Our Staff

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Principal

Jill Farquharson
Jill FarquharsonPrincipal
Jill FarquharsonPrincipal, Principal
Kia ora tatou Ko Jill Farquharson toku ingoa. As a born and bred Aucklander I can’t help but feel immensely proud to be leading one of the country's top intermediate schools right here in our own backyard. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to work in such a progressive and dynamic school. As a youngster, I grew up in West Auckland enjoying the freedom of space and open fields in addition to the many beaches Auckland has on offer. No surprise that I spend much of my spare time now at the beach or outdoors. I’m sure this is also why I’m so passionate about students at ANI having plenty of space to move, plenty of experiences to learn outside the classroom and numerous extra-curricular activities (especially sport!). I am the second daughter in a family of four girls and one boy which meant I learnt early on how important it is to collaborate with others, care for one another and value whanau. I have two wonderful grown-up sons, one in NZ and another in the UK, am married to Allan and have a very large extended family with 15 nieces and nephews many of who regularly help out at school. Out of school, I enjoy spending time with family, attending yoga classes, road cycling (very slowly), playing golf (very poorly) and going to the gym. Well, that’s enough about me - now onto what makes ANI such a special place to learn. Our vision statement ‘To have internationally minded, inquiring, knowledgeable and confident lifelong learners’ is as relevant now as it was when we established it. It connects well when we think about the challenges our learners have experienced over the past two years during COVID-19. They have lived through international change and gathered new knowledge around what a world pandemic brings and as a school, we have a deep appreciation of their resilience and confidence. As educators, we know the importance of preparing our young people for a future that will be coupled with an ever-changing educational landscape so the knowledge we have and gained from lockdown will help us not only provide positive learning experiences but will also provide a solid platform from which to build personalised learning programmes supporting each and every learner. An important goal for me this year is to meet the needs of all emerging adolescents at ANI and I intend to work closely with students and their teachers to achieve this goal making sure the intermediate school experience is amazing for all our learners. Collaboration, teamwork and a focus on ‘WHY’ we do what we do drives me and I am committed to providing your children with an education that offers challenge, choice, independence and opportunity while at intermediate school. I am also looking forward to seeing the completion of two building projects you may have noticed on the school court area. One is a two-storied teaching block of ten classrooms due for completion in September this year and the other a multi-purpose space or as you may remember from your school days a school hall and gym due for completion in November this year. They had a bit of a shaky start in July  2021 as they soon went into lockdown but I’m happy to report that things are progressing splendidly and we are on track for a grand opening at the end of the year! Exciting times are ahead and we all can’t wait to get into these spaces. We will keep you updated on our progress as we move through the year via school apps and newsletters. You won’t miss out on knowing what’s going on! Please feel free to drop in to say hi anytime you are passing, or email me. I look forward to meeting you, having a chat and getting to know you all.  

Senior Leadership

Bryce Mills
Bryce MillsDeputy Principal
Bryce MillsSenior Leadership, Deputy Principal
My name is Bryce Mills and I am one of the Deputy Principals at Auckland Normal Intermediate School. I have had the privilege of being part of this fantastic team for almost 5 years now and can confidently say that I work with some of the most talented professionals in the country. My journey started on the east coast of South Africa, in a little town called Durban. As a young person, I spent most weekends either at the beach with my family or on the sports field where I played Hockey and Rugby - my folks had the right idea keeping their sons busy and out of mischief! Moving to New Zealand when I was 15 was both challenging and exciting - a new chapter in our lives. Finishing my high school qualifications at Long Bay College on the North Shore, I ventured off to complete a Diploma in Science at Auckland University before moving to AUT to complete my Bachelor of Education. Four years later I completed my Masters of Education with a focus on Educational Leadership which I can say has changed and transformed my view of education forever. During the early years of becoming a teacher I spent 12 months teaching at various schools in London which was an incredible experience and one that has shaped who I am as a professional today. My partner and I live in Mount Roskill with our furry kids, Frankie and Charlie! They are miniature dachshunds and are our service dogs at school. They spend their days with students who sometimes need a break from the classroom environment - they absolutely love school and the kids love them! My partner and I are big foodies and love being outdoors, often venturing off to various walks around the Waitakere ranges with dogs in tow. We have 2 nieces and 1 nephew who keep us very busy. I am excited about what the future has in store for education in New Zealand. The learnings from working from home with the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 as well as the research from educational leaders such as Valerie Hannon, are helping to challenge norms and expectations of how a school should run. Education is shifting and changing constantly and I am proud to live and work in country that is so open to change! Bring on another exciting year!
Shane Devery
Shane DeveryDeputy Principal
Shane DeverySenior Leadership, Deputy Principal
Hi everyone my name is Shane and I am very proud to be working with the very talented and forward-thinking staff and students at ANI. Another reason I love being at ANI is that we implement the dynamic International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme using the Primary Years programme or PYP learning framework. At school, I enjoy being part of all events and activities on offer and particularly enjoy being part of organising or coaching sports teams such as the ski team. I also facilitate  Student Coaching across the school, another passion of mine. My Whakapapa is from the West of Auckland, where my mother still resides and I am proud to be a Westie. Growing up out west provided me with many life lessons and gave me a love for achieving what I set my mind to and enjoying anything to do with the outdoors. I have grown up playing a variety of sports and activities that have kept me busy such as Rugby League, touch, skiing, surfing, swimming and many more. I love going to the beach and being in the water, which is my happy place. I am looking forward to working with you in the future and spending time with your tamariki during their time at ANI.

