Our Staff

Ngatai Walker


Appointed to lead Puketapu in 2016, Ngatai is an experienced educator, who was Deputy Principal at Inglewood Primary and with Core Education as Learning with Digital Technologies Facilitator. Originally from Masterton, Ngatai grew up in the Wairarapa before moving to Taranaki.  Ngatai is a keen sports fan and coach. Believing strongly in growing positive citizens, Ngatai is a leader with a strong knowledge of teaching and learning and a passion for community. After continuing his own learning by attending Te Wānanga o Raukawa in Ōtaki last year, Ngatai continues to strengthen education in Taranaki by leading the New Plymouth Kahui Ako.

Corinne Sattler

Deputy & Acting Principal

Taranaki born and bred, Corinne has a long term connection and love of Puketapu School. Corinne believes that our tamariki are taonga and acknowledges the gift whānau have given our school by placing their tamariki in our care. Corinne feels strongly about empowering students, colleagues and whānau and is a strong believer in hauora, recognising the importance of well-being physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Our Deputy Principal and often Acting Principal, Corinne loves music, travelling, a good book, plenty of time with family and friends and her mahi.


Amanda O'Dowda

Assistant Principal (Senior School)

An innovative and passionate educator and leader, Amanda joined our team in 2019, having worked at a variety of schools from large city, primary and intermediate, to small rural. Amanda is a strong believer and advocate of Learner Agency, who believes that learners are more engaged, and therefore make increased progress, if they have choice in their own learning. In 2023 Amanda is our Assistant Principal for the senior school and a cross school teacher in the New Plymouth Kahui Ako.


Avon Lewis

Team Leader - Kauri

Avon joined the Puketapu School team in 2019 after moving back home from playing rugby overseas. A keen rugby player with more than 100 games for Inglewood, he is also an experienced teacher who believes that kids learn best when they feel valued and have a sense of belonging at school.


Elle Johns

Teacher, Kauri

Joining our team in 2022, Elle is a teacher with a passion for rugby, cooking and music. Elle believes the best student growth occurs when the body, mind and soul are nurtured and cared for and her aim as a teacher is to make each student value and love learning. Elle aims to develop curiosity, wonder and excitement and role model what a life-long learner looks like.


Andrea Tait

Teacher, Kauri

While on paper Andrea is a beginning teacher, she is not a novice teacher, having been a teacher aide for nine years, relief teacher for two years and successfully raised
three children of her own! Andrea understands that each child has unique abilities, and is skilled at building meaningful relationships with students. She has a broad range of interests, has coached primary level netball, soccer and athletics, enjoy drama and is deeply interested in ecology and sustainability. She also has a great sense of humour.


Brody Lindsay

Team Leader - Kōwhai

We first met Matua Brody as a Learning Assistant while he trained as a teacher. He has quickly become a key part of our team and is now in a team leader role. His attitude towards whānaungatanga matches the idea of connecting locally to our community and he is a great sports coach too. Matua Brody reminds us that as a boy Richie McCaw wanted to be an All Black and his Uncle told him “you don't just want to be an All Black, you want to be a great All Black”. Matua Brody strives not just to be a teacher but to be a great teacher, a teacher who is a life-long learner who actively demonstrates all the Puketapu School values.


Flo Gibson-Harris

Teacher, Kōwhai

Flo is always open to further development and new ideas. A key strength is her ability to develop strong relationships with children, staff, family/whānau, which is extremely important as it fosters trust and allows children to become confident, connected and life-long learners.


Jess McLeod

Teacher, Kōwhai

Originally from Taupō, Jess is not only a netball player and downhill skier, but also an individual who fully appreciates all that Aotearoa has to offer, bringing an active element to the Puketapu learning environment.  Jess believes it is important to empower tamariki to take control of their learning and be a contributing member of their community.


Micaela Westrupp

Team Leader - Tōtara, Assistant Principal (Junior School)

Part of our team since 2022, Micaela believes passionately that building curiosity and using a strength based approach helps to build a foundation that ākonga can feel safe to explore and take risks. Having previously worked as an outdoor education instructor, Micaela sees the value in all of us being in nature, using our bodies, collaborating and supporting each other through challenge by choice.


