Syndicate One, Years 0-2, Staff Profiles

Reception Class - Year 0

Deb Wesley

Planning Leader

I graduated from Christchurch Teachers College and the University of Canterbury in 1995 with a Bachelors of Education. I worked at Banks Ave School and Somerfield Primary (for 16 years) before moving to Lincoln Primary in 2013. I am Reading Recovery trained and studied Te Reo Maori and Raranga between 2013 and 2015. I was fortunate to receive ACET Recognition (Advanced Classroom Expert Teacher) in 2014. I am responsible for Maori Development at Lincoln Primary and running our large Kapahaka group. I am also the Staff Board of Trustees Rep and co-ordinate the Early Connections group which consists of preschool and New Entrant teachers from this area. My goal is to ensure children transition into primary school smoothly and to ensure their first days at school are a positive experience. 
This year I am very fortunate to be Planning Leader for the awesome Syndicate 1 team, working at the picturesque Junior Campus. 
Outside of school I am Mum to two children, a teenage daughter at Lincoln High and a son who attends Lincoln Primary School. I enjoy going to the gym, walking our dogs, spending time with the family and reading a good book.

Reception - Year 0

Georgiana Willetts

Having been born in Christchurch and then growing up in the small town of Pukekohe, I decided to make my teaching dream a reality and move back to Christchurch. I began a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning at the University of Canterbury in 2014. 
Instantly I gained a strong connection with the community when I began teaching at Lincoln Primary School.  The friendly atmosphere, well-mannered children, welcoming parents and staff, is a culture every teacher strives for in their career.  My role as one of the teachers welcoming our new entrants into the school environment is an absolute pleasure. Helping them transition into school routines and sharing their early learning moments is very special. I look forward to experiencing many more milestones with the Lincoln Primary School.
Christchurch has captured my heart after returning and living here for 5 years.
I love the cloudless skies while walking around Hagley Park or one of the scenic tracks on the Port Hills.  I like to discover new places, travel, and  dine with my friends and family during the weekends. My passion for all things creative lead me to taking professional photographs, painting and listening to music, when I am not teaching.

Team 1 Red

Abby Kennedy

For as long as I can remember I have dreamt of being a teacher and I am over the moon that I am living that dream here at Lincoln Primary School. I graduated with a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning from the University of Canterbury at the end of 2016. This is my second year teaching Year 1 children at Lincoln and I am loving it! Outside of school I am involved with the volunteer organisations Radio Lollipop and Camp Quality where I get to work with children in a different context. I have found this really rewarding as I have been able to bring a smile to the faces of many children and provide them with opportunities to simply be kids.I spend my spare time with my friends and family and I enjoy baking, cooking and going for walks.

Mandy O'Sullivan

I started teaching at Lincoln Primary School at the beginning of Term 3 2017 after having taught at Somerfield School for 12 years in the senior school. I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge of teaching at the new entrants level. The delight that children of this age show when discovering and learning new things is a very precious opportunity and I count myself very lucky to be able to witness this everyday.Outside of school I am kept very busy with caring after a variety of animals, our very large garden and spending time with my friends and family and my husband, Patrick.

Team 1 Green

Julia Gatehouse

I have been teaching at Lincoln Primary School for eight years.  I have taught a range of year levels from Year 1 to Year 6.  I am passionate about creating curious, caring and confident learners. It is very rewarding to see children master a new skill or concept and share in their excitement.  I am especially passionate about teaching Inquiry and children leading their own learning. I enjoy listening to children’s wonderings, making new understandings and watching them explore and be creative.
Outside of school I enjoy spending time with friends and family especially my two year old daughter and my partner Patrick.  I love the outdoors, gardening, running, biking, reading and cooking.

Bronwyn Maddox

I completed my Studies at Massey University in Palmerston North and quickly jumped onboard the idea of travelling. I taught the Reception class at Hailsham Academy (England) before moving back to New Zealand where I worked at Spreydon Primary teaching New Entrants to Year 1. Originally from Wanganui, I have now decided to make Christchurch my home. My teaching passions are Reading and Physical Education. In my spare time I enjoy Running, Netball, Badminton, Paddle boarding, Scuba Diving and Gardening. 
I look forward to working alongside Julia in Team 1 Green.

