Sarah McCord


Sarah joined the Ruahine team at the beginning of 2018 after a number of years as prinicpal of a rural school near Whanganui.  She began her career as a new entrant teacher in North Canterbury and since then has taught in the Manawatu area.   Sarah holds a masters degree in educational leadership and loves working with people to help them be the best they can be!  Sarah has a passion for literacy, the arts and rural education.  In her spare time she enjoys gardening and cooking, and is currently learning the piano and a martial art.

Kate Dare

Deputy Principal/Kupe Team Leader

Room 1 Teacher (Year 7/8)

Community of Learning Across School Teacher

Kate joined Ruahine as Deputy Principal at the beginning of 2013, having taught in Palmerston North. Kate previously taught in the UK. She is passionate about the teaching of Mathematics and has lead this throughout the school. This is also now a focus in her Community of Learning role. Kate enjoys working with the Year 8's in their student leadership and values the collaborative nature of the teachers in Kupe Team. In her spare time, Kate likes to go for a run by the local river.

Janine Castles

Room 1 Teacher (Year 7/8) 

Kupe Team

Janine has taught at Ruahine School for the last 5 years. Janine shares Room 1 with Kate. Janine has previously taught in other schools in Dannevirke and overseas. She has three children who attend Ruahine School. Janine enjoys teaching and developing children’s ideas in Literacy and Maths. 



Nicole Bourke

Room 2 Teacher (Year 6/7)

Community of Learning In-School Teacher

Kupe Team

Nicole joined Ruahine at the beginning of 2015. Previous to this Nicole spent two years living in Wales where she worked in the sports department of a school (Y3-Y13) and travelled around Europe at every opportunity she could. She is very passionate about working with children, building positive relationships, and finding ways to make learning enjoyable and engaging. Nicole enjoys working in a school with a strong community atmosphere, and where students and staff strive to be the best that they can be. Nicole runs our kapa haka group with Lee.

Iveta Senior

Room 3 Teacher (Year 4)

Pounamu Team

Iveta has been teaching at Ruahine School since 2009 after spending almost nine years at Hillcrest/Huia Range School. She came to New Zealand from the Czech Republic in 1995 after marrying Gary. They have two sons, David and Tomas, who are both attending Napier Boys' High School. This year Iveta is teaching Year 3/4 again. She is enthusiastic about students' learning and achieving their very best. She will be introducing self-directed learning and continue using problem solving approach to learning, which she believes will give the students life-long skills. Iveta is eager to use the arts to further support her students' learning by developing their rhythm, co-ordination and observational skills, and create a balanced and enjoyable environment for all students.


Sarah Norman

Room 4 Teacher (Year 5/6)

Kupe Team 

Sarah joined the Ruahine team at the beginning of 2017 after graduating from the University of Otago. Sarah was born and raised on a sheep and beef farm in the heart of Southland and has therefore brought to the North Island a strong R rolling accent. She is passionate about sport and physical education, and is committed to developing young people into confident, actively involved, lifelong learners. Sarah is excited to be starting her teaching career at Ruahine school and is looking forward to building strong and positive relationships with the staff, her students and the community.



Lee Gibbs

Room 8 Teacher (Year 1/2)

Pounamu Team Leader

Lee began her teaching career in Otatara, Southland. She is delighted to be back in a rural setting after many years in urban schools. Lee’s husband David is a farmer/contractor and they have 3 children. Lee has taught years 0-8 and endeavors to make her classroom joyful, creative and supportive.  She loves using music and arts as a core teaching tool. Lee is looking forward to teaching in a school with strong ROCKERS values, where children actively strive to become motivated and keen learners.



Geordie Haswell

Room 8 Teacher (Year 1/2)

Pounamu Team

Geordie was born and raised in rural King Country. She began her teaching career in 2011 and has taught at schools in Taumarunui and Te Kuiti. Geordie joined Ruahine at the beginning of 2016 after moving with her husband Chris to the Weber district. They farm with her parents on their sheep and beef farm. Geordie is passionate about Education Outside the Classroom and providing students with real life learning experiences. She encorporates ICT in her daily classroom programme and enjoys using ICT as a tool to enhance learning. In her spare time Geordie enjoys being outdoors being active swimming, running, skiing, riding her horses and helping on the farm. Geordie is enjoys working in a school that is rurally based and has a strong value system which encourages students to ‘be the best they can be’.

Ali Watts

Office Administrator

Ali has been working at Ruahine for a number of years. She loves the country atmosphere of the school and really enjoys the contact with the students and their parents through her work in the office.


Kim Jones

Teacher Aide/Librarian


Stu Fargher