Teaching Staff

Meet Our Team

Tracy Thorn


Principal, Te Rōpū Hautūtanga

Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko Taranaki te Maunga

Ko Ngamotu te  moana

Ko Tracy toku ingoa.

Ko Ellie raua ko Paige aku tamahine.

Mehemea ka moemoea ahau, ko ahau anake

Mehemea ka moemoea a tātou, ka taea e tātou

Hi everyone,

I am Tracy and am so thankful to be the Principal (or Princessipal as I like to say) of Milson School.

Taranaki is my ‘heart home’ and Palmerston North is my ‘other home’. 

I have two amazing daughters, Ellie and Paige, who are the absolute loves of my life. 

I value relationships, and creating those educationally powerful ones between whānau, tamariki and staff is an absolute passion for me. 

I have a great sense of humour (my staff may argue with this!) and just love to hear laughter and chatter throughout the school. 

Mehemea ka moemoea ahau, ko ahau anake

Mehemea ka moemoea a tātou, ka taea e tātou

If I dream, I dream alone

If we dream together we can succeed. 

No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.

Cass Kaiuha


Deputy Principal, Te Rōpū Hautūtanga

Ko Cass toku ingoa,

My passion in Teaching lies within building strong connections with whānau and students. I truly believe that we as a village have the great privilege of ensuring students reach their full potential. I have huge passions in student agency, setting goals, mindfulness and hauora. I love to see our kaiako and ākonga explore this learning through ACE and PRIDE.

Kia ora huihui mai tatou,

Mauri ora ki te whānau

Mauri ora ki te kaupapa

Mauri ora ki te whare

Ko te reo Māori me nga tikanga

A kui ma a koro mai

Tihei mauri ora

Ko Whangamoana te Maunga

Ko Matai te awa

Ko Kaiuha toku hapu

Ko Philip rāua ko Heather ōku mātua tūpuna

Ko David rāua ko Helen ōku mātua tūpuna

Ko Brendan rāua Ko Pamela ōku mātua

Ko Patrick taku hoa tane

Ko Cobe rāua Ko Deacon rāua Ko Quin āku tamariki 

He Kaiako ahau ki Te Kura O Te Miritana

No Whakatu ahau.

Ko Cass ahau.

Nō reira,

Tēnā koutou 

Tēnā koutou 

Tēnā koutou katoa

Katrina Wood


Deputy Principal, Te Rōpū Hautūtanga

Tēnā koutou

Ko Ruahine te pae maunga

Ko Manawatū te awa

Ko Fritz Reuter tōku waka

Ko tangata tiriti tōku iwi

Ko Katrina ahau

Milson School is in my core (or as others may say I'm part of the furniture). I have had the privilege of being a Milson School student, student teacher and teacher.

I want every child that comes to our school to love their time at Milson School and know that they matter, they can share their feelings and have a positive attitude towards learning.

I am passionate about Mathematics! I am a spreadsheet 'geek' and love anything that involves data.  I do also enjoy being creative and designing funky posters and designs.

I have taught in all year levels at Milson School, but the Year 0/1 is where I love teaching most.  I also love when previous students come back and share what they have achieved (even if it makes me feel old because I taught them and they are now enrolling  their own child)

I am a mum, and attempt to juggle all of the passions of our kids as well as making time to fill my own bucket - currently studying Te Reo Māori, driving our open top cars or relaxing at home.

Teresa Wood



Learning Support Coordinator, Te Rōpū Hautūtanga

Kia ora koutou,

Ko Teresa tōku ingoa, and I am the Learning Support Coordinator (Kairuruku Tautoko Akoranga).  I have always had a passion for Learning Support and Special Education and have previously worked as classroom teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, Specialist Teacher with ORS funded students and SENCO at a number of schools in the Palmerston North and surrounding area.  My role at Miritana is to work with teachers, students and whānau to find ways to adapt programmes for students who do not receive individualised funding, but who still need support. When we work as a team, we can achieve so much more. 

Ehara taku toa, i te toa takitahi, engari he toa, takitini - Our strength does not come from ourselves alone, our strength derives from the many.

I am originally from Hastings, and I still have most of my family in that area. I am married to Peter and we have 3 adult children. 

