The Ministry staffing formula generates approximately 12 teaching staff. With support staff in the school we have approximately 30 staff in total.


The current members of the Management and Administration team are:

     Dirk Winnie – Principal

I am in the very privileged position of being part of a team that is taking the responsibility of educating your child. You, of course, are a vital member of this team.

I have been principal at Avalon School since 1996, and have learnt so much since I first started here. I thank you for that. What attracted me to Avalon School, and still does, is the diversity within our school community. A real diversity; a diversity of cultures, a diversity of gifts, talents, and abilities, and a diversity of socio economic situations. I guess what I am trying to say is that I value the uniqueness of the people who make up our Avalon School whanau.

I love kids, I love teaching and I love being here at Avalon School.

In my other life, away from school, I am a dad to four wonderful girls. I guess my passion for education has rubbed off on them as three of the girls have gone on to become teachers.

My girls have given me 9 delightful grandchildren, ranging from 12 years old to 1 month as of 18 March 2012. I try to spend as much time with them as possible. The relationship between a grandchild and grandparent is a very special one, if somewhat expensive, and one that I treasure.

On the other side of my family, my mum still lives in Stokes Valley, in the house that I was brought up in. I have a brother in Hastings and a sister in Sydney.

For relaxation I play petanque. Nothing too strenuous, and I have been fortunate enough to win some New Zealand Championships as well as representing NZ at the World Champs in 2006. These days I am more into coaching the sport and telling others to do what I couldn’t!

My short auto – biography would not be complete if I did not mention that I am the guilty owner of a Golden Retriever called Cruze. Guilty, because I do not manage to spend enough time with him, too busy at school.

My door at school is always open. If you would like to discuss anything in relation to the education of your child or even just to pop in and have a chat. You are always welcome.

     Jacquie McMillan – Office Manager

Hi.  My name is Jacquie and I work in the office alongside Alison and Julie.  When you first make contact with the school, I will usually be your first point of contact.

I am married with 3 children aged 21, 18 and 16 whom my husband and I are very proud of.  I love to potter in the garden and we love to go on walks exploring the beautiful countryside that we have.

My role at Avalon Primary School is to welcome all the people who come through the door and make you feel at ease. I will endeavor to help you in any way that I can.   I really enjoy my job and I feel very privileged to be working with a fantastic group of children, parents and staff who combined are the Avalon School Community.


     Alison de Vos – Bursar

I have been at Avalon School for many years now. I started here when my youngest son turned 5, and he turns 35this year!!  At first I was a parent helper and over the years picked up paid hours and more responsibilities.  I work in the office with Jacquie and Julie and look after the school’s finances.   I have been involved with the Board of Trustees for many years as secretary. Another of my jobs is looking after the hall hire.

I have two adult sons, Craig and Gary.  Gary lives close by me and Craig lives in London with his lovely wife Eve.  Last year I became an Oma to Noah and have enjoyed the times I get to spend with him, and catching up on Skype with my London family.

I walk every morning with a couple of friends and enjoy walking the many tracks around the Wellington area in the weekends when I have time.  I also enjoy Pilates, patchwork and quilting, reading and travelling.


     Julie Hanning – Office Manager/Teacher Aide

I have been a teacher aide since 2004 and joined Avalon in 2010.  I really enjoy my job – teacher aiding in the classrooms in the morning and then working in the school office in the afternoon.  I love working alongside the kids and watching them grow and become more confident in what they do, and support them with their learning.

I was born and bred in Lower Hutt, and my husband and I have three teenage children – Chloe, Shaun and Wynn.  We spend a lot of time at the rugby field and cricket ground as the two boys are very sporty!  When I am not watching sport I volunteer at the local animal shelter – cats are my passion – and because of that I am restricted to 3 at home.  In the winter months I travel the lower North Island going to cat shows.  We also have a soppy staffie called Rusty.



The current team of teachers include:

    Sarah – Deputy Principal

I have been at Avalon School on and off for many years now! I feel very old when past students, who are now in their teens come back to visit.

This year I am back on board after spending 2012 studying at Victoria University. The opportunity to study was great and I am hoping the knowledge I have gained will benefit our school community in some way, in the future.

In my role as Deputy Principal, I am lucky enough to be able to work with children from throughout the school on a regular basis. This allows me to get to know and interact with a wide range of families from our school community, which I really value.

I have a big extended family spread throughout New Zealand with a number of nieces and nephews that I really enjoy spending time with. I love anything that involves being creative!

IMG_7749EmilyRoom 8

Kia Ora,

I have the pleasure of teaching a class of 4, 5 and 6 students in Room 8. I started at Avalon Primary this year and am enjoying every minute! I am originally from the UK and have been living in New Zealand since September 2017. I worked in schools in and around Auckland before I moved to beautiful Wellington.

