Te Awamutu Primary School - Kia Kaha - Be Strong

Taiohi Team (Y1/2)

Janette Gillespie

Teacher Room 7



General Information

Hi! I'm Janette Gillespie - Teacher, Mother of three children.
I am married to Ken, and have three children aged between 19 to 22 years. We have lived at Kihikihi for the past 28 years. Apart from Teaching my other interest is Gardening in my large garden.

I love Teaching and am presently at Te Awamutu Primary School with a Year 1/2 class. I have been at TAPS full-time for 13 years now but previously taught here 26 years ago in my 2nd/3rd/ and 4th year out teaching, then travelled to Pukenui in Te Kuiti for 7 years. I gave up teaching then, to stay home and be a good Mum. That only lasted about 5 years before I was desperately needed to relieve in Te Kuiti for 13 weeks and have been teaching ever since.

I am currently Teaching Room 7, a wonderful class of 5, 6 and 7 year olds and thoroughly enjoying this experience.

Vanessa Filer

Teacher - Room 1



General Information

I am Vanessa, I teach in Room 1, soon to be Room 8! I have been teaching at TAPS since 2009 with the exception of 3 years off to have my 2 children. Preston is in the top block and Natalia has just started her first year at the intermediate. I enjoy teaching the juniors and have been in the junior part of the school for at least 8 years now. I love most sports and enjoy setting up physical activities for my students to do. It’s always great seeing them try something new. I also enjoy teaching literacy and have completed studies in this area. In my spare time, I love to go on adventures with my 2 kids or spend time at the gym and up mountains

Kathryn Picard

Teacher Room 10




Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Diploma of Teaching

General Information

I have been teaching at TAPS since 2009. I began my journey here as a student teacher while completing a Graduate Diploma of Teaching. I worked part time for one term and then accepted a full time position and I haven’t left since. Prior to this I attained a Law degree at Waikato University and did some legal work while my children were young.
I have 4 children, 3 sons 22, 18 and 17 and a daughter who is 14.
I am passionate about all things Environmental and I have led the school to achieve a Silver Award in Enviroschools.
In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors, walking and hiking and spending time at the beach.

Liarna Slade

Teacher Room 11



General Information

Hi there,
My name is Liarna Slade and this year I am teaching in Room 11 with year 1 and 2's.

This is my first year at TAPS and I am looking forward to my new venture. I am originally from Cambridge and have recently settled down in Pirongia. Before TAPS, I taught over in Hamilton.

During my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my partner and our animals.

I am passionate about a range of areas in the classroom, specifically Health and Physical Education, The Arts, Literacy and Inquiry.

"The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go" - Dr Seuss

Nga mihi,
Liarna Slade

Elizabeth Ellis

Team Leader & Teacher Room 2

General Information

Kia ora!
I am Elizabeth Ellis and teach Y1 and 2 students in Room2.

I am really excited to join the TAPS team and work alongside amazing teachers, students and their families. My family and I have recently moved to the Waikato after living in Nelson for four years, previously living in Auckland. I have taught in 2 schools in Auckland and one in Nelson before beginning at Te Awamutu Primary. I am back to work after having some special time at home with my 2 year old daughter, Isla. I love getting out and about for walks, spending time at the beach and with family and friends.

I have taught across all year levels at primary school, and particularly enjoying working with the junior students. I like to encourage all students to be active participants in their learning, and for students to have a voice in the classroom. All students can experience success and have a positive and fun experience at school.

I am looking forward to working with all of the tamariki at TAPS.

Important Notices