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Our Staff



Principal – Caine Webster

Kia ora, my name is Caine Webster and I have been the Principal at Pāuatahanui School for nearly a year. I absolutely love being the Principal here because we have such an amazing staff, and community and the students are pretty awesome as well. I joined the Pāuatahanui School team in 2021 after being the Deputy Principal at Papakōwhai School and before that, I taught at Korokoro School in Petone and Fergusson Intermediate in Upper Hutt. My whānau plays a huge part in my life. My wife Lisa is also a teacher and is currently teaching at Fergusson Intermediate. My whānau gives me perspective on life and they help me achieve a healthy balance between home and school life. I have two adult stepdaughters, Leichelle and Kelsey and I have two sons, Billy who is 13 years old and Max who is 12 years old. The boys keep me very busy with activities like coaching weekend sports, bike riding, walks around the local area and to various parks. Sport is a passion of mine and I am often watching and supporting local sports teams across a variety of sports during weekends.

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Deputy Principal and Room 4 Teacher – Kate Excell

Kia ora, my name is Kate Excell, I joined the Pauatahanui team in 2019 and I  love working with an amazing team in such a supportive community. Before working at Pauatahanui I spent much of my career as a teacher and team leader at Plimmerton School. In 2018 my husband and I returned to Te Anau for a year where I took up the position of Assistant Principal. We live locally and have two awesome adult children who we are very proud of. In my spare time I love running trails, biking, fishing and reading.


Room 1 Teacher - Kayleigh Peach

Kia ora my name is Kayleigh and I am the teacher in Room 1.  I have been a teacher at Pāuatahanui School since 2022 and love being a part of this school community.  I have been teaching for 10 years in Te Kūiti and Wellington and have taught year 2 through to year 8.  I love bringing my passion for dance and drama into the classroom.  In my free time, when I'm not chasing my toddler outside, I love to play netball, read a good book and drink good coffee.

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Room 2 Teacher - Grace McRobie

Kia ora, my name is Grace McRobie and I am the kaiako in Room 2.  This is my second year teaching but I have been a part of the Pauatahanui School whānau since 2021 where I first started as a Learning Coach. In my spare time I love going to the beach, playing sports and walking my dogs.


Room 3 Teacher - Maddy Bain

Kia ora, I'm Maddy Bain and I'm the teacher in Room 3. I am originally from the sunny Hawkes Bay. I have enjoyed being a teacher at Pauatahanui School over the last 7 years in the junior school. In my spare time, I love playing netball, cooking, exercising, and spending time with family and friends. I am excited to be the New Entrant teacher this year and am looking forward to getting to know the students in Room 3 and their whanau.

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Sharon Gibson - Room 4 Teacher and AST (Across School Teacher for the Kahui Ako)

In my holidays, I enjoy spending time with my family - my husband and two daughters, travelling both here in NZ and overseas to learn about new places and new cultures.  During the term we can be seen out walking, biking and kayaking locally here in Pauatahanui.


Room 5 Teacher – Tracey Mills

Kia ora! I’m Tracey Mills and I teach in Room 5. I started teaching at Pauatahanui in 2022, which was my first year teaching. I studied a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise at Massey in Palmerston North, and did a Graduate Diploma of Teaching through Victoria University. 

I was born and raised in Tītahi Bay, and I am an active member of the Tītahi Bay Surf Lifesaving Club. I am also a qualified lifeguard, I row for the club, and have represented Aotearoa internationally a number of times. In my spare time I am usually outside. I like going for walks, hanging out with my friends, playing hockey for Upper Hutt Hockey Club, and spending time with my nieces.

Rm 6 Teacher - Jen Cooze

Kia ora, koutou. I’m like a boomerang, returning to Pauatahanui School after a lengthy gap, which has included wonderful opportunities teaching in the UK and Kuwait. This gave me perfect opportunities to travel (a passion), particularly throughout Europe and the Middle East, where I picked up a smattering of Arabic.

I have taught all levels from New Entrants to Year 8 in a number of schools.

My adult children have all flown the coop, and I have three delightful grandchildren.

Interests include: reading, gardening, photography and painting. I enjoy running and cycling for fitness.


