Our Staff


Staff Photo – 2016

Our Teaching Staff:


Marama Stewart

Principal: Mārama Stewart (nee Te Pou), BMEd (Māori). It is my privilege to welcome you to our school and community, my name is Mārama and I am the Principal. I have had the pleasure of leading our school since July 2012. Both my Mother and Father are ex-army and I was born in Raetihi while my father was posted here as a PTI. I began my teaching career in Whakatane where I met my husband Cody. Cody teaches at Ohakune Primary School.  Together we have two beautiful children, our son Tāwhio (4) and Ngāhuia (9 months). Tawhio spends his mornings at school, supervising Kerry and I in the office, and his afternoons at Waiouru Kindergarten and Care. Ngāhuia hangs at home with our Au Pair but also drops in after lunch to terrorise the lower shelves throughout our school. Please feel free to drop in and visit us all any time.


Marlene Smith

Marlene Smith – Senior Classroom Teacher (Shan Zhanshi) – Hello everyone, my name is Marlene and I have recently returned to this district to live.  I grew up on a dairy farm between Ohakune and Raetihi, and left home at 17 years old to go to Teachers College in Palmerston North. I lived there for several years and then moved to east Auckland where I bought up my two beautiful daughters Carla and Natalie. I went from there to teach at international schools in Beijing, China and Aleppo, Syria for five years and on my return was DP at Raglan Area School for six years before returning to Auckland.  Carla now lives in Melbourne and has a son and daughter, and Natalie is still in Auckland and has a son. I am besotted with my grandchildren and wish I could see them more often.  Thank goodness for Instagram and voice time. I always wanted to come ‘home’ to live and last year I bought in Ohakune and moved back here from Auckland. I am very happy to be teaching here in Waiouru (score!), and I am teaching my passion subject, Writing.  This is a unique and special place to be. It is very full on teaching young students again and I love it. I’m also enjoying meeting our school families and community and getting to know you all.


Carie Webb

Carie King

Carie King – Junior Classroom Teacher (Currently on Maternity Leave) – Hi my name is Carie King and I feel privileged to be teaching the awesome ‘Chiefs’ this year. This will be my 6th year teaching at Waiouru School (with an OE in between) and my third year teaching reading as a passion-based subject. I live on a small lifestyle block just out of Ohakune with my husband Owen and we are excited to be welcoming our first child later this year. Outside of school, my hobbies include; skiing, reading, walking my dog and travelling overseas (although I realise this may need to be put ‘on hold’ for a while).

Mrs Donaldson

Cath Donaldson

Cath Donaldson – Middle School Classroom Teacher (Ngā Kiwi) Hi, my name is Cath Donaldson and I have lived in the Ruapehu area all my life. I was brought up in Ohakune and now live in Raetihi with my husband Tom. We have 4 grown up daughters and 8 gorgeous grandkids. We are lucky to have some of them live close to us and visit the others whenever we can. This year I have made a subject change and am now teaching Literacy to the Year 4-8 students. I believe all students have a story to tell and love getting them inspired by going outside and observing what is right there in front of them. I also have responsibility for our school library and enjoy looking for new books to purchase. This year is the final year of our research project which has brought about many changes to the way we approach teaching and learning here at Waiouru School. It is a busy and exciting place to learn for both teachers and students.

File_000Stacey Buchanan – Junior Classroom Teacher (Manahu). Kia ora. My name is Stacey Buchanan, at school the children call me Miss B or Stacey, I am happy with either. This is my ​4​th year with Waiouru School and I have loved every moment. I am originally from Taranaki and currently live in Pukeokahu (east of Taihape) with my partner JB on our 5 acre block. I am excited to be working with the ​Year 1-3​ children this year as they ​settle ​in​to school life. Out of school I enjoy playing netball, spending time in my garden and reading a good book.


Rita Pridgeon – Reception Classroom Teacher (Thunder Lions) –  Hi, My name is Rita, and I’m currently teaching the Superstars which is the reception / new entrant class. I previously taught at Raetihi Primary School and live in Ohakune with my partner Dave. I am originally from Tauranga, and still love going back there to see family and get some sun!  I enjoy working with the new entrant children and helping make their transition to school happy and enjoyable. Out of school I enjoy skiing, hiking, and hunting. I am looking forward to meeting all the kids and whanau at Waiouru Primary School and am loving working alongside such a passionate, professional group of staff memebers.

20180321_124125Sarah Porter Senior Classroom Teacher (The Zones) Kia ora, My name is Sarah Porter and this is my second year teaching/living here in Waiouru. I am originally from sunny Blenheim and completed all my schooling there, before moving to Wellington to complete my degree at Victoria University. At university I studied teaching in both primary and secondary settings specialising in geography and English. This year I am homeroom teacher to one of our Year 5-8 class, The Zones. I am also the Maths teacher for all year 3 and up students. I think Waiouru is a pretty awesome place to teach filled with lots of awesome students and staff.

 Our Support Staff:


Kerry Harding

Office Administrator: Kerry Harding. Hi,  I am one of the few that call Waiouru home. I was born here,  married a local farmer and had 4 daughters all of whom attended Waiouru Primary School. I have  been involved in Waiouru School for 27yrs now  and  I have been employed for 16 of them and I still love it!  Been such a transient school I have seen so many children and staff come and go but everyone of them has had an impact on my life in one way or another. I have seen the school go from over 600 pupils, 19 classrooms, two staff rooms and two libraries  to the 113 students, six classrooms and the one library that we have today. I have many memories of  the old school when it was on two sites but the ones that have stuck  in my mind are  the cold, smelly, drafty, drab old corridors that could freeze the juice in your lunch boxes!!  I definitely appreciate our new warm colourful  school.  The highlight of work  for me now is  my own grandchildren coming to school. I love it when their smiling faces come in and greet me every morning in the office.  I am  a very spoilt granma. I also enjoy the other regular children and mums that come through and have a yarn, it can at times be very entertaining. I look forward to the next 20 odd years of meeting more children, mums, dads, teachers and principals and maybe even my great grandchildren  starting school here. A 4th generation to attend Waiouru School, now that would have to be a first. 

Margie Wyatt

Margie Wyatt

Teachers Aide: Margie Wyatt Greetings all, my name is Margie Wyatt and I was born in the Chatham Islands. Waiouru has been my home for the last seven years. At Waiouru School I work as a part time teacher, ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) and in a supportive role as a teacher-aide. Reading, walking and visiting Tonga are my current interests. My “curriculum passion” is in the area of oral language, which enables us to learn through talk, to apply our learning and to address the challenges of social and technological change.


Teachers Aide: Lizzie Cottrell, Jo Donovan, Annette Nilsson and Bobby-Jay.

Cleaner: Megan Wilton