I studied Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Chichester before discovering my love and passion for teaching. I enjoy playing and watching sports, I am an avid netball player and supporter. Team Pulse!

I have been made very welcome and am looking forward to getting to know all the wonderful families here at Avalon.

EstherAssistant Principal – Room 9

Talofa lava,

My name is Esther and I am thrilled to be joining the Avalon team this year. I am originally from Auckland and I’ve been working in education for over 10 years in Auckland, Christchurch, and now in Wellington. Last year, whilst teaching part time, I completed post graduate studies in Educational Psychology which was fascinating! I have the pleasure of teaching a Year 4-6 class in Room 9, and I’m also the Assistant Principal here at Avalon School.

Before I became a teacher, I was a veterinary nurse – I LOVE animals and have two naughty cats called Harrison Ford and Matilda. In my spare time I enjoy going for bush walks with my husband, playing the ukulele and guitar, and getting stuck into home renovations. I’ve become quite good at using power tools over the past few months!

I am looking forward to getting to know all the wonderful children and families of the Avalon School community. Please stop by Room 9 and say hello, I’d love to meet you!


CaroRoom 10

Details coming soon :)


AngelinaRoom 14

Details coming soon :)


Nicky- Room 15

I have been teaching at Avalon Primary since May 2016 and I just love being part of the school community. I have been working in schools in Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt before coming to Avalon. I was born in Cape Town, South Africa and came to live in New Zealand in 1997 and worked in Tokoroa for a year before moving to Wellington in 1998.  (I am an All Black Supporter).

In my spare time I love to be with my family.  I also love to do Paper Crafts and Scrap booking.


20180522_162118NadenePod 1

Kia Ora

I am Nadene this is my second year at Avalon Primary.  I have lived in the area most of my life and even attended Avalon as a kid.

I have three boys who are keen fisherman and hunters.  We are often out in the Rimutaka forest or on the harbour fishing.  I also like to spend time in my garden and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.  I also enjoy music and make the opportunity to see acts when they are in Wellington.

The best thing about teaching is seeing the children engaged in their learning and seeing the progress they have made.  Relationships is a huge part of why I am teaching and I want to develop strong and genuine connection with all my students and whanau.

Please come and say ‘hi’ you are always welcome.


SarahPod 2



RebeccaPod 3

Kia Ora,

My name is Rebecca and this is my first year teaching at Avalon Primary.

I have recently moved back to Wellington from Auckland, having decided to shake things up a bit when I started my teaching degree in 2015. I really enjoyed the experience that living in a new city offered, but I am happy to be back in Wellington among family. I especially missed my sister, and being able to spend some quality time with her so far this year has been amazing!

I absolutely love getting outside, be it going to the beach or for a walk around my neighbourhood. As the months get colder, I also enjoy staying in with a good book and doing a bit of baking.

I have really enjoyed my time at Avalon Primary so far this year, and I am looking forward to everything that the rest of the year has to offer!


MelissaPod 4

Details coming soon :)

Screen Shot 2019-02-22 at 8.12.16 PM GabriellePod 5

Kia ora,

This is my second year at Avalon School, and after a great first year I am so thrilled to be back teaching Year 3’s in the junior school. I just love being part of the Avalon community.

I moved to the Hutt Valley from Auckland last year and am enjoying the slower pace of the Hutt. I enjoy getting out to the beach and bush, walking my two dogs with friends, going for hikes, anything that involves the outdoors! I also love food, whether it be cooking and baking at home or going out and enjoying a meal.

This year I am hoping to continue to build on the relationships I have formed with students and whanau across the school. Feel free to pop into Pod 5 anytime to introduce yourself and see some of the great things our Year 3’s are getting up to!

Ngā mihi

Penny – Middle School

FullSizeRender-7I was born in Wellington New Zealand but moved to the east coast of Canada as an infant.  I completed Primary school in Nova Scotia, secondary school in Newfoundland and my Bachelor of Arts in English and History, and later degree in Special Education at Universities in Nova Scotia.  After University I toured Europe, Hong Kong and Australia before visiting my parents in New Zealand for Christmas. I loved the country, accepted a long term relieving position at Upper Hutt College and settled into New Zealand life. I worked with Intermediate and College aged students with Special Needs in both Upper Hutt and Taupo before moving to Avalon Primary. While at Avalon Primary I had the opportunity to complete level 1 and 2 training from the University of North Carolina in teaching children with autism (their programme is called TEACCH.) It was absolutely amazing!!  I constantly refer back to this specialized training.

