Senior Leadership Team

Jess Ward
Sarah Chambers
Vicki Wilson

Jess Ward:  Kia Ora, I am Jess Ward the proud Principal-Tumuaki of Paraparaumu Beach School. I am a long standing staff member having been a teacher, syndicate leader and Deputy Principal here. 2024 is my tenth year as Principal.  I have personal passions for literacy, the Arts, languages including te reo Māori, psychology and wellbeing. I love our school and community because everyone genuinely wants the best for our kids and their future. I am also delighted to be supported by a fantastic staff and Board. Ngā mihi nui.

Sarah Chambers:   Kia ora, Ko Sarah Chambers tōku ingoa. Ko au te tumuaki tuarua o te Kura Paraparaumu Tātahi.  This is my fourth year as the Deputy Principal at PBS. I have been an educator for many years and have enjoyed teaching across various levels. I recognise that learning is a lifelong process. I completed my Master of Education in 2017 and have since undertaken further study in a different field. Being physically active is a core fundamental for me so I enjoy supporting, coaching or managing our PBS athletes and teams.  A key part of my role as DP is to connect with our tamariki, supporting them to set positive goals, build healthy relationships and experience success. I also assist the SENCO and Teacher Aide Team, and I’m responsible for school wide ICT.

Vicki Wilson:  Ko wai au

Ko Taranaki te maunga
Ko Waiaua te awa
Ko Kurahaupō me Tokomaru ngā waka
Ko Taranaki me Te Ātiawa ngā iwi
Ko Ngāti Kahumate me Ngāti Rāhiri ngā hapū
Ko Ōrimupiko te marae
Ko Vicki tōku ingoa.
Ko ahau te tumuaki kaiāwhina.

I have been teaching at PBS for many years in a variety of different roles. These being mainly in the Junior School. I believe we are all lifelong learners and it seems I am continually undertaking new study. Key aspects of my AP role are to provide literacy support for students in the Junior school. I also co-ordinate our school netball teams. My thoughts on teaching and learning are very simple. We are all here to do the best for all those at PBS. When we all work in partnership – whānau, tamariki, kaiako (family, children, teachers) – we create a place where we all grow.

Admin Team

Libby Richardson, Paula James and Marie Barfoote

Marie Barfoote:  Hello.  I’m Marie Barfoote and I am the Office Manager.  I have been in the office for 22 years now and I love my job here, especially watching all our students grow from new entrants right up to leaving for college.  I am now seeing some second generation students starting, so I have been here a loooong time 🙂

Paula James: Kia ora, I’m Paula James and I am the Administration Assistant, the first person you will see in the office. I am in my 9th year in the office, previously being a TA, PTA member and parent help also. Some of the best parts of my job are helping the Easter Bunny and Elf on the Shelf every year and seeing and hearing the children’s comments and interaction. I love working at PBS.

Libby Richardson:  Kia ora, my name is Libby. I am the Accounts Manager and you will find me in the office most afternoons paying bills and supporting our PBS staff and community. I’ve been in this role for just over 6 years now and really enjoy the variety and hustle and bustle of a busy school office.

Property Manager

John Trask

John Trask:  Hello everyone.  I am John Trask (JT) the long-standing Property Manager at PBS.  I have worked at the school for almost 25 years now and I’m well known for my love of hunting, fishing and pulling pranks!  You will see me around every day looking after the school, keeping it spick and span.  Remember life is short ya gotta enjoy it 🙂

Tātahi Syndicate

Rachel McDowell, Sandy Saunders, Cristie Gray, Bridget Nally, Cherie Parker, Nicola Jarvis & Laura Powell

Rachel McDowell – Rm 21 Teacher and Syndicate Leader:  Kia ora, my name is Rachel McDowell.   I have taught in the junior school for a number of years at PBS.   I am the team leader of a wonderful group of kaiako in Tātahi.   I am passionate about early literacy development because creating lifelong readers and writers is a very rewarding aspect of my job.  It is always a pleasure to get to know new families joining the school and to teach eager, curious, little minds.  

