Meet the Team

Our Dedicated Staff:

Ms Jenny Bennett – Principal

Kia Ora e te Whānau,

It is a wonderful privilege to serve Takaka Primary School and our Mohua Community as a principal. My family and I adore living in Golden Bay and love to get outdoors and enjoy nature. My husband is Ari, who is a cabinet maker/up-cycler of many things, and we have three children who are 19, 6 and 5.
My areas of experience and interest within education leadership are bicultural partnerships, cultural responsiveness, and transitions to and from primary school. Previous to being principal at TPS, I was a principal in Gisborne, and before that, I was a new entrant teacher. I’ve taught in Auckland, Abu Dhabi, England, and Nelson, and have to say TPS team, kids and culture is hands down the best environment to work in.
I work across Kāhui Ako ki Mohua sharing the lead principal role with Lynda Tame, which means that two days a week I am focused on the work of the Community of Learning. Leath acts as principal during this time, so if you can’t find me, please do go to him. My specialist roles in the school are transitions leader and assessment leader.
Kia Kōtahi Tātou, Tu Tonu Mai!

Ngā mihi mahana nui,


Mrs Lynda Anderson 

Whanau teacher of Room 4, Kahikatea, Year 6, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.  Lynda will continue her role of Across School Teacher in our Kahui Ako (Community of Learning) and while she is attending to this, Talia will be teaching (Thursdays and Fridays). Lynda continues as Senior Hub Leader on the Shared Leadership Team (SLT).


Mrs Nicole Manson

Whanau teacher of Room 2, Totara, Year 3-4 Middle Hub leader. Nicole is a member of the SLT (Shared Leadership Team), the within school literacy leader for our Kahui Ako, as well as leading the ALL (Accelerated Learning in Literacy) and ALiM (Accelerated Learning in Mathematics) programmes for 2019.


Mr Leath Armstrong

Mr A is the whānau teacher of Room 5, Rata, Year 1-3, Bilingual Class. Leath has also agreed to step into an Associate Leadership (AP) role for 2019, and as such will be released from class two mornings per week, as well as being on the Shared Leadership Team (SLT).  Leath’s students will be supported by Margret Sullivan when he is out of the classroom.


Ms Margaret Kwok

Whanau teacher of Room 8, Pikopiko, Year 0-1. Margaret will be joined by another teacher as her roll grows, as we have a large intake of new entrants in January!  We are also undertaking a significant building project over summer and Term 1 holidays to expand these two rooms.  Margaret joins us with a Steiner and NZ curriculum background, and she’s going to bring TPS alive with enviro-schools.

Mr Brad Lenko

Whanau teacher of room 3, Kauri, Year 5.  Brad remains in Year 5 and is also leading the digital technology and sports/PE in our school.  Brad is also the Staff Representative on the Board of Trustees. He is a Canadian who has a strong passion for sport and constantly being active.  He has a desire to help others not only achieve their goals but to excel and surpass their expectations.  He believes that education is a way that we can better ourselves and make our futures brighter, it is his wish for his students to be lifelong learners.

Mrs Talia Lynch

You’ll find her in Room 4, Kahikatea, Year 6, Thursdays and Fridays.

Kia Ora, My name is Talia Lynch. I am a born and bred local and grew up on a farm in Puramahoi. I left Golden Bay to complete my tertiary education before having the opportunity to teach in Motueka, Nelson, England, and Auckland. After being away 20 years it was time to come home, and I recently returned with my husband Michael, and two young boys, Kahu and Mana. I am excited to be starting a new teaching position at TPS and look forward to supporting your children on their learning journeys.  Talia will be working an additional half a day each week to deliver Te Reo Maori across the school; working in classes with students and teachers as we learn Te Reo together.

Krystal Pennell

Whanau teacher of room 1, Nikau, Year 3-4.  Krystal joins us from the Coromandel and is an experienced and highly skilled teacher who is very well matched for this age group.

Katie Lavers

Whanau teacher of room 7, Kowhai, Year 1-2.  Katie will also be the Inclusion Leader (catering for additional and extended needs), and as such will be joining other leaders on our Shared Leadership Team (SLT).  She will be released from her class for one day per week.  Nikki McGuinness will step into support this class.

Nikki McGuinness

Whanau teacher one day a week in Kowhai.

Supporting Our Students

Corina Ward
Corina is our wonderful office manager and will continue to be ensuring our administration operations run smoothly. Corina also manages bus lists, attendance and lateness, accidents and illness, and is our first port of call at the office.




Gina Bradley

Gina will be working closely with Katie Lavers (Inclusion Leader) to provide support to students and teachers with positive behaviour for learning.  This is a new role and one that we are very excited to be able to resource.



Hayley Gilbertson

Hayley continues as our dynamic senior LSA, she will work Monday-Thursday 9-3pm and is also our top-notch librarian and you will be seeing Hayley on the front desk each day from 2-3pm supporting Corina with administration and office tasks such as payroll.

Jocelynne Bacci

Jocelynne has joined our school as Kaiarahi i te Reo (Te Reo Maori Language Assistant) she is multilingual, qualified Te Ataarangi Teacher Aide, and we are delighted that she is joining our team.

Kelly Byrnes

Kelly brings a dynamic, fun and relationships based approach to her work and is a perfect match for this age group. Kelly will primarily be working with Krystal in  Nikau.

Jerrie Edwards

Jerrie is a Steiner experienced, fluent speaker of Spanish and we are thrilled that she is joining our staff.  Jerrie will be the Learning Support Assistant in the Junior Hub.

Sian McClatchy

With a background in health science, and currently undertaking additional study, Sian has offered to continue to support our school for one day a week to provide one-to-one, in-school support to students who may need a little extra time or support with their wellbeing.

Jazz Potts

Jazz continues to ensure our grounds are well kept and supports the students and teachers with environmental awareness.

Malissa Edmonds is taking on the role of cleaner and keeping our school looking clean and gorgeous!