Newsletter - Term 1, Week 2

Masterton Intermediate School


Tēnā koutou katoa ngā whānau o te kura takawaenga o Whakaoriori.

Kia kaha, kia manawanui tātou ki runga i te kaupapa o te tau rua mano, rua tekau mā toru.

We have had a very positive start to the 2023 school year. Thank you to all families who have made sure that your child is wearing the correct school uniform, has arrived at school before the 9.00 am start time each day and is wanting to involve themselves in some of the many opportunities that are on offer at MIS.


The Ministry of Education requirements for students to attend every kura in Aotearoa is 90% which equates to one day of absence in every ten days of school. After six days of school, 322 have consistently attended school and 110 have had at least one day off.

At Masterton Intermediate, Laurance Titter, Wairarapa Boxing Academy and Frazer Mailman, tumuaki at MIS from 1990 to 2010, are both providing us with support to maximise student attendance. They will contact families on a daily basis to investigate unexplained absences.

For those ākonga who attend for all of the days in each of the 8-day cycles there will be a draw in assembly to win a $100 voucher at Lone Star. At the end of each term, all students who have maintained a 90% + attendance rate will be eligible to win one of five $200 Lone Star meal vouchers. Your tautoko towards enabling us to achieve the MOE expectation will be essential. Thank you in advance.


This year we will be working alongside our colleagues at Masterton Primary School to introduce the Te Ara Whakamana programme which is a culturally centred, strength-based model for well being and positive behaviour change for our ākonga. This programme will involve learning about the Māori creation stories in order to identify attributes of the various atua to assist students to connect with how they are feeling.

Then they will develop a set of personal goals and a plan to enhance their own mana and self-belief. In term one, we will focus on understanding these creation stories and the characteristics of each of the kaitiaki involved.

Introducing our new staff for 2023

Miss Merryn Hamilton - Room 5 classroom teacher

Kia ora koutou,

I was born in Wellington, however when I was 11 years old my family and I moved overseas to live in Kuwait where we spent 4 years. We then moved to Balikpapan, Indonesia and then onto Singapore. Living overseas allowed me to experience so many different cultures, foods and experiences, and I loved every minute of it!!

In my spare time I enjoy gardening, spending time with my pets, puzzling and playing board games. I have a strong interest in learning and teaching about social and emotional wellbeing, as well as building positive relationships with all ākonga.

Miss Laura Cannons - Room 9 classroom teacher

Kia Ora!

I have absolutely loved teaching Year 7&8 and am thrilled to be joining the MIS team in 2023.

I grew up in the Hutt Valley and left to study at the University of Otago in 2018 where I gained my Bachelor of Teaching, ever since I have been itching to get back to Wellington, and have recently settled in the beautiful Wairarapa.

Outside of school I enjoy travelling, watching musicals and spending time in the outdoors particularly going to the river or park with my blue heeler, Meeka.

Mr Scott Ogilvie - Room 12 classroom teacher

I was born and raised in Wollongong, Australia. A beautiful coastal city about an hour south of Sydney. I began teaching in Australia in 2007 before leaving the classroom at the end of 2009.

In 2010 I moved to New Zealand and spent 10 years working at Te Papa as a Learning Specialist, then as the STEM Coordinator for Wairarapa Library Service. Last year I completed a teacher refresher course and returned to the teaching profession and am excited to have been offered a position at MIS in 2023.

Away from work I enjoy staying active - playing hockey, biking, running and tramping. I am also a big sports fan and will watch most sports on TV. I also love the challenge and excitement of learning something new!

Mrs Ruth Olds - Room 13 classroom teacher and Waipoua team leader

Kia ora! My whanau and I have recently moved to the Wairarapa after teaching at a range of primary and intermediate schools in Wellington for almost 20 years. We are lapping up the sunshine and slightly slower days. My husband (Andrew), two children (Katie - 8 years and Richie - 6 years), puppy (Cashew) and kittens (Zeus and Elton) fill my bucket constantly with lego building, bike riding, swimming and gardening together.
I love to teach and I love to learn. I’m excited to be able to contribute to the buzzing learning environment that is MIS. Critical thinking, maths, reading, creative writing, running, singing, playing and building relationships with students, parents, staff and community are all top of my list. Bring on 2023!

Miss Georgia Wallace - Music teacher

Kia ora koutou!

