Victory Primary School Senior Staff

Helen Taylor-Young - Principal

Tēnā koe
Nō Whakatū ahau
Ko Robert Taylor tōku hoa tane
Ko Pīata rāua ko Māhina ā māua kotiro
He tūmuaki ahau ki te kura tuatahi o Wikitoria
Ko Helen Taylor-Young tōku ingoa.

My name is Helen Taylor-Young. I have been involved in education for the past 24 years in Christchurch. I have been most recently in leadership at Tuahiwi School, North Canterbury and working at the Ministry of Education.

I am so excited about working with the Victory Primary School team. I am privileged to be able to lead as principal. Please feel free to call in and see me, phone or email me at:

Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe e kore tō tātou waka
e ū ki uta.

Let us all row in unison so our waka will reach the shore.

Wendy Taylor - Deputy Principal - Ako Tahi

Kia Ora, I am Wendy Taylor. I have been at Victory Primary School for seventeen very happy years. Before coming to Victory I taught in several Dunedin schools. I have a husband Dave and two grown-up sons who have both become teachers. I believe the time I have spent at Victory has been amazing!

As a team we have grown our school's capacity in many ways. We encourage and support our students and families to be the best they can be as individuals, families and as a community. This is an exciting place of positive people and energy.

Glenda Rapley - Deputy Principal

Glenda rapley

Kia Ora, Namaste, Na Dam Maw, Mingalar bar, Hello,
Victory is a dynamic and exciting school where everyone matters and I am very pleased to have been part of this team since 1998. During my teaching career I have taught most age groups, from Intermediate to New Entrants.

I enjoy working with children, helping to develop their knowledge and skills and helping them to recognise and celebrate their achievements. I value developing partnerships with parents, whanau and the community, where we can work together to make each student’s time at school a positive and rewarding experience.

I coordinate the programme for our English Language Learners and work closely with our Bilingual liaison tutors, support staff and various community organisations to support wellbeing and achievement.

I am married to John and have two sons in their late twenties. My interests include reading, gardening and many of the activities Nelson and Marlborough have on offer.

Rachel Edwards - Deputy Principal

Kia ora. Nō te uri o Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Ātiawa ahau. I tipu ake au ki Heretaunga. Nō te Tai Rāwhiti ahau. My name is Rachel Edwards, I am from the East Coast and grew up in Hastings. I have been teaching at Victory Primary School since 1997 and have taught English & Māori medium at all levels of the school. I am one of the Assistant Principals and lead Ngā Mana Kākano o te Wairepo, our bilingual unit.

Working at Victory Primary School is more than a job, it's a huge part of my life, and I consider it to be my extended whānau. I have considerable experience in Māori Medium education and in 2011 was awarded a scholarship and attained my Poutāhu Whakaakoranga (postgraduate diploma) from Te Wānanga o Raukawa. My interests include yoga, walking, fashion and travelling.

Anei he whakatauki pai ki ahau:
'Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngāhere. Ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te ao'

The bird that partakes of the miro berry reigns in the forest.
The bird that partakes of the power of knowledge has access to the world.

Lynda Duncan - Senior Team Leader - Room 11

This is my fourth year teaching at Victory and I find being part of the Victory team one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. Teaching in this school is like being part of a village where we support and celebrate the progress made by all our children. I am passionate about learning and teaching and enjoy finding ways to engage and extend my students. I'm married to Mark and we have two great kids Ella and Perry. Great job, wonderful family, beautiful town it just doesn't get any better.

Kerry Mathieson - Middle Team Leader - Room 19

Ko Kerry Mathieson tōku ingoa.

I have been part of Victory Primary School since 2009. I have taught all ages from New Entrants through to Year 8 and have recently taken on the challenge of leading the Middle School.

My own children have all gone through Victory Primary School and benefitted from the vibrant learning environment and diverse cultural mix that is central to our schools unique character.

Nelson is a great place to live and Victory Primary School is an exciting school to work in. I enjoy meeting and getting to know the families and children I work with each year and I believe together we can do great things!


