Teaching Team

Tuna

Estelle Moore

Estelle Moore (Year 0 – 1 Team Leader)

I have lived and worked in Wānaka for 10 years, settling here with my husband Jason and son Luka. Prior to living in Wānaka, we returned from 8 years in Wellington and a 5 year OE stint based in the UK. We chose Wānaka because of the wonderful outdoor environment (let’s keep it this way) and close proximity to family, which has resulted in us finding our forever home!

Previously, I taught at the wonderful Hāwea Flat School (in the roles of AP, team leader and teacher). My passion for incorporating children’s interests, investigating rhythms, systems, and wonderings underpins my life in the classroom. The magic for me lies in connecting children to their lives as they make sense of it and the local environment. I love partnering with children to build new knowledge whilst solving problems and developing emotional, academic and social literacies.

We teach who we are and you will find me doing a few key things: hanging out with my family, riding my bike, devouring a pile of books on my bedside table, or tinkering with with our classic car. What makes an impression seeks expression! I look forward to meeting you and unleashing the potential future successes of the learners who make up the Take Kārara familyY

Danyel

Danyel Pennycuick

What an exciting opportunity to be joining the Tuna Team at Te Kura O Take Kārara! I have lived in Wānaka for a year and a half, after moving from Australia with my husband, Ben, our two young boys, Finn and George, and our dog, Louie, to be closer to family and so our children can grow up in the amazing natural environment that New Zealand has to offer.

Previously teaching on the Gold Coast in Australia, I have 8 years of experience across a variety of year levels as a classroom teacher, reading program facilitator and year level team leader. I am passionate about providing positive learning environments that instil a sense of wonder and excitement about the world in our little people. It is so important that our tamariki have safe and supportive spaces that allow them to express themselves, to fail, to laugh and play, to ask questions and to grow. It is my absolute privilege to be able to take part in these significant years of life alongside such a positive and passionate team.

Outside the classroom, I love to spend time with my family exploring nature, reading books, catching up with friends and finding far too many crochet/macramé/art/crafts projects to try and fit in.

Janine Weatherly

Kia ora, my name is Janine Weatherly and I am very excited to be the New Entrant teacher and working alongside such an incredible and passionate team of teachers at Take Kārara. I have only just moved to Wanaka after living and working full time in Dunedin with my husband Graham, my daughter and son – Zara and Jacob and our maltese schnauzer dog called Baggins.

From a young age, I have been very lucky to spend many family holidays in this beautiful town exploring the stunning natural environment and I look forward to being able to pass this love onto my own children.

I am an enthusiastic, hard working and passionate teacher, who has had over 20 years of teaching experience across all levels and in a variety of schools both in New Zealand and the UK. I believe in creating a positive, reflective, safe and supportive environment for all tamariki to have the courage to ask questions, experiment, be innovative, take risks, fail and show perseverance in order for each child to reach their full potential in becoming a ‘lover of learning’.

Music and singing is my passion and I have enjoyed performing in many Dunedin musicals and singing in a range of Dunedin’s top bands. I look forward to sharing this passion with our tamariki at Take Kārara. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading and spending time outdoors, exploring nature.

Jillian Macfie

Jillian (Jill) Prebble

I feel very fortunate to be back teaching at Take Kārara after a short stint traveling overseas. Since 2022 when we first opened, I have been teaching in the year 5 / 6 Weka team. I feel privileged to now be taking on the new entrant class in the Tuna block after returning from my travels in May 2023.

Wanaka has been my home, on and off for the past 19 years. I have a strong connection with the people and the place and feel lucky to be calling it home again. I share my life with my (recent) husband, his dog Hank and my cat Hank! We are both passionate about the outdoors, especially skiing, biking and hiking.

When teaching strive to ensure children feel safe, happy and successful in their learning space. I am passionate about the social and emotional development of children. I also love teaching drama, dance and art!

Taryn Whitley

Taryn Whitley

It’s a pleasure to be a part of the welcoming community and to be joining the Tuna team at Te Kura O Taka Kārara. Wānaka is a new home area for me, my partner and I relocated in January 2023.

After successful years spent in a range of careers, I decided to pursue Primary Teaching. My previous careers, international travel and exposure to various learning pedagogies have set me up to gather and hold life experiences, which I find incredibly valuable within the classroom.

New entrant age brings me a lot of joy. Our young learners are very independent and capable beings and I’m highly driven to create a ‘safe-haven’ environment while supporting them in their physical, social and emotional and cognitive developmental stages.

When I’m not teaching, you’ll find me exploring the outdoors during both summer and winter, completing DIY home projects, enjoying art and making the time to visit family and friends.

Pippa Thomas

Pippa Thomas

Pippa is on leave for terms 1 and 2 2024. We look forward to welcoming her back as part of the Tuna Team in Term 3. 

Kia ora. I am honoured to be beginning my teaching journey at Te Kura O Take Kārara, working alongside an amazing teaching staff. I strive to create a positive and fun learning environment where all tamariki feel supported and encouraged to reach their full potential. I am enthusiastic about education and look to spark an interest in every child in order for them to develop a passion for learning.