Kelly Harvey

Teacher, Tōtara

Passionate about our environment and community, Kelly combines play, games and activities within authentic contexts. Kelly believes fostering a love of learning is just as important as the skills themselves and children best learn when it is memorable and fun.


Louisa Sharrock

Teacher, Tōtara

A local girl who still lives in Bell Block, Louisa loves to read and to swim and enjoys teaching swimming during the summer months. Louisa’s mantra: “The kids that we teach may not remember what it is that we have taught them, but they will always remember how we made them feel, so I do my utmost to ensure that they always leave me with a smile on their face and a giggle in their heart.”


Cara Knuckey

Teacher, Tōtara

An ex Puketapu School pupil herself, Cara joined our teaching team in 2019 as a newly qualified teacher, so you could say Cara has Puketapu in her blood. Cara is passionate about the abilities of all students and especially loves those lightbulb moments when a students gets something for the first time. Cara is also continuing her own learning journey by learning te reo Māori.


Becky Wells

Teacher, Tōtara

We first met Becky in 2021 when she completed her student placement in our senior school so we were delighted to snap her up as a newly qualified teacher. Becky loves dressing up, her two Labradors and reading a good romance book. She prides herself on providing a safe and nurturing environment where the tamariki feel respected, emotionally supported, and feel like they belong as soon as they step into her classroom.


Rachel MacAvoy

Team Leader - Rimu

Rachel has been involved in education all of her life and she has a strong passion for cultural values, arts and positive relationships - with the students, teaching staff and the community. Rachel loves to take the teaching outside the classroom and ‘change it up’ for the kids. She is also driven by learning and understanding the massive changes that lie ahead in driving our
akonga to be leaders and learners for the future.


Marina Collier

Teacher, Rimu

Marina has been part of our Puketapu team for several years and has taught in many year groups over that time. A keen sports player, Marina also loves art and food. Although originally from Australia, Marina has been learning te reo Māori for several years and enjoys trying to weave this through teaching practices.


Anna Proffit

Teacher, Rimu

Anna has recently returned to Puketapu School after taking some time out to have her own baby. Anna loves to inspire tamariki to dream big and be the best they can be. She believes in learning through play as a means to change a child's mindset from "I can't do that" to "I can't do that yet" and that seeing yourself as a learner underpins all school success.


Laurie Edwin

Teacher, Rimu

A former Puketapu student who loved our kura so much, Laurie became a teacher so she could come back and give back! Laurie is a passionate educator who cares deeply about growing the minds of the community she was raised in. Laurie believes building strong relationships with tamariki form the foundations for a thriving learning environment. Laurie's mantra "Students don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."


Kennedy Heikell

Teacher, Rimu

Originally a Gizzy girl who grew up on the golden sands of the east coast, Kennedy now lives in New Plymouth and has fallen in love with beautiful Taranaki. New to our team in 2022 after teaching in Hamilton prior to tha, Kennedy is passionate about teaching and building strong relationships with her students. She is a strong believer in engaging children through play and incorporates engaging activities that prompt deeper and more meaningful thinking.


Prishlena Kumar

Teacher, Rimu

Teaching has always been a passion for Prishlena and she enjoys devoting her time and effort into ensuring all children reach their full potential. Prishlena is a strong believer that it is through a community built on respect and dedication that tamariki thrive in their education.



Phil Hoskin

Kapa Haka and Tikanga Māori Specialist Teacher

Kei ngā maunga, kei ngā awa o ngā hau e wha, tēnā kōutōu katoa.
Phil was born and bred here in Bell Block and was an ex student and teacher at Puketapu School. His passion is learning and teaching Te Ao Māori and kapahaka to tamariki. He enjoys hanging out with his whānau and friends and in his spare time he loves riding his motorbike, playing music and creating different types of art.


