Marian Catholic School

(07) 856 7515 30 Beale Street, Hamilton East

Team 3, Year 5/6

Amanda Luke
Role

Room 12 Teacher

Email

aluke@marian.school.nz

General Information

I have been teaching at Marian Catholic School for almost 10 years and love the strong sense of faith, family and community here.

I am currently teaching a Year 5/6 class and, although I do have some experience teaching younger students, I particularly enjoy this age group.
A typical day in my classroom is super busy - lots going on and groups of students working on ten different things at once! I believe that a ‘modern learning environment’ is not just about the furniture - it’s about teaching skills and attitude, rather than facts, and providing my students with carefully scaffolded choices so that they engage in their learning and feel a real sense of ownership of their progress.

My interests include reading (especially anything on history, science or theology….), cooking, travelling and spending time with my family and pets.

Anna Gerritsen
Role

Room 13 Teacher

Email

agerritsen@marian.school.nz

General Information

While this is my first year teaching at Marian Catholic School, I am an experienced teacher who has taught at various schools in the Waikato and overseas. I am passionate about teaching and learning. I feel very blessed that I get to work with such a wonderful group of students every day. We laugh a lot in our class and love learning together.
Outside of school I love spending time with my friends and family. I practice yoga and like walking along the river paths. My goal this year is to read more.

Maria Maarhuis
Role

Room 14 Teacher

Email

mmaarhuis@marian.school.nz

General Information

I have worked at Marian Catholic School for the past 12 ½ years of my career after moving home from working in the “Big Smoke”! 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!

Paula White
Role

Room 15 Teacher

Email

pwhite@marian.school.nz

General Information

I have been teaching at Marian Catholic School for 5 years and know this is the place where God wants me to be for the time being. Prior to this, I have taught in other schools, worked in the private sector, and also enjoyed many years being an at home mother.

My father always said to me, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I have tried to live by this precept and challenge myself to grow both personally and professionally. So keeping this in mind, I have recently moved from teaching year 7 & 8 students, to now teaching year 5 & 6 students.

I love teaching all curriculum areas, especially RE. One of my main goals is to create a learning environment where all the children in my class feel happy to walk into each day. I strongly believe if children are happy, then they will learn. I also want to challenge my students to share what they think and to know that their views are valued and welcomed.

Once a week, I try to bring one of my dogs (Tilly) into school. She is very gentle with children and enjoys being read to and also loves all the attention! But Tilly is more than this, I believe she helps children focus on their learning and provides a comforting presence.

Shannon Dons
Role

Room 16 Teacher

Email

sdons@marian.school.nz

General Information

I have been teaching at Marian Catholic School since 2016. After completing my undergraduate degree, I went on a working holiday to the UK and Europe. When I returned to NZ I completed my postgraduate in teaching and did a stint teaching secondary school. After taking time out to have a family I returned to teaching in Hamilton in the primary sector, and here my passion for teaching lies.

I love building connections with a core group of children, and watching them grow and learn, both socially and academically. I first did relieving at Marian and immediately got a sense of welcoming with its caring Christian values, both within its staff and across the community. My favourite subjects to teach are Writing and Social Studies, but I also love The Arts as well.

Outside of school I really enjoy spending time with my family. I also enjoy cooking up a storm in my kitchen, walking around our beautiful city, watching British tv dramas, and getting away to The Coromandel. My favourite part of my job is engaging with neat children everyday, and the satisfaction I get from sparking their amazing curiosities.