Year 7 Totara Team

Kieran Gleeson
Kieran GleesonTeam Leader, Room 25
Kieran GleesonYear 7 Totara team, Team Leader, Room 25
Dia daoibh gach duine.
My name is Kieran Gleeson. I am the Year 7 Dean and team leader of the Totara team. I originally hail from Ireland, where I grew up with my parents and two sisters; Eve and Val. We are all away from home at the moment, spread across London, Sydney and of course Auckland. Travel is a passion of mine having travelled extensively through South America, Europe and South East Asia. Before Auckland, I lived in Sydney for a year. I most recently visited Hawaii and Japan is my next big venture!
I love teaching in intermediate school. I believe the two-year schooling experience comes at a unique time for the development of our young children’s character. Part of my passion is developing resilient and open-minded students who learn to look after their own well-being. I enjoy building strong relationships with my students, inspiring them where I can and learning from them every day. Student leadership is a passion of mine and I coordinate our student leadership positions and challenge the students to take ownership of their time and impact while at ANI.
Outside of school, you’ll find me playing football most nights of the week. I enjoy staying fit and bringing this enthusiasm into some of my sports work with the students such as leading and promoting girls' football in the school. Taking this team to the AIMS games is always a highlight of the year. Music has been a huge part of my life, growing up playing the piano, percussion and violin in numerous orchestras and ensembles.
With the new buildings and performance spaces, I can’t wait to see what the children put together next. I am so excited to continue working at ANI this year and enjoy all the upcoming experiences with my class and team.
Maddy Mitchell
Maddy MitchellRoom 26
Maddy MitchellYear 7 Totara team, Room 26
Kia ora! My name is Maddy Mitchell, the year seven classroom teacher for Room 26. This will be my second year at Auckland Normal Intermediate and I'm so excited to continue working with such an inspiring team. I grew up on Auckland's North Shore as the middle child with an older sister and a younger brother. In 2015 I was blessed with three step-sisters and I'm now the second oldest! My beautiful blended family is full of love, laughter and lots of fun! I have always had a passion for ballet and contemporary dance and I can't wait to share this with the ANI community. In my spare time, I often find myself creating and watching things come to life. I have recently enjoyed going on nature walks, painting by numbers, diamond art, playing the guitar and listening to live music. My family and I are also massive rugby union fans and never miss a game! I am really looking forward to fostering an environment for lifelong learners, where everyone is supported to take ownership of their learning. I welcome curiosity and will encourage my students to use their mistakes as a stepping stone to success and to take risks in all areas. Kia pai tō rā!
Saasha Jolley
Saasha JolleyRoom 28
Saasha JolleyYear 7 Totara team, Room 28
Kia ora e te whanau. My name is Saasha Jolley and I am the lucky classroom teacher of Room 28. I am blessed to have been at ANI since 2016, completing my final year as a third-year student teacher at the University of Auckland and then moving on to being a classroom teacher. I am looking forward to the wonderful year ahead and to building strong, positive relationships with the new year 7 cohort and their whanau. It is important to me that I am creating lifelong learners who are confident in themselves and their own abilities, while also ensuring they maintain a balance in their hauora. In my spare time, I love to be around my family and my 4 year old son, named Kobi. He loves to come and visit the school and has so much fun interacting and playing with all the students. I am excited for the amazing year ahead and all we can achieve together!
Mathilde Gouider
Mathilde GouiderRoom 30
Mathilde GouiderYear 7 Totara team, Room 30
Kia Ora! I am Whāea Mathilde, just like our Year 7 this year, I am new to ANI. I am French, born in a multicultural Mediterranean family and I have been teaching in New Zealand for the last 3 years. Before that, I worked in diverse industries and studied various subjects in France, which helps me to design transdisciplinary lessons today. My journey as a kaiako started with teaching languages and I graduated 2 years ago from The University of Auckland to become a general teacher.
I love learning and making learning accessible and engaging. I am passionate about music, dancing, travelling, social sciences and health. I wish to help students reach their highest potential and become independent, confident, and resilient problem-solvers who will flourish as ethical global citizens. Building strong relationships with my colleagues, my students and their whānau is the favourite part of my job and I can't wait to meet you all soon!
Nga mihi nui
Gershon Cadelis
Gershon CadelisRoom 29
Gershon CadelisYear 7 Totara team, Room 29
Kia ora e te whānau, ko Gershon tōku ingoa. This year I’ll be working in the year 7, Totara team as the kaiako of room 29. For my seventh year of teaching, I am so excited to be joining ANI school and look forward to building a safe and engaging environment with my ākonga. Born in Bahrain, I moved to Auckland when I was 5 and grew up in Mount Roskill. I love the outdoors and being active, and am eager to incorporate this passion into my classroom teaching. In my spare time, I enjoy creating music, running, or going on hikes. I can’t wait to learn all about the passions and interests of the ākonga in room 29, and look forward to growing together as we take on 2023. Mā te wā!
Renee Dale
Renee DaleRoom 27
Renee DaleYear 7 Totara team, Room 27
Kia ora, my name is Renée Dale and I am lucky enough to be working in the Year 7 Totara team as the classroom teacher in Room 27. I completed my Bachelor of Education, specialising in Primary Teaching in 2021 and taught Year 8 at ANI in 2022. Before this, I worked as a teacher aide at ANI for two years and I could not think of a better school to start my teaching journey with. I am extremely passionate about teaching and learning and am very excited to be at an IB school where student agency is at the centre of it all. I grew up in Tāmaki-Makaurau and recently moved to One Tree Hill where I plan on walking the mountain as often as possible! In my downtime, I enjoy cooking, exercising and spending time with loved ones. I love being a part of the ANI whānau and am looking forward to a fabulous year.

