achieving their goals and dreams.


Judy Cross

I have taught full time for a number of years at all levels of primary school in the Porirua district and Titahi Bay where I live.  As well as being involved in youth work and running two businesses, I have been a part-time teacher and reliever at Ngāti Toa school for the last few years and at other schools in Titahi Bay and Porirua. I am passionate about engaging children in learning and helping them to take ownership of their learning through an integrated approach. I have a Bachelors degree in Education and am looking forward to the opportunity of continued learning with staff, students and families at Ngāti Toa School.

Maree Dargan

I am a passionate and enthusiastic teacher and love to see children learning to read and write and the world that these skills open up to them. I have taught full time for a number of years on the Kapiti Coast and completed a Masters of Education in 2008, specialising in literacy and exploring effective interventions to promote positive relationships.  This year I am teaching a year 1/2 class which I am LOVING. I love to see children enjoying their learning and achieving. I believe in having a positive and fun-filled classroom where learning can flourish.

Monique Streater

I love to play and and learn myself – especially the play! Having taught various age groups including early childhood, play and positivity have been key in my development as an educator in the twenty years since I began.  I hail from the north – North of Auckland (I support The Blues:)) I started my career in a small school in Dargaville, travelled and worked in the UK and Europe for several years, before returning to Aotearoa and eventually settling on the Kapiti Coast.  I love sports, sports, sports! reading a good book, and spending time at the beach with my family. Please come and say hello; I would love to meet you.

Melanie Searancke





Pearl Freemantle

I am passionate about the joy of learning.  The more skills I learn and apply with understanding, the more meaningful are the choices in life that I experience. I enjoy educating, water sports including kayaking and white-water rafting, motorbike riding, writing, reading and the arts. Sharing my skills and knowledge is satisfaction in life for me. It’s all about the people, the environment and the community that we live in and how we contribute.


Kiri Weir – Part-time teacher

I have taught part-time at Ngāti Toa School as my two young daughters have been growing up. Art is my passion and I enjoy seeing children create beautiful pieces of work for all to enjoy.



Michaela Wilkinson

I am a 4th year Victoria University student with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Education, studying towards my Masters in Teaching and Learning. I am so excited to finally start my career and love every day on the job! I am passionate about teaching our future generation exercising, and especially gymnastics, having been an ex-NZ rep in gymnastics. I love the outdoors as well.


Holly Caughley

After growing up in Wellington City, I moved down to Dunedin to do my BA in Education and History. I moved back home at the start of 2017 to pursue a career in teaching so am currently studying towards my Masters in Teaching and Learning. I was so excited to be placed out in the bay, as I haven’t spent much time out here! I hope to pass on some of my enthusiasm onto my students, especially in the areas of inquiry learning and PE.