Laura Powell – Rm 19 Teacher:  Kia ora, ko Laura Powell ahau. I am a previous PBS student who has returned back to the beautiful Kapiti Coast after teaching in Wellington and Melbourne. I am very lucky to be teaching in the Tatahi Hub in Rooms 25 and 26. A passion of mine is to make learning relevant and fun for all our tamariki. Another role of mine is the inquiry team lead. The inquiry team and I create planning and resources to support teachers and provide students with inspiring learning opportunities across the curriculum.

Cristie Gray – Rm 23 Teacher:  Kia ora! I’m Cristie Gray, one of the junior teachers here at PBS. Working closely with our youngest students is an absolute joy – I get to foster their curiosity and watch them grow and develop every day. Seeing those ‘aha’ moments light up their faces makes it all worth it. Outside the classroom, I also serve as a within-school lead for our Northern Kāhui Ako, collaborating with other local schools to help enrich the learning journeys of our community.

Sandy Saunders – Rm 22 Teacher and New Entrant Coordinator:  Kia ora, Ko Sandy Saunders tōku ingoa.  I have a number of roles within the kura (school).  My key role is to teach my lovely class of Year 2’s in Room 22.  I am also responsible for looking after the New Entrant students that come to PBS.  I liaise with the ECE centres and whānau to assist a smooth transition to kura.  Another role of mine is the Literacy Team Lead, where I consult with colleagues and share information, resources and ideas of current pedagogy.  Over the past 8 years I have also been a staff representative on the PTA.  I really enjoy the interactions with the awesome PBS PTA crew, listening to their great ideas and helping them to raise funds for our kura.

Bridget Nally – Rm 25 Teacher:  Kia ora, ko Bridget Nally ahau. This is my second year teaching in Room 25 at PBS, which is now part of the Tātahi Junior Hub. We are loving working together to get your beautiful new tamariki settled into school, along with many of our older year one friends from last year. I am part of the library team this year and I also help with organising the occasional staff get together to help foster team bonding and wellbeing.

Sarah Smith – Part Time Teacher:  Hi everyone, I’m Sarah and this year I’m working across the school in a different room each day. I’m enjoying getting to meet so many wonderful children and seeing how far students I have taught previously in the junior school have come.

Nicola Jarvis – Rm 26 Teacher:  Kia ora, ko Nicola ahau. This year you’ll find me in Room 26, teaching our wonderful Year 1s. I love finding ways for children to share their thinking and to connect what they do and enjoy in everyday life to support their learning. I am  job-sharing with Cherie Parker and working collaboratively with other Tātahi teachers, where we can combine our experience and skillset to provide an engaging and fun learning environment for your tamariki.

Cherie Parker – Rm 26 Teacher:  Kia ora! My name is Cherie Parker. I’m teaching in Ruma 26 this year alongside Nicola Jarvis. I have been a junior teacher for over a decade and adore welcoming our newbies to school. I started PBS in 2022 when my family made the move to the beautiful Kapiti Coast from Auckland. I have taught in many countries, including the UK and Germany, in both private and public settings. I have a passion for teaching structured literacy and mindfulness in class, focusing on student well-being and fostering a love for learning from their first day at school.

Ngaru Syndicate

Vicki Howarth, Rebecca Jackson, Kathryn Siversen, Bek Sutherland, Jessie Webb & Tara Vertongen

Vicki Howarth – Rm 10 Teacher and  Syndicate Leader:  Kia ora, my name is Vicki Howarth.  I joined the PBS team in 2017.  I have over 20 years teaching experience, and am leader of our fantastic Year 3 and 4 team – Ngaru Syndicate. I am also a member of our school Concept Team.   I’m passionate about creating an engaging, fun, learning environment for students.  Seeing our tamariki excited about their learning, engaging positively with each other and achieving success across different aspects of their learning journey.  This makes my job the best in the world!

