We have an amazing team here at Russell Street school who are 100% committed to making every learner reach their potential! Meet them all below.

Teaching Staff

Samantha (currently on maternity leave)

B. Ed / Dip. Education Studies

Kia ora, I am Samantha Morfey. I am so excited to join the Russell Street School community! I have been teaching since 2012 and am passionate about making a difference in children’s learning. I can’t wait to learn alongside the children, whanau and teachers. I feel strongly about integrating real life contexts into our learning to make it the most meaningful and relevant for the children. I look forward to working with everyone! Email Samantha


B. Ed

Tēnā koutou katoa. I’m Kelly and I have a crazy love for teaching! Every morning I can’t wait to see our tamariki. I teach our youngest learners in Waka Huia- they are my treasures. Holding positive relationships full of trust, care, high expectations, and communication is the key to my success in teaching. I have been teaching in the Primary Sector since 2010 and have taught from Year 0-7. Prior to this I taught in Early Childhood Centres. I inspire to provide children and whānau with the smoothest transition from their Early Childhood sector to school. I am passionate about setting our learners up for the best start possible, developing their sense of belonging, confidence, happiness, and ability to pursue their inquiries and interests. I love meeting new people and welcome everyone to join in with our learning. Email Kelly

Brenda (currently on maternity leave)

B. Ed. Tchg/ ACET

Tēnā koutou katoa. My name is Brenda and am so excited to have my dream job teaching at Russell Street School. Living in the area, I have always read the community newsletters and have been impressed with the innovative, future-focused teaching and learning that happens at Russell Street School. I am stoked to be a part of the team! I have been teaching since 2004 and have taught from Years 1-6. I am passionate about agency, Te Reo Māori, ICT and Inquiry. Email Brenda


B.Ed.  / Dip. Tchg / Reading Recovery Trained

Kia Ora koutou. My name is Ebony Maaka and for Term 1 you can find me learning alongside 2Meke kids in Room 2. For the rest of the year I will be taking time with my family on maternity leave as our family grows from three to four! I am passionate about creating learning environments that encourage children to be confident and courageous learners with a ‘can do’ attitude. Offering opportunities for children to explore their interests and a love for learning while developing positive social skills and self management is highly valued in our space. Come and visit us anytime! Email Ebony


B.Ed. Tchg / Reading Recovery Trained

Hi, I’m Kerri and I’m apart of the junior school in room 8. I am looking forward to learning with a fabulous bunch of year 2/3 students as we explore agency; making choices to drive our own learning.  I love working in the RSS community where we all work together, supporting and encouraging each other to learn, grow and become better citizens. Feel free to come and take a look at the learning happening in our class and take a look on our class blog. Email Kerri


B.Ed. Tchg

Kia ora koutou!  I am a mum of 3 children and 1 cat.  I have loved being part of the Russell Street whānau for the last few years; beginning as a reliever, then part-time last year and now on my journey back into full-time teaching in Poutokomanawa this year.  I am passionate about the importance of Numeracy and Literacy the lives of our tamariki.  This year, as I take the Year 3/4 Māori enhancement class, I am looking forward to learning more about Te Ao Māori alongside my class.  Feel free to come and see all the fabulous learning we are doing, the door is always open! Email Eileen


B.A.  / Dip.Tchg / Reading Recovery Trained

Hi, I am Robin Baker and I teach with Sandi Baldwin in Room 3.  Sandi and I have been job sharing at Russell Street School for many years, primarily at the New Entrant level.  My three children have attended this school.  Teaching literacy is my passion and I particularly enjoy helping children to express themselves through story writing.  I teach the literacy programme  between 9 am and 11.50 am everyday. This year we are teaching a class of Year 2 learners. Email Robin


B.A. / Dip.Tchg

I teach Year 2, job sharing with Robin Baker. I also teach English as a second language. I am a mother of three children and grandmother of two. My children all went to Russell St School. I like to cycle, walk and read. Having taught at this school for 18 years I have seen many changes including the introduction of ICT, self agency and the emphasis on how to learn rather than just acquiring knowledge. I believe every child is gifted in some way and my aim is to develop self confidence in my students. Email Sandi



Kia ora koutou,
Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Waikato te awa
Ko Wharepuhunga te maunga
Ko Ngāti Raukawa te iwi
Ko Pikitu te marae
Ko Ngā Huri te hapu
Ko Brian Mason rāua ko Linda Mason ōku mātua
Ko Nic au

I am passionate about finding the spark within all learners, at the same time sharing my own passions: music, culture and writing.  Some common phrases you may hear me saying: “are you stuck on the escalator?” “know what to do, when you don’t know what to do”, “put yourself into the Learning Pit”, “Fail Forward Fast”, “locate yourself, on a scale of 1-5, how focused are you right now?” “the world doesn’t care about what we know anymore, it cares about what we do with what we know”.