School Office

Paula Pengelly - Administration

Hello, my name is Paula and I am the newest person to join the administration team. This is the first time I have worked in a school so I am on a steep learning curve and definitely enjoying getting to know how the school runs.

It is a delight to see how many amazing children and staff are involved at the school and I look forward to getting to know everyone.

Jo Purcell - Reception







Bilingual and ESOL Staff

Mon Maya Magar

My name is Mon Maya. I was born in Bhutan and I left in 1992 to go to Nepal.

I lived in Nepal for 18 years as a refugee. I went to school there for 7 years and learnt English, then I got married. I have 2 sons. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to come to New Zealand. I came here in 2011.

In Nelson I got the opportunity to go to school at the Adult ESOL class and am working at Victory Primary as a Bilingual Tutor and Liaison Worker. I help the Nepali children in class and assist with translating or relaying any school related issues or concerns.

Patali Pradhan

My name is Patali Pradhan. I am from Bhutan. I speak Nepali and I lived in Nepal for 18 years.

In 2010 I came to New Zealand and settled in Nelson. I work at Victory Primary School as a Nepali Bilingual Tutor.

I help Nepali children in class.

Zam, Deih Cin (Theresa)

My Name is Ms. Zam, Deih Cin. They call me Theresa. I come from Myanmar/Burma and I am Zomi. Tedim is the Zomi language and is my mother tongue. I can speak Burmese and English. I am able to write in Burmese and English pretty well on the computer. If you need translating/Interpreting for Zomi and Burmese I am ready to help you.

I worked as Bilingual Liaison /Tutor at Nelson College, Nelson College for Girls and the Homework Academy Programme for Secondary Students last year. I also worked at Yikes International Nelson for kids.

Kei kamin pen Lia. Zam, Deih Cin ka hi hi. Theresa hong ci zong om hi. Kawlgam pan hong hong pai ka hi aa Zomi ka hi hi. Tedium pau a ki ci Zomi te pau ka pau hi. Kawlpau zong ka pau thei aa, Kawllai leh keimalai zong computer tawh hoih tak in ka at thei hi. KAWLMI peuh mah leh ZOMI peuh mah te aa ding in Lailepna/Paulepna ding a ki sam na om uh leh Victory Primary Sang leh Nelson Intermediate Sang te ah a kigingsa in ka om hi.

Abeisa kum sung tengin sang tuamtuam te ah Bilingual a ki-ci Laihilh huh na ah zong ka sem ngei aa sangnaupang te Innlai bawl na ah zong laihilhhuh mah in ka sem ngei lai hi. Kawlgam pan ka sepngeisa nasep tuamtuam te zong tampi tak septheih ding in ka hongpua lailai hi.

Sue Leya

Hi, I'm Sue Leya. I love working at Victory Primary School. I have worked here for six years now. I started working here shortly after arriving in Nelson as a refugee. I am blessed to have the opportunity to assist new learners and their families from my community settle into education in Nelson as a bi-lingual liaison.

Sarah That

Hi Im Sarah. I work at Victory school and Nelson South Kindy as a Chin Bilingual liaison worker and tutor. I speak Burmese as well as Chin.I have had the opportunity to learn in NZ using creative inquiry and enjoy helping children discover the joys of this method of learning.

I also am passionate about retaining our language and culture so I teach children in Chin on Saturdays. I love the work I have with such wonderful children. It brings me such happiness. Seeing the new children settle in, makes us feel like one great family. I am very glad to be able to help in our community. I workTuesday to Friday.

Mae Hong Son Hla

My name is Mae Hong Son Hla, and I am also known as Mary. I work in three different schools in Nelson, Victory Primary School, Nelson Intermediate and Nelson College for Girls as a Kayan & Karenni bilingual tutor.

I have lived in New Zealand for over ten years. I was a migrant refugee myself, born in Thailand as my parent had to escape from war in Burma. From this experience I understand what is like to settle down into a new country with a whole new language. It is not easy so I'm here and ready to help you with your English as a second language and make sure you receive all the supports you need from the community. I can speak and help with the following four languages, Kayan, Karenni, Burmese and English.

