Principal Group

Our principals meet regularly, to discuss and make decisions around the work of our kāhui ako.

Justin Neal (Appleby School),

Gerald Baldwin (Brightwater School),

John Maguire (Garin College), 

John Armstrong (Henley School),

Freya Hogarth (Hope School),

Dave Sampson (Ranzau School),

Tim Brenton (Richmond Primary School),

Maureen Phillips (Saint Pauls Catholic School),

Ellie Salcin-Watts (Salisbury School),

Scott Haines (Waimea College),

Justine McDonald (Waimea Intermediate School),

Peter Verstappen (Wakefield School)


Expert Partner

Dr Camilla Highfield

Dr Camilla Highfield is the Director of Professional Learning and Development at The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education. This role involves leading staff in delivering large Ministry of Education professional learning and development contracts in New Zealand schools. She has initiated and developed courses for Communities of Learning (CoL) leaders to strengthen their theoretical knowledge as practitioners.


Kāhui Ako Leaders

Glenda Earle 



Tena koutou katoa

Ko Mt Hutt toku maunga

Ko Rakaia toku awa

Ko Methven toku kainga tuturu

Ko Whakatu toku kainga inaianei

Ko Brightwater toku kura

Ko Glenda toku ingoa

No reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

Kia Ora. 
I am Glenda Earle and I am a teacher and Deputy Principal at Brightwater School.  I have over 25 years teaching experience with most of these at middle management level at a number of school across the top of the South Island.  Most of my teaching career has been at the junior end of primary school with specific responsibility for ensuring a smooth and exciting transition from early childhood centres to the primary school environment. 

My husband was born and bred in Nelson and is self-employed.  Our two teenage sons  have been through ECE, Primary and Secondary schooling within our CoL.

I look forward to being able to share and celebrate the learning opportunities our teachers provide for our students and to support and enhance student learning outcomes across our community. 
Nga mihi nui.

Janine Higgins



Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko Whanaupaki toku maunga

Ko Kaikorai toku awa

Ko Ōtepoti toku kainga tuturu

Ko Whakatu toku kainga inaianei

Ko Waimea Intermediate toku kura

Ko Janine Higgins toku ingoa

No reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

Kia ora,

I am Janine Higgins and I’m a Deputy Principal at Waimea Intermediate School.  

I have been fortunate to teach in a variety of different schools (primary, intermediate and secondary) over the last 20 years.  I've been a BoT chair and am now a parent of school-aged children - allowing me to see education in our community from a variety of perspectives. 


 With three children of my own in our Waimea Kāhui Ako, I am keen to see schools work together to make the best of the education system we work within and to make learning more engaging for all of our learners.   I’m excited to be working with the people we have on our team and look forward to trying to make something of the opportunity and resource we have been given.


Across School Teacher Team

Andrew Ricciardi

Kia Ora. My name is Andrew Ricciardi and I teach Mathematics at Waimea College. I am originally from America and my wife and two daughters have called Nelson home for 13 years now. I am interested in innovative teaching practices that allow students to think critically, learn from their mistakes and develop a positive mindset that enables their progress. I enjoy running, reading and sometimes skateboarding. I look forward to meeting and working with the amazing students, whānau and educators in the Waimea Kāhui Ako.

Sarah Rankin

Ko Ruapehu te maunga

Ko Whanganui te awa

Ko Whanganui te hau kāinga

Ko Garin College taku kura

Ko Sarah Rankin tōku ingoa


Tēnā koutou katoa. I am excited about working as an Across Schools Leader and look forward to working with tamariki, whānau, schools and communities to enhance engagement and achievement for our tamariki.   I have two young daughters who are at schools within our Kāhui Ako so I have a vested interest in the success and outcomes for all our tamariki and kura.  Recently I have been the Year 9 Dean and Specialist Classroom Teacher at Garin College and I am excited about the collaborative possibilities that the Kāhui Ako will develop.  

Tania Alesana

Ko Tutemapou, Moketapu,

Taranaki ngā maunga

Ko Te Hoiere, Maitahi, Okahu ngā awa

Ko Raukawakawa, Aorere ngā moana

Ko Mataahourua, Kurahaupo.

Aotea ngā waka

Ko Te Hora, Whakatū, Te Potaka ngā marae

Ko Whakatu te kainga

Ko Tania Alesana toku ingoa


Tēnā koutou katoa. My name is Tania Alesana and I’m based at Waimea Intermediate School. I am a local girl born and bred in Nelson with whakapapa that align to six of the eight local iwi. I’m married to Sonny and we have two tamariki of our own, a whangaia (foster child) and one mokopuna. I have had the privilege of working with staff as a Within School Teacher in 2018 and I’m really excited about my new role as an Across School lead teacher within the Waimea Kahui Ako. I’m looking forward to working alongside teachers, students, schools, whānau and communities specifically with a focus on Cultural Responsive Practices.



We have at least one within school teacher position allocated to each school.  In some cases the role is being shared between two people.


John Maguire (Principal, Garin College),

Lisa Dunn (Garin College Board of Trustees),

Maureen Phillips (Principal, St Paul's Catholic School),

Brenda Ellis (Principal, Salisbury School),

Natalie Doty (Waimea Intermediate Board of Trustees),

Marina Tristram (Brightwater School Board of Trustees)