Senior Management

Joe Ferdinands: Principal

Lucia Dowling: Deputy Principal (Primary). Year 7/8 Teacher

I am a local lass – born and bred here in the Maniototo. I attended St John’s for my Primary schooling then came to MAS for my Secondary education. I have travelled throughout and worked in, many countries but came home to the stunning Maniototo where most of my family live. In 2017 I was awarded an Area Schools Study Award which gave me a year away from the classroom  to complete my Masters in Education.  I am currently the Deputy Principal of the Primary School and I team-teach with Katrina Hunter for Literacy and Maths. I am also the BoT rep on the Board of Trustees. I love my job, and I am a proud member of the MAS team. 

Nikki Meyer: Deputy Principal (Secondary). Business Studies, Science & Chemistry teacher ​

BSc – Major in Chemistry, BBS – major in Management, Graduate diploma of teaching – trained at Massey University in Palmerston North.  I grew up on the Kapiti Coast 45min North of Wellington. I have two Dogs – Spot and Gilbert, a sheep – Frank, 6 alpacas – Kevin, Percy , Cyril, Tina,(also a boy) Gordon, Louis.  Moved to the South Island in 2012 after doing the Rail Trail in 2011 and falling in love with Central Otago.

Teaching Staff

Secondary School:

Jessica Mooney: HOD Maths. Physics & Year 9/10 Science teacher. Year 9/10 Form Teacher ​ ​​
Grant Jefcoate: HOD Workshop Technology & Graphics, Year 12 Form Teacher ​
Advanced Trade Building, Quantity Survey quals, Diploma in Teaching, Post graduate diploma in Technology education. Married to Rose, have two mature sons Peter and Frederick and three Grandchildren Mason Elise and Felix. I grew up on a dairy farm in Northland. After the death of my father moved to live with my Grandmother in West Auckland, completed my high schooling and a building apprenticeship there.

After a downturn in the building industry took up teacher training following which I ended up in Invercargill at Collingwood Intermediate for 24 years. Main area of teaching was materials and a 15 year stint in charge of school camps and outdoor education. After the closure of the school taught at The Terrace primary for 15 years as a workshop teacher and the last three years have been at Maniototo.

Have a whole range of hobbies and interests. My wife calls me compulsive as I will pursue an interest to a great depth then move on to another. Some of these interests are Flying model aircraft, boat building, fishing,  cycling, stone and bone carving. Lately I have been restoring classic outboards and Japanese farm bikes. I have enjoyed my time as a workshop teacher as it allows me to share and provide the means for me to follow my passions. Moving to Maniototo is been a fabulous step even if it means being away from home four nights a week.

Joanna Brooks: HOD English, Senior Dean, E-Dean, 9/10 Food Tech teacher. Year 9/10 Curriculum leader. Year 11 Form Teacher

B.A (Hons) Medieval Early Modern European Studies. Grad Dip Tch. Born and raised in Auckland- I worked as a Costume Designer and in the Wardrobe Departments of the NZ Film and Television Industry before becoming a Teacher. I am passionate about Literature, History, Art and Design. I moved to Poolburn to marry my husband and live on the family farm nine years ago. I have a 21yr old son James and all together we have moved part-time to Ranfurly. I love this friendly and interesting community and value the small classes and close relationships which our amazing school fosters. I love to read, sew, shop and collect vast quantities of vintage ceramics and assorted junk. I would love to be a competent gardener and look forward to keeping something green alive in the near future. 

Lauren Becker: Music, Kapa haka Teacher ​
Juliet Sorrel: Art & Year 7/8 Food Tech Teacher. ​
Kate Dowling: Biology & Horticulture
BSc with a double major in Marine Biology and Physical Geography. Graduate Diploma in Secondary teaching from Christchurch College of Education and a Graduate Diploma in Primary Teaching from Victoria University, Certificate in Organic Horticulture. I grew up on a farm within the Richmond Ranges in Marlborough, from there I studied at Lincoln University to pursue a netball scholarship and where I also met my husband Luke, later transferring to Canterbury University to study Marine Sciences. My first teaching position was at Gore High School and later to Lawrence Area School. Luke and I then did our OE through the UK, Europe and Asia and I relief taught in London as well as a nannying position in Shropshire. We now farm in Gimmerburn and life keeps us pretty busy with our young family.  
Sam Stevens: Tourism, History & Agriculture Teacher, Year 13 Form Teacher
B.A. (Hons) Dip Teaching. Born and raised in Southland on a sheep and beef farm, attended Otago University and then shore some sheep, went to T-Coll and then went and taught in England for a couple of years.I then taught Art History and English at Southland Girls High School in Invercargill.  In 2003 we moved to our farm in Poolburn with wife Deb and kids Josh (16) Harry (14 ) and Lucy (11). I am really interested in developing pathways for our Senior students in the Agriculture industry, to this end I am looking to engage with our local Maori groups and continue to work with Beef and Lamb NZ in my role as a Farmer Councillor for the Central South Island. I also have a passion for Art History and am looking to complete my Masters hopefully this year, fingers crossed.
Yuichi Nakamura: HOD Physical Education. Year 9/10 Health Teacher. Year 13 Form Teacher           
BPhEd major in Exercise Prescription and Sports Management at the University of Otago. GradDip Teaching-Trained at the University of Canterbury. Teaching Subjects in 2020- P.E and Health. Born and grew up in Japan. Kia Ora, I am a P.E teacher and began my teaching career at MAS from 2018. I fell in love with this country when I was 18 years old and have been living in NZ for over 10 years on and off. I’ve worked as a sales consultant in a plastic industry/shoe manufacturer in Japan, and a sea-kayak guide in Milford Sound. I moved to Ranfurly with my wife Megumi and daughter Mizuki (2). I am passionate about the outdoors, Rock & Alpine Climbing, Backcountry Skiing, Camping and Surfing. This year I am starting to introduce our students to a variety of outdoor activities and utilising the natural environment we have here.