Year 7 Kauri Team

Andrew Lawrence
Andrew LawrenceTeam Leader, Room 24
Andrew LawrenceYear 7 Kauri Team, Team Leader, Room 24
"Kia ora koutou, my name is Andy Lawrence and I am the Kauri team leader and eager teacher in Room 23. Additionally, I am one of ANI's In-School Leaders, working with several staff in a community initiative. I have taught both Year 7 and Year 8, and am now entering my ninth year at ANI. I love teaching intermediate-age students and seeing their development over the two years, becoming confident and capable young people. In my spare time, I love watching films, and listening to and making music, as an expressive outlet. I am an avid reader and writer, something I wish to pass on to my students. I love the outdoors and being in nature, as well as spending time with my friends and family, particularly my wife and daughter. I am committed to being the best I can be, with a desire to model open-mindedness and risk-taking to those around me. Being incredibly social, I am looking forward to connecting with my students and school community this year, and I am beyond excited for what is in store for those young people new to ANI - there's a lot on offer!"
Xavier Rice
Xavier RiceRoom 23
Xavier RiceYear 7 Kauri Team, Room 23
Kia Ora I am Xavier Rice, the teacher of room 24 in the Totara team this year. I am fortunate to be a part of such a talented, hardworking, caring and future-focused team that endeavours to provide the greatest intermediate experience possible. I had a wonderful upbringing living by the beach with my 3 older siblings Jacob, Lucy and Adam and am the son of Mark and Nancy Rice. A six-year gap between my siblings and I meant I had great role models who challenged me, inspired me and took care of me. Being the youngest also meant they were like the test dummies and I got away with everything (mum's favourite). My education career began at Red Beach Primary, before moving to Orewa college for my junior years and finishing at St. Paul’s College (Ponsonby). For as long as I can remember I have wanted to teach, I never really knew why, I was just drawn to it. Therefore, I undertook a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation at AUT majoring in Health and Physical Education and Physical Activity and Nutrition (2016-2018). Upon completion, I followed my childhood dream and chased a Rugby League contract in England. While in Europe I had a chance to see a small chunk of the world where I learnt a huge amount and grew as a person. Coming home, I undertook my Masters in Teaching and Learning at AUT in 2020. Now here I am at ANI with the wonderful room 21 today! I currently play for the Northcote Rugby League and North Shore Tigers (Aussie Rules Football).  I am passionate about sport, developing children's hauora (mental, emotional, physical & spiritual well-being) and seeking new learning experiences. I look forward to taking another year on and WINNING the house competition with Ahi for 2022!'
Sana Yakub
Sana YakubRoom 20
Sana YakubYear 7 Kauri Team, Room 20
Kia ora, Asaalam alaykum and Bula to all of you, my name is Sana Yakub and the proud teacher of room 20. This is my second year at ANI and my second year living in New Zealand as well. I was born and raised in Australia, Melbourne and happened to find the love of my life across the Tasman in New Zealand. I graduated from Deakin University with a bachelor's degree in Secondary teaching/arts majoring in children’s literature. I had an early passion for teaching from a young age which stemmed from my grandfather being the head principal in his hometown in Fiji. I never thought I would leave Australia but I believe this change is for the better and I already feel so welcomed by those surrounding me here in NZ. One thing I enjoy is seeing how much NZ embraces the Maori culture and I sense the love the community shares for its country. I have travelled to Queenstown, Wellington and Rotorua so far but I have much more of NZ to explore. I look forward to establishing a great rapport with my class by establishing a relationship based on trust and honesty. I will do my level best in giving my students quality and beneficial teaching and most importantly have fun with teaching!
Vanja Franich
Vanja FranichRoom 21
Vanja FranichYear 7 Kauri Team, Room 21

Kia Ora, my name is Vanja Franich and I am super excited to be the classroom teacher of Rm 21 for the remainder of this year! I was born and raised by the beach in Tāmaki Makaurau, although I have only returned this year (2022) after spending the last 5 years in the capital - Te Whanganui-a-Tara pursuing my studies at Victoria University. I have recently graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma of Education. Prior to my postgraduate studies, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Environmental & Development Studies. My undergraduate degree fits perfectly within the IB program as we explore the social sciences and tackle real-world scenarios.

In my own time, I love enjoying the company of my friends and family, getting out into nature, cooking, creating things, travelling and listening to music.

I cultivate a classroom environment where students embrace their identity, are confident, creative, and excited about their learning and becoming future contributing citizens. I encourage curiosity and risk-taking and I want my students to welcome mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow. Strong authentic and caring relationships with my ākonga and their whanau sit at the heart of my practice. I see myself as a lifelong learner, as I am always looking for opportunities and experiences to expand my knowledge - I encourage this mindset in my classroom. I hope to foster a classroom environment that promotes both academic and personal growth!

Michael Fenner
Michael FennerRoom 19
Michael FennerYear 7 Kauri Team, Room 19

Kia Ora,

My name is Mike Fenner and I am the year 7 teacher in Room 19 and the Performance Leader here at ANI. It is my first year here at ANI, after teaching in year 6 for four years, and I am incredibly excited to be working with students of this age group. My goal for all my students is to find their strengths and continue to build the skills and confidence they need to be outstanding citizens while having some fun along the way! My background is in music, after living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA for five years, studying performance, working as a professional guitarist, and teaching guitar and music theory. This passion for music hasn’t dwindled, but my interest in teaching has grown. My favourite things in the classroom to teach are creative writing and maths, for I adore storytelling and problem-solving. In my spare time, I will generally be playing guitar, dungeons and dragons or video games, experimenting with a recipe or catching up with a good novel or show. I look forward to meeting you all and helping your tamariki in their first year here at ANI.

Sunilla Naik
Sunilla NaikRoom 22
Sunilla NaikYear 7 Kauri Team, Room 22

Asaalam alaykum and Kia ora o te whanau, Ko Sunilla Naik toku ingoa. I am the classroom teacher of the young champions of room 22. This is my third year of teaching at ANI and my second year as the staff House Leader for Whenua. It is my privilege to work in an environment that supports and extends students to reach their full potential and beyond.

I have six years of teaching experience in a range of year levels between years 1 to 6, as well as two years of teaching at a university in Pakistan as a visiting faculty member. My family moved to New Zealand in 2015 and I completed my teacher’s training in 2020 from The University of Auckland. The following year, I was fortunate to complete a post-graduate scholarship course that specialises in teaching math and science to young children. I admire and respect the thinking of intermediate- age students and strongly aim to support them to extend their learning and strive for excellence. In my classroom, I promote inclusiveness and foster positive relationships and lifelong learning. Alhamdulilah, I am married to Faisal- an IT professional. We have three energetic boys, Masha Allah and we both support them with their academic and sports activities. In my free time, I experiment with cooking traditional cuisine and watching a good cricket series with my family. Born and raised in Pakistan and having maternal and paternal families in India, my first two languages are Urdu and Hindi. I love to play badminton and won the women’s double championship in my community last year. I am thrilled and excited to be part of the ANI family and looking forward to a fun-filled learning year ahead.

