Teachers at Wellington Seventh-day Adventist School are intentional. They are experienced, passionate and vibrant. They make good use of instructional time and inspire students to want to learn and to do their best. Our teachers make students feel comfortable and help them experience a sense of belonging.
Our goal is to see the clear outworking of God’s character in our students as they LEARN and GROW in GOD.
Teaching methods are geared towards offering each child a quality education. Teachers participate in regular professional development and the school has participated in a number of government initiatives that support children to achieve in all aspects of their education, in particular, literacy and numeracy.
Our teachers are the main link in communication between home and school. Prompt follow-up of any student difficulty or circumstance to ensure a lasting effective solution is vitally important to our staff. With teachers, parents and students working together in partnership, we are better able to ensure the best possible learning experiences for each child.
Mrs Karla Mitchell - Principal
Kia ora, Wellington Seventh-day Adventist School has a special place in my heart. I moved to Porirua from Northland to teach here in 2011. I spent a short time at another school as a Maths Support Teacher (MST) before returning to teach at Wellington SDA School. I began my role as principal in 2017 and am excited to be working with passionate Christian staff, a caring school community, and incredible students. As a teaching principal, I spend the equivalent of two days each week working with students. This year I am the Reading Recovery Teacher. I work with individual six-year old students to support their literacy learning. As a new Reading Recovery Teacher, I spend one afternoon each fortnight training with other local teachers. All students and their families are valued at our school. We have high expectations and believe in working collaboratively with whānau and community to achieve our goals. Existing and prospective families are invited to visit at any time. We look forward to welcoming you to our school. Ngā mihi nui
Mrs Theresa Ugapo - Teacher Room 1
Greetings and Talofa lava! Teaching is an absolute passion of mine and I am excited to work with your child this year in Room 1. I have spent a few years of teaching in Samoa and American Samoa, then in 2013 -2015 I taught at South Auckland Seventh-day Adventist School as a New Entrants teacher. I am beyond blessed to be teaching in a Christian school where we can teach our students about the Bible and the love of God through songs and prayer. There is always satisfaction somewhere if you choose to become a teacher and for me, it would be to see my students succeed in the future, it would be to see my students move up a level in Reading, Math and Writing and to know that with God all things are possible. My goal for the year is to create a loving, safe, motivating and FUN learning environment for my students as they continue to learn new skills and new things every day, but most importantly, it is to have Jesus be the centre of everything that we do.
Mrs Kahli Huse - Teacher Room 2
Kia ora, I teach in Room 2 which is made up of Years 2, 3 and 4. I have been teaching for six years now, most of which have been spent with the junior school. I began teaching in the Palmerston North Adventist Christian School and was there for three years. I have recently returned from teaching in London for two years in a secular school. It is truly a blessing and an honour to be teaching children in a Christian school where we can read the Bible and worship through song and prayer. Teaching is a job that cannot be taken lightly, but is made up of moments of awe, fulfillment and joy! Our class has a wide range of abilities and ages, so group work is key. In this way I am better able to meet the individual needs of each child. We will learn a lot through investigation and ‘hands on’ activities. My goal for the year is to create a safe, stimulating and motivating space for my students as they continue to grow closer to God and each other as independent and lifelong learners. It is a privilege to lead a class where Jesus is at the centre of everything we teach. Our vision is Connected to God, Connected to Others and Connected Learners.
Mrs Dominique de la Hunt van der Merwe - Teacher Room 3
Hi. Our little family, which consists of two wonderful children, my husband and I, relocated to New Zealand in 2019 to start a new adventure. We are originally from South Africa where I taught for 11 years and held many different roles in the teaching industry. Teaching has always been a calling for me and here at Wellington SDA School, it is a privilege to be able to teach the word of God and to integrate it into our everyday learning. Watching the student’s growth for God is truly a wonderful and fulfilling experience! My favourite verse says, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. I am truly delighted and blessed to be working at such a wonderful and spiritual school. Looking forward to what tomorrow brings!
Miss Uaina Leuluai - Teacher Room 4 and Assistant Principal
Talofa Lava! I have been blessed to have taught at two local state schools for over twenty years and with God’s leading I am now here at this wonderful place of learning. I have mainly taught Years 1 to 6 and am currently teaching Years 7 & 8. It really doesn’t matter how long you’ve taught or what age level you teach, every year comes with its challenges and rewards. Being able to integrate teaching and learning about God’s character in students as they learn and grow is such a wonderful feeling and special experience. Teaching is a passion of mine and an area where through God’s leading helps me to serve his purpose. And for the time being, right here, I love our super students and staff, caring community, the goats, the lambs, the growing garden, and the breathtaking views on the hill. Praise the Lord!
Mrs Moira Ashdown - Release Teacher (Room 3)
Hi, I live in Tawa with my husband Peter. I have three grownup married children and five grandchildren. My youngest daughter came to Wellington SDA for Years 7 and 8 and has fond memories of those two years. I love being fit and active with walking, gym, snorkelling and exploring the world. Reading is also a passion. I have taught twice at the school starting in 1995 and ending in 2006 and now I am back again teaching part time. I truly value being able to include my relationship with Jesus and His Word in what I teach. I am experienced and strive to keep my pupils engaged, challenged and growing both in general knowledge and in their faith. Integrating as many subjects into one theme is often the way I plan and including an Art focus is something I enjoy. Students enjoy my lessons and tell me often that they are having fun. My teaching career has seen me teach from first year university to preschool - I have qualifications for all these levels. People ask which level I enjoy the most. My answer is the one I am teaching at that moment! The other thing I love about teaching is meeting 'old' pupils and finding out that in some way I have had a positive influence in their lives: there can be no greater privilege.
Mrs Deborah Dubey - Release Teacher
Kia ora. I am absolutely delighted and feel truly blessed to teach at Wellington Seventh-day Adventist School. Our family, which includes our pet chihuahua, relocated to Wellington from Auckland in 2018. We fellowship at the SDA church in the city. My teaching stint since 2003 comprises of different teaching roles, day relief, short term and fixed term teaching positions and a permanent teaching position in Auckland. I have been relief teaching in schools around Wellington last couple of years. Over the years I have built a strong foundation of skills required to run an effective classroom program. As a day relief teacher, every class I enter for the day, I have high expectations of myself and the students alike and work with the same motivation and dedication. I look forward to, teaching alongside the vibrant kaiako, God-centred learning and awesome praise and worship by the tamariki of this amazing school on the hill.
Hi, kia ora and talofa lava. It is an absolute pleasure to be teaching Reading Recovery here at Wellington SDA School. There is no greater feeling than teaching students and watching their confidence and ability flourish as they master new skills that were previously extremely challenging. I have been teaching for 17 years in several schools in Wellington, Wairarapa and Auckland. I live locally with my husband and 3-year-old daughter. When not teaching I love to spend time with family and get out and about immersing myself in all the great things living in this city has to offer. My goal for this year is to accelerate progress in reading and writing for students who need support in this area by building strong relationships and creating a safe, fun and welcoming learning space.