Staff Profiles

Phil Toomer


I have been Principal of Glenavon School since 2014 and I can’t wait to get to school each day.

I believe that school needs to be buzzing. Glenavon School certainly is!

What makes a school an exceptional school is it’s people. Our team are truly outstanding. They have been hand picked and are the cream of the crop!

I have high expectations of myself, our staff and our students and seeing our students succeed is the biggest reward. Contact me –

Rachel McDonell

Deputy Principal

I believe in preparing our children for the future.

At Glenavon we ensure our children receive a solid foundation, before entering the wider world. Our students learn in a highly engaging environment that is facilitated by vibrant teachers with programmes that cater for diverse learning needs and abilities.

I am lucky enough to be a part of this magic as Glenavon’s Assistant Principal.

Contact me:

John Hunte

Acting Assistant Principal / Room 7 Teacher

This year I am excited to be teaching year 5 and 6 again.

I believe the classroom should be a safe environment for students to learn, grow and discover what they love. I aim to provide a wide range of opportunities for students to unearth their hidden talents and build on their natural skills. I believe school should be an action-packed journey of discovery, learning and fun.

“Success in all areas of life” – this is my hope for all Glenavon students.

In my spare time I love playing football, drumming and spending time with my wife and daughter.


Becki Chappell

Awa Tahi Teacher

My name is Becki Chappell and this is my third year at Glenavon. I absolutely adore this community and I’m very excited to be the one of the teachers in our brand new learning space for Awa Tahi.

My goal is to ensure every student at Glenavon has the best start at school possible. I love helping students lay the foundation for their lifelong learning journey and I strive to provide highly engaging, individualised and meaningful experiences. Learning needs to be creative, vibrant and fun.

I love having adventures with my friends and whanau, cooking, reading and watching live music.


Sophie Watford

Awa Tahi Teacher

Kia ora everyone! I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to experience my first year of teaching in a Year 1 classroom at Glenavon School and I am extremely excited for what 2017 has to offer.

I strongly believe that every child is different and unique and for this reason, I aim to take all areas of a child’s well being into consideration. I trust that each and every individual can and will achieve success in order to become life long learners, here at Glenavon School.

I enjoy spending time outdoors, creating beautiful memories with my friends and whānau.

Wendy Kerrison

Awa Tahi Teacher

I joined Awa Tahi half way through this year and have enjoyed sharing my passion and experience in helping to develop an exciting and innovative learning environment for our youngest students. As a teacher my role is to help our children develop the skills they need to be resilient, to believe in themselves, to think creatively and to dream big.

I have a son and daughter and when I am not at school I love spending time with my family and friends.

Wendy Polkinghorne

Room 3 Teacher

I am very excited to be joining Glenavon School as the Year 1/2 teacher in Room 3 for 2017.

During all the years I have been involved in education, my enthusiasm and passion for teaching  and its power to change the lives of children remains unchanged.

I believe in “Never Give Up – Don’t Ever Give Up”.

I look forward to being a part of the Glenavon Learning Community!

Jackie Fransham

Room 4 Teacher

Welcome to Room 4. I have been at Glenavon School since 2011 and I have enjoyed seeing the amazing development of our school. The staff are awesome, the community is vibrant and the students are beautiful.

I believe every child has the potential to become anything they dare to dream and I will be there to lead the way. I am looking forward to building our children’s life skills to their fullest potential. I am highly optimistic at heart and relish a good challenge.

Veeninder Kaur

Room 5

I have been at Glenavon School since 2009 and have enjoyed being part of this awesome community. I have seen students graduating from this school as capable and confident individuals.

I am very excited to be with another awesome group of year 3 and 4 students. I believe that every child brings their own strength into the classroom and as their teacher I will give them all the opportunities they need to develop their skills and achieve their learning goals.

Libby Brown

Room 6 Teacher

I am thrilled to be teaching Room 6 at Glenavon this year! I can’t wait to see what our class will achieve.

School should be a place where children feel happy, cared for and motivated to extend their knowledge. I am committed to embracing the individuality each child brings to our classroom and developing positive, encouraging relationships with my students as a result.  I believe by providing a variety of engaging learning opportunities our students will benefit hugely.

In my spare time I love keeping active, spending time with friends and family, reading and cooking.

Matt Sheaff

Room 8 Teacher

I started teaching at Glenavon School in 2016 with a Year 2 class and this year I will be teaching Year 5/6.

I am all about creating relationships with my students and with that comes engagement, learning and fun. Outside of work, I like to keep active and enjoy football, indoor netball, ultimate frisbee and snowboarding. I also enjoy learning about other cultures, over the summer break I visited India and Sri Lanka!

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world – Nelson Mandela

Rochelle Lambourn

Room 9 Teacher

I have the privilege of being one of the Year 7/8 teachers and I reside in Room 9. This year we will be embarking on more challenges and learning to prepare students for their future and I can’t wait to get started.

