Our People

Kelly Barker (Whaea Kelly)


It is a real privilege to be leading and working alongside an amazing learning community where we inspire curiosity, identify strengths and passions and grow people to thrive!

Passion, purpose and people is what has guided my educational leadership. I am passionate about teaching and learning.  It is important to me that everything we do has real purpose that contributes to best educational outcomes for students.

People are at the heart of learning for me. I am committed to improving student learning and outcomes through strong learning based relationships and quality teaching. Connecting, engaging and collaborating to create a learning environment where a culture of inclusiveness and diversity is celebrated is super exciting.

My husband Jeremy and I are real hunter gatherers. In our spare time we love to spearfish and Jeremy is a keen hunter.  We also have a productive little vegetable garden that adds to our ideal of being self-sufficient.  We are very lucky to have two gorgeous wee dots (Mahinarangi and Tamatia) and a special family dog (Tai) who keep us on our toes and keep us honest.

Abbey Corich

Deputy Principal | Reading Recovery Teacher

Kia ora koutou,

I joined the teaching team at Hampton Hill in 2016. Prior to this I have spent time teaching at various other schools mainly in the Wellington area. I started my first teaching job in 2003 and feel very blessed to have a job where I love getting up to go to work every morning. I enjoy working with whānau to help children develop the skills and characteristics to be lifelong learners. I strive to make learning an engaging and rewarding experience where children feel confident taking risks and trying new things. When I am not at school I enjoy exploring the walkways of Wellington, visiting cafes and spending time with my friends and family

Sue Kelly

Office Manager

I have worked in education administration for many years and enjoy being part of the Hampton Hill School community working with the staff, the children and their families.  Originally from England, I have lived in Tawa for over 22 years where I help my husband Michael run his plumbing business.  We have two amazing children and two adorable cats! I enjoy gardening, walking, pilates and travel – especially family holidays around New Zealand exploring our beautiful country!

Bo van der Lugt

Office Administrator

I have a strong background in education and administration and a genuine interest in children so I am very pleased to have joined Hampton Hill School after taking some time out to raise a family.

Born and raised in Wellington, I spent many years overseas until returning to Tawa with its fabulous family friendly community.

I enjoy spending my spare time walking, swimming, biking and exploring the gorgeous beaches in and around Wellington with my family. When the sun isn’t shining (and sometimes even when it is) I enjoy reading and crafting and playing board games with my children.

Rebecca Quirke

Room Kiwi Teacher
(New Entrant – Yr 1)

Hello, I’m Rebecca Quirke and I am the new entrant teacher at Hampton Hill School.  I have taught at Hampton Hill for about seven years in a range of different roles.  I love teaching and inspiring children to learn by making the experience of learning as fun and enjoyable as possible. When I’m not at school I love to spend time with my amazing family.  I enjoy being creative – to paint, mosaic, scrapbook and like learning new crafts.  I am also a bit of a back yard farmer and enjoy growing my own vegetables and raising chickens.

Clare O’Connell

Room Hoiho Teacher
(New Entrant – Yr 1)

My name is Clare O’Connell and I joined the Hampton Hill team in 2017. I enjoy building fantastic relationships with children and using these to bring about the best learning possible for them. I am passionate about the environment and sustainability, and I love to bring elements of these into the classroom. Music is also a passion of mine, and outside of school I play a wide range of instruments, including playing the viola for two Wellington orchestras. I also love to tramp, and I can often be found wandering around some mountains on a spare weekend!

Joanne Speight

Room Tui Teacher (Yr 1-2)

I have had a long association with Hampton Hill School. My own children attended this school and have very pleasant memories. I have been involved in many ways: first I was a parent helper, then a student teacher, then a “real” teacher, then an advisor of mathematics and back to being a teacher again. I obviously love working in this environment and have taught at all the year levels. Out of school I enjoy Scottish Country Dancing which is a fun activity and helps keep me fit.   I enjoy playing golf and exploring the walking tracks around the area.

Catherine Commins

Room Kakapo Teacher (Yr 2)

I am a friendly person who gets on well with others. I have a natural rapport with children and have always enjoyed working with children of all ages. It is important to me to help children achieve their goals, and I will always go that bit further to find ways to help them develop their understanding and learning. I have the skills and enthusiasm to ensure a fun learning experience and enjoy seeing the excitement in children’s eyes when they master a new activity.