Caroline Den-McKay

Specialist Literacy Teacher

A lifelong learner, Caro passionately believes in following the evidence about how the brain learns to read and continues to grow her knowledge and skills in the field of the Science of Reading. Caro loves seeing learners experience success with literacy and the impact this has on their self-esteem. Caro has three children: two of whom currently attend Puketapu School. Caro has recently been on a journey of discovery with te Reo Māori and in her spare time, she loves to entertain audiences with her singing!


Shirlene Paterson

Release Teacher & Maths Specialist

Whaea Shirlene has specialist interests in Mathematics, Science and Literacy and she is a super-creative person - she loves using fibres for creativity such as knitting and spinning and felting.

Jay Lane

Learning Assistant

A long term resident of Bell Block, Jay hsa been part of the Puketapu team for more than 25 years! Jay loves working alongside children in class or on a 1-1 basis as part of reading, literacy and speech programmes. She enjoys seeing the children achieve their personal goals and supports many different activities around the school. Jay loves reading and crafts.

Michele Oldfield

Learning Assistant

Michele is a key part of our Learning Assistant team, working with many students over the years - so many years that she left and came back again! Michele loves the people - adults and staff and loves being part of a great team. Away from school Michele loves knitting, reading and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Shaina Moratti

Learning Assistant

Shaina is a key part of our Learning Assistant team and part of our PB4L team, too. Recently Shaina has started her training to become a teacher.

Sandra Fonoti

Learning Assistant

A Bell Block local, Sandra is a key part of our Learning Assistant team, working with many students over the years.

Tara Curtis

Learning Assistant

New to our Learning Assistant team in 2022, Tara has already become a key part of our Learning Assistant team, working with many of our students who require that little bit more support.

Yugi Kosuru

Learning Assistant

New to our Learning Assistant team in 2022, Yugi has quickly become a key part of our team.

Anya Poching

Youth Worker & Whānau Engagement

Originally from Auckland /Tāmaki Makaurau, Anya has been in Taranaki for four years and has quickly become one of the most well known people at our school. Anya loves spending time with tamariki and rangatahi and loves connecting with all our whānau, caring for their wellbeing and providing extra awhi for children and adults alike. When she is not at school Anya loves spending time with her own whānau.

Raymond Quince


Truly one of the essential members of staff, Mr Quince looks after our fabulous grounds, keeping everything safe and tidy and working well. As well as being our Mr Fix-It around the school, he is also our IT guru, making sure our technology works correctly, iPads, computers and internet and the many BYOD devices onsite.

Kerie Smith

Office & Attendance

One of the friendly faces you see when you arrive in the office, Whaea Kerie is a first point of contact for enrolments, messages or questions and looking after our tamariki and teachers. Originally from Kāpiti, Whaea Kerie loves living in New Plymouth and describes working at Puketapu School as her dream job.

Paula Martin

School Administrator

One of the two friendly faces you see when you arrive in the office, Whaea Paula is a first point of contact for enrolments, messages or questions and takes care of much of the school’s administration. Originally from Taranaki, she spent several years living in London and now uses her corporate world experience to ensure the smooth running of the school.

Teresa Julian

Head Chef, Kitchen Team

Teresa's passion and love for cooking started back when she was child watching her Mum in the kitchen, who said “the secret ingredient for anything you make is love.” Teresa has lived by this philosophy ever since and is now carrying this into providing healthy, nutritious lunches for all our tamariki every day.

Charlotte McGoldrick

Sous Chef, Kitchen Team

A Bell Block local, Charlotte is an experienced chef who is also passionate about our environment and loves to grow vegetables and mushrooms. Charlotte is very community minded and has been a volunteer firefighter in Australia's bush fires. She also has a secret butter chicken recipe that is AMAZING!

Sharron Arbuckle

Kitchen Team

A familiar face in Bell Block, Sharron joined our kitchen team at the start of 2022, but she also works for The Lemon Club and has been involved in afterschool care at Puketapu School for many years.

25 Dillon Drive,
Bell Block,
New Plymouth.

Main Reception
Phone 06 755-0973
©2022 Te Kura o Puketapu
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