Ngā manaakitanga


Email Nic


B.A. / Grad.Dip.Tchg / PSTF Alumnus Award 2012 / ACET 2014

Hi, I’m Joy Kitt. I co-teach Year 4 with Troy and have a passion for science. My class and I learn to notice things in detail.  Becoming accomplished explorers and explainers of the events and artefacts we see and learn about gives us the opportunity to develop our science skills, gives us rich literacy experiences and opens our eyes to the everyday wonders in the world around us.  We are also keen to discover ourselves and what kind of learners we are. Once we know that the sky is the limit.  Email

Steph (currently on parental leave)

Kia ora, I’m Steph! I have recently made the shift back to the Manawatū and feel privileged to be part of the Russell Street whanau. I am an avid sportswoman, especially netball and trail running, and love being active and exploring the outdoors.  I enjoy a spot of gardening and am creative at heart.  Before teaching, I have been a florist and a personal trainer, as well as exploring Europe.  So why teaching? I am passionate about supporting tomorrow’s adults to be equipped with the skills to be successful in an ever-changing world.  I am big on individualised programmes, drawing on strengths and passions, and providing opportunities for creativity to flourish.  As I am new to the community, please pop in and say hello! Email Steph


B.A. / GradDipTchg(ECE) / MTchgLn(Primary)

Ko Tararua te maunga, Ko Hokio te awa, Ko Muaūpoko me Ngāti Apa ngā iwi, Ko Lucy ahau.

Tēnā koutou e te whānau. Having spent my primary school years at this amazing kura I am beyond excited to be part of the Russell Street School teaching team! I have the privilege of learning alongside a beautiful class of Year 1 students in Pīwakawaka (Room 3) for 2018. I started my teaching career in Early Childhood Education where I developed a love of building relationships with all tamariki and their whānau. I’m passionate about Te Ao Māori, pursuing children’s interests, facilitating engaging learning experiences, and empowering all learners to develop ‘soft skills’ such as creative thinking, resilience, and problem-solving. I’m always up for a chat so feel free to find me for a kōrero!

Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia o tātou mahi – Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work.


B Ed (Tchg), Early Years Honours, G Dip (primary)

Kia ora I am a proud Mum of four (Jimi and Nate are at RSS) and a Granny to one! At school you will find me on Monday’s administering six year nets and working as an ORS teacher, Thursday’s you will see me in my activewear teaching the children in Poutokomanawa how to be agentic leaders healthy in mind, body, spirit and social well-being. Friday’s I am usually covered in paint teaching art  in Waka Huia and ensuring our newest members to the RSS community have a sense of well-being. If you pop in you will see lots of exploration and hear squeals of delight and lots of singing. Out of school you will find me supporting my children’s and husbands many activities and probably hear me on the rugby sidelines!


Dip.Tchg (Primary); B.Ed

Kia Ora! 

I am Carolyn. I have been fortunate to be a part of this wonderful community since 2008. Each year I wait in the wings until we are ready for our final new-entrant class to open. Journeying with the five-year-olds and their families as they begin their schooling is a joy and a privilege. I also have the opportunity to spend time with many other students at RSS, as I relieve in the school and lead an annual art extension project while I wait for my class to open. One of my favourite parts of school life is our buddy-class system; the children here really look out for one another. My teaching passions are the arts and literacy and I am currently immersing myself in researching the benefits of play-based learning. Learning is lifelong, after all. I look forward to meeting you! Email Carolyn


B.Ed / Dip.Teaching

I am extremely privileged to be back teaching again full-time at RSS. I zipped off for a while to have my own lovely children and now love being part of the team again here. My youngest daughter Charlotte, both come to school here and absolutely loves it! I  am thoroughly enjoying teaching an energetic, talented group of Year 1/2 children. Their passion for learning never ceases to amaze me – they make my day every day with their enthusiasm and willingness to learn. I have strengths across the curriculum with a strong focus on literacy, numeracy, and health and well-being. Feel welcome any time to come and visit, pop in, view and comment on our class blog or e-mail. Email Nicole


B.A / Dip. Tchg / M.Ed / PhD / ATCL

I have just begun teaching classroom music at Russell Street School (my own children went to RSS and it’s our neighbourhood school).  I’m really enjoying meeting and getting to know all the children, and I’m impressed by the rich experiences they have already had in music.  I love seeing what they can do and their enthusiasm for new experiences.  I believe that music is for everybody and my aim is to build children’s confidence to participate in music-making at school and out in the world. Email Jenny


Dip. Tchg / B.Ed Sp Ed / P4C Facilitator

Kia Ora. I love being part of the RSS team nurturing students toward a passion for life-long learning!  I lead the area of gifted and talented education; a mix of running CREATE extension classes and supporting staff and whānau in nurturing our gifted and talented students. I can also be found working with junior students to develop strong literacy skills in a Reading Recovery role.  I  have taught across all areas of the school, and was formerly a teacher at the Gifted Education Centre, Manawatu site. I have strengths in special education, literacy, philosophy, and thinking skills.  I am passionate about challenging students’ thinking and helping them to understand more about themselves as a learner.  Check out our CREATE blog at http://rsscreate.blogspot.co.nz/. Feel free to pop in and see me or email me.