Natasha Culevski

Room Piwakawaka Teacher (Yrs 2-3)

Kia Ora

I am Natasha Culevski and I have been so fortunate to have been a part of Hampton Hill since early 2016 as a practicing teacher and now as a teacher of year 2/3. I am very excited to be working in the junior part of the school as I really have a passion for being creative in the classroom. I enjoy getting to know every child as an individual and making learning relevant and fun. 

I have always lived in Wellington and enjoy exploring new parts of it in my spare time. When I am not planning or at school, I will be spending time with my family and friends, usually enjoying a walk or some good food.


Keiko Kubota

Room Takahe Teacher (Yr 3)

I am originally from Japan, but I have also lived in Hong Kong, Thailand and the United States, so it’s safe to say that I love traveling, exploring cultures and eating cuisines from all over the world.

In my teen years I was a competitive swimmer, so I really enjoy being active.  I also love creative activities such as dance and visual arts.

I am excited to be working at Hampton Hill School because I resonate with the school’s vision to Grow People to Thrive. It is about generating interest in learning through diverse teaching methods and keeping it exciting and engaging by challenging students to think outside the box; forging them into curious and creative thinkers. I  love to work in a school that recognises the importance of teaching our children how to learn and adapt to modern technology in this fast paced, evolving world. Honestly, I cannot think of anything better than working in an environment with people who share my vision and values.

Benjamin Jackson

Room Ruru Teacher (Yrs 4-5)

Kia Ora,

I am excited to be joining the Hampton Hill team in 2018. My partner and I have just moved to Wellington and we were drawn here by the amazing beaches, good coffee and the many hiking tracks around the area.

I have been teaching for 6 years at various schools in New Zealand and London. I have a passion for sport and look forward to organising and coaching teams for school sports events. I am a values based teacher and believe in developing children to become the best person they can be by instilling a love of learning, building resilience and developing them into self managers.

When I am not at school I enjoy playing social rugby, snowboarding and exploring the sights of our beautiful country.

Scott Hammer

Room Kereru Teacher (Yrs 4-5)

Since starting my career in teaching, I have been involved with Hampton Hill School. As a teacher  I really enjoy helping students grow as they understand what they are learning.  

In 2014 I had the opportunity to grow my own knowledge by being involved with the Primary Science Teacher Fellowship. I focussed my studies on understanding the nature of science and looking at how to be more curious about the world around us. I find Science is a great way to help our kids grow as they understand the world around them 

Outside of school I have taught myself to play  guitar. (I play in my church band.)

Amy Hardyment

Room Karearea Teacher (Yrs 5-6)

Kia Ora. I joined the Hampton Hill School teaching staff in 2016. I am originally from the Manawatu and moved to the vibrant city of Wellington in 2016. I love getting to know children and finding out what really gets them excited and motivated in their lives and then relating this into the classroom. I think this makes teaching and learning a fun and enjoyable experience for all. Outside of school I spend time with my son, friends and family, and experiment with cooking and get creative through drawing, painting and the occasional furniture up-cycle!

Carol Brieseman

Room Kea Teacher (Yrs 5-6)

I have been involved with the school for quite a number of years, with our two daughters and son having all gone through the school.  As well as teaching my class, I am in charge of Science and was fortunate to spend 6 months at NIWA on a Primary Science Fellowship in 2012.This was an awesome experience and I came away from that with a new passion for Science and for kids to develop a curiosity about the world around them.

I am also involved in our Enviro Schools programme, PE and School Hockey. My interests include walking – the longer the better; music- I lead church singing, play the viola and bass guitar; gardening; and my own gorgeous family (that is growing up way too fast!)

Jenny Pearl

Part Time Teacher
– Classroom Release

I retired from Hampton Hill School in 2015 as Deputy Principal but am enjoying being back in a part -time role as a teacher.

I have much more time for my hobbies and family now, and enjoy swimming, scrapbooking, patchwork – my favourite thing is skyping my grandchildren.