Year 8 Matai Team

Ashley Triana
Ashley TrianaTeam Leader, Room 4
Ashley TrianaYear 8 Matai Team, Team Leader, Room 4
Tēnā Koutou, my name is Ashley Triana and I am the team leader of our wonderful Matai Team. I was born and raised in Auckland and am lucky enough to have a pretty big family - there are 6 of us kids, which certainly keeps things interesting. I have been teaching for about 10 years now, all of them in Auckland with students in years 5-8. I am passionate about teaching and learning in all areas of the curriculum but, without a doubt, I would say that all things literacy are my absolute favourite! I’m an avid reader, writer and learner of other languages. I’m also really interested in lifting achievement in writing and this has been a big focus for me over the last few years. Family is really important to me and so I grab time with them whenever I can. My husband, Miguel, is Colombian and we have one daughter, Gabriela, who is going into her final year at university this year studying digital design. Trying to get us all at home at the same time has been a bit of a mission lately - although this just provides more opportunities for me to get my nose stuck into a book so I can’t complain too much. I also enjoy creating pretty large messes in the kitchen and taking on far too complicated DIY projects around the house (normally getting about halfway through before giving up and needing Miguel to come and save me). I’m looking forward to getting to know you better over this coming year - If you’re in the neighbourhood, don’t hesitate to pop by room 4 and say hello.
Yasuko Okamura
Yasuko OkamuraRoom 6
Yasuko OkamuraYear 8 Matai Team, Room 6

Kia Ora and Konnichiwa! My name is Yasuko Okamura from Japan! I obtained a Bachelor of Education in Japan and studied in Australia majoring in Master of Teaching and Master of Applied Linguistics. I have 11 years of teaching experience in a range of year levels at international schools. I joined ANI in 2020, however, I could not come to NZ due to Covid restrictions. I am so grateful to be back at ANI last year and finally get to meet all the lovely students! I believe it is important to establish trust and strong relationships with my students and their parents so that they feel safe and happy in an inclusive environment.

Apart from teaching, I am passionate about running, trekking, and drawing. The longest distance I have run is 80km a day. I have participated in 10 full-distance marathon races. I also love travelling by myself to experience different cultures and meet new people. I have been to 30 countries; which country is next? I always want to share my experiences with my students so I can help to inspire and motivate them!

I hope we have a great experience during our time together!

Steven Van Nes
Steven Van NesRoom 7
Steven Van NesYear 8 Matai Team, Room 7
Tēnā koutou, ko Steven Van Nes toku ingoa. I am the distance squad coordinator, growing a love of running amongst our young people and the passionate educator for Room 7. I value creativity, critical thinking and students becoming active participants in their learning journey. I strive to innovate and engage our tamariki with exciting, relevant and purposeful learning opportunities for the 21st century. I taught abroad in China and Ireland before returning back to New Zealand to complete my Masters in Teaching Degree at Auckland University. There is something special about the intermediate schooling years as students ignite passions through an array of unique opportunities that are presented to them. Outside of teaching, I have two beautiful children. 5-year-old, Mason, and 3-year-old Nova that keep me busy! I am mad about sports, particularly cricket, rugby and league. If you see me around school I would love to chat about what happened in the weekend of sport! I also love snowboarding, surfing and spearfishing to gather kai moana. I look forward to working with you and your child this year.
Selina Striebich
Selina StriebichRoom 3
Selina StriebichYear 8 Matai Team, Room 3
Guten Tag and hello, my name is Selina Striebich, and I am thrilled to start teaching at ANI this year. I grew up in Southern Germany and have always wanted to live and work in New Zealand, so I am very excited that this dream is finally coming true. I graduated with my Master of Arts and a State Examination in 2015 and have been teaching year 5 to 10 in both Germany and Bolivia. To me, teaching is about exciting the students with knowledge, to guide them to find their own way and grow into strong and open-minded adults. Building a relationship with my students is important to me as learning always requires a safe atmosphere and trust. I will be teaching in room 3 and am very happy to be part of Matai team. In my free time, I enjoy listening to Latin Music while doing Zumba or dancing Bachata. I hope I can take up horse riding again and cannot wait to explore New Zealand’s skiing fields this winter. Also, if you have any book recommendations, please let me know! I am looking forward to a great year!
Nick Houston
Nick HoustonRoom 2
Nick HoustonYear 8 Matai Team, Room 2
Kia Ora, my name is Nick Houston and I am excited to be returning to ANI in 2022. I graduated with my Bachelor of Education in 2020 and will be teaching in Room 2 and fortunate to be a part of the Matai team. Last year taught me many lessons that I look forward to putting into practice with Room 2. I was born and raised in Mount Albert, Auckland with most of my family living close. I studied on and off over the years to become a classroom teacher whilst balancing competitive sport and other commitments. Outside of the classroom I enjoy being active and spending lots of my time in and around the water. I am a passionate drummer and enjoy exploring different areas of music. As a teacher I prioritize giving students the tools to be able to deal with whatever life has to offer which has never been more evident than the last few years. I promote and encourage students to question the world around them and bring their knowledge and experiences to promote their curiosity and lead others. A focus this year which I want to build on is preparing our students for the exciting challenges they will face going to high school and beyond. I hope to build a positive class culture to add to our ANI Whānau.
Bruce Ng
Bruce NgRoom 5
Bruce NgYear 8 Matai Team, Room 5
Kia ora, my name is Bruce Ng and I am very excited to be a classroom teacher of Room 5. I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Hong Kong, I can speak fluent Cantonese and I can read and write in traditional chinese. I was Lucky enough to come to Auckland, New Zealand when I was 13 years old for my secondary school journey at Auckland Grammar School. I completed the Bachelor of Secondary Teaching diploma form The University of Auckland last year and joined ANI last year as a teacher aid. I am looking forward to getting to know all my students and to build strong, positive relationships. Outside of the classroom, I love spending time with my friends and family. I love the outdoors and you will probably find me at the field throwing a frisbee around after school, because I LOVE FRISBEE. As a teacher, I value strong relationships with students and their whanau. I believe that in order to teach anyone, I need to have a strong in depth understanding of who they are and their needs to unlock their full potential. If you ever walk by room 3, come in and introduce yourself. I would love to meet you all!

