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An introduction from our new staff

posted Feb 1, 2018, 5:56 PM by Reception @TMCS


Leah Mills - Karaka 15 - Maungatautari Syndicate - Year 5 & 6

Kia ora, I’m Leah Mills and it’s my absolute privilege to be teaching here at Tamahere School. I am really excited about what this year holds and all the new learning that I can involve myself with.


I originally come from Tauranga, but Hamilton has been home for many years now (except when it is foggy...then I’m a Bay girl!). I began my teaching career at Melville Intermediate School after which my husband and I spent three and half years living and teaching in Japan. Upon my return to New Zealand, I took up a teaching position at Rototuna Primary School, where I worked for the past 12 years as Team Leader and Leader of Writing. I absolutely love this job and truly look forward to coming to work each day.


I am married to Damian who is Associate Headmaster at Southwell School and our two children, Harper (9) and Ava (7) attend school there. As a family we love spending time at our bach at Waihi Beach, exploring the outdoors, supporting The Chiefs, and spending time with our extended family. We are involved in cricket, rugby, touch, netball and cycling; kid’s sport keeps us busy!


I am really looking forward to being part of the Tamahere School community and working alongside the students and their whanau.



Laura Bell - Mahoe 17 - Maungatautari Syndicate - Year 5 & 6

My name is Laura Bell and I am so excited to be a part of the team here at Tamahere School this year. I was born and raised in Tauranga and moved to Hamilton a few years ago. This summer I spent most of my time back home at Mount Maunganui, making the most of the sunshine and attempting to surf.  Being an outdoorsy person I also love swimming, hiking and going to the snow. Previously I have been a gymnastic and swimming coach as well as a dance teacher which I absolutely loved. I am really looking forward to this year with my class, Mahoe 17, and getting to know this school and its community.




Kitty MacLeod - Pukatea 14 - Maungatautari Syndicate - Year 5 & 6

Hi to all the students, and families out there, thank you for welcoming me into the wonderful Tamahere Model Country School community. I am really looking forward to this year and getting to know many of the faces around the school.


A bit about me, I am originally from Australia and have been in NZ for just on 5 years now. I have grown up on a small organic avocado farm, so very much enjoy the outdoors and being adventurous. I have just recently spent a month travelling around Europe with my partner for the first time which was an amazing experience. I am hoping to bring my excitement for exploring and adventure into the classroom and around the school.



Ilse Lock - Rimu 7 - Taupiri Syndicate - Year 1

My name is Ilse Lock and I am very excited to be teaching in Rimu 7 this year. I am originally from South Africa, but have been in New Zealand for almost 10 years. My family and I enjoy walking, swimming, tramping, running and almost anything active and outdoors! After school I studied and graduated with a Bachelors of Occupational Therapy. However, my passion didn't lie in Occupational Therapy, but in teaching. As a result, I continued and did my Masters in Teaching and Learning at Waikato University. I have enjoyed doing some volunteer teaching in both Tonga and Thailand during my holiday periods. Last year, I was teaching a Year 2 class in Auckland, but have moved back to Hamilton to be with my family. Overall, I am very excited to be part of the Tamahere School community and get to know you all! Please pop into Rimu 7 at any time.



Mandy Searancke - Harakeke 18 -  Pirongia Syndicate - Year 3 & 4

My name is Mandy Searancke, I have been teaching for 27 years in the Waikato and had the pleasure of teaching all levels and developed a range of expertise across all age groups. I have proven strengths  in the numeracy and literacy fields and have a passion for environmental education.


My partner and I have 6 children between us, 5 of those being adults. We are shortly returning to our lifestyle block on the south side of town. We enjoy gardening, building projects around home and family time. The outdoors always beckons and we can be found tramping and mountain biking when not at home.



Grant Spicer - eLearning Coordinator

Hey, I’m Grant. For the past 2 years I’ve been a teacher at Rototuna Primary School. Now I am the IT Coordinator here, while also trying to begin my business ventures.


I love playing soccer, drinking coffee, lots of coffee, and fixing all those IT problems. I'm looking forward to being a part of Tamahere Model Country School and seeing where it takes me.



Valmae Spence - Office Administrator

Hi, my name is Valmae Spence and I am thrilled to be joining the lovely ladies in the office. I previously worked as the Office Administrator for an Early Childhood Centre for 18 years, now I am having to learn new skills for dealing with the Primary School Sector ….please be patient with me, I will get it eventually.


It is exciting to be joining Tamahere School for 2018. I live in the Morrinsville Walton area on a small lifestyle block and have four adult sons who definitely keep my life interesting. I am looking forward to getting to know staff and parents alike.


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