Teaching Staff – Junior School

FIONA BIBBY SMITH and BRIDGET DRYDEN – Toe Toe (Rm 1) —NEW ENTRANT— (Later in 2017)

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Fiona Bibby-Smith

In 2008 I began working with the Deputy Principal as the classroom ‘release teacher’ – just to help out for a term or two. I really enjoyed it and have been lucky to be part time at Mapua School ever since!

I grew up in Motueka – so I am a ‘local’! When I finished High School I went to Christchurch and studied at the Christchurch College of Education Teachers College and University of Canterbury. My first two years of teaching were spent in Taupo in the North Island where I met Rob. He was transferred to Christchurch for work and I quickly followed! Seven years and one baby later we moved back up here – close to grandparents and ‘home’.

With three boys our spare time is largely sucked into a whirl of kids’ activities! I love being part of our boys’ lives, although they may wish I didn’t always cheer them on quite so loudly!!

I also enjoy walking/running with Rob, art (looking at it in exhibitions and having a go at creating something myself) and reading (our book club has been going for nine years!). I love catching up with friends and discussions that solve the problems of the world too!

What are your personal dislikes? Umm… those ‘Gisborne Cockroaches’. I can cope with spiders, mice, even rats… but those cockroaches are just ick!!

I live with Rob (my husband), our boys Theo, Gus and Hue, a lovely but naughty Boxer/Dalmation cross called Digby, three chickens (Horse, Jeff and Abigail) and three Muscovy ducks (Pig, Acorn and Lemonade). It does feel like a zoo sometimes!

What do you like about teaching at Mapua? – We are lucky to have amazing kids and great staff. Can’t beat that!

In 2008 I began working with the Deputy Principal as the classroom ‘release teacher’ – just to help out for a term or two. I really enjoyed it and have been lucky to be part time at Mapua School ever since!

I grew up in Motueka – so I am a ‘local’! When I finished High School I went to Christchurch and studied at the Christchurch College of Education Teachers College and University of Canterbury. My first two years of teaching were spent in Taupo in the North Island where I met Rob. He was transferred to Christchurch for work and I quickly followed! Seven years and one baby later we moved back up here – close to grandparents and ‘home’.

With three boys our spare time is largely sucked into a whirl of kids’ activities! I love being part of our boys’ lives, although they may wish I didn’t always cheer them on quite so loudly!!

I also enjoy walking/running with Rob, art (looking at it in exhibitions and having a go at creating something myself) and reading (our book club has been going for nine years!). I love catching up with friends and discussions that solve the problems of the world too!

What are your personal dislikes? Umm… those ‘Gisborne Cockroaches’. I can cope with spiders, mice, even rats… but those cockroaches are just ick!!

I live with Rob (my husband), our boys Theo, Gus and Hue, a lovely but naughty Boxer/Dalmation cross called Digby, three chickens (Horse, Jeff and Abigail) and three Muscovy ducks (Pig, Acorn and Lemonade). It does feel like a zoo sometimes!

What do you like about teaching at Mapua? – We are lucky to have amazing kids and great staff. Can’t beat that!

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Bridget Dryden

I stared teaching at Mapua School about 4 years ago and have been hanging around part time ever since.

I have taught in Riverton (very cold), Wellington (very windy) London (very busy) and Wakefield (very friendly)

I like to hang out with my family, go for runs, practice yoga, paddle around on my Stand Up Paddle board and go to the beach. I also like reading lots and lots of books and I am teaching myself to sew and speak Te Reo.

I don’t like mushrooms at all and I really dislike bullies or people who feel the need to put other people down.

My family is made up of, Greg, Mia who is 7, Stella who is 5 and me. We also have a cat who likes to catch mice, rats, birds and rabbits and 3 chickens who like to be patted.

I love teaching at Mapua because everyone is so friendly and happy. I also enjoy that we get to do a lot of fun things out of the class like heading to the beach.


LEANNE BARNES- Harekeke (Rm 2) — New Entrant — Assistant Principal — leanne.barnes@mapua.school.nz

briar-3 I began my teaching career eleven years ago and have been teaching at Mapua School for much that time.  It is a privilege to be Assistant Principal of such a wonderful school and to lead the Junior Team. I am passionate about supporting our young people to discover their passions, be happy, and develop positive attitudes towards being a learner.

Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, being outdoors and sketching or painting.  I spent my early life growing up on the Chatham Islands, where my family farmed and fished.  We used horses extensively for stock work and today I still have horses which I enjoy riding at Rabbit Island whenever I can.

I love black sand beaches, windy/stormy days, and travelling to visit new places.


JAN EGARR- Totara (Rm 3) — Year 1/2 — jan.egarr@mapua.school.nz

briar-8I did relief teaching, including long-term relieving, from 1997 at Mapua School and started teaching permanently from 2007.

I grew up in Lower Moutere, moved away for eight years, first to Christchurch, then to Taranaki to begin teaching and to finish building a yacht, then travelled around New Zealand and overseas for three years.

In my spare time I like walking, gardening, reading, kayaking, swimming, visiting family and friends, making miniatures to scale, and travelling overseas.

I have three children, aged from 28 to 32, who attended Mapua School and who live in London, Wellington and Nelson, five siblings spread around NZ and London, and my parents, who still live in Motueka but who grew up in Fairlie and Waihi.

The children at Mapua School are marvellous, the staff is supportive the families are very friendly.


THERESA SHEPHERD – Kowhai (Rm 4)— Year 1/2 — theresab@mapua.school.nz

I have been teaching at Mapua School since 2008.

I am Auckland bred (please don’t hold that against me), trained as a teacher at Roehampton in England.  I lived and worked in England for 17 years before coming home.  I did try and settle back in Auckland in 2007 but just wasn’t feeling the vibe so packed up my car with my few belongings and found myself here in Nelson.  I really enjoy the area and everything that it has to offer and know that I am very lucky to be living in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

I have a daughter who is at Mapua School and love seeing her during the day where I get the odd cuddle as well as seeing her confidence blossom.  I also have a wee son who attends one of the local daycares.  He is a lot of fun and regularly gets us up dancing with him.  I have a puppy who keeps the kids entertained and gives me something else to pick up after.

I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends and find my kids bedtime a challenge.

Mapua School is one of coolest places that I have worked in.  Staff, students and parents make this a great place to work and live.