Arsha Ignatius


Room 1, Years 1/2

Koru Team


My name is Arsha and I will be working with the amazing children in Room 1 this year. I am originally from India and moved to New Zealand last year. Teaching has always been my passion and I truly enjoy working with children. My educational philosophy is centered on reciprocal teaching and learning, and the whakatauki "Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi." Every student, no matter their background, has something valuable to offer. They bring with them a wealth of cultural knowledge, experience, and talents that we can all learn from. 

In my free time, I like to read thriller novels or go for a long walk outdoors with my husband, Deen Joseph. I also have a sweet tooth for marshmallows in hot chocolate on cold winter days and I enjoy travelling.

Sherry Fink


Room 2, Years 1/2

Koru Team

Hi I am Sherry, the teacher of some of our lovely Year 1 and 2 students. I have two children (who are not really children anymore) Bailey and Ashlee who are in their twenties. 

My philosophy in teaching is that building relationships with our students is important for supporting them in being successful learners who take risks and make mistakes. I love working alongside our kids and seeing them grow and change over time. I love laughing with my students and building a fun, inclusive learning-centred environment. I look forward to working with you and getting to know you.   

Hannah Kirk


Room 3, Years 0/1

Koru Team

Kia ora, my name is Hannah and I am currently working with the new entrants in Koru Team.

Before moving to the Manawatū I lived and studied in Christchurch, where my family are based. I live on a farm in the Pohangina Valley where I like to take walks with the dogs and ride my horse.

For myself teaching is about building strong connections with students and their whānau, to empower students to see how capable they are. I love to see children believe in themselves and have a go at new and exciting learning. I enjoy teaching art and seeing how one activity can inspire so many different and beautiful perspectives from the children.

Martin Vickerman


Room 3, Years 0/1 - Friday

Koru Team

I've been working at Milson School since 2017, first as a reliever and then as Mr Friday in the Koru Team.

I have a passion for seeing new entrants develop their oral language and social skills through Discovery play. 

Outside school I am a Driving Instructor and Defensive Driving Tutor.  I'm also involved singing with with Manawatunes Barbershop, acapella, Chorus and as a Sound and Video operator at my church.

Sydney MacKenzie


Room 6, Years 0/1

Koru Team

Kia ora koutou, my name is Sydney and this is my first year at Milson School working in room 6, the new entrants classroom. I am very passionate about inclusion in my classroom and hope to create a safe and welcoming environment for the tamariki.

I am mum to a wee girl named Kora and I love watching her learn and explore the world through the eyes of a toddler. I love to bake, swim and have fun with my whānau. I look forward to this teaching year and being on the education journey with the students of Milson School.

Christina Wingfield-Smith



Koru Team

Hi I’m Christina and I enjoy working with children in their first few years of schooling. I love to see the progress they make and the enthusiasm they have for learning. 

I am married and have 3 teenagers who are currently at high school and university. I’ve been connected to Milson for many years with all three of my children being past pupils of the school. In my spare time I enjoy reading and going for walks. My favourite place is the beach where I spend as much of my spare time as possible.  

Charlotte Long


Room 7, Years 1/2

Koru Team

 Tēnā Koutou Katoa

I raro i te maru te maunga Pinnes

I whānau mai au te taha o te awa Calder

He uri aha nō England, nō Island

Ko Te Ahumairangi te maunga e rū nei taku ngākau

Ko Te Ahumairangi te awa e mahea nei aku māharahara 

Nō Te Whanguiatra aha

Ko ahau te tamaiti tua Long o tōku whānau

Tēnā koutou tēnā koutou katoa

I am very excited to be working at Milson School. I have a visual art and conservation background.  

I have walked the Te Araroa (walking the length of NZ 3000KM) which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I have also been to the Sub Antarctic on a youth scholarship.  

I’m an outdoorsy adventurous person who is also into the arts but also enjoys sitting down with a cup of tea. One of my personal goals for this year is to walk to 10 huts in the Tararua Ranges and get my hut count to 32 huts out of 58.

Sarah Stephens


Room 8, Years 1/2

Koru Team - Team Leader

Kia ora koutou, 

I am excited to be the team leader for the Koru Team.  I have had many wonderful experiences teaching junior children both within New Zealand and internationally.  I thrive on working collaboratively with students, teachers and whānau and I am committed to providing meaningful and exciting learning experiences.   

