Our Staff


Staff Photo – 2016

Our Teaching Staff:


Marama Stewart

Principal: Marama Stewart (nee Te Pou), BMEd (Māori)(Currently on Maternity Leave). It is my pleasure to welcome you to our school and community, my name is Marama 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 our beautiful son (and school mascot) Tawhio, who joined us in March 2014. Tawhio spends his mornings at school, supervising Kerry and I in the office, and his afternoons at Waiouru Kindergarten and Care. Please feel free to drop in and visit us all any time.


Marlene Smith

Marlene Smith – Junior Classroom Teacher (Coco’s Commandoes) – 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 and School Sports Co-ordinator (Chiefs)(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).


Robbie Mc Gougan – Junior Classroom Teacher (Chiefs) – Kia ora, my name is Robbie McGougan, at school the children call me Robbie and I’m enjoying that. I find it very welcoming having Waiouru school students saying ‘hi Robbie,” when we first see each other. Previously I taught at Waihi East Primary School for many years and earlier in 2017 moved to Taihape with my partner Colleen. During terms three and four of 2017 I’m  teaching Carie’s class (The Chief’s year 3-5’s) while Carie is on maternity leave. The excellent resources that Waiouru School offers and the staffs progressive approach using educational ideas such as the “passion project” are stimulating and a pleasure to be involved with. My interests include sport (I follow rugby closely), surfing, mountain biking and running. I also love playing guitar and enjoy a wide range of music. Computers are a hobby for me, I like to install Linux on older computers and also run a custom rom (eek a bit of a geek) on my phone.



Mrs Donaldson

Cath Donaldson

Cath Donaldson – Junior Classroom Teacher (The Explorers) – 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 is my 9th year at Waiouru School and I am really enjoying teaching my favourite subject, mathematics, to most of the Year 1-5 kids. I also enjoy doing art and gardening and it is great to see our school vegetable garden taking shape – take a tip from the gardening students, bok choy and broccoli grow pretty well here and a surprising number of children enjoy eating them! Last year I took over the responsibility of our school library and I am also the Lead Teacher for our research project that is about to get underway. This will explore and build on the innovative practice of transitioning students into school and the passion based teaching currently being undertaken in the Junior School. Our school is a busy and exciting place to learn for both teachers and students.

File_000Stacey Buchanan (Currently Acting Principal) – Reception Classroom Teacher and Deputy Principal (Superstars). 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 4th 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 new entrant children this year as they transition from early childhood 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 (Superstars) –  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.


Sarah Porter

Sarah Porter Year Five and Six classroom teacher (Infinity) Kia ora, My name is Sarah Porter and I am privileged to be teaching  the year 5 & 6‘ ‘Infinity’ students this year. I have just completed my four year teaching degree at Victoria University of Wellington where I studied teaching both primary and secondary teaching specialising in geography and English. I am looking forward to spending my first year teaching here at Waiouru School surrounded by amazing staff and students. I am originally from sunny Blenheim and completed all my schooling there though with family in the North Island I have travelled all around. Outside of school I enjoy photography, kayaking, travelling and reading a good book.


Derek Walker

Derek Walker

Derek Walker Year Six, Seven and Eight classroom (Manaaki Whanau) Hi, my name is Derek Walker and I’m the new guy teaching in Manaaki Whanau, with the year 7s and 8s (and a couple of year 6s). I’m an experienced teacher and I moved to Taihape from Auckland with my family about a year and a half ago. I have two sons, Trent (8) and Lewis (4) and a wonderful, supportive wife, Lisa.

My passions in the classroom are reading, writing and knowledge accumulation! I read a lot (I’m especially interested in modern history, football and music) and love to share knowledge with students. The world is a wonderful place full of incredible and amazing things and the more I can learn about it the better.

I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can in the coming weeks.

 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, Sarah Demchy.

Cleaner: Melissa Stephens