Teaching Team

Samantha Morfey

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


Kelly Campbell          

 B. Ed

Kia Ora, I’m Kelly and I teach in Poutama (Room 12/13). This is my seventh year teaching and my third year as part of the amazing Russell Street School team. My strengths surround Numeracy, Literacy and The Arts. I strongly believe in building reciprocal relationships, and allowing children to take ownership and pride in their learning.  I love every part of teaching! I look forward to learning alongside the children, teachers and whanau at Russell Street School.  Email Kelly


Brenda Stephenson  

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. Check out our class blog or Email Brenda



Ebony Maaka      
B.Ed.  / Dip. Tchg / Reading Recovery Trained
Kia Ora, my name is Ebony. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be part of the Russell Street community. Students, whanau and especially staff make this such a special place to be. I am the Junior Team Leader however most of the time you can find me teaching and learning alongside the Busy Bees in Room 12/13. My strengths are in Literacy, Sports, the Arts and Maori. I am passionate about supporting learners of all ages to develop a love for learning and become life long learners.  Email Ebony



Kerri Satherley      

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


Eileen Tan  

B.Ed. Tchg

Kia ora whanau, I’m Eileen and I am team teaching with Kerri in Room 8.  I have been teaching for the last 10 years, the first 8 in Auckland.  When we moved to Palmerston North, I was fortunate enough to have my own children start at Russell Street School and I became part of the parent community and now the teaching staff.  I look forward to growing relationships with the children and contributing to their life long learning journey. Email Eileen


Robin Baker                                        

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


Sandi Baldwin  

B.A. / Dip.Tchg

Hi, I am Sandi Baldwin and I am the teacher, along with Robin Baker, in Room 3.  I have a long association with Russell Street as I have taught here since 1997 and prior to that my three children attended this school.  I teach numeracy, handwriting, theme, physical education, music, art and Te Reo.  ICT is incorporated into these subjects.  I also run the programme for children who have English as a second language.  I am looking forward to an exciting year teaching children who are so keen to learn and working with a supportive staff. Email Sandi


Fiona Hunter


Hi, I’m Fiona and I teach in Room 9 helping our year 3 learners as they strive to be the very best that they can be – reaching for the stars.  It is a fabulous feeling coming back to teach at such a lovely, supportive school with the most fantastic students and staff!  My curriculum strengths are maths and literacy.  Our increasing cultural diversity is of interest to me and I enjoy providing a learning space that is rich in students’ prior knowledge and experience. Email Fiona


Nic Mason                                           


Kia ora, I’m Nic.  I am passionate about teaching because it allows me to pass on my passions like music, performing arts, art, Te Reo and writing.  I love using ICT to design, create and share learning.  I earned a ‘Bachelor of Education’, here at Massey University College of Education in 2005.  At home, I have a wife and two children and I perform in two bands.  I enjoy working with the amazing community at Russell Street School!  Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi. Email Nic


Joy Kitt                                                 

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 Joy


Rosie Parker  

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

Ko Hikurangi te maunga, Ko Waiapu te awa, Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi, Ko Rosie taku ingoa, kia ora koutou. I have loved teaching at Russell Street School for a number of years but in 2014 I won a study award from the ministry to up skill and renew my knowledge of teaching Te Reo Māori me ngā tikanga.  I am currently teaching in our Māori enhancement class – ‘Poutokomanawa’. I am passionate about Te Reo Maori me ngā tikanga, Kapa Haka, art, being creative, digital learning, higher order 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. Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai ngā tamariki. Nā reira, piki mai, kake mai ki te awhi, me te manaaki i ngā tamariki o ‘Poutokomanawa’. Email Rosie

Troy Duckworth                          


Ngā Mihi Nui Koutou,

I’m Troy and I teach a group of awesome Year 4 students. My passions are teaching Maths, Te Reo Māori and PE. This year I share a class with Joy as I am working as an Across School Teacher within the Palmerston North East Community of Learners (CoL) with 9 other schools leading the Maths challenge. I teach the kids in ABLE2 every afternoon and all day on Friday.

