Marian Catholic School

(07) 856 7515 30 Beale Street, Hamilton East

Leadership Team

Debra White
Role

Principal

Email

principal@marian.school.nz

General Information

I am very proud to be Principal of Marian Catholic School. As I started in 2017, I was so impressed with the warmth of the staff, students and community. This is referred to as our ‘Marian Spirit’ we are like a big family. This is what makes our school so special. I am passionate about supporting our Special Character and helping our students understand what being a Catholic in the 21st century means for them. I am passionate about teaching and learning and ensuring we have the best possible learning conditions for each child to thrive.

I believe each child is a capable learner and able to take an active role in their learning. I love the analogy of “Learners being in the driver’s seat” as this recognises that there will be bumps in the road and the journey may not go smoothly, much like learning. I see my role as providing everything our teachers need to grow positive mindsets in their learners, and equip them with the skills and dispositions that enable them to approach any learning task with success.

I love working with our parent community. I believe that forming strong positive relationships with parents is key to our students learning success.

I am married and have two adult daughters, one son in law and two beautiful grandchildren.
When I am not at school I enjoy catching up with my family and friends, exercising my dog, or going for a cycle or swim. Regular exercise has always been a part of my routine and helps to keep me sane!

Toni Walters-Freke
Role

Deputy Principal - Junior School, Years 0-4

Anita Asumadu
Role

Deputy Principal, Senior School, Years 5-8

Email

aasumadu@marian.school.nz

General Information

I feel honored to be one of the Deputy Principal's at Marian Catholic School- working with a positive team, in a Catholic environment, in the vibrant city of Hamilton. I am pleased to be able to give something back to Marian School - where I started my teacher training back in 1996. I am an experienced teacher and school leader, having worked in New Zealand and England - most recently as a Deputy and then Principal in London schools where I developed exciting learning opportunities which improved behaviour and attainment of pupils in some of the most challenging Inner city schools. At Marian my primary responsibilities are whole school curriculum, whole school assessment and Years 5-8 learning.

I aim for all children to progress in knowledge, skill, understanding and character - equipping them to be capable, self-confident and happy life-long learners living the Catholic faith. To achieve this, my main role is to assist teachers to provide highly engaging, supportive yet challenging learning opportunities for each and every child - both inside and outside the classroom. To reach our full potential, I believe we each need to be empowered and when schools work in partnership with families there is no limit to what our children can achieve.

To captivate various learners, I look forward to using my interests in reading, sport, music, travel and art. Among other things, I am an experienced hockey coach, 'reader' in Mass, kick-boxer, orchestra conductor, choir leader, school production director, wife and mother of a 4 year old - whose joyful character keeps my husband and I on our toes outside work. Each day I look forward to recognising the beauty and opportunities that unfold.

Nicki Whyte
Role

Director of Religious Studies

Email

nwhyte@marian.school.nz

General Information

Nicki is the DRS for Marian Catholic School.

Yvonne Vosper
Role

Leader of Learning of SENCO

Email

yvosper@marian.school.nz

General Information

During my teaching career I have taught a range of levels, and I am drawn to the junior area, I believe this is where many children's educational journey’s begin. As a teacher at this level I work to inspire children to develop a positive attitude towards their learning.

I enjoy working with the families and community to develop a nurturing environment where the children are confident to explore their worlds and know they have the support.. A core part of our school is the special character , through this I work to teach the children how unique and loved they are. As St. Catherine of Siena says, “ Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire”.

Together with my family I enjoy the outdoors, whether it is cycling, walking, gardening, or helping out on the farm Time spent supporting my own children in their pursuits is another one of my favourite things.

Feana Tuakoi
Role

LC 1 Leader of Learning

Email

ftuakoi@marian.school.nz

General Information

I began my career in the state system and then moved to Marian in 2001. I have been here, in various capacities, ever since. I really value teaching in a Catholic school, as we are able to build relationships and teach the whole child - intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Happy, valued children, with a team of support (both at home and at school), love learning, do their best and then go on to share their gifts with the world.

Roxy Grace
Role

LC 2 Leader of Learning

Email

rgrace@marian.school.nz

General Information

Teaching is something that I have always wanted to do - there has never been a doubt in my mind! Teaching, to me, is not just an occupation, it's my vocation - a calling, a lifestyle - it becomes who you are.

