Staff Profiles


John McBride

I am extremely proud to be the Tumuaki here at Hanmer Springs School. We have an amazing group of teachers and support staff as well as a very motivated BOT and a super active whānau community.

I have just joined this fantastic team, most previously coming from a role where I was coaching teachers in Panama, Central America, and prior to this I have been in classroom and leadership roles both here in NZ as well as overseas. I live here in Hanmer Springs with my lovely wife, Astrid, and our little one year old tama, EJ.

My qualifications
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning – Primary
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning – Honours
Master of Education – Educational Leadership



Kia ora. I am Michelle Saric. I teach the wonderful Piwakawaka new entrant/Y1 students. I originally come from England where I trained and have been in New Zealand for 18 years. My curriculum strengths are Literacy where I am developing and extending our Structured Literacy approach and I am leading the new school curriculum development focusing on a localised curriculum. I am the Within School Lead teacher for the Kahui Ako Community of Learning (COL).

Outside of school my family, Bryan, Amelia, Harry and I, enjoy spending time in the outdoors, going to the beach, skiing, mountain biking, tramping, swimming, camping, snorkelling, fishing and I also enjoy photography.


Kia ora, my name is Tom Davies. I am very pleased to be teaching part-time at Hanmer Springs School. I am primarily a High School Teacher but as a specialist Maths teacher I have taught students and teachers from Early Childhood Centres through to University in over 30 places of learning. I also teach part time at Hangzhou University where I am a Professor teaching graduates how to teach Maths.

I live with my wife Lorna and our Labrador, Cayo, in Hanmer Springs. We love walking in the rivers, hills and mountains.


Welcome everyone. My name is Sharon Brown and I currently teach in Tui Year 2 class. I have recently relocated to Hanmer Springs from Warkworth. I studied at the Christchurch College of Education and graduated with a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in Primary. Interests in school include Art, Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L), and everything else in between.

When I am not in school I enjoy spending time with my family, and many family pets. Bike riding is becoming a new passion since moving to this beautiful district and I am also a keen quilter.


Kia Ora, my name is Mel Roborgh and I currently teach Korimako class – an amazing group of learners in Years 3 – 4. I studied at Canterbury University before going to the Christchurch College of Education where I gained a Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning. I have been teaching for 15 years across the the full range of primary age classes. My curriculum interests are in teaching literacy and numeracy – particularly students who find maths a challenge, and I love creating visual art with children.

I live on a farm with my husband, Robbie and my two daughters Bridie and Iris – both of whom will attend Hanmer Springs School. We love spending time on the farm, going on adventures by bike or on foot in our amazing local environment, and I am an avid reader.

Rebecca (Deputy Principal)

Hi, my name is Rebecca Hay. I have been a classroom teacher for the past 12 years, working across a range of primary age groups as well as spending some time in Early Childhood Education. I have recently relocated to Hanmer Springs. I currently teach in Kereru with the amazing year 4 – 6 Hanmer Springs School students. My curriculum strengths are in teaching physical education, literacy and numeracy.

Outside of school I enjoy spending time exploring our incredible surroundings with my husband Tom and children Kahn and Ciara. I also enjoy getting up early every morning and exercising.


Kia ora koutou katoa
Nau mai haere mai
Ko Del Holmes toku ingoa
No Rotorua ahau
Ko Te Arawa te Iwi
He Kaiako ahau te kura O Hanmer Springs.

Warm greetings to you all. l am Del Holmes, a Primary teacher from Rotorua. My whanau, past and present descend from the love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai on the shores of Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island. My taku tane (husband) is Brent Holmes, a past pupil of Hanmer Springs School. Trigger is our energetic Fox Terrier. He motivates to enjoy the great and beautiful outdoors on our doorstep.

I have a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning from Otautahi Christchurch University of Canterbury. Teaching for two decades now, in Rotorua, Hororata, Perth and Brisbane, has been rewarding and a privilege, in so many ways. Matauranga Maori, structured literacy, music, singing and dance are some of my passions that I share with the students. These can unlock their learning potential.

No reira, Nga mihi nui

Kaiako Taupua/Teacher aides

Carol Nelson

Hi my name is Carol. This is my seventh year of teacher aiding at Hanmer Springs Primary School. I obtained my Certificate in Teacher Aiding in 2019. I live in Hanmer Springs with my husband Rob and have two daughters, Sophie at High School and Amelia here in Year 8.

Outside of school I spend my time managing the girls’ netball, tennis and swimming teams! As a family we love swimming, camping and wandering in the forests with our dog Syd.

Tori Rowley

Kia ora, my name is Tori. I have been working as a Teacher Aide for 12 years. Our family shifted from Greymouth to Hanmer Springs in 2017. I am passionate about structured literacy, books and conservation. As part of my role I also work in the wonderful school library. I have a Bachelor of Arts from Otago University and recently completed a Certificate in Teacher Aiding. I live with my husband Matt and two children Natalie and Bob. We love getting out into nature and mountain biking. I am a keen trapper and help run the Hanmer Springs trapping group.

Emily Billcliff

Well what can I say …. I have been living in the beautiful Hanmer Springs for 3.5 years and it has been the best decision I ever made! I have 3 children who I love to bits. I really enjoy working with the amazing students in this school!

If you ever need a babysitter just let me know!

Fi Alloway

Learning Support



Whakahaere/Office Administrator

Barbara Rowe-Thorn

Tēnā koutou!

I have been the office administrator at Hanmer Springs School since 2015. Given it is now 2023, this is the longest running job I’ve ever had. That’s testimony to how much I love this school and community!

I have a finance and accountancy degree and am currently studying social work at UC and Māori tikanga at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. I have a young daughter here at HSS and we love hiking, the arts, playing tennis, walking our dogs and baking.

We look forward to welcoming you to our fantastic school! Ka pai8