Our Staff

Trish Blair



My name is Trish Blair, I have been a staff member at Runanga since 2007 and I am now the principal.

I am passionate about creating an environment that supports children to become curious, enthusiastic learners and communicators. I believe that healthy positive relationships are the basis for learning. By focussing on our children’s well being and social development we can help them grow the resilience and confidence they need to face life’s challenges. 

Anna Matson

Room 4


My name is Anna Matson, I am the teacher for Tasman and am deputy principal. I live with my family in Runanga and love the laid-back West Coast environment. I play hockey in winter and go camping in summer. I used to teach white-water kayaking so I am now rejoicing in the relative safety of a classroom. I enjoy watching the children grow in confidence and learn through play-based learning. I believe that all children can achieve anything as long as they believe in themselves.

Ilse Verburgh

Room 3


My name is Ilse Verburgh and I teach Coal Creek, our junior class. 

Born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa, I qualified at university with a bachelor's degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology.  For the first half of my career, I practiced as a Speech Therapist.  Having also completed a post graduate certificate in Teaching,  I have been in the classroom in various schools for the latter part of my career.

Sharing my love for languages, sciences, reading and art with the students brings me great joy.

In my own time, I enjoy doing sewing and reading.  My husband, four children and two grandchildren are also in the queue for a bit of my attention.

Karina Cabral 

Room 1 


My name is Karina, I am the teacher in Mawheranui. I am passionate about learning different cultures and languages, especially Te Ao Māori. I was born in Brazil but I fell in love with the stunning wilderness of Aotearoa, New Zealand. On my holidays, I enjoy going camping and hiking; being in contact with nature is my favourite way to relax. I believe that building a meaningful and positive relationship with children is the foundation for an effective learning experience. Back in Brazil, I taught in early childhood and last year I had the opportunity to complete my master's degree for primary school. At school, I like to give special focus to Arts, Health and Physical Education. 

Carolyn Straker



Hi, I'm Carolyn Straker and I'm the Office Administrator here at Runanga School.  I do the Accounts and lots of other jobs as needed.  In my spare time I do embroidery, biking and reading.

Amy Johnston - Release  & Relief Teacher

Teacher Aides

Renae Shaw  

Larrae Duncan

Bram de Vries

Gardener/Lawn Care


Pauleen Drabble & Royce Green

    Alison Beech