Year 8 Rimu Team

Alice O’Sullivan
Alice O’SullivanTeam Leader, Room 16
Alice O’SullivanYear 8 Rimu Team, Team Leader, Room 16
Kia ora e te whānau. I’m Alice O’Sullivan and I am the classroom teacher in Room 16. I have taught in the UK and New Zealand in a variety of age groups for 7 years. This is my second year teaching at Auckland Normal Intermediate. I am very excited to get to know and build relationships with the new Year 8 learners. I am passionate about inquiry-based learning as the lessons along the way are sometimes unexpected and always exciting. When I am not in school I enjoy spending lots of time outside including running, hiking, and snowboarding. I love travelling and have been fortunate to get to know New Zealand over the last few years. I’m always keen to hear about favourite spots and recommendations for the next adventure! I look forward to meeting you all very soon.
Faiza Chowdhury
Faiza ChowdhuryRoom 9
Faiza ChowdhuryYear 8 Rimu Team, Room 9
Kia ora, my name is Faiza Chowdhury and I have the absolute pleasure of teaching Room 9 this year. I was born in Bangladesh and moved to the UK when I was a baby. My family consists of my mum, dad and two brothers, who I miss quite dearly!
I received my degree in English Literature and then went on to do my Secondary PGCE. I was a high school English teacher in the UK for 7 years before I decided to leave the grey skies and rain behind. It’s a good thing I chose Auckland!
Teaching has always been my passion as I grew up around lots of my little cousins and always enjoyed being in their company and helping them navigate the world around them. I love teaching and I know how important it is to have a strong role model in the classroom who values and empowers students, as we are the people they see 5 days a week for most of their waking hours. I love to read and go on walks. I've been doing a lot of that since I've been in New Zealand and I'm starting to imbed myself in the culture and learn more about the country and its history. I also spend more time than I care to admit baking sweet treats for the people around me. Whether they want it or not.I am so excited to get to know my Room 9 whanau and learn all about them.
Matty Bowman
Matty BowmanRoom 10
Matty BowmanYear 8 Rimu Team, Room 10
Kia ora e te whanau. My name is Matthew Bowman and I am the lucky classroom teacher of Room 10. I like to see myself as a self-directed, action-oriented professional with over 5 year's experience in education and community service. I was born and raised in the North of England (Yorkshire) and arrived in New Zealand in 2020.  I am looking forward to getting to know all my students and building strong, positive relationships. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy being active and spending lots of my time outdoors. I play a range of sports but the one I am most passionate about is football (soccer). As a teacher, I am an enthusiastic and committed educator with an innate ability to understand and motivate children and I strive to build student self-esteem and encourage understanding of cultural diversity to create a cooperative community in the classroom. This year a big focus of mine will be to prepare our students for the amazing opportunities they will face in and out of the classroom and apply these to the ever-changing scenarios they will face later on in life.
Sophie Hunt
Sophie HuntRoom 14
Sophie HuntYear 8 Rimu Team, Room 14

Tēnā koutou katoa. This is my 4th year at ANI and I am so excited to be teaching year 8 students the skills to be lifelong learners. I was travelling the world for some time where I discovered just how important it is for all of us to be global learners and to soak in the knowledge of the wider world. Social studies is my favourite subject which fits well with the school's International Baccalaureate program.

I have a huge focus on building strong relationships with my students, their families and the relationship between the students in my class. I believe with a strong foundation of surrounding relationships, creates an inclusive and safe classroom environment that exhibits students who are empathetic, confident, creative, innovative, willing to take risks and many more positive outcomes as a result.

In my spare time, I love to travel, garden, cook, bake, explore new places, spend time with family and friends and also be a lifelong learner. This year, I personally have a big focus on pushing myself outside my comfort zone and trying new things. I hope my students will follow as an example and try something different this year.

Sam Curruthers
Sam CurruthersRoom 13
Sam CurruthersYear 8 Rimu Team, Room 13
Kia Ora! Hello! My name is Sam Carruthers and I teach Year 8 in Room 13 and I feel very lucky to be a part of Rimu team. I have 7 years experience in teaching: 4 years in Birmingham and 3 years in London. During my time teaching, I have had the privilege to be in leadership positions and to lead sports teams. I love teaching and thoroughly enjoy being in the classroom.
I was born in Norwich, UK and raised in Birmingham, before going back to Norwich for my undergrad in Modern History. Once that was completed, I moved back to Birmingham to do my teaching qualification and started teaching straight after that.
I moved to New Zealand in July 2022, and I love the outdoor lifestyle and focus on sports. When I am not at school, I enjoy cooking, walking, running and exploring this wonderful country! I am looking forward to getting to know the community, the city and the country much better, so please come and say hi!
Alby Jose
Alby JoseRoom 15
Alby JoseYear 8 Rimu Team, Room 15

Kia Ora and Namasthe! My Name is Alby Jose, and I am excited to be with Year 8 students this year. From India, I moved to New Zealand in 2018 for new experiences. I completed my Master of Arts and Bachelor of Education in India, where I started my career as a teacher. I have worked as a reliever in ANI for the last two years and am delighted to be a part of this inspiring team. I believe in creating a classroom culture where students feel safe, happy and productive to become lifelong learners. Creating engaging learning environments along with building solid positive relationships are always important.

In my spare time, I love being with my family (husband and two children) and enjoy cooking, reading, watching Netflix series and exploring new places with friends.

I always appreciate open-mindedness, risk-taking and grabbing opportunities, and I look forward to what we achieve together this year.

