Leanne Angland


Leanne joined Ruahine School as Principal at the beginning of 2013.  Previous to this she was Deputy Principal for over 5 years at St James Catholic School in Palmerston North. Her 3, now adult, children all attended Ruahine School. Leanne is passionate about children’s education and the profession of teaching.  She loves the ROCKERS values that underpin the vision for Ruahine School and believes that developing strong values builds confidence, and positive habits and attitudes towards life and learning – which support our children to do the best they can do, and be the best they can be. Leanne also believes that kids need to be kids and she is a strong advocate for adventurous play - as such she supervises lunchtime bull rush in Terms 2 & 3 (when the ground is a little softer!)


Kate Dare

Deputy Principal/Kupe Team Leader

Room 1 Teacher (Year 6/7/8)

Community of Learning Across School Teacher

Kate joined Ruahine as Deputy Principal at the beginning of 2013, having taught in Palmerston North. Kate previously taught in the UK. She is passionate about the teaching of Mathematics and has lead this throughout the school. This is also now a focus in her Community of Learning role. Kate enjoys working with the Year 8's in their student leadership and values the collaborative nature of the teachers in Kupe Team. In her spare time, Kate likes to go for a run by the local river.

Janine Castles

Room 1 Teacher (Year 6/7/8) 

Kupe Team

Janine has been relieving at Ruahine School for the last 3 years. In 2017 Janine will be teaching in Room 1on Wednesdays and Thursdays sharing this class with Kate Dare. Janine has previously taught in other schools in Dannevirke and overseas. She has three children who attend Ruahine School. Janine enjoys teaching and developing children’s ideas in Literacy and Maths. 

Nicole Bourke

Room 2 Teacher (Year 6/7/8)

Kupe Team

Nicole joined Ruahine at the beginning of 2015. Previous to this Nicole spent two years living in Wales where she worked in the sports department of a school (Y3-Y13) and travelled around Europe at every opportunity she could. She is very passionate about working with children, building positive relationships, and finding ways to make learning enjoyable and engaging. Nicole enjoys working in a school with a strong community atmosphere, and where students and staff strive to be the best that they can be. Nicole runs our kapa haka group with Lee.

Iveta Senior

Room 3 Teacher (Year 3/4)

Pounamu Team

Iveta has been teaching at Ruahine School since 2009 after spending almost nine years at Hillcrest/Huia Range School. She came to New Zealand from the Czech Republic in 1995 after marrying Gary. They have two sons, David and Tomas, who are both attending Napier Boys' High School. This year Iveta is teaching Year 3/4 again. She is enthusiastic about students' learning and achieving their very best. She will be introducing self-directed learning and continue using problem solving approach to learning, which she believes will give the students life-long skills. Iveta is eager to use the arts to further support her students' learning by developing their rhythm, co-ordination and observational skills, and create a balanced and enjoyable environment for all students.


Sarah Norman

Room 4 Teacher (Year 4/5)

Kupe Team 

Sarah joined the Ruahine team at the beginning of 2017 after graduating from the University of Otago. Sarah was born and raised on a sheep and beef farm in the heart of Southland and has therefore brought to the North Island a strong R rolling accent. She is passionate about sport and physical education, and is committed to developing young people into confident, actively involved, lifelong learners. Sarah is excited to be starting her teaching career at Ruahine school and is looking forward to building strong and positive relationships with the staff, her students and the community.



Lee Gibbs

Team Leader/Room 5 Teacher (Year 2/3)

Pounamu Team Leader

Lee began her teaching career in Otatara, Southland. She is delighted to be back in a rural setting after many years in urban schools. Lee’s husband David is a farmer/contractor and they have 3 children. Lee has taught years 0-8 and endeavors to make her classroom joyful, creative and supportive.  She loves using music and arts as a core teaching tool. Lee is looking forward to teaching in a school with strong ROCKERS values, where children actively strive to become motivated and keen learners.



Toni Trent

Room 6 Teacher (Year 1/2)

Pounamu Team

Toni joined Ruahine mid-way through 2016, having trained in 2014. She is married to Matt and they have three children, one at high school and two at primary school. Her passion is horse riding and anything that includes the great outdoors. Toni loves working in this stunning, rural environment where strong values shine through in the children and the teaching environment is collaborative, motivated and fun. She is passionate about working with children and helping them to discover the fun in learning. She looks forward to building relationships with the children and their parents and look forward to an exciting year.



Anne Bartlett

Room 6 Teacher (Year 1/2)

Pounamu Team

Anne is looking forward to working at Ruahine School in Room 6, sharing the class with Toni Trent.  She has had many years teaching in the Manawatu area and feels that there is something special about rural schools.  She is passionate about teaching New Entrants and considers it a privilege to teach this age group, as they make the transition from preschool to the next stage of their journey as lifelong learners.

Anne is married to Cary and has two adult daughters. She is looking forward to an exciting year and building relationships with the children and their parents.

Geordie Haswell

Room 7 Teacher (Year NE/1)

Pounamu Team

Geordie was born and raised in rural King Country. She began her teaching career in 2011 and has taught at schools in Taumarunui and Te Kuiti. Geordie joined Ruahine at the beginning of 2016 after moving with her husband Chris to the Weber district. They farm with her parents on their sheep and beef farm. Geordie is passionate about Education Outside the Classroom and providing students with real life learning experiences. She encorporates ICT in her daily classroom programme and enjoys using ICT as a tool to enhance learning. In her spare time Geordie enjoys being outdoors being active swimming, running, skiing, riding her horses and helping on the farm. Geordie is enjoys working in a school that is rurally based and has a strong value system which encourages students to ‘be the best they can be’.


Jaime Arnold

Room 7 Teacher (Year NE/1)

Pounamu Team

Jaime teaches the Room 7 Rockets. Her two children Parker and Eva both attend Ruahine School. Jaime is a share milker and divides her time between school, calving and her family.

Ali Watts

Office Administrator

Ali has been working at Ruahine for a numbers of years. She loves the country atmosphere of the school and really enjoys the contact with the students and their parents through her work in the office.


Kim Jones

Teacher Aide/Librarian


Stu Fargher