SWIS Teachers

Sam Wilson
TEACHER | ROOM 1

Sam is an experienced New Zealand trained teacher who has recently been working in China.  He and his family moved back to NZ just before the borders closed and he has been looking for a teaching position in Wellington.

Sam has strengths in Physical Education, Te Reo, and is keen to be involved in teaching the Digital Technolgy curriculum to our students.  He previously was a member of the New Zealand Police and has also represented our country in sprinting.

Niamh Kelly
TEACHER | ROOM 2

Tēnā koutou katoa! I am Room 2’s homeroom teacher and the school’s drama teacher. I am from West Sussex in England but moved to New Plymouth when I was five years old. I started at SWIS in 2019 and have loved working with the diverse range of students along with the talented teachers and staff. Outside of the classroom I love to read, binge watch movies and experience Wellington’s diverse range of restaurants and cafes.

Cameron Clarke
TEACHER | ROOM 3

I have been working at SWIS since 2007, where I have been involved in many different areas of teaching, currently these are PE, building and judo. In my spare time I am also heavily involved in Judo.

Nadia Abdul Syafieq
TEACHER | ROOM 4

I grew up in windy Wellington, enjoying all the beautiful city has to offer, before heading to Dunedin to complete my Bachelor of Science majoring in Zoology. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy Malay dancing, going for long drives and spending quality time with family and friends.

Levy Roberts
Teacher Room 5

Levy has joined the SWIS Team this year as a full time teacher. He will be a familiar face to many as he has been a reliever here in the past. 

Rebecca Amos
TEACHER Room 6

Kia ora koutou katoa!  I joined the teaching team at SWIS at the beginning of Term 2.  After a year of relieving around Wellington my love for teaching year 7/8 has grown.  I am extremely excited to be joining the team here at SWIS full time! I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Statistics and Education followed by a Master of Teaching and Learning, along with electives including te reo Maori, French, and Psychology.  Outside of teaching, I am a longtime member of the Wellington Youth Choir and the lead vocalist in a social band producing our own music. I am also a committed member of Scouts New Zealand, giving me regular community service, personal development, and leadership opportunities.

Edward Turnbull
TEACHER | ROOM 7

Kia Ora, I’m Edward Turnbull Classroom teacher in Room 7. I also run the film program in the arts rotation, as an extra curricular activity and during enrichment. I have seen many wild and crazy films coming from SWIS kids. It’s great to see so much creativity come from the class and the film crews every week!

Elyse Hemara
TEACHER Room 8

Tēnā koutou katoa! I’m thrilled to be back at SWIS again this year teaching in Room 8! I was lucky enough to be introduced to the awesome staff and students of SWIS while completing my placement for a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary) in 2019. Born and raised in Hawkes Bay, I moved to Wellington to complete a Bachelor of Music with Honours majoring in Classical singing and worked for NZ Opera for a year. Music has always been a huge passion of mine and I’m super excited to be able to share this with the students at SWIS as a Music and Choir teacher for 2021.

Ally Clark
TEACHER | ROOM 9

I started at SWIS in 2017  and for me it is a real privilege to teach these fantastic kids.  I love teaching science and I am always a starter for water based activities like the Whanganui river trip and swimming classes.  A Kiwi-Canuck, I was born and raised in Canada and I speak French.  Originally trained as a classical musician, I also have some background in biological science and nutrition.  I live locally, and I enjoy being an active member of the community.  I love swimming in the sea, kayaking, tramping and exploring historical sites with my hubby and two school aged boys.

Cecily Mills
TEACHER | ROOM 10

I work in an ILE homeroom with Room 11 and I teach science for semi-spec. My original degree is in Environmental Engineering. I have previously worked in the pharmaceutical industry and in environmental research and policy in NZ. I have two daughters, and when they were pre-schoolers, I was heavily involved in Houghton Valley Playcentre, which eventually led me to teaching. I am stoked to now be teaching some of those students I taught as pre-schoolers. Out of the classroom I enjoy walking and running with our dog (Rusty) and getting out and about.

Francis Gorman
TEACHER | ROOM 11

I have been teaching full time at SWIS since 2018. I am currently in Room 11 alongside Cecily in an ILE (Innovative Learning Environment). This year I also take some of the music classes. This is my favourite age group to teach, and I really like both the students and staff here at SWIS. In my spare time I like to spend time with friends and family, eat Malaysian and Thai food, try and keep fit, watch scary movies, read, and enjoy the few instances when we actually get good weather.

Paul Cooper
TEACHER | ROOM 12

Kia Ora e te whānau, ko Paul taku ingoa. Hi my name is Paul and I am an experienced and passionate year 7/8 teacher who always puts positive relationships with students first. I have had an amazing teaching career starting in Dunedin, then London, Sydney, Mount Maunganui, back to Dunedin (to raise my young family), then more recently the past 8 years in Wellington. PE and Health is my new teaching passion and here at SWIS we offer an amazing program that focuses on being healthy both inside and out. In my spare time I like to get active in the great outdoors of Aotearoa as a keen surfer. Otherwise I will be chilling at home with my beautiful whānau.

Emily Fletcher
TEACHER | ROOM 13

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. I hail from lil old Kirikiriroa but have been based in Wellington for the last ten years (with some adventures further afield thrown in there). I started teaching in 2019 and I’m loving my time at SWIS – what an awesome group of students we have. For semi-spec I teach Philosophy and my homeroom is Room 13. Some of my passions are sustainability, circus skills, crafts, reading, and language learning. I’m currently doing the level 1 & 2 Te Reo course through Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Chris Hickey
TEACHER | ROOM 14

I started at SWIS in 2001 when there were 9 classes, up from 7 the previous year, no turf, an old hall and the playground was one year old. At various times since then I have taught ICT (in the computer lab that was where Room 14 is now), PE and Science and, in 2020, Hard Tech which I am really enjoying. Outside of school, I spend my time on building projects, a little bit of fishing and a lot of taxiing my kids to their sports. The SWIS students are awesome. They just seem to get better every year and it remains a pleasure to see them all develop and grow

Christine Sangster
TEACHER | ROOM 15

I started teaching in Auckland before I saw the light and moved to the coolest little cultural capital in the world. I love teaching, especially integrated studies, science, French, maths and Future Problem Solving. My spare time is spent reading, doing textile art and singing in Faultline chorus, a women’s barbershop/a capella group which came third in the 2016 NZ Sweet Adelines competition with our highest ever score.

Cathie Gasson
Food Tech TEACHER |

Tēnā koutou katoa. I’ve taught a variety of levels, from new entrants to high school, but I  particularly like working with the intermediate age group.  I teach food technology at SWIS and I have high expectations of what our students are capable of – from the very first lesson we make real food from scratch. Though my degree is in maths and economics, I draw on my own experiences from a previous life when I owned and ran my own café, making up many of my recipes. With the skills and knowledge that our students will acquire at SWIS, they will have the foundations to adapt and work around recipes to suit themselves. In my out of school life, I enjoy reading, mountain biking and exploring wild places.

Karen Shuker
ART & RELEASE TEACHER

I have taught art and design to every age across a primary school in Westminster, England for five years. Here at SWIS students enjoy a beautiful art room where they explore their creative capacities through a variety of mediums. These include painting, printing, oil pastel, charcoal and clay. We are extremely fortunate to have a functioning kiln. I combine philosophy and art where possible which makes for insightful and invigorating discussions! Parents are welcome – email me if you are interested in helping out