Kowhai Team (Specialists)

Carlos Kucera
Carlos KuceraTeam Leader, STEAM
Carlos KuceraKowhai Team (Specialists), Team Leader, STEAM
Kia ora koutou. Ko Carlos toku ingoa. I am a Brazilian teacher and have been in Aotearoa and ANI for 5 years. I am also the father of a boy and 2 girls. I am extremely energetic, friendly, passionate, positive and a sportsperson. I love all types of sports and physical activity, all kinds of movement. I also love cooking, nature, technology and arts. All these passions probably led me to the specialist team leader position at our school. I am proud to be in Aotearoa New Zealand and respect this country for fully accepting me and my whānau. I always take my cultural awareness into my teaching, where I consider connectivity with my students extremely important. I decided to be a teacher as a teenager, mainly because it would allow me to keep studying and I also could help to improve others around me (and society). My passion for studying still exists today. After my Master’s degree, I am currently in the last year of my doctoral degree in education. My PhD at The University of Auckland has helped me to develop new teaching skills and knowledge in my teaching and personal life. Thus, I am still being a very critical and reflective teacher and take this to my students. I am very excited and proud to be part of ANI. Being a teacher and a member of our school community makes me feel lucky and special. I consider myself almost an Aucklander and it is an honour being able to spend my days with our students in this dynamic and lively school environment. ANI is a shining example of how we can integrate many learning areas in one (or more) learning projects. We also provide many opportunities in sports and specialist activities (and extra class opportunities). I am highly motivated to contribute to our students in many senses. Ensuring that they can develop all their creativity is a big part of my motivation. One of my goals this year is to provide rich, fun and unique learning experiences for all our students, achieving individual goals and needs. We always keep you updated through our website, app and newsletters. I am looking forward to spending time with your tamariki and your whānau while at ANI.
Jacob Markham
Jacob MarkhamHard Technology
Jacob MarkhamKowhai Team (Specialists), Hard Technology
Kia Ora, I am Jacob Markham, I was a Year 8 classroom teacher at ANI and moved into the Kowhai team as a Design Technology Teacher where I guide students through the design process and creating meaningful real-life experiences. I believe that hands-on learning allows students to interact with the surrounding world, building lifelong knowledge and skills.

I come from a family of teachers, having 2 sisters currently teaching at high schools and a mother who taught primary school, (she was even unfortunate enough to teach me). I grew up in the South Island on a farm just outside of Timaru where I spent most of my spare time outside riding my bike, herding sheep, playing cricket, and building huts. I worked as a Land Surveyor in Timaru for 8 years before heading to London where I ended up working in a school for autistic children. This encouraged me to study and brought me to Auckland where I slaved in the hot sun as a landscaper while studying for a Primary Education Bachelor's degree.

I was fortunate enough to do my final placement at ANI where I have remained since. When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy skateboarding, walking, biking, and spending time with friends and family. I am looking forward to the fun and challenges of the year ahead.

Brooke Tuialii
Brooke TuialiiSoft Technology
Brooke TuialiiKowhai Team (Specialists), Soft Technology
Kia ora, my name is Brooke Tuialii. I enjoy teaching our students cooking and sewing skills. I love working with this age group, encouraging them to experiment with ingredients and materials. I spent time as a classroom teacher in South Auckland and Christchurch before spending 10 years living in Japan. It was the most amazing experience to live in a country so different to New Zealand. I learned so much from being part of such a respectful culture and of course, enjoyed the delicious food. My husband and I returned to New Zealand with three children, one of which attends ANI. My husband is a New Zealand-born Samoan and my parents are of Maori and Tongan descent so I am passionate about cultural heritage and enjoy learning about the various cultures our students represent. We all come together to make one large ANI whanau which is very special. I am also passionate about the many sports provided at ANI so you will likely see me sideline, coaching, managing or supporting our young sportspeople. This will be my third year at ANI and I look forward to seeing the students enjoy our amazing new facilities.
Beren Allen
Beren AllenArts (Visual Arts)
Beren AllenKowhai Team (Specialists), Arts (Visual Arts)
Kia ora koutou! My name is Beren and this is my 3rd year teaching the arts at ANI. Before stumbling into the world of education, I initially trained in film production at South Seas Film School. For 7 years I worked as a videographer and visual artist in the Auckland film and theatre industry. Completing my Bachelor of Education in 2020 has enabled me to bring my passion for teaching and the arts together. My driving force as an educator is to help students realise their creative potential. I believe that exploring our lives through art builds empathy and understanding for a more connected and compassionate world. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, reading, live music, and spending time with my whānau. I am looking forward to creating with you!
Neeti Siras
Neeti SirasScience
Neeti SirasKowhai Team (Specialists), Science
Kia ora and Namaste I am Neeti Siras, the Science Teacher at ANI. I come from the land of Spiritualism, Ancient knowledge, Yoga and Ayurveda i.e. Bharat(India). We moved to New Zealand recently. My husband is a Software professional and we are blessed with two lovely boys. Teaching has been my passion and I have taught Primary as well as Secondary school students. My journey as a Science teacher has been wonderful, with a lot of learning and reflection. Science is an inquiry-based learning area and my role is to help students understand the key concepts while they carry out investigations. My hobbies are listening to music and cooking. I am seen in my kitchen doing experiments as I do in the lab. I consider myself fortunate enough to be a part of ANI.
Brittany Joubert
Brittany JoubertPhysical Education
Brittany JoubertKowhai Team (Specialists), Physical Education
My name is Brittany Joubert, I am a dedicated and enthusiastic Physical Education teacher with 6 years of teaching experience from South Africa, New Zealand and China. I  graduated from the University of Pretoria, in South Africa, with a Bachelor of Education in Human Movement Sciences and Sports Management. I strive to use my specialised degree to observe and correct the movement of the body as it relates to any movement a learner is performing, to refine that movement and to help the student perform at their optimal level. I am passionate about helping learners to perform at a high level through developing quality lessons and setting achievable goals. I believe in a holistic education which encompasses the mind, body and soul working as one to promote effective learning.  I aim to teach students to understand how their bodies work and how to use them effectively for physical health, flexibility, motor function, mental health, and refining movement techniques that can be applied to daily life and specific sports. I look forward to being a part of a great team here at ANI and working collaboratively so that students are able to get the most out of their learning experience every day.
Sharon Zhai
Sharon ZhaiArts (Music)
Sharon ZhaiKowhai Team (Specialists), Arts (Music)

Kia ora!