I enjoy my home and garden in Silverstream. My brother and his family live in Canada. I like to visit them regularly and maintain close relationships with family and friends in Canada.

Shiv – Middle School

Kia Ora Koutou
Nō India oku tīpuna,engari e whānau mai a i Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

I am of Indian decent but born and raised in the beautiful area of the Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Went through school and everything down in the city and then spent a couple of years studying down in Dunedin before deciding to become a teacher. I enjoy being involved in hockey through WISC and like to spend my free time exploring the natural wonders that this region provides. Most likely to support anything sports related. Up the Warriors

I am a beginning teacher and am very proud to say I work in special education with a fabulous support staff at Avalon School.Feel free to pop in at any time and visit Middle School.

Ngā Mihi

Teaching support

The current members of Teaching Support are:


My name is Sally and I have five grown up children and five wonderful grandchildren. While my children were little I ran a small business from home sewing jewellery pouches and running a mobile preschool for children living in our area of Petone.

When my last child started school I started working at a school in Petone, Teacher Aiding Special needs children. This eventually lead me to working at Avalon school. I have worked in Middle School now for the last sixteen years. I enjoy the diversity and challenges of working in Middle school and the wonderful people I work along side.

I share my home with Andie,the dog, Charlie, the bird, Donald, Daisy and Max, the fish and Tickles, the turtle.

My interests include ballroom dancing, reading, scrapbooking, card making, cross stitch, knitting and crocheting. Most of all I enjoy spending time with my family.



Hi, I’m Annette (Annie) Robinson, Teacher’s Aide.

I joined Avalon School in 2011.

I live in Lower Hutt with my husband, two sons’ (aged 10 & 4) and our rather large dog, who is also 4.

Before joining Avalon School I was a stay at home mum.

I am enjoying working with your children at Avalon School and seeing the progress they make.


I am Merianne and I have been a teacher aide at Avalon Primary School for more than 20 years.  Over this time I have had the privilege of supporting a great number of children, in a variety of ways, with their learning.  For the last nine years I have been working,  for the most part, alongside our children with special needs.

I grew up on a farm in Hawkes Bay, moved to Wellington, trained as a Kindergarten Teacher, met my husband and stayed.  On having a family I became a stay-at-home mum.  When our youngest son turned five I began working at Avalon.

My interests include cooking, gardening and reading.  I own far too many cookbooks.  I suspect any gardening success is due to good soil and good fortune rather than talent.  I read a variety of books and love to discover good bookshops, however these are getting harder to find.

We have a cat, or more accurately we share a cat.  She comes from next door where she does not mix well with the other cats in her family.  At some point the boys nicknamed her Mabel (don’t ask me why) but she is actually Muffin.  Muffin/Mabel divides here time between her two homes but is spending more and more time on our side of the fence.  I think we have been adopted.








My name is Huia and have been a part of Avalon Primary for many many years even before I started working here. Having 3 generations of my family go through the school, this place feels like an extended home for me. I have 5 children who have attended Avalon Primary which 4 of them have moved on to Intermediate and College. Leaving my youngest daughter and neice still here with me. Two of my children are NZ Junior Rock n Roll champions, one plays Softball and we are still trying to find something for the other 2 to do outside of school. I strongly believe that we should always encourage our kids to be the best they can, and to always believe in themselves. And that encouragement has also been instilled through their years here at Avalon Primary School.
I am currently working alongside 2 children whom are ESL and OARS learners which i am really enjoying. I enjoy working with these 2 children as each day is different and its always exciting watching them learn more each day. I looked forward to coming into work and im sure my partner and family are over me talking about my great day at work lol. I think it just shows how much I am enjoying working here at Avalon Primary.


Details coming soon


Kia ora,

I’ve recently joined the team at Avalon primary/middle school and I’m really enjoying working alongside the team to make sure your children are in a happy and safe environment.

I’m a mother of two primary school age children that I’m so very proud of.

I enjoy playing indoor netball, Love animals (I have 2 cats a dog and two rabbits) and spending time with my children and family.


Details coming soon



I have been teacher aiding in a few Lower Hutt schools since 2010 and was lucky enough to join the Staff at Avalon Primary school this year.  So far I am thoroughly enjoying working alongside the ORRS children I work with each day and also getting to know and help other children where I can.

I am a Mum to two football and Xbox mad 14 and 15 year old teenage sons who are both at Upper Hutt College.

My real passion is working with kids so I am enjoying my current role at Avalon back in the school environment.

I am really enjoying life at Avalon the Staff are welcoming and knowledgeable and your kids really are great value! The children’s greetings, passion, giggles and the banter are just invaluable!



Details coming soon



Details coming soon



Details coming soon


Richard – Caretaker

Details coming soon



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