Victory Primary School Teaching Staff

Chris Biggam - Ako Tahi

Kia Ora. I am Matua Chris. I moved to New Zealand in 2007 from California and have never looked back. I love everything that New Zealand has to offer and am now raising my family here in Nelson. Living in Nelson allows me to experience all that the outdoors have to offer and hopefully that will be passed onto the children at Victory.

Working in the juniors brings out my passion to give our students the best start to their schooling. Giving our tamariki the confidence in the ability is both challenging and rewarding. We work together to bring out the best in all areas of our kura. Please feel free to come into Room 6 at anytime!

Jane Lawson - Mahi Tahi

Kia ora, I’m Jane Lawson. I have been teaching at Victory Primary School for many years now in a variety of roles. This year I am working in the New Entrant syndicate. I really love teaching in such a positive school.

My husband, Craig and I have two gorgeous daughters, Isabella and Olivia. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family and friends in the outdoors or participating in some sort of sporting activity.

Melissa Corlett - Room 2

Melissa Corlett

Tēnā koutou
Nō Whakatū ahau
Ko Matthew tōku hoa tane
Ko Lola rāua ko Hadley ā māua tamariki
Ko Melissa Corlett tōku ingoa

My name is Melissa Corlett. I grew up in Nelson and after leaving to study and then to teach in Japan and South Korea I returned to raise my family here. My family and I are proud to be a part of the vibrant and diverse Victory Community and I am excited to be teaching at this very special school.

Kelly Newlands - Room 3

My name is Kelly Newlands. I have recently moved back to Nelson after teaching for three years in Dunedin. I am really excited to be a member of the Victory Community.

I enjoy helping students reach their potential and I place significant emphasis on creating a learning environment that is inclusive, stimulating and inspiring. I believe it is essential to develop positive relationships with the students in my class and their whānau.

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, playing sport and being in the outdoors.

Victoria Richardson - Room 4

Kia ora. I am Victoria Richardson. I love being part of our exciting and dynamic school and feel very privileged to work with such a dedicated and highly skilled team of teachers.

I have had over ten years experience teaching both here in New Zealand and overseas. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and making the most of the excellent outdoor activities Nelson has to offer.

Steven Pritchard - Room 5

Kia Ora – My name is Stephen Pritchard (Steve) and I am the new teacher in Room 5. I have recently moved back to Nelson with my wife and two sons after being away for 20 years. I have been a full time relief teacher at Victory School for the last year and now I am extremely excited to be fortunate enough to have my own class.

As a teacher, my main goal is to motivate students to do their best, extend their own personal limits and to assist them to reach their full potential whilst having fun along the way.

Please feel free to come and have a chat with me at any time.

Nelson Teariki - Whanau Harakeke

I am a born and bred Nelsonian and I love living in the sunshine capital of NZ. I have been teaching for 8 years, all of which have been at Victory Primary School. I enjoy working with the staff and children at Victory and think it's a fantastic school. I'm a sports nut but only from the comforts of the couch with a remote in one hand and food in the other. I also love to learn and perform kapa haka with my family. I look forward to continuing to work with the children, parents and staff at Victory Primary School.

Regan Joass - Whanau Ti Kouka

Tēnā koe
Ko Maungataniwha te maunga
Ko Awanui te awa
Ko Kurahaupo te waka
Ko Waimanoni te marae
Nō Whangarei ahau
Ko Regan tōku ingoa
Ko Rico Joass tāku tamatane

This year I am excited to be teaching in Tī kōuka (Room 8) of Nga Mana Kakano o te Wairepo. I aim to be a positive role model that inspires, encourages and empowers learners to achieve to the best of their abilities. I believe that helping children make connections within their world is a key part of them, developing and valuing their own sense of identity and self-worth. Helping children create and maintain meaningful relationships is one of my priorities as a teacher.

'Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngāhere.
Ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te ao'

The bird that partakes of the miro berry reigns in the forest.
The bird that partakes of the power of knowledge has access to the world.