I’m Sharon and I am very happy to be ANI’s music teacher this year. After spending the past few years overseas, I’ve decided to return to beautiful Aotearoa and teach at my alma mater - where I’ll be able to give back to the community that has taught me so much. I have a background in classical violin, although my current passion lies in jazz composition and other contemporary formats. I believe music is paramount to a well-rounded education and all children are musical by nature. Music actively engages all of our senses and connects us globally. It is an art form, a mode of self-expression and most of all it is FUN!

Can’t wait to meet you all!

Rata Team

Kate Shin
Kate ShinInternational Students Director
Kate ShinRata Team, International Students Director
I am the International Student Director, my Korean name is Ji Yeongyeon and I am committed to my role as an experienced teacher and long-serving staff member at ANI since 2006.
Previously I worked at the University of Canterbury as a Korean advisor in the School Support Team. After that, I completed my master’s degree at the University of Auckland.
Originally an English teacher from Seoul, South Korea, I moved to New Zealand in 1996 and feel fortunate to come to ANI and work with wonderful colleagues and children of this age at ANI.
My hobbies include playing the piano, tramping, reading, and travelling. I love living in New Zealand and exploring nature within the country.
Cynthia Montesinos
Cynthia MontesinosLanguages - Spanish
Cynthia MontesinosRata Team, Languages - Spanish
Hola!! This is Cynthia Montesinos, I am a proud teacher of Spanish. Mexico is my home country and New Zealand has become my second home for almost three years so far. I am a passionate person who enjoys adventure, brotherhood and peace. I came to New Zealand to continue my professional education therefore, I am fully committed as a teacher to letting students open channels of communication in an intercultural way as citizens of the world. I really enjoy teaching and learning through music, games and different resources for a better experience. I have a BA in English (Honours), a Masters degree in Communication applied to Education and I am doing a postgrad program at the University of Auckland. I have travelled to different countries from North America, Central America, the UK and Europe and my plan is to continue exploring the wonderful spots from New Zealand, baking, going out with my kids, trying new food and enjoying a good cup of coffee. If you see me around, say “hola” to me!
Jasmine Hanawy
Jasmine HanawyLanguages - French
Jasmine HanawyRata Team, Languages - French
Bonjour my name is Jasmine Hanawy and I am the enthusiastic French teacher with high aspirations for my year 7 students. I take pleasure from encouraging students to be risk takers and confident learners. This is my sixth year at ANI, over the years I had the privilege of being part of such a pioneering and exciting school. My passion is being able to able to teach the language I love to my present and future students and foster in them a love for French language and culture. As a result, I would like to see my students developing a clear understanding of their learning and having a sense of agency and feeling in control. I am half Egyptian and half French. I like swimming and going for long walks. I love travelling and exploring new places as well as hearing languages spoken around me especially the French language. I immigrated to New Zealand 26 years ago with my family. My son is a pilot with Emirates so he is residing in Dubai with his family.
Nicola Redshaw
Nicola RedshawESOL Teacher
Nicola RedshawRata Team, ESOL Teacher
Kia ora. My name is Nicola Redshaw and I am ANI's new ESOL teacher. I moved to London after studying Conservation and Ecology at Lincoln University and Primary Teaching at Auckland University. My plan was to live in London for a couple of years, which turned into 20 years. I loved living and teaching in London. Being in Europe's backdoor meant I was able to visit many countries and learn about different cultures, religions and ways of life.
Last year my partner and I (and our cat) moved permanently back to Aotearoa. It's great being back and I'm excited to be teaching in New Zealand again. I love my job and I feel genuinely privileged to have been able to guide, support and mentor so many young adults over the years. I am looking forward to continuing this journey with  ANI's international whanau.
Being back in Aotearoa is exciting and a time to reconnect with whanau, friends and nature.  I enjoy being in the great outdoors; cycling, hiking and swimming at the beach. I am an avid reader and usually have two or three books on the go at the same time. If  I'm not reading it's likely that I am gardening, exploring the great outdoors or hunting down the best coffee in town!

Part-time Support Staff

Kim Elliott
Kim ElliottPCT Release Teacher
Kim ElliottPart Time Support Staff, PCT Release Teacher
Hi All, my name is Kim Elliott,and I am a Release Teacher at ANI. I work with our young teachers, mentoring them and being their ' mum' at school !! I feel extremely privileged to have this opportunity - the beginning teachers keep me young and I love their enthusiasm and willingness to learn. I have taught for many years at ANI. I am passionate about the intermediate school model and find this age group exciting and motivating to engage with. Previously I have taught at Remuera Intermediate, AwakeriSchool and I was a Team Leader at Rangeview Intermediate. I have two children - a girl and a boy who are in their mid twenties. I have a number of interests including travel, the gym and motor racing.. I especially enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
Don Campbell
Don CampbellRelease Teacher
Don CampbellPart Time Support Staff, Release Teacher
Kia Ora I grew up in the farming community of Pukekohe and attended secondary school both there and in Dargaville. I am married to Verna and together we have two daughters, 5 grandchildren, 1 great grandson and a dachshund called Fritz. Verna and I share a passion for travel and running although running has largely become walking in recent years while I indulge in skiing, fishing, reading and watching sport whenever I can. My teaching career included many years as Deputy Principal at various primary and intermediate schools followed by time spent in the business sector. I regard teaching at ANI as being at the cutting edge of education and a privilege, particularly as the investigative learning practised here coincides with beliefs I have held over most of my career. My role at ANI is primarily to release teachers for planning and professional development purposes.
Colin Dale
Colin DaleRelease Teacher
Colin DalePart Time Support Staff, Release Teacher
I love learning and over many years have studied at a number of Universities. I have travelled all over the world and am fascinated by the way other cultures live. I have a special interest in Maori as our tangata te whenua. I love all things Maori and have worked in Pacific communities also enjoying their culture and people. I have taught at all levels of our school system including tertiary, but remain committed to the middle years of our school system. Middle schools are dynamic and provide a special inspirational programme that is exciting and unique in what is offered both in the curriculum and in extracurricular activities. I am passionate about future-focused learning practices. My main interest is reading, especially action stories. I play the piano and love listening to classical music.