I was born in Hastings, but grew up in Ōamaru where I spent my schooling years. I attended Otago University, Massey University and Te Pūkenga where I have gained a number of qualifications and experience in Music, Theatre, Māori, Education and Psychology. In 2018, I moved to Masterton to start my teaching career at Rathkeale College. A year later I relocated to Wairoa in the Hawkes Bay where I taught Music and Māori Performing Arts for four years. In 2023, I am very excited to be back in the Wairarapa, and being able to inspire young ākonga to go beyond their limits teaching Music at MIS.

In my spare time you’ll find me singing or playing piano and guitar, composing, playing badminton, netball, baking, cooking and going on random adventures. I grew up camping and can’t wait to explore Wairarapa’s hidden gems!

Ms Rebekah Merhtens - Release teacher

I'm baAAAck! I left MIS 10 years ago to have my two sons, During this time I have run my own business, taught juniors and have been raising my boys. Last year I took a gap year to travel Te Waipounamu in our house bus with my family. I'm excited to be back at MIS and I love seeing all the amazing improvements that have happened in the last decade! I'm looking forward to being back as part of this awesome team!

Miss Shakira Baker - Release teacher


I was born in Masterton and raised in Greytown. Have lived in various parts of New Zealand and found myself having done full circle and happy to be home. Started my teaching career at Hamilton Girls High School teaching Mathematics and then in 2016 put teaching on hold to play rugby for the Black Ferns.

Fast forward a few years has me wanting to keep my teaching degree an option and grateful to the MIS whānau for allowing me to do so. As an ex pupil it’s humbling to come back and see that non-stop cricket is still very much a thing and a lot of things I loved about the school is still implemented today. Looking forward to getting to know students and staff and add value where I can during my time here.

Emma Shanks - Teacher Aide

Kia ora koutou!

I grew up in Upper Hutt, then moved to London in 2019 to work, travel, and make memories as much as possible before Covid kicked off. Since then I’ve been in Kāpiti working at the local gymnastics club as the recreational Head Coach with an awesome team of close to 400 tamariki. I am in my final semester at Massey working towards a BA majoring in Educational Psychology and loving it.

I’ve moved to Masterton this year ready for the next adventure and challenge. I’m very excited to start at MIS getting to know everyone and putting what we’ve discussed at uni into a real world perspective. In my spare time I love being outdoors as much as possible hiking, running, swimming etc!

Nane Brown - Teacher Aide

Kia orana to you all

I’m from a pasefika & maori background that taught us many things but mainly to laugh if things are bad. I went to faith based schools that had many different nationalities. I have mainly experience in sales/marketing from start up businesses and learned skills in hairdressing. I lived for 10 years in the Cook Islands working at various jobs and had my daughter there. Moving forward, I am excited to start a new career which has brought me here to MIS as a teachers assistant. This is already expanding my knowledge and will definitely improve my parenting skills! I love to learn new things and am looking forward to getting to know you all. Kia manuia!

Staffing structure for 2023


Principal - Russell Thompson

Deputy Principal - Olivia Geange

Deputy Principal - Raegan Warren

Executive Officer - Dionne Jackson

Office Administer - Lynne McDermott

Office Assistant - Nat Brock


Room 1 Devon Petera-Gerrard (Learning assistant), Arts Room 2 Library

Room 3 Colin Mann

Room 4 Yolandi Verwey (Syndicate leader)

Room 5 Merryn Hamilton

Room 6 Richard Lennox


Choice room Rachel Allsworth (Learning assistant)

Room 7 Juliet Stewart

Room 8 Adriaan Botha (Syndicate leader)

Room 9 Laura Cannons

Room 10 Mike O’Farrell

Resource Room Nathan Robinson (Sports coordinator)


Room 11 David Johnston

Room 12 Scott Ogilvie

Room 13 Ruth Olds (Syndicate leader)

Room 14 Rebecca Warren

Resource Room Tory Sexton (Learning assistant)

Caretaker Sam Eades


Room 15 Roseanne Sayles

Room 16 Lianne Thompson (Learning assistant),

Te reo Māori extension room

Room 17 Suz Hayman (Syndicate leader)

Room 18 Calvin Randall


Digital Technology Robyn Hamilton (Syndicate leader)

Cooking Judy Dreadon

Design Technology Rick Luff

Science Jacqui Malcolm

Music Georgia Wallace


Learning Support - Emily Enoka Learning Support Coordinator, SENCO

School counsellor - Silena Martin

Mentor - Jermaine Allen


Karen Bracewell

Nane Brown

Emma Shanks

Helen Temple


Shakira Baker (term one)