My pedagogical practice focuses on the child as a 'whole' being. Not only do I want every child in my classroom to succeed academically, I want them to experience success and happiness in their everyday encounters with other students and myself, as their teacher. My belief is - Happy children are children who learn! I believe in being a role model to my students, this is something that I take very seriously. Learning is a way of life, something that we all need in order to adapt and survive, to continuously improve ourselves. As Anthony Angelo said, "Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow."

Apart from being a full time teacher in Room 7a, I am the Communication Co-ordinator for the school. My role is to ensure that our Parent Community are up to date with important information via on Facebook page, School Website & School App. Being an avid organiser (and slightly OCD) I absolutely love this role!

When I'm not 'being a teacher', I love spending time with my husband and two dogs, Molly & Charlie. I also enjoy cycling & running around the beautiful Hamilton tracks. I am also an avid reader.

Debbie Anderson
Role

LC 3 Leader of Learning

Email

danderson@marian.school.nz

General Information

Applying to Teacher’s College as a 16 year old and being told to go and gain life experience first, lead me on a path of travel, marriage and motherhood, all of which I relished. I became very involved in my own children’s Catholic education which finally brought me full circle back to the University of Waikato. I juggled taking care of my family and being a Bachelor of Education student, and after graduating in 2011 gained my coveted position at Marian Catholic School as a junior teacher. Being overjoyed to be given this role would be an understatement.

Now, coming up seven years later, I still feel privileged and blessed to be involved in my students’ learning journey. I enjoy the special Character and diversity of our school environment and strive to continue my own pathway of being a lifelong learner, which I endeavour to model for my students.

I enjoy the challenge of delivering programs in all areas of learning in the hopes that all students will be inspired and receive learning experiences that challenge them and help them move forward in their learning pathways. In particular, I am interested in helping our children develop their growth mind set and celebrate alongside each of them as they achieve in whatever area they are working towards.

My family is very important, and spending as much time with them takes priority when I’m not at school. My wee beagle dog is equally as important and we enjoy going for walks and spending time at the beach. Travelling, seeing the world and experiencing other cultures brings me fun and huge enjoyment, and I am always planning my next trip… watch this space!

Archimedes and other great minds have been an inspirational avenue for learning in our class, this quote comes from a modern day great mind, a ‘mind set’ guru, whose work I have enjoyed following in recent times – ‘no matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment’. Psychologist, Carol Dweck.

Maria Maarhuis
Role

LC 4 Leader of Learning

Email

mmaarhuis@marian.school.nz

General Information

I have worked at Marian Catholic School for over 12 years. I was not new to Marian, as I used to be student here before the combining of St Mary’s and Marist. It is a very special place to me as 4 generations of my family have been through the school and I feel privileged to be able to teach here and have my own 2 children attend.

Currently, I am teaching Year 5 and 6 students but have had experience teaching from Year 4 through to Year 8. I believe that the relationship a teacher builds with a student is one of the most important things in teaching. When children feel safe and secure learning will happen more easily. Although, I enjoy teaching all areas within the primary setting, Mathematics and Art are favourite subjects of mine.

Outside of school, I love to keep fit by exercising, especially running and playing netball, catching up with my family and friends, watching my daughter’s weekend sport and enjoying an all round slower pace. My all time favourite place to be is at the serene and idyllic Whangapoua Beach, anytime of the year!

Katarina Dale
Role

LC 5 Leader of Learning

Email

kdale@marian.school.nz

General Information

After over 20 years of teaching at a range of levels and positions, I still love my job - at the ‘chalkface’!!
Since having my third son, I opted to work part time to ensure I was giving my very best to my students, my school and my family. I love my work-life balance which leaves me energised and refreshed so I can be a positive motivator of learning and a good mum.
I enjoy all subjects and levels but have a particular passion for teaching Year 7’s and 8’s.
I completed my Masters in Educational Leadership during my periods of maternity leave and this sparked a special interest in developing student leadership and building the capacity of those around me. I facilitate the Student Council who develop wonderful leadership skills each year and who have made many effective changes in response to student voice over the years. I really enjoy seeing students reap the rewards of their hard efforts as well as the joy on their faces when they have been inspired to do something new and it worked!
I enjoy tramping, gardening and have played a range of sports over the years. My weekends are spent following my boys’ cricket, football and futsal. Futsal is a new found interest of mine, it’s a great sport to watch and maybe one day I might find my very own team to play in!!