Kiwi Team

Rachael Banbury
Rachael BanburyConcierge
Rachael BanburyKiwi Team, Concierge
Hello, my name is Rachael Banbury and I am the concierge at ANI. I studied at the University of Auckland and completed a BA degree, majoring in Politics and History with Honours. I have five years experience as a Teacher Aide so I am very familiar with the culture of the school from inside and outside the classroom. I have been working at ANI since I graduated Epsom Girls Grammar in 2016 and am very much looking forward to my eighth year as a member of the ANI family. As a past student of ANI, I am happy to say some of my closest friends today I met as a bright-eyed year 7. Being part of the ANI team for so long has been a privilege and I am excited to be working in a different arm of the school. In my free time, I enjoy reading novels, binge-watching the latest Netflix series, and taking part in a weekly pub quiz alongside some members of staff. I am looking forward to another eventful year working at ANI.
Helen McMahon
Helen McMahonOffice Administrator
Helen McMahonKiwi Team, Office Administrator
Hello my name is Helen McMahon and this is my third year of working as an Administration Assistant in the school office. My duties are supporting students, parents and teachers to make their experience at our school as smooth and enjoyable as possible. My family has lived in Mt Eden for over 30 years and both my children went through the local schools, including ANI. Our family also welcomed Niko in June 2020 and a lot of my spare time is taken up being a doting Gran. In the holidays and most weekends I can be found in gorgeous Pauanui enjoying all that it has to offer. I enjoy running and spending time with family and friends. Looking forward to meeting a lot of you as the year progresses and remember we're here in the office to help.
Lynley Sheweiry
Lynley SheweirySLT Executive Assistant
Lynley SheweiryKiwi Team, SLT Executive Assistant
A previous biochemist with sales, customer service & marketing experience, I joined the International Department in July 2019. My three children all attended ANI and during that time I was Chairperson of the PTA and a BOT member, so I have strong ties to the school. My role in the International Department finished in late 2022 and I am now the SLT Executive Assistant after temporarily filling in for the past year. I am passionate about education, fundraising and supporting the learning environment, still being involved in the wider community as Co-President of Epsom Girls Grammar School Old Girls Association and have been a Board member of the EGGS Foundation Trust since 2012. I have also been the Treasurer and Secretary of the Aorere College Foundation Trust since 2015, my old school located in Mangere. From 2015 to 2020, I was invited onto the interview panel for Auckland Central Community of Learning and have enjoyed immensely being a part of the team of Principals that appointed our Across School Leaders. Music, movies, watching rugby and football and spending time with family are all things I enjoy in my free time.
Jean Feng
Jean FengExecutive Officer
Jean FengKiwi Team, Executive Officer
Nihao ANI Whanau. My name is Jean Feng and I am the executive officer. My role is to provide financial administration support to the team at ANI. Originally from China, I immigrated to New Zealand 21 years ago. I live with my husband and my lawyer son. I am a CAANZ member. Well-educated myself, I believe in education and feel young and joyful to watch our students enjoy learning, get high quality education and reach the highest level of achievement at ANI. I look forward to meeting you all and working with the rest of the team to make you and your children's time with ANI a satisfying experience.
Ula He
Ula HeProgram Administrator/Coordinator
Ula HeKiwi Team, Program Administrator/Coordinator
This is Ula He and I am in my third year in the ANI family. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to work with such outstanding colleagues. I came to New Zealand a few years ago after working overseas in the education industry for many years. I did my undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the UK and lived in Newcastle for many years. I came to New Zealand to study another master's program. Painting and reading are my favourite hobbies in my spare time, and I spend a lot of time on these things. Traveling is also one of my favourite activities. I also regularly participate in volunteer activities every month to pass on the love. I'm mainly responsible for Enrolments, Attendance, and After School Classes. Working in the education industry for many years, I am full of enthusiasm, patience and have a positive attitude towards my work. I always try my best to help students and parents with their problems and give them professional advice when they ask for help. I believe this rich working experience can help me to provide a better range of services.
Tinashe Biri
Tinashe BiriIT Support
Tinashe BiriKiwi Team, IT Support
Kwaziwai, sawubona whanau. My name is Tinashe Biri and I have been at ANI for some time supporting students and teachers in my role as ICT administrator. I have been working in the IT and Telecommunications industry for over 30 years, with experience in the corporate and education sectors. I hail from Zimbabwe and have been in New Zealand, our second home for quite some time now.
I am happily married to Sandra who is a primary school trained, kindergarten teacher. We have three children, two girls and a boy and they keep us engaged and busy outside our work environment. Helping students and teachers in accessing and using digital technologies is my passion. With the ever evolving digital and cyberspace it means continuous learning and transforming the way we live and learn. Ensuring and equipping students to be able to navigate the cyber jungle has been at the centre of my practice.
Bruce Banbury
Bruce BanburyProperty Manager
Bruce BanburyKiwi Team, Property Manager

Hi, my name is Bruce Banbury and I am the Property Manager at ANI.

In the recent past, I spent time assisting ANI students with their lab experiments working alongside the science teacher.
Prior to ANI, I worked as Technical Manager using my chemistry background to carve out an interesting career formulating and selling chemical-based industrial products to local and international companies.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year in 2022 as Property Manager at the school, utilising maintenance and organisational skills gained in the commercial world.
I have a long association with the school as my three children enjoyed their education here whilst forming enduring friendships with their fellow students to this day.
Outside of work, I play guitar, attend live music events and football matches of all three major codes and spend time socialising with friends and working on home renovations.

Tui Team

Stephanie Fransen
Stephanie FransenTeacher Aide
Sam Blackman
Sam BlackmanTeacher Aide

Nikau Team (Specialist Support)