 

I gained a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours from Otago University before travelling overseas and working in Christchurch for several years. I moved down to Wānaka several years ago and I love being part of such a friendly community and being surrounded by incredible nature. Outside of the classroom I enjoy spending time with my friends and whānau, reading, exploring beautiful Aotearoa and going for walks at Dublin Bay.

 

I look forward to meeting and getting to know many of you this year. 

Tī Kōuka

Jean Padget

Jean Padget (Year 2 – 3 Team Leader)

I am elated to be joining the incredible team at Te Kura o Take Kārara. It is exciting to be back teaching in Wānaka with such talented teachers and a wonderful community.

I have lived in Wānaka since the age of four. Recently, I taught in the UK for two years and explored the world along the way. Previous to my OE, I began my teaching career at the fantastic Hāwea Flat School, where I established that teaching is the pathway for me.

I am a passionate, driven teacher who wants the best for all students and appreciates the unique qualities each child brings to the classroom. My driving goal is to understand each child as an individual learner as this leads to what engages and motivates them. I wish to help you as whanau and your rangatahi on their journey of discovering their own self identity as well as developing their numeracy and literacy skills.

Outside of teaching, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, reading, drinking tea, and making the most of the outdoors. I love visiting other countries, exploring their cultures and tasting their food.

I look forward to becoming part of the whanau at Take Kārara in the Junior Syndicate.

Emma Rankin

Emma Manett

Kia Ora! It’s in an absolute priviledge to be starting my teaching career at TKOTK. I grew up in Cromwell and have lived in Wānaka for the past 2 years. I have a degree in audio engineering and my former career was in horticulture.

I am a keen musican, singer/songwriter and play guitar, harmonica, piano and I love to sing! I am proud to be releasing my second album “ctrl+alt+delete” this year. You will often see me playing around Central Otago with my partner Robbie in our duo called The Dirty Money Duo.

Working with tamariki is my passion and when I am around children, I am in my happy place. The magical way in which they see the world and their excitement for life is a joy to be around and every moment with them is a pleasure. My classroom is a safe place for all children to be themselves, to be encouraged to reach their highest potential and to be embraced by our learning community. I look forward to being part of this incredible village that is part of raising your precious children and look forward to getting to know you all.

Anna Mulconroy

Anna Mulconroy

Kia ora! I feel very privileged to be a foundation teacher at Take Kārara, working alongside such a passionate and dedicated team.

I grew up in Dunedin and spent every summer as a child camping in Wānaka, so am thrilled to now be living and teaching in such a beautiful place. I started my teaching career at Highfield school in Timaru, teaching in the junior syndicate. My strengths lie in Numeracy, Literacy and The Arts. My goal is to make learning as fun and engaging for children as possible. I love to see their personalities, confidence and independence grow throughout the year, and enjoy discovering their individual passions and motivations and using these to lead our learning.

Outside of school I enjoy spending time with family and friends, baking, reading, dining out, and getting creative with my art and sewing. I love spending my summers at the lake swimming, paddle boarding and picnicking, and look forward to snowboarding in the winter season.

Maddison (Maddy) Barker

I am excited to begin my teaching journey at Te Kura O Take Kārara. I am originally from a small town found in the North Island called Ngatea. I spent my last year of high school on an exchange in Austria, where I got to immerse myself in another culture. When I returned, I headed straight down south to Dunedin, where I studied for my Bachelor’s in Visual Arts, majoring in jewellery. I then went on to study for my Master’s in Teaching before making the move to Wānaka.

While studying, my teaching placements gave me a love for working with younger kids. I love being able to allow students to guide their learning based on their interests, as well as having the opportunity to see through their eyes. What I love most about teaching is that there is always more to learn to help support the students.

I am the type of person who has many interests and hobbies. My main passions would be jewellery making, baking, cooking, camping, and hiking, which is why I love the South Island so much and don’t want to leave. I also love spending time with my family up north and cooking up a storm for them while I’m there.

Weka

Fergus McLean

Fergus McLean (Year 4 – 6 Team Leader)

I am a teacher who is passionate about equipping children with the knowledge and skills to be creative and passionate life-long learners. I enjoy integrating the interests of individual learners into their learning programs to engage and invigorate their learning experience. In class, I have high expectations for all learners and enjoy celebrating success with humour and fun.

When I am not at school I like to get out into the great outdoors. I am a keen hunter and fisherman as well as being a fan of all things sporting. I try to fit in a little of each around spending the majority of my free time with my beautiful wife and young family.

I am enjoying the opportunities that working in a newly established school provides. Working in flexible, future-focused learning spaces is providing many positive chances for our young learners who I am loving being involved with.

Christine  Schepp

Kia ora koutou! My professional journey has been shaped by a diverse background in media and communications, seasoned by adventures in travel, hospitality, and the joys of raising my own children. I am thrilled to embrace my passion for education and continue my journey with Te Kura O Take Kārara.

During my teacher training, I enjoyed working in the ‘Educate for Nature’ programme of Te Kākano, where I honed my skills working with students spanning from preschool to college age. This experience solidified my commitment to place-based learning and fostering a deep connection with nature.

