Pekerau Primary School - 742 Te Rahu Rd, Te Awamutu 3800 | Phone: 07-871 6025

Staff 2017

Senior Management

Pat Poland - Acting Principal

Mike Thornley - Deputy Principal

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I am very proud to be Deputy Principal of Pekerau Primary School. We have a fantastic school with passionate teachers and students. We are well supported by our community which makes Pekerau a great place to be. I have worked in education both in Auckland and Hamilton, my favourite part of the job is watching students achieve their very best no matter what level it is. I enjoy all sports but love supporting the Black Caps, Liverpool Football team and the Crusaders.

Racheal Bell - Deputy Principal - SENCO


Welcome to the Learning Hub. My name is Racheal Bell and I am proud to be Deputy Principal at Pekerau School. I am passionate about supporting children to reach their potential and help them to get to know themselves as a learner. This year I am also taking over the SENCO role at Pekerau and look forward to working with our dedicated staff, whanau and outside agencies to meet the needs of our children. If you have any questions or need to see me I am available Monday-Thursday or email.

Senior Syndicate

Room 1 - Kate Muller

Room 2 - Kath Grindrod


My name is Kath Grindrod, I am the teacher in Room 2, the ‘Birds of Prey’.  I am also the lead teacher for the Arts at Pekerau. I have been teaching for 12 years and working in the education sector for many years before that.  I love what I do, working with students in all areas of the curriculum. I live in Cambridge with my husband and have 3 grown up children, a dog, Leo and cat, Maisy. At the moment we are renovating a big house (it is taking a long time). I enjoy travel, the outdoors, watching movies and enjoy all the arts.  I have a passion for the arts, and believe the arts has a place in education and extends through to all areas of the curriculum. This year the senior team will be entering JRock, an exciting opportunity to be involved it. I am look forward to meeting parents and members of the community if you would like to see what we do in Room 2 please pop in.

Room 3 - Daniel McAuley (Senior Teacher)



 My name is Daniel McAuley and I have had the honor of being in the teaching profession for 10 years. My family is female dominated consisting of my lovely wife Tash and 3 beautiful girls Leilah, Lucy and Annie (pictured).  My passions include music, sports and cooking.  I believe in establishing a learner-centred classroom environment where I plan integrated topics based on identified students’ needs.  These topics promote a safe learning environment so children can freely explore ideas and take risks in their learning. I look forward to getting to know and working alongside the school's community.

Room 4 - James Paul

My name is James Paul and I am excited to work with the Year 5/6 students in Room 4 this year. My teaching passion is Science and I am looking forward to sharing some cool experiments and experiences with students this year. My wife and I live in Hamilton and we are expecting our first child in July. Outside of school I like to do crossfit, read comics and graphic novels, and follow the Green Bay Packers in American Football.

Room 16 - Dene Franklin


Hi my name is Dene Franklin and i am the teacher in Room 16. This is my fourth year teaching at Pekerau School. I really enjoy watching the kids grow and develop their independence and confidence throughout the year. I love to play sport in my free time, playing squash, hockey, and cricket.  I also enjoy catching up with my family and friends, listening to music and watching sport on tv. I look forward to getting to know you and your children better this year.

Middle Syndicate

Room 5 - Barb Herdman

Room 6 - Linda Hansen

I have previously taught at Cambridge Middle School and have been at Pekerau for 4 years in the Senior Team.  I live in Te Awamutu with my partner, our 3 teenagers, and our 5 cats.  I enjoy gardening, reading, listening to music, and watching sport. The best part of my job is watching children develop their confidence, become more independent, discover new things, and make decisions about their learning.  This year we are lucky enough to be working closely with Mrs H and her class (Winter) in Room 5.

I am excited about getting to know you and your child, and working closely together to have a productive and enjoyable year.

Room 9 - Tania Bagley  (Senior Teacher)

Kia ora, My name is Tania Bagley and I have the pleasure of leading the learning in Room 9 and the Middle School. Our team theme is The Four Seasons and Room 9 will light up your day because we are Summer. I have been teaching for a number of years and have worked in a range of schools. I love being part of young people's lives and helping them learn and be amazing. When I am not at school I do crazy dancing around my kitchen and sing really loud. My 3 children roll their eyes and join in. We also like being active and spending time with friends and family.

Room 10 - Annie Leitch

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I live in Cambridge with Martin and our daughter Kaela. The house we live in is 102 years old and we are in the process of renovating her. That takes up a lot of my spare time. I have been teaching for twelve years and am very excited about working here at Pekerau Primary School. I am trained as a maths support teacher  (MST) and am hoping to put these skills to good use here at Pekerau School.

Junior Syndicate

Room 11 - Ginny Mitchell

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I am Ginny Mitchell and I teach Year 1 & 2 students in Room 11. Our team theme this year is Planets therefore we are currently known as Planet 11. I have been teaching at Pekerau School for many years and have taught predominantly in the middle school with the last two years in the seniors. My husband Michael and I have three adult children and two grandchildren that were born last year.  I enjoy keeping fit by playing hockey in the winter for Ngaruawahia, Squash all year round and running our dog as often as I can.  During 2015 and 2016 I was awarded a Wintec Scholarship in Information Technology in Education where I learnt how to code. At some stage this year I plan to introduce basic coding to my class where they can create digital stories and tasks. I will be encouraging our students to show our school values and develop independence, creativity and problem solving skills this year demonstrating the Pekerau Way.

Room 12 - Anna Wren


My name is Anna Wren and I am the teacher in Room 12.  I have a passion for teaching and love to provide students with lots of fun, creative and meaningful tasks to aid their learning.  I live in Te Awamutu with my husband Andrew and daughter.  We love to spend time together as a family; one of our favorite things to do is to get away to the lake where we enjoy going on the boat, fishing, going for walks and swimming!  I have an open door policy, please do not hesitate to email or come and see me about any questions you may have.

Room 13 - Colleen Bredenbeck (Senior Teacher)




I am lucky to be the teacher in Rm13. I am always excited to meet new children and go on the amazing learning journey we have ahead. I am the Junior Team leader and I have been teaching more years than I care to count! I have a lovely family who I enjoy spending my spare time with. My husband’s name is Chris and I have 2 girls who are growing up too fast. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and we do some fun activities together like wakeboarding and mountain biking. I also enjoy fishing. Please feel free to contact me anytime via my email.

Room 14 - Robyn Spice



Hi, my name is Robyn Spice and I am one of the New Entrant teachers here at Pekerau Primary. I have been teaching at Pekerau for 7 years and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I feel very privileged to be a part of you and your child’s lives and their learning, and am looking forward to getting to know you all as the year progresses. I have three children of my own; Jordyn who is 23yrs, Dion who is 21yrs and Kara who is 19yrs. Although they have all left home now, they are still a huge part of my life. I have a wonderful relationship with my children and am very proud of them all. I have a passion for good coffee and shopping and a keen interest in all things ‘sporty’. I will be encouraging your children to be as physically active as is possible during their time at school as I believe physical fitness is vital for a healthy mind.

Please feel free to approach me at any time should you have any queries or concerns about your child. It is important to me that I build positive relationships with you all and that you feel you can approach me at any time.

Room 17 - Jason Tubman

My name is Jason Tubman and I have held a teaching position at Pekerau Primary for the last 15 years. I have taught in all areas at Pekerau, and I am returning to the junior team this year. I am excited about the opportunity to help foster a love of learning in the students I teach. I live in Hamilton with my wife Karina and our five children. Family is extremely important to me and I am a devoted father and husband. I have a love of sports and enjoy coaching my children's sports teams. I have played soccer for most of my life, and have dabbled in many other sports.