Our People


Julie Turner - Principal

Julie Turner

Principal – Julie Turner

In addition to her responsibilities as Principal, as an active teaching principal Julie teaches the senior class on Thursdays and Fridays, and can be occasionally found relieving in the other classrooms or running our Accelerating Learning programmes. Julie is responsible for the Literacy curriculum area.

Julie has had a long association with Leigh School as all three of her children came through it. She has been our Principal since 2011, and prior to that taught at Pakiri School for 11 years.

Responsible for our music programmes, Julie played the violin in an orchestra and has been involved with a number of choirs. Julie is also a keen walker and tramper.

She says that her favourite things about Leigh School are – “The way that the small size of the school results in a whanau feel and the ability to really get to know the kids and their families well, allowing you to develop deeper relationships with the children and learn what really interests and inspires them.”

‘The school is well led. There are clear shared expectations about what constitutes successful learning. The principal actively promotes leadership and collaboration. Consistent teaching approaches are supporting children’s learning confidence as they transition through the school.’
Leigh School ERO Report 2016


Teacher Year 0/1/2 – Rachel Waterhouse

Rachel Waterhouse

Rachel Waterhouse

Rachel started teaching Room 2 at Leigh School in 2012, prior to that she was at Northcote Primary. She is responsible for the schools’ Health, Physical Education and Arts curriculum areas.

Rachel works closely with the staff at Leigh Preschool to ensure that the children coming from there are familiar with her and the junior class – ensuring a seamless transition from preschool to school.

Her background before teaching was in graphic design, so she does a lot of the lovely signs around the classrooms, is our chief photographer and school facebook contributor and brings her creative eye to our school art projects. She has a keen interest in nature and ecology, particularly native birds and has been a volunteer on Tiritiri Matangi for a number of years. Rachel has a daughter named Tui who went to Leigh School and now is at Mahurangi College.

Rachel is responsible for overseeing the school fruit and vegetable garden and also is responsible for the Physical Education curriculum.

Teacher Year 2/3/4 – Dominique Vikstrand

Dominique Vikstrand

Dominique joined Leigh School in 2016 and is currently teaching the year 2 to 4 children. She is also responsible for the school Maths curriculum area.

While living in Denmark she taught for fourteen years in an International School in Copenhagen. Returning to New Zealand in time for her son to begin school she spent ten years teaching just down the road in Matakana.

During her last three years at Matakana School she taught in the Montessori classroom.
Dominique is looking forward to the completion of the new classrooms where she will again be working in a collaborative setting, (alongside Debbie Fox), with the mixed aged children she enjoys so much.

Some of the things she loves about working at Leigh are the incredibly beautiful natural resources that can be incorporated into the classroom programme and the strong sense of community and belonging that is evident the minute you step through the school gate.
Dominique is a keen reader, gardener, olive grower, cook and is a passionate advocate of life long learning.

Teacher Year 5/6 & Principal Release – Debbie Fox

Debbie Fox

Debbie Fox

Debbie joined our teaching staff in 2015, initially as the teacher in Room 4, then moving to the senior class in Room 1 in 2015. She is also responsible for the Science and Technology curriculum areas.

Prior to starting at Leigh she was with Windy Ridge Primary in Auckland teaching year 1 and 2 students. Her other past teaching experience is varied with a long period of intermediate level teaching of both Year 7 & 8, learning support roles, a team leader position & a number of years as a BOT Staff Representative.

The senior class at Leigh is a shared teaching role and so Debbie teaches from Monday to Wednesday and our Principal Julie teaches on Thursday and Friday.


Classroom Release (CRT) Teacher & Kapa Haka  – Sandy Meharry

Sandy Meharry - Teacher

Sandy Meharry

Sandy taught at Leigh School for 10 years and is now the Classroom Release Teacher. Sandy is employed at a top local art gallery – The Vivian and is also a practicing artist and photographer for Junction Magazine. A great guitarist, Sandy is very involved with our kapa haka group and can often be found at events around the district backing them up brilliantly. Sandy has been teaching for over 24 years and also has a BA in English.

Other Staff

Communications – Melissa Crockett-Joyoue
Groundsman – Clive Mathers
Kapa Haka Tutor – Danyelle Nathan
Office Administrator / Cleaner – Fay Bradnam
Teacher Aides – Fiona Napier & Liz Brown
Te Reo – Lili Crockett

Board of Trustees

Chris Calder – Chairperson & Property
Julie Turner – Principal, Policy & Finance
Lili Crockett
Nik Shears – Secretary
Peter Browne – Property
Rachel Waterhouse – Staff Representative
Tim Haggitt – Health and Safety & Sustainability

Friends of Leigh School / Parent Teacher Association

Caroline Haggitt – Chair
Rachel Bigwood – Treasurer
Sara Mathers – Secretary
Scott Wilson – Member



Past Teacher – Susan Gibbings – Now Retired

Susan had been teaching at Leigh School for 20 years and now enjoys an active retired lifestyle in Leigh. She has First Class Honours in Geo-Chemistry. She loves NZ (although born an Australian!), and especially loves NZ flora and fauna. Susan is a keen tramper and was actively involved with our school hockey team as their coach. She was also a long serving and valued member of the school Board of Trustees. Still living locally Susan continues to help the school with events like the Carnival and is a valued school supporter.