Team 1 Orange

Andrea Harrison

In my previous working life, I used my BSc in Plant and Microbial Science to work in laboratories, before changing tack completely and working in the head office of a large NZ bank. Once my own 2 children came along, it seemed the perfect time to train as a teacher, which was something I had long wanted to do. This is my 7th year teaching, and I love it! To date, I have taught predominantly Juniors, from New Entrants to Year 2. My teaching passions are around child-led Inquiry, Science, student engagement and children being given appropriate choice to direct their own learning.When I am not at school, I spend a lot of time with my family (2 girls at Lincoln Primary and 1 husband) and friends, reading, camping, tinkering in art and craft, etc. I am always happy to say “hi” to ‘my kids’ from school when I am out and about, as we chose as a family to live in our school community and immerse ourselves in Lincoln. So please don’t worry if your little person spots me and comes over to talk - I enjoy it and it makes our relationship at school even stronger.

Team 2 Red

Mandy Newcombe

Planning Leader

Having come from a teaching background, I always said “I was never going to be a teacher because they worked too hard!”  Having not found my niche after a couple of years at Uni , I decided to take a gap year.  It was during this time that I got to work alongside an amazing group of teachers and found my passion.  It has been a passion that has seen me working in the classroom for the last 18 years.  During this time I have been lucky enough to have taught from NE - Year 7 and to have worked for four years at the Central Regional Health School with students recovering from illness or injury.  
This year I am working alongside Deb Wesley and Lara Taylor in the management team for Syndicate 1.  I am excited about the opportunities and challenges this will offer me as part of my own learning journey. I love to teach writing and seeing the joy on students faces when they realise what amazing authors they are. I am lucky enough to be the teacher in charge of the Junior Choir (Years 3-4) and have had the pleasure of taking them to the Kids for Kids Concert for the past 3 years.I look forward to continuing my teaching adventure alongside the amazing team who make up the LPS staff. 
When not at school I can be found enjoying time with Mark and my two children, Callum and Bella.

Sara Hutton

eLearning Leader

Growing up I was inspired by my Aunty to become a teacher so when I finished high school I moved to Dunedin to begin my university studies. I graduated from the University of Otago College of Education at the end of 2016. I grew up in Central Otago and spent my life living in Alexandra and Dunedin. I am excited about the journey ahead. Outside of school I enjoy photography, dancing, cooking, exercising, reading and spending time with family and friends. I am hoping to bring some of my knowledge and skills from my hobbies and passions to my teaching at LPS.

Samara Brown

When I was growing up you would often find me with my soft toys lined up, book in hand, ‘teaching’. So naturally when I moved to Christchurch 9 years ago I applied to Teacher’s College and the rest is history. I have worked previously in Ashburton, Burnham and Sri Lanka, at the year 2/3 level. I was very fortunate to take last year off and explore some wonderful countries in Asia and upon my return began relieving here at Lincoln Primary, now I’m lucky enough to be teaching alongside two other wonderful teachers in our Year 2 space. In my spare time I enjoying spending time at the gym, playing sport, travelling and spending time with my wonderful partner and our friends.

Team 2 Green

Laura Davidson

I am excited to be working with Syndicate 1 this year at Lincoln Primary School having just relocated back to Christchurch. I had been living in Auckland for the last six years where I completed my studies and had been teaching for the past three years. I have a passion for teaching Literacy and enjoy seeing the children’s love of reading grow. Seeing the creativity and ideas in their story writing makes me smile. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my husband, Simon, trying out new recipes and playing social netball with my friends.

Toya Woodgate

I have always been passionate about pursuing my dream of becoming a teacher and was lucky enough to get the opportunity to come to New Zealand to do that.  I spent four years completing a degree in Women and Gender Studies back home in Canada and then decided to come to the University of Canterbury to complete a graduate degree in teaching.
I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to start working at Lincoln Primary in Term 4 last year.  During this time I learned a lot and was able to start building relationships with the staff and students.  This is my first class and I am beyond excited to be working with the Year 2 team.  So far it has been off to a great start and I am very enthusiastic about the upcoming year. 
In my spare time, I try to spend as much time as possible exploring this beautiful country.  I often spend my weekends trying to see friends while spending time at the beach or hiking the port hills.  I enjoy playing basketball and watching movies and am an active reader.  I am missing my winter sports like skating and skiing and hope to get more involved in them this year.