Room 7 Teacher - Eryn Street

Kia ora, I'm Eryn Street and I'm teaching year 5 & 6 in Room 7 this year! I started at Pauatahanui School in 2022. Before that, I taught Performing Arts, Social Studies, and History at Wellington Girls' College, and year 7 & 8 and New Entrants at Papakowhai School. I started teaching in 2017. Pauatahanui is such a great community, and it's so lovely to start my day with a drive around the inlet.
I love performing, and am frequently involved in shows around the Wellington region - I was Mary Poppins in Kāpiti in 2021! I also enjoy getting out into the trees and going for a hike when I have the time, heading away to my fiancé's family bach in Taranaki, and travelling when I can! 


Room 8 Teacher - Joelle Clark

Kia ora, I joined the teaching team at Pāuatahanui School in 2023. It's been great getting to know the wonderful community of staff, students and whānau. This year I am teaching year 5 and 6 in Room 8. I’ve been a teacher since 2007 and have taught a range of ages from years 3 to 8 in Wellington, Auckland, and London.I grew up in Wellington and have recently moved to Plimmerton with my husband and our two children aged 5 and 9. We love riding our bikes around the inlet and going for swims at the local beach. 

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Rm 9 Teacher - Bradley Johns

My name is Bradley and this is my first year of teaching. I have lived in Plimmerton my whole life and I am excited to be at Pauatahanui school in Whitireia hub. In my spare time, I love being outdoors, running, playing sports, and walking my dog.

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Rm 10 Teacher - Claire Jolly

Kia Ora,  My name is Claire Jolly and I'm so happy to be part of the Pauatahanui School Whanau.  I have been teaching for over 20 years and I've been fortunate to teach in Thailand, London and Wellington.  I am the proud Mama of two boys who are 8 and 4 so in my spare time we swim, travel (when possible) and try our best to wear them out!  I love teaching at the Year 5/6 level and co-teaching with Becky is a lot of fun too!  In my spare time I love reading, eating and try to fit in some exercise - life is all about balance, after all!


Teacher –  Clare Layfield

Kia ora, my name is Clare Layfield. I was a part time teacher at Pauatahanui School for a number of years from 2010, then I began my full time journey at Plimmerton School in 2017. I rejoined the Pauatahanui community in 2020 and it's an honour to be part of such a fabulous team and village.  

I am originally from the UK and I emigrated with my husband in 2007. We love living in beautiful New Zealand and are now locals to the Pauatahanui Inlet. We have three children so weekends are spent following and supporting various sporting events! I love to walk and am passionate about the environment and love working alongside children, watching their creativity and adventures.

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Executive Officer – Manuela Hodgson

Both of my daughters went to Pauatahanui school right from year 0 - 8. I have loved being involved at the school as a parent for several years and I'm really enjoying my role here in the school office. 

You can contact me through

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Learning Coach - Vicki Judd

Kia ora I have been at Pauatahanui School for about 10 years  and loving every bit of it. I have two older children who attended Pauatahanui School.  My children were the second generation to attend the school. I am looking forward to working with all the children and getting to know new faces.        

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Learning Coach - Mel O'Hagan

Hi I'm Mel and I've had the privilege of being part of the Pauatahanui School community for over 10 years, initially as a parent, then in the school office and currently as a learning coach for years 4/5/6.  In my spare time I love to go adventuring with my husband and two teenagers, ride my horse, attend to my garden and spend time relaxing with family and friends.    


Learning Coach - Donna Hegan

Hi, my name is Donna Hegan, I joined the awesome team at Pauatahanui School in 2020 after volunteering in my boys' classes for a few years. I have two boys who attend the school and a husband who works in town. Before I had children I was an HR Manager at Sport and Recreation NZ and I still have a keen interest in Employment Law.

Outside of school I make cakes and cupcakes as a small hobby business and I love reading, doing HIIT workouts and travelling.

Our weekends are spent mostly outside with the boys sports, walking and on picnics.

I love living and working in this area which has always been my home.


Learning Coach - Jeni McEwen

My name is Jeni and I am so excited to join the Pauatahanui School team in 2024 as a learning coach. I have been involved with Pauatahanui School managing SKIDS since 2022. I am curious about people and the world so in 2016 i completed a diploma in Health Psychology, followed by a Bachelor of Social Sciences which I completed in 2019. I have a 12 year old daughter who attends Intermediate in Lower Hutt.

We have 2 small dogs who we adore and our spare time is spent with them; going to the beach, throwing a ball or on long bush walks. 

I also enjoy playing netball, running and doing art of all sorts.

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