Dayna Fleet

Debby Mann

Schiehallion McKelvie (February)

Rebekah Mehrtens

Raana Campbell

BELL TIMES for 2023

Our bell times for 2023 are as follows:

9.00 am To home rooms:

Karakia, roll, daily notices

9.15 am Block one starts - 1 hour and 25 minutes

10.40 am Morning tea

11.00 am Block two starts - 1 hour and 25 minutes

12.25 pm Lunch break - students outside

1.05 pm Lunch break ends. Eat lunch in home rooms

- school lunches are provided

1.20 pm Lunch break ends

1.25 pm Block three starts - 1 hour and 25 minutes

2.50 pm Home rooms - reminders for next day, rooms tidied

3.00 pm School day ends - students released when bell rings


We will be holding a Cyber Safety information evening for parents on Monday, March 13 from 7pm-9pm. Rob Cope is the presenter of the programme ‘Our Kids Online’. He and his wife, Zareen are both authors, speakers and filmmakers who have been working together since 2018 helping to educate parents, caregivers and professionals on how to keep kids safer online, how to build their emotional resilience and on ways to reconnect as a family.

We would advise attendance from all whānau to come and listen to this important kaupapa for our tamariki. For those who attend, will go into the draw to win one of five $100 Lone Star meal vouchers.

Random Numbers

18 The number of girls who turned up for girl’s 7’s training.

44 The number of school days for students to be able to achieve

90% attendance for term one.

48 The number of boys who attended the boys’ 7’s training

125 The number of students who showed up to the first ‘Waiata Mai/Choir’ session

164 The number of students who attended the first session of kapa haka

Important dates for Term 1

Week 3 - Options Programme starts on Tuesday, Feb 14 in block 3

- Boys and girls sevens rugby trials in block 3 - Wednesday February 15

Week 4 - ASSESSMENT WEEK in reading, writing and maths.

- Rock Band auditions in the hall, Monday Feb 20 at 3:15pm

- Board of Trustees meeting in the staffroom at 6:30pm

Week 5 - Boys and Girls football trials in block 3, Monday, February 27

- School closed for teacher only day, Friday, March 3

Week 6 - Masterton Primary School Swimming Champs - Wednesday, March 8

- Netball trials in block 3 - Friday, March 10

Week 7 - Parent information evening on Cyber Safety, Monday, March 13 - 7pm - 9pm

- 'Attitude' presentation in the hall in block 3. Tuesday, March 14

- Learning conferences between 1:40pm and 8:30pm - Tuesday, March 14

- Netball trials after school - 3:15 - 4:30, Wednesday, March 15

- Rugby sevens exchange to Maidstone Intermediate - Thursday, March 16

- Student Volunteers to Age Concern Expo, Friday, March 17

Week 8 - Year 7 vaccinations Monday and Tuesday, March 20 & 21

- Netball trials - 3:15 - 4:30pm - Tuesday, March 21

- Wairarapa primary schools swimming champ finals - Wednesday, March 22

- Learning conferences between 3:30 pm and 8:30 pm - Wednesday, March 22

Week 9 - WRISSA Sevens rugby tournament in Te Awa Kairangi Park in Upper Hutt, Wednesday, March 29

Week 10 - Hockey trials, Monday, April 3

Lit Quiz in Fielding, Tuesday, April 4

- Syndicate haka competition starting at 11:20 am, Wednesday, April 5

- Fun Run in block 3, Wednesday, April 5

- TERM ONE Ends - 3:00 pm


Once again this year, we will provide a wide range of sporting opportunities for as many of our students as possible. Many staff are fully involved in this and we would welcome the support from parents, caregivers and whānau with the roles of coaching, managing or refereeing/umpiring. Please email the staff member in charge who are listed below if you may be able to assist in any of these codes:


BADMINTON Raegan Warren

BASEBALL Russell Thompson


CHESS Richard Lennox


CRICKET BOYS Nathan Robinson



FOOTBALL GIRLS Russell Thompson

HOCKEY Yolandi Verwey

NETBALL Olivia Geange

RUGBY Adriaan Botha

SOFTBALL Richard Lennox

TENNIS David Johnston

TOUCH Adriaan Botha

VOLLEYBALL BOYS Russell Thompson



Our new bucket hats are a hit amongst the students and staff! Only bucket hats with our logo on or the MIS baseball caps can be worn.

Here are two of our new year sevens, Leila and Rose from Room 6, wearing them with pride!

Our ākonga

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