Leadership Team

Jade Tawhiti – Principal

Jade is the Principal with responsibility for the whole school.
Jade has been a principal for over 10 years. This is the third school he has led. He has taught at both secondary and primary school level. Jade used to play rugby but prefers to play golf and cricket now. He is married to Nikayla and they have three children. Jade enjoys fishing and hunting when he has spare time.

Denise Horley – Deputy Principal

Denise is the Deputy Principal with responsibility for over-viewing the Years 0 – 4 area of the school.
Denise has been teaching for 29 years, 14 years were in United Kingdom. She has taught various age groups ranging from 3-13 years. She has performed  many roles during her career including SENCO, Team Leader, Dean and Deputy Principal. Denise has a Bachelor of Education and has a special interest in developing learning focused relationships and student voice. Denise loves living in New Zealand and the quality of life it offers. She has children in the U.K and four children in New Zealand. In her spare-time she loves to garden, read and play with her cats.

Jane Hamlin – Deputy Principal

Jane is the Deputy Principal, overseeing the Year 5 – 8 area of the school. She is also our SENCO. Jane has been teaching for almost 20 years and been at Opaheke since 2008. She has taught all year levels but has spent most of her time teaching at the Intermediate level. Jane was team leader for Maungawhau for several years before moving into the Deputy Principal role this year. Jane’s curriculum interests are mathematics and health and physical education. She enjoys learning and developing her interests, particularly around culturally responsive practices and student agency. Jane has one daughter who currently attends Opaheke School.

Nikkie Laing – Associate Principal

Nikkie is Associate Principal with a focus on supporting Learning with Digital Technologies across the school.   She has been teaching for more than 20 years as has taught across the Primary and Intermediate. Year levels. She has a bachelor’s Degree (Education and Geography) and a Diploma of Teaching.  Nikkie has a special interest in Learning with Digital Technologies and is a Microsoft MIE Fellow, an honour bestowed to only a few Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts worldwide.
Nikkie is married with three teenaged children, all of whom attended Opaheke School.