Meet the Teachers

Room 12 – Lise Ioane

Talofa Lava,
My name is Lise Ioane, I am in my first year of my teaching career having just
completed my teaching degree last November. I am very excited to start my career at Matipo Primary. I am half Samoan, European and German. 

I am the eldest of four children (two sister's one brother) and have a niece and nephew attending this school. I am very sporty and almost live at Te Pai during the Winter season. I look forward to using my netball experience to help develop students skills within Matipo Primary through coaching and umpiring. 

I am also very respectful of cultures and take pride in my own. I am excited to be taking a Samoan cultural group this year and encouraging even those students whom aren't Samoan to join. 
Fa'afetai Lava
Lise Ioane 
Teacher of Room 12

Room 14 – Mitchell Osborn

Hi, my name is Mitchell Osborn and I am super excited to be teaching Room 14 this year! This is my first year teaching my very own class. I have been relieving at Matipo for the past two years across all levels of the school.

Before school starts I am getting married to my partner Rebekah down in Whanganui. We currently live together in Henderson with our little puppy Gus.

In my free time I love watching and playing sport, playing video games, taking Gus for walks/runs and spending time with family and friends. I am looking forward to an amazing year with the students of Room 14!


Room 16 – Michael Ohms

Hi my name is Michael Ohms. I was born and raised in Auckland and this is my ninth year of teaching. I have previously taught in two Auckland primary schools before teaching at Matipo. I am a proud father of baby, James, who will be turning two in June. 

Outside of school the majority of my time is spent with James and my wife Kelly going for walks, picnics and spending time at my family’s bach. I am looking forward to having a successful year with the students of Room 16.

Room 20 – Karen Verney

Hi, my name is Karen Verney and I teach in Room 20. I’ve been working here at Matipo since 1999, so 2017 will be my 19th year.  During that time I have taught at all levels from Tamariki to the Senior school including the gifted and talented class, working in both part-time and full-time roles.  I am an ex-pupil of Matipo and both my children also came to this school.

I live in Titirangi with my husband Tod, my two children, Natasha and Ryan and our dog Gemma.  In my spare time I enjoy watching / supporting my children in developing their own passions for drama and football, reading and continuing my own love of dance and the performing arts

From an early age I wanted to be a teacher and I feel very lucky to be able to fulfill that dream. I have a passion for the use of technology in the class to not only assist but also extend children's learning. I can be found at all hours of the day and night searching the internet for new and exciting ways to achieve this.  

Room 13 - Natalie Kennerley (Syndicate leader)

I have worked at Matipo School since 2007, and enjoy being part of the school community. I have taught in new entrants, middle school and now the junior school. 

I enjoy teaching literacy, and have a love for children’s books as a result of my previous job as a children’s book buyer. I live with my husband Rob, my daughter Maria, my two cats Fred and George and my dog Sirius. 

I love visiting the beach, reading and all things Harry Potter. I enjoy cooking and have recently started a food blog.

Room 15 – Anna Choi

Hello, Annyunghaseyo! My name is Anna Choi and I am very excited to be teaching again in Room 15 this year.

I was born in Korea and lived lived there until I was 7, and have since lived in Sri Lanka, then Australia, before settling in New Zealand. 

In my free time I enjoy listening to and playing music, travelling, and spending time with my beautiful niece and nephew. I look forward to having another fantastic year with the learners of Room 15! :)

                             Room 17 - Grace Smith

Hi my name is Grace Smith and I teach in room 17. This is my 14th year teaching
and my 6th year at 
Matipo. I have taught across most levels in both part time and full time roles.

I live in Glendene with my Husband Phillip, our 3 children, Madison, Oliver and Caitlin who all attend 
Matipo, our 2 dogs Rocco and Poppy and our cat Toes.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time at our caravan in Mangawhai, swimming, paddle boarding, 
fishing and having fun on our jet ski. Since a young age I have been involved with pipe bands and 
highland dancing which I still enjoy today. Spending time with friends and family is another way I like
to spend any spare time I have.

I love that each day is different and I am looking forward to our learning adventure in room 17 this 

Room 21 – Ilona Brooks-Leijh

2017 is my fourth year at Matipo Primary and my second in the Junior syndicate after spending two years teaching in the Middle school. I really enjoy making learning fun and hands on.

I live locally on the Peninsula with my husband Mike, cat Holly and our four chickens Freya, Lizzy, Isabella and Shaniqua. In my free time I enjoy socialising with family and friends, riding my bike, gardening, being creative in the kitchen and getting out and about in the great outdoors.

I'm looking forward to another fantastic year with Room 21!