Our People

Stefan Knap


Kia ora koutou,

I am very proud to be the principal of Hampton Hill School in Tawa. This is my first principalship after being a teacher and Deputy Principal at other schools in the Wellington region. I really value the fact that we provide an inclusive education for all our students and live our RIMU values on a daily basis.
Outside of school I really enjoy playing tennis, going to the gym, visiting cafes with great coffee and spending time with my family.
Education for me is about providing our learners with real and authentic contexts for learning that are relevant to them. Learners should know what they are learning, why they are learning it and be able to identify their next steps.

Abbey Corich

Deputy Principal

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.  My main role as office manager is looking after the school finances and payroll. Originally from England, I have lived in Tawa for over 25 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 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.

Seini Ma’ake

Room Piwakawaka Teacher
(Yr 1 & 2)

Mālō e Lelei! My name is Seini Ma’ake and I am excited to be a part of Hampton Hill School’s whanau for the 2019 academic year. I was born and in raised in the little island Kingdom of Tonga.

I’ve always had a passion for working with children and hope to make a difference in their lives. The values here at Hampton Hill align with my belief that school is a safe environment where students are nurtured to excel in all facets of life.

The coolest little capital is now home for myself, my husband and our two boys. Outside school, I love hanging out with my family, reading a good mystery story and creating my own Tongan dance choreography.

Keiko Kubota

Room Kereru Teacher (Yr 3 & 4)

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.

Abbe Amohanga

Room Kakapo Teacher (Yr 3 & 4)

Kia ora,

Ko Maungaroa te maunga

Ko Ngāti Maniapoto te iwi

Ko Kaputuhi te marae

Ko Abbe Amohanga tōku ingoa

 Whakatū ahau.

My name is Abbe Amohanga and I am excited to be teaching at Hampton Hill in 2021. I come from sunny Nelson at the top of the South Island in the centre of New Zealand where I have been teaching for the past 7 years.

I am a creative person who enjoys painting and learning about local history. In my spare time, I like to be out in nature spending time with people I love. I enjoy going kayaking, fishing and biking and am looking forward to exploring the beautiful places around the Wellington region.

As a teacher I value diversity, equity and excellence by striving to have high expectations for all. I like to do this by developing a foundation of trust and respect with my students where connection and belonging is fostered. I am passionate about creating a classroom environment where whānau, tamariki and I work together to support the learning for everyone.

Ngā mihi mahana

Carol Brieseman

Room Kea Teacher (Yr 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!)

Keriana Mulligan

Room Kea Teacher (Yr 5 & 6)

Cherie Palmer

Room Takahe Teacher (Yr 5 & 6)

Kia Ora Koutou,

I became part of the Hampton Hill team in 2020. I was born Tauranga and raised on Matakana Island, a beautiful island in the harbour of Tauranga Moana, Bay of Plenty. Prior to moving to Wellington I spent 10 years in Perth, Western Australia where I studied my undergraduate degree online via Massey University. Returning to New Zealand in 2017, I studied a graduate diploma  of teaching (primary) and graduated in 2018. In 2019, Wellington became home for our family of four and I gained my first teaching position at Wainuiomata Intermediate.

Becoming a mother and parent of two amazing children inspired me to become a teacher. Therefore, I understand the importance of establishing a caring inclusive environment where positive relationships are established, learning is celebrated and more importantly, the desire for every student to become passionate about their learning.

I enjoy netball and volleyball and am always willing to try new sports. I also have an interest in literacy and Te Reo Maori.

Scott Hammer

Room Ruru Teacher (Yr 3 & 4)

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.)

Catherine Commins

Room Hoiho Teacher (New Entrant & Yr 1)

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.

Mel Zimmerman

Room Tui Teacher (Yr 2)

I joined the Hampton Hill School team in 2019. Twelve years ago, Hampton Hill played a key role in my final year of training to become a teacher and I am looking forward to giving back to the students, staff and community.

I have eleven years teaching experience, including six years as a deputy principal. I am passionate about creating an engaging, fun, learning environment that promotes learner agency and enables my learners to be active participants in their learning. Every member of our class is a teacher and a learner; we all have things we can teach to and learn from each other and this is something we will draw on within our class.

I live in Tawa with my husband, Brad, and my two girls –Amy and Poppy. When I am not at school or running around after my girls, I enjoy spending time with family, baking, cake decorating and crafting.

You are welcome to visit our classroom at any time and I encourage you to pop in and share in our learning journey.

Malcolm Howard

Room Karearea Teacher (Yrs 5-6)

I have been teaching for eight years, most recently in the senior school teaching Year 5-6 classes.

I live in Tawa with my wife and three children. I like to go hiking, surfing, kayaking, and diving when I get the time during the holidays. Gardening is something I really enjoy doing when I have spare time at home.

Science and caring for the environment is a passion of mine and I look forward to encouraging children’s interest in science and the world around them. I have a science degree and have worked in the chemistry and food manufacturing industry before becoming a teacher.

I am passionate about creating a fun and engaging learning environment where students are encouraged to develop their own learner agency. I value the importance of teaching students to approach challenges with a growth mind-set and encourage students to work collaboratively as we all have something to contribute and share. I also feel that providing students with leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility is important in the senior school.

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.

Leah Merewater

Reading Recovery 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.

Dominic Barnao

Sports Co-ordinator and Part Time Teacher

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/Admin Support

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

Hayley Miners

Teacher Aide

Kenny Benfell


I joined the Hampton Hill School team in January 2020 – I have 20 years experience in the building industry as a plasterer, so it’s great to utilise my skills and experience to support the school community. I’m passionate about assisting the teaching team to create a safe and functional environment for everyone to enjoy.

I live locally and am a dad of two, my daughter is a student at Hampton hill and my son will start next year. I grew up in Rotorua and have been in Wellington for the last 14 years. In my spare time, I enjoy family holidays and am also working on renovating our home.

Lisa Preston


Barbara Scott-Hill

Teacher Aide and 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!