Rebecca Jackson – Rm 5 Teacher  Kia ora koutou, I am Rebecca Jackson. I have been teaching at PBS since 2008 and before that I taught for 12 years in the UK. I love teaching the Year 3 and 4s and enjoy opening the partition doors to co-teach with the Room 6 teacher, Kathryn Siversen. We plan and teach collaboratively to allow simultaneous small group and class instruction which enables us to create an inclusive, supportive and fun environment. I am also part of the Library Team and Literacy Team.

Bek Sutherland – Rm 12 Teacher:  Tēnā koutou! I am Room 12’s kaiako, Bek Sutherland. I have been teaching for ten years. I started my career at Raumati South School before joining the PBS team. Having previously taught in Te Moana Syndicate, I am now in my second year in Ngaru. I am responsible for the PBS Choir and am on the Maths Team.

Jessie Webb – Rm 11 Classroom Teacher:  Kia ora koutou, ko Whaea Jessie toku ingoa. I am a new teacher starting my journey with PBS and am very proud to be a part of such an awesome Year 3 and 4 syndicate, Ngaru. I am a member of the Library Team where we have some exciting things brewing for this year. I am passionate with all things to do with learning, for my tamariki and as a continuous learner always wanting to expand my knowledge base. I love creating exciting learning programmes that help to engage all levels of learning within my roopu, believing that fun intertwined with learning embeds knowledge. I am so excited to be a part of Room 11 and I love my new job with PBS!

Kathryn Siversen – Rm 6 Teacher:  Kia ora, my name is Kathryn Siversen and I have a Year 3 and 4 class in Room 6. We are lucky to work closely with Room 5 and I co-teach with Rebecca Jackson. I am on the Library Team, the Inquiry Committee and I lead Social Sciences at PBS.

Tara Vertongen – Part Time Teacher:  Kia ora everyone, I’m Tara (Mrs V) and I’ve been at PBS since 2005. I am very lucky to spend my time across many classes in PBS. I love building relationships with the tamariki and families here and I work hard to find how each individual can thrive 🙂

Te Moana Syndicate

Hillary Houston, Jalah Davis, Vanessa Brewer, Jo Mackay & Di Puati

Vanessa Brewer – Rm 1 Teacher and Syndicate Leader:  Kiaora koutou, Ko Vanessa tōku ingoa. I am the syndicate leader of Year 5 and 6 and teacher of Room 1. I have been a part of the PBS community since 2008 as a teacher and a parent. This year I am involved in a kahui ako with a focus on mathematics. I am also quite passionate about real time reporting through our @school app and very happy to help anyone who needs assistance with this.

Hillary Houston – Rm 2 Teacher and Sports Coordinator:  Kia ora koutou. Ko Hillary tōku ingoa. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my passion for education over many years across a variety of schools along the stunning Kapiti Coast. I have been teaching at PBS for the past 5 years in the Te Moana syndicate. Beyond the class-room, I am the school’s Sports Coordinator. Additionally, I serve as a within-school lead for our Northern Kāhui Ako, where my focus lies on nurturing the hauora/well-being of our school community.

Jalah Davis – Rm 28 Teacher:  Kia ora koutou, my name is Jalah Davis, and this is my ninth year of teaching at PBS. I have previously taught in both the Tātahi (Year 0-2) and Ngaru (Year 3-4) syndicates, but this year, I have joined the Te Moana syndicate. Currently, I am teaching a class of Year 5 & 6 students in Room 28. Apart from my teaching duties, I also serve as a member of the PBS literacy curriculum team, mentor one of our fabulous beginning teachers, and assist with the senior Kapa Haka group.

Jo Mackay – Rm 4 Teacher:  Kia ora koutou.
Ko Taranaki te maunga.
Ko Waitotara te awa.
Ko Nga Rauru te iwi.
Ko Tauranga Ika te marae.
Ko Jo Mackay ahau.
I have been at PBS for a while now but I’m new this year to Te Moana, and really enjoying the change. This year I’m on the Inquiry team and I’m the Te Reo Maori curriculum lead, with lots of awhi from Vicki Wilson. I am also our school’s NZEI teacher representative.