Miranda Hart - Whanau Koromiko


Ko Taupiri te maunga
Ko Waikato te awa
Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Ngāti Whawhakia te hapū
Ko Waikato te iwi
Ko Te Ōhaki te marae
Ko Miranda tōku ingoa
Ko Hananuirangi rāua ko Bailee āku tamahine.

I have been teaching at Victory Primary school since 2007 and really enjoy being a part of the Victory Community and teaching within Ngā Mana Kakāno o Te Wairepo. Outside of school I like to spend time with my whānau and friends, play sport and perform with Te Whatukura kapa haka rōpū.

Suzy Garlick - Whanau Koromiko

Tena Koutou katoa.




Ashleigh Della Bosca - Room 12

My name is Ashleigh Della Bosca. I have spent the last three years in Christchurch studying at the University of Canterbury. It is great to be back in my home town of Nelson where I feel we are very privileged to live. I am very excited to be a part of such an inspiring school with great staff and awesome children. My interests outside of school include both playing and following sport, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Dylan Turnbull - Room 13

I am very happy to be beginning my teaching career at Victory Primary School. For me this a very special school and the completion of the full circle. As a former student Victory has helped and supported me in many ways and I look to give back anyway I can. I am delighted to be teaching in the senior syndicate with such a great team and am really relishing the opportunity of the year 5 and 6 students.

In my spare time I enjoy spending my time playing rugby, netball, basketball along with many other sports. I am in the process of learning the guitar and very much enjoy music.

Elise Strickett & Elenor Aleksich - Room 14

Kia ora koutou katoa




Abbe Amohanga - Room 16





Deane Taylor - Room 17


Kia ora, my name is Deane Taylor and this is my first year at Victory Primary School. I am a passionate teacher who is excited about seeing my students meet their potential. By providing a stimulating and innovative environment I hope to promote high achievement across the curriculum. I particularly enjoy teaching Writing and Physical Education and incorporating digital technology into my practice.

I have recently moved from Clearview Primary School in Christchurch and I have been teaching for eleven years. I am married to Anna who is a nurse and we have four wonderful children.

Outside of school I enjoy fly fishing, landscape photography and mountain biking.

Scott Davis - Room 18

Kia ora, my name is Scott Davis and I love teaching at Victory Primary School. I have lived in Nelson now for over twenty years and love what Nelson has to offer. I really enjoy playing and coaching football and spending time with my family. My wife and I have four children James, Jessica, Cameron and Brooklyn.

I am a passionate teacher who likes to use technology and materials to provide students with an engaging and interesting learning environment. I believe that building strong relationships is the key to bringing out the best in students and creating an ongoing desire to learn.

I look forward to meeting the students and their families this year. Please feel free to come in and say hello.

Kate Hodgman - Reading Recovery/Maths

Kia ora, I'm Kate Hodgman (known by students as Whaea Kate) and I am teaching Reading Recovery and small group Maths this year. I have been teaching for 9 years mainly in Nelson and love see students develop their knowledge and skills.

I believe learning happens best when there are positive relationships between the students, whānau and teacher and when learning is fun and creative.

Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, gardening and walking the beach.

Rachel Tobin - Reading Recovery

Tena koutou katoa,

I am Rachel Tobin and have been part of the Victory teaching team for many years. This year I am teaching part time in Room 4 with Victoria Richardson and teaching reading recovery. I am also a Victory Primary School mum, with my youngest daughter in her final year at our kura.

Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also love exploring the wonderful outdoors our region offers and learning new things.

Scott Smithline - School Volunteer

Kia Ora. It's a privilege to be at Victory and a joy to work with kids. I'm beginning my 4th year as a school volunteer. The two mornings each week that I work with your children to build reading skills are some of the happiest hours of my week.

The diversity and multiculturalism at Victory guarantees a vibrant and exciting place. I'm humbled by a brilliant staff: dedicated, talented and creative. It's nice when you're on a winning team. I hope to be at Victory for many years to come.