Heidi Olykan
Heidi OlykanPrincipal
Kia Ora. I am Heidi Olykan, Principal at Upper Moutere School. I feel very lucky to be leading this school with the support of an extremely motivated, enthusiastic and hard working staff. I am also grateful to have the opportunity to work with such a positive and responsive group of children, who are well mannered and care for each other. The leadership our year 7 and 8 students take in our school impresses me greatly, I enjoy their enthusiasm, maturity and responsibility. We have been fortunate to have had to the opportunity to develop some collaborative learning spaces which has challenged us and provided a positive catalyst for developing how we provide teaching and learning opportunities in our school. You are very welcome to visit us and see our school in action.

Our Teaching Team Members

Suzanne Tawharu
Suzanne Tawharu - Teacher Years 7 and 8 Marama - Terms one and two
Kia ora koutou. I’m Suzanne and I am fortunate to work with the amazing senior school students in Marama for terms one and two. I will facilitate and guide learning that is creative, challenging, supportive and engaging. The students at UMO never cease to amaze me with their empathy, compassion and kindness toward each other, particularly the senior students toward their younger peers. Such a great environment to work in!

Rachael Whalley
Rachael Whalley Teacher of New Entrants - Year 2, Ramaroa iti
Hi I am Rachael and I feel privileged to be teaching at Upper Moutere school. I love the way the children come to school so full of enthusiasm, curiosity and a readiness to learn.

Jaki Van Dijk
Jaki Van DijkTeacher Year 2-3, Ramaroa Nui
Hi I’m Jaki. For 2024 I will be leading the learning in Ramaroa nui with our Year 2&3 learners. I enjoy the rewards and challenges that teaching brings. I am really pleased to be a part of this school as we have a fantastically supportive and caring team.

Maegan Gardner
Maegan GardnerPart-time Teacher New Entrant - Year 2
Kia ora. I am Maegan. It is a pleasure to be working in Ramaroa iti three days a week, while Rachael undertakes study leave. I am lucky to be teaching in such a beautiful school where students are empowered to be creative, active and to build confidence in all areas of school life. 

In my teaching, I enjoy celebrating the achievements of all tamariki as they work towards their learning goals.  Each day is an exciting day to be a learner in Ramaroa Iti. 
Toby Ammundsen
Toby AmmundsenTeacher of Year 4-6 Turama
Kia ora. I am thrilled to be a part of the amazing team at Upper Moutere School. I teach in Turama, a Year 4-6 learning space. As a teacher, my passion lies in creating a positive and engaging learning environment where students can flourish both academically and personally. With a commitment to creating an innovative and inclusive environment, I try to inspire curiosity and critical thinking. As well as being a teacher at the school, I also live in the local community. My son attends our school already and I have a younger daughter at Country Kids. Our family loves being a part of this community and all it has to offer.

Cathy Ellis
Cathy EllisSupport Teacher
I am Cathy and my main role is to provide support to the teachers here at Upper Moutere School, teaching in Turama and Ramaroa Nui this year .

Carol Ward
Carol WardPart-time Teacher Ramaroa iti - New Entrants - Year 2
I am Carol, and I am working in Ramaroa iti two days a week in 2024 while Rachael undertakes study leave.

Our Teacher Aides

  • Bridget Druce
  • Zara Riley
  • Yvette Watson-Cook

Office Administrator

Saree DicksonOffice Administrator

Our School Board

  • Andy Marr – Presiding Member
  • Iwao Fujji
  • Jane Penno
  • Andi Pannell
  • Toby Ammundsen – Staff Representative