Di Puati – Rm 3 Teacher:  Kia Orana!  Ko Diana tōku ingoa.  I have been teaching for a while.  You’ll find me in Room 3 working with my Year 5/6 class.  This is my third year at PBS teaching at this level.  I have taught across a range of year levels, ranging from Years 2-8 however, my passion for teaching is with Years 5-8.  I’m a member of the PBS Literacy Curriculum team and have just recently joined the PBS PTA.

Te Motu Syndicate

Colin Siversen, Teresa Robertson, Cath Franks, Alice Graham, Caty Spencer & David Parr

Cath Franks – Rm 14 Teacher and Syndicate Leader:   Kia ora. I am Cath. I teach in Room 14 and I am Te Motu’s Team Leader. I am the lead kaiako for our Senior Kapa Haka.

Colin Siversen – Rm 15 Teacher:   Hello everyone. I teach the mighty Rm 15. I also help with Kapa Haka, the school band and so forth.

David Parr – Release Teacher:  Kia ora koutou, this year I am teaching classes across the school during their teachers’ classroom release days. I am also the curriculum team lead for maths and science in 2024.

Teresa Robertson – Rm 16 Teacher:   Kia ora koutou. I have been at PBS for many years at different levels and in different roles.  I now teach in Room 16 with awesome Year 7 & 8 students. Many of you have met me or had communications with me through my work with touch rugby. I also work with the senior dance team. There are often foster puppies in our class.

Caty Spencer – Rm 7 Teacher:  Hello! I teach the awesome students in Room 7, and I also have some responsibilities for PE and Health, and for our wonderful Sports Ambassadors.

Alice Graham – Rm 13 Teacher:  Kia ora, I am the teacher in Room 13. My responsibilities include basketball co-ordinator, arts lead, yummy stickers and puppies!

SENCO And Teacher Aides

Back: Kate Marchant, Cherie Wood, Lucy Tether, Debbie Marryatt, Anne Taurua, Deb Schreiber and Kim Hunter. Front: Carrie Reid, Jodie Nicholson, Deb Brewer and Julie Buckley

Carrie Reid:  Kia ora koutou, I’m Carrie Reid and I’ve been a part of the Parparaumu Beach School community since 2006, initially as a communication support worker, then as a Teacher in the Tātahi Syndicate, and then as SENCO and Learning Support Teacher.  I organise and support our team of talented teacher aides and work with teachers & students across the school. I work with families and multiple agencies to develop a team approach to supporting learners, and I never stop learning myself.  I love to see students thriving & overcoming barriers to participation and learning.

Kate Marchant:  Hello, my name is Kate Marchant and I am a Teacher Aide in Rm 21. I have worked with children in various settings over the last 30 years and joined the PBS family in August 2023.  I really enjoy working with children towards reaching their full potential.

Deb Schreiber:  Hi.  I’m Deb Schreiber.  I have been a Teacher Aide at PBS for the past 19 years.  My five children are all past pupils of PBS.  I specialise in working with our Special Needs students and get a lot of joy watching them achieve new skills both in the classroom and outside of it.

Debbie Marryatt:  Hi, my name is Debbie Marryatt. I live locally with my husband and 3 children who are past/present pupils of PBS. I really enjoy getting to know our high needs children; working alongside them to achieve their goals is awesome!

Lucy Tether:  Hi my name is Lucy Tether.  I am lucky to be one of the amazing Teacher Aide team that work at Paraparaumu Beach School.  I have been here since 2018.  It is great to get to know and work closely with the children at our school.  I really love helping children with their literacy and seeing them reach their goals.

Deb Brewer:  Kia ora, I’m Deb Brewer and I have been part of PBS for around 19 years. I have had wide experience at the school, and these days tend to specialise in ESOL students – I am well known for my love of language, so I enjoy imparting that to others. A bonus for me is that I have grandchildren at PBS too!