B.Tchg/Lng / Post Grad Dip. Ed (Māori Education)

Ko Hikurangi te maunga, Ko Waiapu te awa, Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi, Ko Rosie taku ingoa, Tēnā koutou katoa. I have loved teaching at Russell Street School for several years and have recently become the Assistant Principal which I’m very excited about. I am currently teaching Yr 5/6 in Poutokomanawa (Māori enhancement class) alongside Eileen who is teaching Yr 3/4. I am passionate about Te Reo Maori me ōna tikanga, Kapa Haka, RSS values, high expectations, being creative, digital learning, thinking skills and instilling self-belief in the akonga I am teaching. I place an emphasis on the essence and importance of teamwork – tuakana/teina. This promotes a culture of learning, a culture of community – where individuals contribute their strengths for the benefit of us all. He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. Nā reira, piki mai, kake mai ki te awhi, me te manaaki i ngā tamariki o ‘Poutokomanawa’.


Deputy Principal

B.Ed. Dip.Tchg / ACET Award 2013

Kia ora, I am Mel Hagan.  I have had various teaching roles in the region since 1999. I was a beginning teacher at Russell Street School in 2001 and left in 2003. It is great to be back among such a dynamic teaching staff and in such a vibrant learning community. I am super excited to be continuing on in my teaching career as Associate Principal. I have leadership responsibilities such as leading the highly skilled and dedicated Teaching Assistant Team, LACO (co-ordinating learning support across the school, including Gifted and Talented) and running the Maths Support Teacher role.   It is a joy to be able to share my passion for all areas of learning but especially to share my teaching strengths such as literacy, numeracy, inquiry processes, learning processes, thinking skills and thinking tools.  Email Mel


Deputy Principal


I clearly know what a great place Russell Street School is as I worked here from 2008-2010 and then went and taught in Dubai for 3 years before rejoining the team in 2014. I am pretty excited about now being the Deputy Principal because we’ve got the best staff, kids and parents in New Zealand. I love that I get a chance to work with all the learners in our school, instead of just those in my own class! I have a 4 year old son named Dallas, who is starting here in September and I can’t wait for him to be a part of the Russell Street Whānau too. I’m relatively easy to find and you’ll probably hear me before you see me. I’m also hugely passionate about the NBA, so if you are too, come and find me and we’ll have a yarn…



M. Ed / PG Dip Ed / B.Ed  / Dip. Tchg

Tēnā koutou katoa. I am honoured to be the principal at Russell Street. The school has a special place in my educational career; I started teaching here 20 years ago as a beginning teacher, both my wife Lynley and I taught here together, and I returned here as DP after teaching overseas. To come back as the principal has always been an aspiration of mine and now that goal has become a reality. I am committed to and exited by the challenge that lies ahead building on the great reputation that the school continues to have. I am always interested in your thoughts on how we can make Russell St an even better place for our learners, please do not hesitate to get in touch to share your thoughts. Ngā mihi nui. Email Nick

Support Staff


Office A-Team


Office A-Team & Teaching Assistant

Email Rachelle



B.Ed, Dip.Tchg

I have the amazing job of connecting the children, staff and families here at RSS with books! With over 8000 books in the Jean Wilkinson Library Hub we are sure to have a book for everyone. Most days I can be found in the Library before and after school and everyone is welcome to come in and browse our collection. Come and talk to me about what you would like to read! You can also visit our library online at http://nz.accessit.online/RSSS or email me.


Teaching Assistant

Email Lucy


Teaching Assistant

Teachers’ Aide Certificate

Email Lorraine


Teaching Assistant

BA (English), Dip. Tchg.

Hi, I’m Kate. I feel privileged to be a teaching assistant at Russell Street School. I am excited to be with the five year olds in Waka Huia. I am passionate about literacy. My teaching career began at Taumarunui High School in 2000. I have been lucky enough to be a stay-at-home parent, using my spare time to help out with literacy in preschools and primary schools. Both my daughters came through Russell Street School, my youngest is in her final year. Come say, “Hi.” I’ll be the one with cartoon characters on my tee-shirt.

Email Kate


Teaching Assistant

Email Metarina


Teaching Assistant

Email Amber


Teaching Assistant

Email Lisa


Teaching Assistant

Teachers’ Aide Certificate

Email Sandy


Teaching Assistant

Email Nicky


Technical Support