When I am not at school I enjoy spending time with my son, running and anything that involves being outdoors.

I look forward to sharing the amazing work that comes out of Room 9 this year.

Tim Osborne

Room 10 Teacher

Our class is a place where students ask questions, take risks, challenge themselves, have hands on experiences and have fun. Students will discover their areas of passion or talent and use that passion to learn about the world around them.

As a teacher I aim to set up our students to succeed when they step out into the real world.

When I’m not at school I love to play my guitar, ukulele or piano and I bring this love for music into Glenavon whenever possible.

Grant O'Connor

Room 11 Teacher

To infinity and beyond – Buzz Light Year

If you’ve ever wondered what was beyond infinity, now is your chance!

Don’t just dream, gain the skills to make it happen. Do you want to be a star? Do you want to design and build massive structures? Do you want to cure incurable diseases? You’ve come to the right place.

2017 will be jam packed with fun and exciting new ways to do the impossible and Room 11 is where it’s all happening. Gear up and be ready to explore your potential.

Heather Bourgeois

Reading Recovery

I have been teaching at Glenavon for about 26 years, initially as a Reading Recovery teacher, then a junior school classroom teacher until 2012 when I retrained to do Reading Recovery again.

I enjoy helping children make accelerated progress in Reading and Writing, and it is wonderful to see that most of them go on to continue making excellent progress throughout their schooling.

Marie Homan

Reading Recovery

I have recently joined the Glenavon team as a Reading Recovery teacher.  I enjoy celebrating reading and writing progress with the students. It is wonderful to see students feeling confident and proud of their accomplishments.

Kristine Mellor

Office / Accounts

I  run the office from Monday to Wednesday and enjoy being orderly and efficient.

I am also on the Lynfield College BOT and enjoy seeing our students progress successfully into secondary school.

I enjoy spending my spare time with my husband Keith and our 3 children! I am also a HUGE fan of the All Blacks and the Auckland Blues!


Ann Skeen

Office/ Accounts

I work in the school office from Wednesday to Friday and ensure everything runs smoothly.
On weekends,  I love to spend time with my husband Rob, our 3 lovely daughters and our new King Charles puppy who loves being taken for walks.

I am a keen rugby league fan, following the Brisbane Broncos. My favourite player of all time is Darren Lockyer!


Sina Latoa

Learning Assistant

I am proud to be a Niuean and very passionate to be working alongside students of all ages and cultures, here at Glenavon School.

My life is about learning something new each day and embracing as well as appreciating others challenges and differences.

Although I come from a Rugby League family, I also love watching Rugby Union – my favourite player being Richie McCaw!

Jeremy Knox

Learning Assistant

I have recently joined the Glenavon team and I am enjoying assisting students in their learning. I believe in helping our young people, backing themselves in being engaging students and becoming contributing members of their community.

I enjoy all sports including rugby and play music in my spare time.

Tepano Tauia


My name is Tepano Tauia and I have been the caretaker at Glenavon School for 3 years now.

I love the school and community atmosphere.  We have a really unique staff team spirit, it’s a great place to work.

I am involved with the Glenavon Community Trust and enjoy working with people to make Glenavon the best place to live.

One more thing – Go the Auckland Blues!

Gemma Humphreys

Class Release

I am so excited about being able to teach across our wonderful school as a release teacher. I have been teaching at Glenavon School for almost 4 years and really love the family vibe; the students are a pleasure to teach and it is so rewarding seeing our young achievers succeed. I love seeing their faces light up while engaging in fun, exciting learning experiences that will prepare them for the real world.

While I’m not in the classroom I love spending time with my husband and our two year old Isla. I enjoy exercising, reading, eating out at good restaurants and beach holidays and I absolutely adore animals!

Lizzie Bayliss

Small Group Specialist

I love being part of the Glenavon family, working with small groups of children and helping them with their learning. From time to time you will find me in the classroom, releasing Glenavon teachers.

I am a big believer in having a growth mindset, making mistakes, learning from them and embracing challenges. I am committed to engaging and inspiring the children I work with.

I really do love my job.

Sue Taylor

Learning Assistant

I have been working at Glenavon School for 26 years and have loved watching the school progress through the many seasons that I have been here.

I spend most of my time in the school library and enjoy finding fun, engaging and inspiring books for the students to read.

Tapana Tauia


Hi, my name is Tapana and I love working at Glenavon School.

I have been involved with the school and community for a number of years and love the people here.

I love watching a children succeed and particularly love watching them perform at the schools events.

Shirley Tuisamoa

SWIS worker

I am the Social Worker in Schools, employed by Family Works Northern, contracted to work at Glenavon School.

I work with familes to develop plans to improve their safety, wellbeing and educational outcomes.

I am at Glenavon School Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday morning. I can be contacted through the school, on my Mobile 021-493848 or email address