MEd, Dip Tchg, ATCL(Speech and Drama)
Kia ora staff, whanau and students of Kuratau School.
I am very excited to be joining you next term as Principal. My journey to this point as a teacher has taken many twists and turns. I began teaching in Auckland, married a soldier at the end of my first year and moved to Waiouru, where I taught at the local primary school, and also at several rural schools around the Ruapehu region. Another posting took us to Christchurch, where I taught at Burnham Camp School, and at Middleton Grange. Moving to Tauranga in 1997, my family ran a small business for a few years. I returned to teaching at Bethlehem College for sixteen years, and was in middle management as Literacy Leader, Reading Recovery teacher, New Entrant teacher and Team Leader, also leading school wide professional development in several areas over that time.
Since moving to Turangi in 2017, I have worked at the Turangi Library and am currently Team Leader for Year 1 and 2 at Tongariro School. We chose this area as we enjoy the outdoors, walks, mountain biking and motorcycling - my husband, Phil, who is now a Corrections Officer is also a keen fly fisherman. We have three grown children, and two amazing grandchildren.
I am passionate about literacy, early identification of needs and early intervention.
I completed my Master of Education in 2015, with a focus on literacy papers, and wrote a dissertation about Dyslexia, an area that I have since worked in extensively. I believe excellent listening and communication is crucial in every aspect of school life. I value staff, student and whanau wellbeing and engagement, and look forward to working alongside you all to ensure that Kuratau School continues to flourish and serve its community as successfully as it has been for many years. I love the notion that leadership is not about being the best, but about making everyone else better.
Room 2 - Teacher Year 5
Bachelor of Teaching
Hello! My name is Nora Maaka and I am the new teacher in Room 2. I am very excited and I look forward to working alongside you and your children. I would like to begin by telling you a little about myself. I originate from a small community called Te Hapua (at the top of NZ) and I moved to Auckland when I started intermediate. When I finished high school I went off to the Army as an administrator for 3 years.
I loved the outdoors and decided to study ‘Outdoor Recreation’ in Auckland, North Shore. I did a semester of white water kayaking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, and tramping. It was challenging but fun! During this time, I worked quite a bit with children and that’s when I decided that this was the right path for me.
I graduated with my ‘Bachelor of Education’ in 2012 and taught in South Auckland. I had a permanent job for the first 3 years and decided to relieve for a year. Then in March last year, my partner and I saw an opportunity to help my family. We adopted my nephew, (now son) Adam. He is 2 years old and it has been a blessing to have him.
Auckland became too much for our little family so we started to look at other options. A position opened up at Tongariro School and my partner was lucky enough to secure it. I then relieved at Tongariro School for a term before securing an amazing position here at Kuratau School.
My passion outside teaching is sport. I play Rugby League, and that was the only hard thing leaving behind in Auckland. I debuted for the Kiwi Ferns at the last Rugby League World Cup in 2013 and I have been playing in the black jersey ever since. I am in a unique situation living far from any league competitions. But I have been determined to stay in the mix and it has taken a lot of self-motivation and belief. I recently got selected for the Kiwi Fern 9s team, that will be televised during the NRL 9s. Although this is an amazing opportunity for myself, I will regrettably be missing the first 3 days of term. I have to say a big thank you to Kuratau School for supporting me and allowing me time off.
I hope this gives you a good insight into my life. I can’t wait to start my new journey with Kuratau School. My door is always open and I look forward to meeting you all.
Room 1 - Teacher
I am now in my fifth year teaching at Kuratau School and I love being here! I started teaching Year 4,5 and 6 students in Room 2 but this year I’ve moved into Room 1 with the Year 6,7 and 8’s, which I really enjoy. The chance to teach students for more than one year means you really see them learn and grow as individuals- a privilege! My classroom door is always open and I appreciate input from parents as by working together we can ensure we are doing the best for your child.
Now, a little bit about me! I’m married, with 3 adult children and we have a small lifestyle block at Omori/Kuratau. My interests are family, gardening, reading and horse riding. I’m also a member of the Turangi Blue Light and this gives me another opportunity to get to know your children in a more informal setting.
Room 3 – Teacher Years 3, 4 and 5
Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Primary) Bachelor of App Science (Environment) Certificate of Proficiency in Educational Psychology
Hello, my name is Sonia Fletcher and I am the teacher in Room 3. This is my fourth year at Kuratau School and I am thoroughly enjoying being a part of this amazing school. Kuratau School has a wonderful and positive energy which allows our tamariki to thrive.
A bit about me…I live in Owhango with my lovely husband, Stephen and my 9 ½ old precocious son, Daniel. Stephen is an Engineer working with GHD and the Ruapehu District Council. I have my in-laws in Tokaanu, and the rest of my family is in Malaysia.
I do like to keep an open line of communication with parents – please come in and have a look at what we are up to, you are always most welcome.
Room 4 - Teacher New Entrants, Year 1, Year 2
Bachelor of Teaching
Ko Belinda taku ignoa. I have been teaching at Kuratau School since term 2, 2014. I originate from the mighty capital Wellington - go the Hurricanes - and have over the years traveled throughout England and Europe and worked in a variety of areas before undertaking my teaching degree as a single parent raising my new born daughter.
I have a very supportive and loving family who reside around NZ and the world. My brother, his wife and two kids (with their 3rd due in September) currently live in Singapore, my Dad and his wife live in Otaki, my Mum and Step-Dad live in Opotiki, my step-brother and his 4 kids live in Otaki whilst my step-sister, her husband and 2 kids live in Wellington.
I moved to Turangi in 2012 to take up a position at Tongariro School where I taught for 2 years. I was lucky enough to secure a position at Kuratau School in 2014.
I love the Turangi area as it has always held a special place in my heart. I have been visiting the area since I was a child, coming for holidays with my family to my Papa's bach situated at Waitetoko.
I now reside in Turangi with my fiancé Phil (who is the Maintenance Manager out at Hillary Outdoors in National Park) my 10 year old daughter Felicity, our dog, cat, four chickens, rabbit and guinea pig. Yes we love animals :-)
We enjoy boating, fishing, water skiing, snow skiing, trolling around the op shops and exploring this wonderful environment that surrounds us. Phil and I are getting married in February 2018, so I am very excited and busily making plans.
I absolutely love teaching and feel I am exactly where I should be. I am very privileged that you have entrusted me to work with your child/children. Every child is so special and their schooling life should be filled with wonderful experiences and lots of variety.
Here at Kuratau School I am very lucky to work alongside a team of remarkable educators and BOT members who ensure each child has a special school experience here. We are privileged to have such a wonderful environment in which to teach our tamariki from our Wetlands, Marae visits to our Triathlon, Swimming and Annual Pet Day. Each experience is unique and allows our kids to be kids.
It is my goal to make each Room 4 child’s school time fun and enjoyable whilst ensuring that they will make great progress in Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Topic, The Arts, Science and Physical Education.
I look forward to meeting you all throughout the year. I have an open door policy so if you want to have a chat drop on by or contact me to make a time.