In my classroom, I celebrate the uniqueness of each student while promoting a collaborative and supportive atmosphere. At the heart of my teaching is the belief that trusting relationships form the foundation of a thriving learning environment. I am dedicated to nurturing creativity, a love for learning, and a growth mindset.

Beyond the classroom, I love being outdoors, indulging my love for cooking and baking, and pursuing DIY home and garden projects. All of this is double the fun with my family

Brenna

Brenna Johnston

Kia Ora! I am thrilled to be a part of the wonderful Take Kārara team for 2023. I have been teaching for the past eight years in South Canterbury and Central Otago. During this time I have taught New Entrants through to Year 8. It has been amazing to be able to teach throughout many different year levels, to further develop my teaching pedagogies.

I am a bubbly, enthusiastic, passionate teacher who puts the relationships of children as my first priority. I believe positive relationships form incredible opportunities for learning and growth. I have a passion for linking children’s interests into their learning programmes to allow student agency to be the driver of all learning. I think being a part of the Take Kārara team is a great fit for my teaching philosophy.

Originally from Tarras, it has been wonderful to be back in the community and closer to friends and family. My partner and I have recently built a new home in Timsfield where we have been busy landscaping and creating a place to call our own. When I am not in the classroom you will find me enjoying the hills, lakes and rivers around us, spending time with friends and family, riding my bike along the awesome new tracks, playing sports during summer and winter and riding my horse in the Nevis.

I look forward to meeting you all ,please pop in anytime and say hello. The door is always open

Charlotte Penniket

Kia ora! I am delighted to be joining Take Kārara. It’s exciting to be working alongside such a welcoming and passionate team of teachers and the wider community.

Ko wai au? Who am I? My name is Charlotte and I have called Wānaka home since the age of three. After leaving Mount Aspiring College, I went on to study my BSc in Ecology and Zoology in Dunedin. I then spent five years working in outdoor guiding and education roles in Aotearoa and Australia. This was when I truly discovered my passion for education and working with children. While hiking in Iceland, I decided to follow my love for teaching and enrolled in a postgraduate teaching degree in Dunedin. I have recently spent two years teaching in Ōamaru.

I am thrilled to be back home in Wānaka and working with tamariki at Take Kārara. Relationships are a top priority for me, and I look forward to connecting with each member of the class and kura. Through strong relationships I believe you can make learning relevant and real for tamariki to connect to – and learning becomes fun and exciting! Outside of teaching, I enjoy getting into the outdoors with whānau and friends, reading, painting, crocheting, and getting involved in conservation work.

I look forward to meeting you all and becoming a member of the Take Kārara whānau.

Anna Murdoch

I am loving being back in Wānaka and feel privileged to be a part of such a passionate and talented team here at Take Kārara. My favourite part of teaching is getting stuck into hands-on projects that contribute to the world around us, especially when we need to combine multiple subject areas to succeed. I am also really excited about how well the Enviroschools curriculum integrates with our own local curriculum and school values and look forward to some engaging projects in that area too.

When I’m not at school you can find me climbing at Hospital Flat, tramping up the Matukituki Valley, mountain biking in Sticky Forest, skiing in the hills or at home playing my guitar and singing. If you see me at school or out and about in Wānaka, feel free to say hello!

Part-time teachers

sarah scurr

Sarah Scurr

Alongside my regular role as mother and farmers wife, I am thrilled to become a part-time member of the 2021 Te Kura O Take Kārara junior whānau, providing release for Pippa and Jean and working with the Year 2 children.

Previously, I have taught abroad, spent a few years teaching in Mt Maunganui and Christchurch before permanently settling here in 2009 and teaching at Wanaka Primary School.

Raising our children and farming took centre stage from 2015 until 2019 when I was able to take on various part-time work back at Wanaka Primary and more recently here at Take Kārara.

Raising our children has strengthened my understanding of learning and development and I am delighted to become part of a school that shares similar approaches and values to my own. Facilitating children to navigate their emotional and academic pathways through real-time exploration, problem-solving, and creativity inspires me and here at Take Kārara I see opportunities for it all.

When I’m not at school you’ll see me supporting my whanau out and about in the community, walking in the mountains or hidden away with a good book.

Stephanie Sinnamon

Kia ora, My name is Steph and I’m looking forward to joining the Weka Team as additional teacher support in years 5 and 6. 

My teaching career has seen me work in a variety of school settings across many year levels in both New Zealand and Australia. I have held many roles including both full and part time teaching as well as a stint as a Nature Play Specialist, integrating the wild outdoors into daily classroom practice. Most recently I have enjoyed relief teaching locally while I have been focusing on my 3 young children, Rosie, Mack and Marigold. 

Like many other Wanaka locals I love getting up a mountain, splashing in the lake and camping at some favourite nearby spots.

In the classroom I prioritise making connections and building relationships with the Tamariki to ensure they feel comfortable, safe and supported. I love teaching and seeing those lightbulb moments when a child has grasped a new concept, or had a breakthrough in their learning. It is a privilege to be a part of your child’s learning journey where I can support them in becoming curious, courageous and connected life-long learners. 

Teachers name

Teachers details coming soon.