Syndicate Four, Years 7-8, Staff Profiles

Year 8

Deb Phipps

Learning Leader

My first teaching position was at Papakaio, a country school near Oamaru. I then moved back up to Christchurch in 1995 to teach at Queenspark School in Parklands. While working at Queenspark I travelled to London and taught in a Central London School for 8 months. I had my first son in 2003 and reduced my hours at Queenspark to working part time.I decided I missed the country atmosphere so my husband, son and I moved out to Lincoln at the end of 2006. In 2007 I had my second son and started working part time at Lincoln Primary School. In 2014 and 2015 I trained and became the reading Recovery Teacher at Lincoln Primary School. At the end of 2015 Viv Butcher offered me an amazing opportunity to work with the gifted and talented children in our community, setting up the Gifted and Talented programme, Connecting Minds. I led the Connecting Minds programme for 5 years and loved being able to help children recognise and reach their potential.I love the outdoors, exercise and camping with my boys.

Samara Brown

This is my third year teaching at Lincoln Primary and I am excited to be working in the Year 8 team. I feel very privileged to be a part of such a friendly and enthusiastic staff. Prior to moving to Syndicate 4 here at LPS I worked in Syndicate 1. I am looking forward to the opportunity of changing year levels and having the privilege of being one of my students last teachers before moving to high school. I am passionate about creating engaging and exciting learning opportunities for my students in all learning areas, particularly Maths, the Arts and P.E. This year I am taking on the role of the Within Schools Teacher for Wellbeing/Relationships.  I have worked previously in Ashburton, Burnham and Sri Lanka, at the year 2/3 level.In my spare time I enjoy going to the gym, playing sports, travelling and spending time with my wonderful partner and our friends.

Sarsha Wightman

Across School Teacher

I moved to Lincoln Primary School at the beginning of this year to take the next step in my teaching career. It is an exciting move for me and a move back home for my family. I spent the past three years in Pleasant Point where I was heavily involved in Rippa Rugby, Kapahaka, Digital Technologies and Collaborative Practices. Prior to this I worked in a range of schools throughout the eastern side of Christchurch. During this time I took on a number of different leadership roles predominantly in Physical Education and Health and Mathematics. I am passionate about the importance of building the whole child and helping them to gain the self confidence to become life-long learners and to achieve HEROES status! I love seeing the children blossom. This year I am excited to be the Learning Leader for the Year 7 and 8 team. When I am not in the classroom I am mum to three, Cooper (11), Elodie and Arabelle (7). As a family we love being active and are always quick to try new things. I love my netball having played at a competitive level for a long time now, although my retirement seems near as the children’s activities become more varied!

Anne Gardiner-Taylor

My family and I recently moved to Christchurch from the Rangitikei in the North Island and I happily joined the Lincoln Primary School community in 2020. I am a qualified primary and secondary school teacher, and while I have enjoyed teaching in both sectors, most of my 25-year teaching career has been in Years 7 and 8. This year I am teaching in the Year 8 syndicate and I am also really enjoying teaching Years 2 and 3 and Year 8 Food Technology. My husband, Stu is a dairy farmer and we have four children – two sets of twins aged 10 and 11. My extended family and close friends are important to me and I love socializing and getting together with them as much as possible. I also love travel, cultural arts and sport – especially netball, rugby, gymnastics, tennis, squash, dance, and scuba diving.

Julie Wan

I am excited to be teaching in Year 8 this year at Lincoln Primary School. I have taught in London, Wellington and Christchurch since completing my teacher training at Christchurch College of Education and the University of Canterbury. It is great to be part of such a committed, fun and forward thinking team. I have a passion for Numeracy and PE. It is always great to see students grow and develop a love for learning and realise their leadership qualities . When I am not at school I can be found spending time with my husband Mike and our two awesome children. I love the outdoors and enjoy running and going for long walks.

Year 7

Marie Keely

I was born in Dublin and grew up in England. I completed a Bachelor of Science (honours) degree and worked in marketing before completing a Postgraduate degree in education.  Lincoln University offered my husband (Dave Nicol) a job and we moved to New Zealand and settled in the then small town of Lincoln. We have three children who regularly use us as a taxi service. I play various sports including soccer, touch rugby and netball.  Although anyone watching from the sideline would observe that there is certainly more talking happening than running.  I enjoy walking and am highly motivated if there is a cafe at the end of the trek.Having taught at Lincoln Primary for many years I still arrive each morning excited to see what the day will bring.  As a teacher I see my role as instilling confidence in every child along with a passion to learn and attempt new things.  I work closely alongside Tania Donoso (ESOL teacher) to ensure the smooth transition for overseas students.

Anna Grant

Kia ora, my name is Anna and I’m delighted to be part of the Year 7 teaching team this year. I began my teaching career at Lincoln Primary in 2012 & 2013 before having a few years away teaching in the lovely towns of Kaikoura and Hanmer Springs. I was excited to return to Lincoln Primary in 2018 as it is such a forward thinking, inclusive and supportive school to be part of.I’m passionate about helping students develop into the best versions of themselves. I have a love of learning and really enjoy sharing the moment with students when they grasp a new concept or skill. When I’m not at school I’m likely to be in the great outdoors either mountain biking, walking my dog, or tramping off to a little hut somewhere. I have recently begun golf lessons and am enjoying the new learning and challenge that this involves.

Robyn McDowell

I have been part of the Lincoln Primary Team since early 2007.  Although I was born and trained in Christchurch, my teaching has taken me many places both in NZ and Canada, teaching in both primary and intermediate schools.  I have a passion for teaching and the outdoors. I take my role in overseeing the school’s Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) programmes as a privilege. I was part of the FIE training in 2016 and can’t believe the impact this makes on the students learning.   When I’m not at school I’m hanging out with my husband, Craig, reading, travelling, walking the dog, visiting the beach, catching up with my Dad or my kids – Ben (25) and Rose (23).