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! My name is Cynthia McNabb and I started teaching here in Term 3 of 2020. Being in the Middle Discovery is always an exciting adventure and I am privileged to teach such a talented group of learners alongside committed and inspiring colleagues.

Before coming to Te Uku I taught at Horotiu School, and before starting in teaching worked in student recruitment and career guidance for The University of Waikato, Tertiary Education Commission and Taratahi Institute of Agriculture. 

I enjoy sharing my passions for literacy, science, physical education and the arts with my learners. I love seeing children discover their own passions and helping them develop their skills and interests.

My partner Carl and I live in Hamilton and outside of school I love to dance, play sport and read.




 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.  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.

Kellie Priest

Office Administrator