Our People

Kia ora koutou ,

Ko Kathryn Sim taku ingoa, ko ahau te tumuaki o te Kura o Duntroon. My name is Kathryn Sim and I am the Principal of Duntroon School.

I am proud to have been part of the teaching team at Duntroon School for the last 11 years and privileged to have recently taken on the leadership role. What makes our school the BEST school in the country? Our children! We have friendly, motivated students who are passionate about their learning and inquisitive about the world around them. They are supported by dedicated teachers and teacher aides who strive to provide engaging and relevant programmes, encourage discussion, debate and critical thinking/reflection.

Our school community is actively involved in school events and is incredibly supportive of our annual, major fundraiser (The Danseys Pass Trail Ride). This event allows us to provide our children with additional resources we would not be able to otherwise. Duntroon School - a special place creating life-long learners.

Kia ora,

I I am Natalie Aarts and I have been teaching at Duntroon School for ten years. It is such a happy place to be, from the picturesque setting to the very supportive school community.

Having multi-level classes is something I see as just one of the advantages of a small(ish) country school. We are able to develop especially strong relationships with our students when we are teaching and learning with them over a number of years, and this reaps many rewards for everyone involved.

My favourite part of the school day is reading to the children from whichever exciting novel we have on the go, and the wonderful discussions that it brings.

Kia ora! My name is Hannah Parsons and I joined the Duntroon team at the beginning of 2018 as a beginning teacher where I teach in Room 3 with our Year 2 and 3 tamariki. I feel very privileged to be part of the Duntroon community, building relationships with the tamariki, whanau, and my colleagues to support learners to continually fulfil their potential and to develop a lifelong love of learning. I am very passionate about creating learning programmes which are hands on, engaging and relatable for the children in my class.

When I am not teaching you might find me immersed in a good book, cooking something delicious, keeping active, or planning trips to go to different parts of our country. I am a very fun, active and outgoing person, always on the lookout for a new adventure! I enjoy learning new things, travelling, reading, socialising, and being creative.

Hello my name is Jane Simpson and I have been teaching for 35 years, including three years in Auckland and four years in Western Southland before moving to Duntroon School as the then Deputy Principal. I have been very lucky to have trained as a Reading Recovery teacher and still teach this at Duntroon School.

I feel very privileged to be teaching New Entrants and Year 1 children in Room 4. I find supporting students and their families transitioning into school life is highly rewarding and welcome them to share in what Room 4 has to offer. It is important to offer a supportive and caring learning environment so all children can take risks and feel successful.

I am married to Michael and we have three adult children who we enjoy spending time with.

My name is Janette Fielding and I am the Office Administrator at Duntroon School. I have been in my current position for the past 5 years but previously to that, I was a teacher aide for 5 years.

I am responsible for the day to day running of the school and ensuring that new families are welcomed and supported upon their arrival.



My name is Donna Smith. My teaching experience includes primary, secondary, tertiary and contract positions in the Waitaki Valley, Dunedin, Auckland and Whangarei. I am a fully qualified teacher with specialist training in teaching children with Specific Learning Disabilities (such as dyslexia and dyscalculia)

I am currently teaching part-time in both the junior and senior school. I also have strengths in Art, Digital Technology and Literacy. I run a weekly lunchtime coding and chess clubs as well as a walking group.

My name is Janet Brown and I have been at teacher's aide at Duntroon School since 2010.

I thoroughly enjoy working with children and helping them achieve those 'light bulb' moments, while incorporating fun into their learning.

My name is Lorett (Lou) Tait and I have been living in the area for nearly twelve years with my husband Hamish. We have two children, Connor and Alaina. We own and run Taits Transport Duntroon Ltd which is a small transport business for which I also do the books.

I applied for the teacher aide job at the school as I was doing riding lessons at home for a few kids and love the reward you get from just a smile when you have helped a child achieve something.

I love horses, dogs cooking and really love singing and music.

I am Dianne McKenzie. I have had a long association with Duntroon School with our three children attending the school starting back in 1978, 40 years ago!! I was initially employed as an assistant school secretary and in 1995 was working at the school three days a week.

However in 2008 we converted our farm to dairy and I found I could not do justice to both the school and the demands of the farm. I am grateful that at this time I was encouraged to stay and continue working at the school one day a week. I now work compiling and processing the weekly newsletter, work I do enjoy. I look forward to my Wednesdays at the school and feel privileged to be working alongside the amazing staff and wonderful children.

It is such a pleasure to watch the five year olds grow and develop to be the B.E.S.T they can be, ready and prepared for their next challenge when they move on to High School.

My name is Erina Simpson, my husband Doug and I own a Beef and Cropping farm at Tokarahi. We have two children - Will and Cate who attend Duntroon School.

I am currently working as a reliever and in Room 4 as a daily release teacher (taking maths) while Jane pops out to take reading recovery sessions with children throughout the school. I am thoroughly enjoying working in the junior end of the school after having taught in the senior room from 2000-2009.

It continually amazes me how often I am the learner - learning from the children, as they see something from a different perspective. This is what gives me personal satisfaction, along with observing their daily personal achievements, be they big or small.