Kylie McSkimming: Science Teacher

BSc Major in Chemistry, Graduate Diploma of Teaching from Christchurch College of Education.  I went to High School at Waitaki Girls in Oamaru and then on to Otago University before working for Fonterra in the Chemistry Laboratory at their Clandeboye site.  After doing a vintage at Church Road winery in the Hawkes Bay I moved to Christchurch and completed a Teaching Diploma.  My last placement of training was at Maniototo Area School and I never left!  Now married to Matt, a local farmer and with three boys all attending MAS I work part-time in the Maths and Science departments.

Michelle Dowling: ESOL Teacher
Primary School:
Celine Ferdinands: New Entrant/Year 1 Teacher (Kowhai Class) ​

I have been the New Entrant teacher at MAS since 2013. I have a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Early years 0 – 8, from Massey University. I have taught in schools in India, Dubai and Sharjah. My family includes my husband Joe, and my daughters Candice and Abigail. We moved from Dubai to New Zealand 16 years ago and we have loved living in the mighty Maniototo!! I enjoy cooking, sewing, drama and playing table tennis and badminton.

Ann-Marie Paterson: ​Year 2 Teacher (Tawa Class)

I have a Bachelor in Education, endorsement in Teaching and teach Year 2 in Tawa. I grew up in the Bay of Plenty before my family moved to South Canterbury, where I met my husband and now live in Gimmerburn with my husband, Craig and our three children, Charlotte, Vanessa and Nathan. I enjoy gardening, baking, being creative and active, dancing and online shopping!

Heather Dowling: Year 3 Teacher (Whero Class)

I am back teaching in the Junior School in Year 3 after having my children.  I have a Bachelor of Education with a Diploma in Teaching and I graduated from the University of Otago.  I grew up in Dunedin and had my first teaching post in a small school in England.  I returned to NZ and got my job teaching at Maniototo Area School, 17 years later, I am still here and are now married to a Ranfurly local and have two boys, Tom (10) and Harry (7).  I enjoy doing Rogaines, participating in the local Drama, Reading and spending time with family and friends. 

Gemma Hore: Year 4/5 Teacher (Kahurangi Class)
I am a part time teacher sharing Kahurangi class with Sarah Paterson. I have a Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching). I taught in Arrowtown and Alexandra before taking time out to have children. I started teaching part time at Maniototo Area School in 2009. My husband Simon and I farm in the Danseys Pass and I have 3 children Charlie (11), Maisie (9) and Sam (6). Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family, life on the farm and keeping active!
Sarah Paterson: Year 4/5 Teacher (Kahurangi Class) ​
I am a part time teacher sharing Kahurangi class with Gemma Hore. I have a Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching). I grew up on a farm at Waikaka in Southland and taught in Gore, Pukerau, and Fairlie before coming to teach the New Entrants at Maniototo Area School in 2007. My husband Simon and I farm at Gimmerburn. Since having our sons Hugo (7) and Bede (5) I have held a variety of part time and relief positions at local schools. I enjoy gardening, interior design, walking, and shopping! 
Donna Mapley : Year 5/6 Teacher (Kakariki Class) ​

I joined the Junior School as a Beginner Teacher in 2019. I hold a Bachelor of Teaching Endorsed in Primary Education gained from Otago University. Outside of School my interests revolve largely around family life and include music, drama, art, fishing and exploring the outdoors. Our family now live in Waipiata having moved from Dunedin in 2016.

Katrina Hunter: Year 7/8 Form Teacher
I am the Intermediate form teacher, teaching 0.8 here at MAS and hold the role as the Digital Technologies Coordinator. I have a Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching). I live in the Danseys Pass on Mt Alexander Station and love the peace and serenity that living out in the country offers. I have 2 children who attend MAS, Abby (Yr 6) and Rhys (Yr 5). Outside of school, I am passionate about spending time with family, farmlife, cooking, music and reading.
Amanda Graham: (currently on leave)

Support Staff

Sharon Thompson: Executive Officer/Finance
Anne Kirk: Office Administrator ​ ​
A Southlander at heart I moved to the Maniototo in July 2006. My children Simon, Matthew and Lucy all attended MAS. My interests include my family, patchwork, art, travel, drama and socialising with friends. Ewan and I have recently purchased a property near Oturehua and are enjoying living in the country with our ever increasing family of fur-babies!
Sue Scott: Teacher aide
Karenne Davis:  Teacher aide
Susan Pike:  Sports Administrator
Trevor Mulholland: ​Caretaker
Cleaners: Murray Morice, Sandra Kreft & Tania Cromb

Current Vacancies

No Current vacancies

Teacher Position Application Form Download File Support Staff Application Form Download File