In my spare time I enjoy walking my dogs, spending time with my partner and friends, and being an Aunt to my wonderful nieces and nephews. 

Jay Duxfield


Room 9, Years 5/6

Huia Team

Kia Ora.

My name is Jay Duxfield.  I am originally from Whanganui.  I am married to Denise, and we have two children (Charlie and Amelia).  As a whānau, we love getting out to explore the area.  We often spend our weekends at the beach or going for walks in the park. 

My big passion in learning is finding my students’ strengths and incorporating them into my lessons. I love it when students are excited about their learning, and I hope that I can be a part of facilitating this. I have a background in English language teaching and love learning about different languages and cultures.


This is my third-year teaching at Milson.  I teach year 5 and 6 students in Room 9.

Ramudhi Samarasekara


Room 10, Year 5

Huia Team

Billy Walker


Room 11, Year 5/6

Huia Team

Kia ora Tātou,

Ko Ruapehu te maunga,

Ko Aotea te awa,

Nō Whanganui ahau,

Ko Jenna taku wahine

Ko Billy tōku Ingoa,

Tēnā koutou e te whānau. I am very fortunate to call the Milson community my Whānau. My passion for teaching was created by working closely with Milson students and staff, which led me to complete my teaching studies and become a teacher at this amazing kura. I am passionate about building a positive and safe learning environment where students have the opportunity to gain independence while engaging in activities that are fun yet challenging.  "Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia ō tāto": Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work.

Sangeeta Sharma


Room 12, Year 3/4

Manawatū Team

Bula/Namaste/Kia Ora,

My name is Sangeeta Sharma, and I am originally from the beautiful Islands of Fiji. I am happily married, and we have a daughter (Pasha) who is at university. We love travelling and exploring nature.

For myself, teaching is about building relationships with whānau and their tamariki through building positive responsive, reciprocal relationships with mutual respect and trust. I enjoy helping tamariki in their learning and making lifelong memories. I am looking forward to working together with you all.

Marie Flynn


Room 13, Years 3/4

Manawatū Team -Team Leader

Kia ora, my name is Marie Flynn and this year I am teaching Year 3 and 4s in Room 13.  I have been involved with Mison School for a number of years.  All three of my children have attended Milson School and my youngest is currently in the Huia Team.  I live in Woodville with my family and our cat and dog.  

I love being a teacher, I find it incredibly rewarding building relationships with students and being part of their educational journey.  I am looking forward to meeting you all over the next few weeks.  Please always remember to contact me if you need to discuss any aspect of your child's education. 

Jarrod Campbell


Room 14, Years 3/4

Manawatū Team

Kia Ora. I was born and bred in Palmy and proud to call it home. I attended Milson School as a child, returned as a teacher aide in 2020 and started my teaching career here last year. How cool is that! In my spare time, I enjoy an array of outdoor activities and follow a number of sports, predominantly rugby and cricket. Above all though, I love spending quality time with family and friends.

I see teaching as a career where I can make a difference by being a positive role model for the tamariki I teach. By helping children to be the best leaders, innovators and learners that they can be, I strive to play an integral role in developing lifelong learners. I endeavor to create an environment where children feel safe, culturally secure, and happy to be in my classroom. 

Liam Colman


Room 15, Years 3/4

Manawatū Team

Leah Henderson


Room 17, Years 5/6

Huia Team - Team Leader

My name is Leah Henderson. I am originally from East Auckland where I was raised. I have recently moved to Palmerston North from the Bay of Plenty Region. I have one son named Nick who is fourteen years old and he will be entering year 10 this year.

In my spare time I enjoy going for walks, the beach and attending the gym. As a whanau we enjoy going on road trips to discover new places.

As a teacher I have taught from year 0-8 and have been teaching for fourteen years. This is my first year at Milson School and I am the team leader for the Huia team. I last taught at a high school in Kawerau where I taught year seven students as well as having the roles of Team Leader and Junior Academic Advisor. 

Ian Eaton


Release Teacher

Fiona Jensen


Release Teacher

Hi, I'm Fiona Jensen and I will be working in the Koru Team this year.  I have had a lifelong passion for teaching and enjoy seeing the progress the children make.   I strongly believe relationships are the key to helping families and children on their learning journey. 

I have lived in Palmerston North for many years. My partner and I have two teenage sons.  In my spare time I like to read, garden and walk my dog.