Julie Buckley:  Hi, my name is Julie Buckley. I have lived in Paraparaumu for 23 years. I have 3 children, my youngest attended PBS. I have 5 grandchildren 4 of which are past/present pupils of PBS and 1 still to come. I have been a TA for 9 years spending 90% of that time in  the junior syndicate. I am passionate about early literacy and love watching our students learn and forge forward with their reading and writing.

Jodie Nicholson:  Hiya, My name is Jodie Nicholson. I am originally from Glasgow, Scotland. I have been working in childcare for the past 8 years and I have worked in different settings from kindy to children’s homes. I have been at PBS for nearly a year and have loved seeing all of the kids I support come on in leaps and bounds.

Amanda Miratana:  Kia ora, I’m Amanda Miratana. I have been a teacher aid for the last couple of years.  I live in Paraparaumu Beach and have 3 children who are past/present students at PBS. I love connecting and helping our students reach their goals.

Kim Hunter:  Kia ora. Kim Hunter here. I initially became a teacher aide 27 years ago but had a long break to continue being a stay at home mum to our four children.  I came to PBS about 10 years ago. I have worked with children across all age groups and abilities, and for the last couple of years enjoying the challenges of our high needs children.

Cherie Wood:  Hi, my name is Cherie Wood. I have been a teacher aide at Paraparaumu Beach School since 2016. I love supporting our students and watching their successes.


2023 PTA

In 2023 the committee worked really hard to raise money and also gave up lots of time to help the school.  They have given around $18K for various projects including purchasing sunscreen, giving money to the student council for school initiatives, and helped syndicates with trips/ camps/resources. One big project they worked on was doing up the sandpit and the pool area, including purchasing a new shade sail over the sandpit, new non-slip flooring for the pool changing rooms and painting the rooms as well as getting new toys and making a sandpit box.

The Board

Back: Matt Hudson, Rae Bolton, Kate Fiske, Sam Direen Front: Rachel McDowell (staff rep), Jess Ward (Principal) and Zoe Pearson (Board Chair)

Matt Hudson – Board Chair (From T2 2024):  As a board member I am passionate about giving PBS kids the best opportunities and broadest experiences possible, while giving them the critical and lateral thinking skills that have never been more important to succeed in life. I also feel that emotional intelligence is crucial if kids are going to be able to navigate relationships in a society that’s increasingly shaped by technology.  I want to provide our kids with the technical skills that are relevant in an online world, where an ability to quickly master shifting platforms can only help their future success.  I also want to reinforce resilience and growth mindsets that are needed to give our kids the mental tenacity they’ll need to overcome life’s hurdles as they grow into thriving adults.

Zoe Pearson: I have one child at PBS, in Year 8. We have lived in Kāpiti for five and a half years, and feel lucky to have settled in this community. I have a legal background, completing LLB, LLM and PhD degrees in Law in New Zealand and Australia, and have worked mainly in the legal field in government and academia in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. I have also had voluntary roles with various non-profit and community organisations, including Girl Guiding New Zealand, Trade Aid, and Conservation Volunteers. Most recently and locally, my family and I have been involved in the Friends of Tikotu Stream group that looks after the plantings alongside the stream at the southern end of Gray Ave. I have a strong passion for the environment and I prefer to be outside in the garden, at the beach or in the bush when I get any spare time.  I am committed to ensuring PBS continues to be a place where all children can thrive and achieve their potential, and to support staff and senior management in what are challenging roles. Listening to and facilitating the involvement of parents and whānau in their children’s learning and the life of the school is also something I feel is hugely important. I value the diversity of opportunities that are offered to students at PBS and the supportive school environment, and I try to assist with these opportunities as far as I can. You might see me helping in the school gardens from time to time, or checking the rat traps with the Paraparaumu Bird Savers. Seeing children try new things, challenging themselves, working together, gaining confidence and independence is something that I’ve felt privileged to witness on the number of different occasions I’ve been lucky enough to attend school activities or camps as a parent helper.