Leah Merewater

Part Time Teacher

Kia ora Koutou

Ko Leah Merewater toku ingoa, my name is Leah Merewater. I am a part-time teacher and I am so excited to be part of such a great team of teachers and such a wonderful school of tamariki.

I’ve been teaching since 2008 and I love it! I’ve taught from New Entrants up to Year 5/6 kids and I’m still not sure what my favourite age group is. What I enjoy about being in the classroom is seeing tamariki light up with their learning.

I’ve travelled all over the world but now proudly call Titahi Bay home. My husband, Karl and I, have three gorgeous energetic sons and a lovely adventurous dog called Rudi. When I’m not teaching you will find us walking Rudi, visiting parks and play grounds or out in the garden.

Maria Osborne

Part Time Teacher

Hello, I’m Maria and I work as a part time and relief teacher at Hampton Hill School.

I am very lucky to have the opportunity to work with all the year groups and children within the school. I could be teaching a new entrant class one day and a year 5/6 class the next. I love the challenge and variety this role brings.
I endeavour to make learning fun and enjoyable for all age groups. My mission is to help make every child believe that learning is cool and hopefully carry on this philosophy into the big wide world.   I care about each and every child, about their learning and wellbeing. I believe that building strong positive relationships with children is the way to go.
When I’m not teaching, I’m enjoying time with my family.  I love going for road trips to different parts of New Zealand I haven’t explored yet.

Ruthanne Kennedy

ESOL teacher

I am the ESOL coordinator at Hampton Hill School. I help teachers determine students’ level of English using the English Language Learning Progressions and ensure that the ESOL funding applications are completed at the beginning and middle of each year. I am also available as a resource person to help adapt classroom activities and programmes for ESOL students.

Irene McDonald

Teacher Aide

I value lifelong learning and am so happy to be in a job where I learn something new every day. I have been associated with the school for quite a few years – firstly as a parent of three awesome children who have all gone on to become very successful and happy young adults; secondly as supervisor of the After School Care when it first started; and thirdly as a Teacher Aide.

I appreciate the fact that I am part of a dynamic, caring environment and I love all aspects of my job –  the people, the children and the community. The work I am involved in at Hampton Hill School is challenging, interesting, professional and very rewarding and I am grateful for the opportunity to help and assist wherever and whenever I can.

Staying in touch with family and friends is very important to me and in my spare time I also enjoy walking the dog, exploring our beaches, reading, drawing and writing poetry.

Rachael De Meij

Teacher Aide

Hi I’m Rachael.
I have been part of the Hampton Hill School community for a good part of 18 years as all four of my children have either been through, or are still attending this school.
Over the years I have coached both hockey and netball teams.
When my youngest started at school, I started helping in the classroom.  Being able to support the children with their learning is very rewarding.
Outside of school I enjoy being at home with my family and our pets.

Jill Fahey

Teacher Aide

I started working here in 2013, I work with the junior children. I have three children who have all been to this school. I also work and support my husband Steve in his own business. I really enjoy my time here with the children and feel we have a great supportive community.

It’s great to see the children progress as they learn and grow up. My interests are my children’s sports, going to the beach, reading and catching up with friends.

Lisa Murdoch

Teacher Aide

Hi I’m Lisa and I’m a mum to three boys.

I have been part of Hampton Hill since 2009, when my eldest child started school. I started volunteering in my children’s classes, then decided to train as a Teacher Aide, as I loved being able to help the children.

I am passionate about helping children to become the best learners that they can be. I especially love reading and I love being able to help the children to learn to read also.

My interests are spending time with my family and friends; reading; baking; and walking.

Lydia Middlemiss

Teacher Aide

Barbara Scott-Hill

Volunteer Librarian

Barbara is our Volunteer Librarian who helps the Teacher in Charge of the Library.

I’ve been a parent of Hampton Hill School since 2007 and have been increasingly involved with the school over the years with fundraising.  More recently since 2011 I’ve got more involved with the library and have become the volunteer librarian.  My three boys are past-students of Hampton Hill School.

I enjoy giving my time to the school as a volunteer, and get satisfaction that any help I give helps the school; and the teachers spend more quality time teaching.  Its great to be part of Hampton Hill being part of the community with the teachers, parents, and of course the children!