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 also the Teacher in Charge of Sport. My wife, Bex is also a teacher at Whakarongo School and we have a nearly 4 year old son named Dallas. I’m hugely passionate about the NBA, so if you are too, come and find me and we’ll have a yarn… Email Troy


John Smith                                 

PhD (Chemistry), BSc (Hons), Post Grad Dip Teaching

Email John


Carolyn Dodd                                 


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


Nicole Wilde-Wilson                  

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

Dr Jenny Boyack                            

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


Suzanne Smith                                  

Dip. Tchg / B.Ed (SpecEd)

I love being part of the RSS team nurturing students in their learning. I primarily lead the area of gifted and talented education; a mix of running CREATE extension classes and supporting staff in meeting the needs of our gifted students. I can also be found releasing teachers across the school. I was formerly a teacher at the Gifted and Talented Education Centre in its first few years of development in Manawatu. I have strengths in special education, literacy, and art and am passionate about challenging students’ thinking and helping them to understand more about themselves as a learner.  Check out our CREATE blog at Feel free to pop in and see me or email me. Email Suzanne


Leadership Team

Nick Rate


M. 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

James Rea                                          

Deputy Principal                            

B.Ed  / Dip. Tchg

Kia ora, it is a great privilege to be part of the Russell Street leadership environment. My role includes administration and management, eLearning director,  pastoral care and working with groups of students on special projects. I enjoy the responsibilities and opportunities to be creative, innovative and forward thinking that come with the Deputy Principal role in a successful, student focused school. I am always thrilled by the students’ ability to interact and achieve at high levels in all sporting, cultural and academic endeavors. The RSS staff are always seeking to engage and develop student capability with student focused, innovative and robust learning programs. What a superb environment to be part of. Email James

Elly Warnock                                          

Assistant Principal                

B.Tchg / B.Sc / National Excellence in Teaching Award 2014

Kia Ora!  My name is Elly.  It is such a privilege to be a part of the Russell Street community working with our students, parents and alongside an amazing staff.  I love guiding our students as they strive for excellence, creativity and agency in all they do.  As well as teaching, my role as Assistant Principal includes leadership responsibilities such as curriculum development, modern learning pedagogy, pastoral care and leading the junior team with Ebony. Email Elly


Mel Hagan

Associate 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

Office Staff

Our Office Staff consists of Ag Allen, who is the Office Manager and Rachelle Adrian who is the Office Assistant. Ag and Rachelle are often the first people visitors, prospective staff and parents will meet when coming to Russell Street School. Their ‘behind the scenes’ administrative work is essential to help the school run effectively. Email the Office

Ag Allen








Rachelle Adrian







Support Staff

We have a number of Teaching Assistants who work at Russell Street School. Our school believes in the importance of having trained and enthusiastic Teaching Assistants working in each of our classrooms for a portion of each day. This allows more small group and one to one teaching of children to take place and has proven to be extremely effective in enhancing children’s learning opportunities. An I.C.T. Assistant, Library Assistants, Caretaker, Cleaners are also employed as Support Staff.

Teaching Assistants: 
Deb Bary

Teachers’ Aide Certificate

Email Deb






Lorraine Keefe

Teachers’ Aide Certificate

Email Lorraine






Charlotte Whitta

Email Charlotte







Rachelle Adrian

Email Rachelle




Kate Cliff. (BA and Dip. Tchg.)

Email Kate







Metarina Savage

Email Metarina







Tracey Davidson

Email Tracey







Sandy Watson

Teachers’ Aide Certificate

Email Sandy







Nicky Bateman

Email Nicky







Technical Support:

Jeremy Phillips








Library Assistant:

Jean Wilkinson








Rebecca Meade








Ivan Mills


Karen Morley








Carolyn Jordan








Geraldine Gear



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Inspiring Agency, Creativity & Excellence