Teachers

Teaching Team

Carla Gardiner

Classroom Teacher

About Me

I have worked in education for 24 years at Kindergarten, Early Childhood Management and New Entrant Primary level. I first discovered Specialist Education when I had my son who is neurodiverse. I believe that every student is capable of learning and growing and that keeping every student excited and engaged about learning is essential. I endeavour to create an environment that students feel a part of, safe, welcomed, and supported. Outside of school, I enjoy supporting my son in his interests.

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Di Cockburn

Classroom Teacher

About Me

I initially trained and taught as a remedial specialist in South Africa, completing my Special Needs post-grad diploma in 2002. I have been teaching at Fairhaven since I arrived in Aotearoa with my family in 2008. I firmly believe that education should give every child the opportunity to develop their own diverse learning style and personality. My home and garden, walks with my little dog, and quality time spent with whānau and friends fill my free time.

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Donna Briggs

Outreach Teacher

About Me

After working in Specialist Education in the UK for 13 years I returned to NZ with my young family. I have been teaching at Fairhaven since 2013. My main role is now as the Specialist Outreach Teacher providing guidance and support to students in mainstream schools, their whānau and staff to increase engagement and achievement. I love the opportunity to share years of specialist education practice. Outside school, I’m involved with musical theatre and anything my children are involved in.

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Fernanda Soprani Cavani

Classroom Teacher

About Me

Originally from Brazil, I have been working in education since 2008 both in regular and specialist schools. I joined Fairhaven School in 2019 initially as a Therapy Assistant. In 2020, I became a registered teacher in New Zealand and was offered the amazing opportunity to teach at one of the base classes. I am particularly passionate about working with students who have complex needs. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time at the beach with my family and friends.

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Fran Britz

Classroom Teacher

About Me

Originally from the UK, I have lived in New Zealand for over 20 years. My first career was in Biomedical Science. I moved to teaching after having my children and I have taught junior and senior classes in specialist schools in Auckland and Napier. My passion is to enable our young people to communicate with others and to reach their potential, whatever that looks like for them. Outside school I’ll be found with my three kids and our dog.

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Helena Laugesen

Classroom Teacher

About Me

Originally from Scotland, I am reasonably new to teaching though I have worked in other support-based roles since 1998. I started teaching to be an educator who would support students holistically by not only having an academic focus but also being culturally responsive, tailoring the learning to be mentally and emotionally nurturing as well. My passions are literacy, Te Reo Māori and health. I love to swim, particularly in Moana-Nui-a Kiwa, road cycle and spend time with my whānau.

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Jo-Anne Schreuder

Classroom Release Teacher

About Me

I originally trained as a primary school teacher in South Africa, working in mainstream schools for seven years before moving into specialist education as a learning support teacher, completing an Honours Degree in Inclusive Education before moving to New Zealand. I really value the opportunities that specialist education can provide for our students and enjoy working with a diverse group of students. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children exploring the outdoors.

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Katherine Frame

Classroom Teacher

About Me

I have been working in the Special Education field for many years, mostly in Auckland. My area of expertise is working with students who are preparing to transition from school into adulthood. I also have a particular interest in Autism and Positive Behaviour Support. I am currently at Fairhaven's Highschool unit teaching teenagers the skills they need to move towards independence and a good quality of life. We’re loving being back in Hawkes Bay and enjoying all it has to offer.

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Keely Haynes

Classroom Teacher

About Me

I am originally from the UK and was fortunate to teach in the UK and Thailand before moving to NZ in 2016. I have spent over 10 years working in Specialist Education with a particular focus on students with Autism. I love using Physical Education and hands-on activities to engage the students to explore and create at their own pace. I continue to be active outside of school spending time at the beach, out for walks, or on the hockey pitch.

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Miriam Crouch

Classroom Teacher

About Me

I have always had a keen interest in teaching students with diverse needs. As a mainstream teacher, I completed my Masters of Education and then completed further postgraduate studies in Education Psychology and Specialist Teaching for Learning and Behaviour. I am passionate about building trusting relationships with my students to get the best out of each of them and I enjoy sharing students' growth and development with their whānau. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time socialising and travelling.

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Nicola Halford

Classroom Teacher

About Me

I was a Teacher Aide for about 7 years in schools both in New Zealand and the UK and I loved it. Six years ago, I chose to get my teaching degree and since then have enjoyed teaching our junior students at Fairhaven School. Outside of school, I am a mum to two teenagers who are my world. I love spending time cheering them on from the side-lines of their various sports.

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Nicolene Van Dyk

Classroom Teacher

About Me

I was born and raised in South Africa where I completed my Bachelor of Education degree. I started my teaching career in a Primary School but got my heart stolen when I did release work in a specialist class. From there I moved to a Specialist School, before moving to New Zealand in 2019 to work at Fairhaven School. Outside the classroom, you would find me on the beach or walking with my husband and two sons.

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Nikora Henriksen

Classroom Teacher

About Me

Ko Maungakāhia te maunga. Ko Whangawehi te awa. Ko Kurahaupo te waka Ko Rongomaiwāhine te iwi. Kia ora! Ko Nikora Henriksen tōku ingoa, nō Te Mahia ahau. I am a specialist PE and language teacher. I have taught both here in Aotearoa and also in England and Spain. I am fluent in Te Reo Māori and Spanish. I also love music and in my spare time, I play and sing in a band.

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Sam McLean

Classroom Teacher

About Me

I am originally from Pietermaritzburg in South Africa and emigrated with my family in 2005. I have the privilege of working with our transitioning students who are between 18 – 21 years old. I love learning more and developing my knowledge around specific learning disabilities as a classroom teacher. I believe each student can reach their fullest potential. Outside of school I love spending quality time with my family fishing at one of the beautiful local beaches.

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Taylor Knowles

Classroom Teacher

About Me

I am beginning my teaching career this year, and I have always been passionate about teaching in Special Education. My passion within education is how structured play can be utilised within the classroom to facilitate learning, and how we can individualise the curriculum to ensure that each learner gets the right support for their learning. Outside of school, I am usually found either in the kitchen baking, or on long walks with my husband and dog.

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