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 19, 17 and 14 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!

EmilyRoom 8

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EstherRoom 9

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MorvernRoom 10

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Jess – Room 14


I have had the pleasure of teaching at Avalon for nearly 3 years now. I started off teaching New Entrant, moved to Years 1-3 and am currently in the senior school teaching the fabulous Years 4-6.

I studied Archaeology at Otago University and transferred to Victoria University to study at the New Zealand School of Music. Eventually, I found my way to teaching and love every minute of it!

I  was born up in Mount Maunganui and am half Mauritian, which I am very proud of. In my free time I love to go snorkling and playing the piano. After knowing me for a bit you will soon find out that I am extremely accident prone!

GlynisRoom 15


YvonnePod 1

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Ali – Pod 2

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NadenePod 3

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RebeccaPod 4

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GabriellePod 5

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KarlyPod 6 with Sarah

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 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.

Shiva – Middle School

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Displaying IMG_6490.jpg Haylee

Hi my name is Haylee Partridge. I was born in Lower Hutt but have spent a numbers of years in Auckland, Hamilton and Gisbonrne.   I have been teaching for 13 years.  I spent 5 years teaching Year 7 & 8 students and then the remainder has been working with special needs students.  I thoroughly enjoy teaching and watching students progress and develop.

My interests are sport, travel, IT and history.  I love new challenges and meeting new people.  I work hard and believe that what you put into life is what you will get in return.  I will always be a good role model for the children I teach and look forward to seeing how they progress in the future.

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.



Hi.  I have worked as a teacher aide for the past 10 years, based in Middle School. I live in Lower Hutt with my partner, our 16yr old son, 1 dog and 1 cat.



 Liza – Librarian

Hello. My name is Liza and I have the joy of being a Teacher Aide here at Avalon Primary School. This term my time is primarily focused on supporting our OARS and ESL learners. I rotate between several classes on a daily basis and love the variety and joy each child brings.

As my accent probably indicates, I am originally from America. I was born in the Mid-west but moved to Alaska when I was five years old. I loved growing up among the mountains and untamed beauty of the North. My father has been a primary teacher since I was born and my mother was self-employed from home. I am the eldest of three children; my sister is living in our hometown with her husband and my brother is attending university in Chicago, at my alma mater. The hardest part of living in New Zealand is being so far away from my family, but thankfully technology allows us to stay connected.

If family is in Alaska, you may be inclined to ask what brought me to New Zealand?

Good question and the answer makes me smile.

Upon graduation from university I spent a year at home, saw my sister hitched then moved to northern Thailand to put my ESL training to work. I lived and served in a small Thai community for one year where I taught at a local government school as a full-time ESL instructor. It was an amazingly challenging, yet rich, time. Between school terms I had a month holiday which I divided between learning how to scuba dive off of one of Thailand’s islands and coming down to New Zealand to visit a long lost friend from Alaska. James had been down here for three years working as a Wellington Free Ambulance Paramedic and I was excited for the excuse to visit NZ.

During the course of my visit our relationship went from casual friends to dating. Thus ensued 5.5 months of distance dating as I finished my teaching contract, a whirlwind two months back in Alaska to visit family, a winter wedding and a return trip back to Wellington as Mr and Mrs Casey. We arrived back in NZ on December 5th 2013 and have been enjoying life together here in the Hutt.

If you are inclined to hear more of my story let me know and we’ll set up a coffee (or for me hot chocolate) chat. I love learning from the lives of others and sharing the passions that are on my heart, namely my faith in Jesus Christ; my growing family; working with children and playing in the great outdoors.





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.


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Rick – Caretaker

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Peter – Gardner

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