Teaching Staff

Pip Mears


I am delighted to have been appointed as Principal of Te Uku School since Term 2 2018. I bring with me a wealth of experience in the world of education, having taught both in New Zealand and in the UK. I have also been extensively involved in teacher training programmes at the University of Waikato, as well as a variety of  teacher mentoring and support initiatives. In 2014, I completed my Masters in Educational Leadership, where I focused a large part of my study on looking at a particular passion of mine – how student-teacher relationships influence student achievement at school.  I am looking forward to continuing to implement the school vision of ‘Expanding Hearts and Minds - Whakawhanake i te Ngakau i te Hinengaro' as we endeavor to encourage, challenge and inspire students at Te Uku School to be the best versions of themselves, well equipped to make the most of all that the future has to offer them.

Bernard Butler

Teacher of Middle School; Deputy Principal; co-leader of school-wide curriculum development project

Kia ora. I am the Deputy Principal and will be teaching in the Middle Discovery.   I live in Hamilton and enjoy going to the gym, pottering in my garden and experiencing new cultures through my travel experiences.  I have previously taught in primary schools in Auckland and also worked for the University of Auckland and Waikato in the Health and Physical Education learning area. I am looking forward to getting to know all the students across the school this year and having lots of interesting and positive learning experiences together. 

Cynthia McNabb

Teacher of Middle School

Kia ora families of Te Uku School! My name is Cynthia McNabb and I joined the Middle Discovery team in Term 3 of 2020. I am a second year beginning teacher and spent my first year teaching juniors so I am very excited for the new challenge of working with older children. Before starting as a teacher I worked as a Careers Adviser and in marketing and student recruitment for a number of different tertiary organisations.  

I love working with children and seeing the exciting developments they make as they learn and grow. I enjoy teaching literacy, science, physical education and the arts and am passionate about connecting the children’s life experience to what we’re doing in the classroom.  

When I’m not teaching I love to dance, play sport and read. I’m looking forward to meeting you all and becoming a part of the Te Uku community!

 cynthiam@teuku.school.nz     07 825 5815 Ext:21

Catherine Lynagh

Teacher of Years 1 and 2

I have been teaching at Te Uku School since 2006, and I love working in such a supportive, challenging and inspiring environment.  I live nearby on a small lifestyle block in Waitetuna, and my ongoing project is developing gardens and planting trees around my section. I have two adult children (both former Te Uku students), and four entertaining cats.  I'm a big reader and enjoy all sorts of books.  Some of my particular teaching interests are literacy, art and learning through play.  This year I will be working mainly with the youngest children in the Junior Discovery.  I'm looking forward to getting to know all the different personalities in the group and helping the children develop their imagination, creativity and self-belief as learners.  

Scott Johnson

Teacher of juniors

Hello families of Te Uku School.  I come from the sunny town of Whakatāne and moved to Hamilton in 2011 to pursue a career in teaching, where I have been living for 8 years.  I absolutely love working with children because of their creativity, enthusiasm and desire to learn at every opportunity. My interests in teaching are music, literacy and physical education. Outside of teaching I am a big sports fan and absolutely love playing music, especially guitar.  

Semonne Hogg

Teacher of Years 7 and 8

Ki Ora Koutou, My name is Semonne Hogg, this is my first year with Te Uku School. I have been teaching intermediate level in full primary schools for 15 years and it is still my passion to help children to succeed.

I believe in ensuring, through teaching and learning, that our children today gain a love of learning that leads them to be successful in all aspects of their lives. I am a strong advocate for learning outside the classroom - it is relevant, engaging and provides many opportunities for children.

I grew up travelling around New Zealand and have spent some of my early years in England, training and teaching in early childhood.  I adore the country lifestyle and ten years ago I moved from a remote area of Taranaki to the big town of Whatawhata. 

I am excited about my new journey with Te Uku School and look forward to meeting you all.

Carol Carlson

Teacher of Years 7 and 8 technology; CRT teacher for both Junior and Senior Discovery groups

I live locally at Waitetuna and have been teaching in different roles at Te Uku school since 2001. I have been responsible for the Year 7/8 technology programme since 2004 as our school offers on-site senior technology classes. This year I will be teaching senior technology on Wednesdays and will be in the Junior and Senior discoveries on Mondays and Tuesdays. I love the variation and challenge of my part-time role and working across the school with all age groups. I enjoy hands-on learning with all students and I am passionate about creativity and the power of imagination. Art and play-based learning are particular interests especially while integrating learning experiences to connect to other areas. All students can imagine possibilities and extend their thinking through design. We learn and create wonderful things together, using paper, ceramic, fabric, wood or whatever is available! 

Please contact me if you have access to suitable materials for our design projects at school. I am always on the lookout for things we can put to good use or sources of items. If you have resources, knowledge or skills to share, I would love to hear from you!

Support Staff

Basil Turnbull


Jo Wallis

Teacher Aide

Hi I am Jo Wallis. I am supporting learning in both the Junior and Senior Discovery groups, from Monday - Thursday. It is great to see children’s minds growing and developing. I live in Okete and have 1 child here at Te Uku School and two at high school.

Cheryl Circuit

Office Administrator

Kia Ora – I have lived in Raglan for 4 years  with my husband and 2 children. I love the community hub, lifestyle and the beaches were we spend lots of family time. I feel privileged to be working at this amazing local school.   I am delighted at the learning strategies and open spaces we offer. We have the most beautiful setting and its a pleasure watching the children grow in it. 

We have exciting times ahead and I am delighted to be part of the future.