Rae Bolton:  Tēnā koutou katoa, my name is Rae and I have the privilege of being Māmā to my four beautiful children, Solomon, Hosheia, Mahālia and Aineias who are/or recently have been students at PBS. As tangata whenua my connectivity to the local area is steeped in history and for generations my tūpuna and whānau have identified Kapiti as our tūrangawaewae.  My passion for Te Ao Māori, and my desire for all cultures living in Aotearoa to embrace the Māori story and identity, motivated me to stand for the board. I am focused on enhancing our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, fostering the engagement of whānau within the learning environment and contributing to learning spaces that imbed tikanga Māori for all ākonga, whānau and kiako at PBS.  Sport is a major focus in our whānau across numerous codes, I enjoy contributing to PBS and my community by coaching. Creating positive sporting environments where tamariki want to engage creates numerous positive outcomes, improving social and emotional connections while helping to develop resilience, independence and leadership. I am committed to the kaupapa of engagement in sport for all tamariki at PBS creating lifelong health outcomes and community connectivity.

Sarah Hinder-Boyd:  I’m a mother of two daughters, and we have chosen to settle back in Kāpiti to raise our girls. We’re an active family, spending our time tramping, cycling and running.  As a former student of Paraparaumu Beach School with excellent memories of the school and teaching staff, I’m pleased that my daughters follow in my footsteps. There is a strong sense that Paraparaumu Beach School is a wonderful, supportive, and nurturing school. My whānau feels incredibly fortunate to be a part of the PBS community, therefore I’ve accepted the offer of a Board position to use my skills to assist the Board and give back to the school.  My professional experience encompasses Risk Management, Governance, Finance and Strategy. Informal experience and past volunteer roles have provided me with insight into service and decision-making roles.  As a recent graduate of the Kāuru Level 2 Te Reo Māori program, I have worked to increase my knowledge of Te Ao Māori and have a good base from which to support our students and continue learning.  Of importance to me is the inclusive, equitable, individualised education of all students. PBS has an amazing foundation of excellent staff and parents who give students the opportunity to thrive.

Sam Direen:  Hi there, nice to meet you. I’m Sam and have two kids attending PBS – Devin (Year 5) and Romie (Year 2). My motivation for becoming a Board member is to understand more about the school and influence these settings for the benefit of all families with kids attending PBS, while also ensuring the staff are supported.  The skills I bring to the Board should help support good decision making, especially anything that would benefit from some solid analysis or risk management. I’m trained in economics, finance and accounting and was Treasurer of Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing NZ) for several years. My current role is managing a large team responsible for the Kāinga Ora Budget and reporting, but ultimately it’s about leadership and helping people make better decisions.  In my 20s I taught English for three years offshore (this was a fun OE gig – I do not claim to understand the pressures that teachers face!) and Jasmyn, my wife, is an ECE teacher and regularly relieves at various kindergartens/centres across town.  My free time is usually micro-managed by my son Devin, who is into absolutely everything, but also includes catching up with my two sisters and parents (also on the coast), having all originally come from Christchurch.

Sam Chambers:  Tēnā tātou e te whānau, Ko Sam Chambers tōku ingoa Ko Hata tōku ingoa whānau
PBS & the wider school community has always been a part of my life; having been a pupil myself, alongside my siblings and now being a parent of current pupils.  Being on the school board does not just stem from this connection but a desire to be involved in the future of Paraparaumu Beach School beyond my own whānau.  I believe that education is as equally as important as a sense of belonging; I would like to represent the Māori whānau in this kura and I have taken steps to do so by joining the whānau rōpu and encourage other whānau to do the same so that they too, can be involved in the emerging kaupapa Māori of this won-derful school.  I bring over 10 years experience in administration and team management, and am closely involved with the operation of a locally owned and operated Before, After School Care and Holiday Programme. Thinking outside the box is second nature to me; but I still consider all aspects when making decisions, be it the wellbeing of the tauira (students) or the school as a whole.  I am enthusiastic and dedicated in utilising my skills on the School Board and in our kura.