Celeste Hastings - Principal

Tēnā koutou katoa. I feel truly blessed to be part of such a wonderfully diverse community. I love the work I do, the people I meet and the students who bring us joy each and every day. How lucky is that?  

We have an incredible team here at Holy Cross: staff, students, board, whānau, parish and the wider community. I believe we can make a positive difference for every learner in our school, and I strive to make this a reality.

I consider myself to be a big picture thinker, committed and open to ongoing learning and opportunities. I love to talk with people, hear of new ideas and facilitate change that will help us to move forward.

I am a Wellingtonian born and bred. I love our city and all it has to offer. My passions include: reading, music, outdoor sports, travel and spending time with family and friends.

Lyn Hough - Deputy Principal  / SENCO / Literacy Leader  Room 12  Year 1/2 Teacher


Kia ora koutou katoa. 

I am excited to be taking up the role of Deputy Principal at Holy Cross. My roots are in the South Island- Oamaru where I was born and more recently Nelson where we raised our now grown up  children, Sam and Lia. I am a Mormor (Grandmother) to Ellie and am very privileged to have Ellie and her family close at hand in Wellington so I get to enjoy watching her grow. 

Teaching has provided me with an incredibly fulfilling occupation for over 30 years. I have taught in a range of schools both here in New Zealand and also more recently in the UK where we returned from in October 2019. Having been a teaching Principal in a small Christian School near Motueka, I have a depth of skills and experience across many facets of school life. The empathy and desire I have to help all tamariki become the people God created them to be is a core motivation that I share with the team at Holy Cross. I am very blessed to be able to join a passionate team of people and am looking forward to building connections and relationships with the wider Holy Cross Community. 

To relax, switch off and re-energise I love discovering and re-visiting many of the beautiful pockets of bush Wellington has. I also love to bury myself in a good book, play board games, as well as enjoy coffee with family and friends. 

Classroom Teachers

Tala Moemai -  Room 1 - Year 7/8 Teacher

Tälofa lava and Kia ora, My name is Tala Moemai and I am delighted to be part of the teaching staff at Holy Cross. As a previous student of the school, it is nice to come home and make a difference in the community I grew up in. I enjoy a range of activities like performing arts, sports, reading and learning new things. I am an advocate of keeping the mind and body active. As a kaiako (teacher) I feel it is important for tauira (students) to engage in a diverse range of experiences and I hope to offer this to our tamariki (children). I look forward to engaging with families and students whilst leaving my mark at this awesome school. 

Genevieve Krefft -  Room 2 - Year 7/8 Teacher

Nga mihi nui, my name is Genevieve and it is my privilege to teach the Year 7 & 8 students of Room 2. Prior to teaching I coordinated a not for profit, running arts workshops for young people with disabilities throughout the Wellington region. I then moved to Auckland for four years where I taught in Otahuhu and took advantage of the beaches up north. I am so happy to be back home in Wellington and part of the wonderful Holy Cross community. I get very excited about all of the subject areas and love learning new things. I am passionate about teaching and take every opportunity I can find to foster kindness, bravery and curiosity in my students.

Clare James - Room 3 - Year 4/5 Teacher


Kia Ora. my name is Clare James and I am delighted to be working at Holy Cross School. I am originally from the UK but have been in New Zealand since arriving in 1993 to do my teacher training at Waikato University. Much of my teaching has been in Auckland however I have been living in Wellington since 2016. Prior to arriving at Holy Cross I completed a degree in Criminology and Sociology at Victoria University in 2019 and since then have been relief teaching and working across all school levels as a classroom release teacher at Dyer Street School.  
In my spare time I enjoy going to the gym, watching too much sport (so I'm told!) and singing in a choir. I also enjoy playing bass guitar and ukulele.
I'm looking forward to a great year and getting to know the students, staff and community while encouraging and helping students to do their absolute best in all tasks. 

Ethel Renata - Room 5 -Year 5/6 Teacher


Ko Ethel Renata tōku ingoa. 

I am Ngāti Porou and Ngāpuhi descent.I love my whānau and cats Nala and Elsa. I am passionate about education and lifelong learning. Currently, I am in my fourth year of PhD study through Victoria University.

My other passions are spending time at the gym, supporting my children in their sports of netball and handball, and I am an avid Hurricanes fan.

Māori culture and te reo are also extremely important to me. Knowing my own culture helps me to appreciate and value other cultures.


Ashleigh Walsh - Room 6 - Year  3/4 Teacher (currently on parental leave)


Kia ora. My name is Ashleigh Jackson and I am very excited to be teaching in Room 6. I am originally from Taranaki but moved to Wellington in 2017. My background is in Nutrition and Exercise so I am really excited to be working at Holy Cross to be able to promote Healthy Living through the Garden to Table and Bikes in Schools programs.

Ashleigh is on parental leave from Term 2 2020 and 2021

Jeannine Winton - Room 6 - Year  3/4 Teacher

Virginia Blewman - Director of Religious Studies (DRS) Room 7 - Year 2/3 Teacher

Hello there. Our family has a long association with Holy Cross School. There has been a Blewman family member (including myself) here at the school, every year since 1959. My three sons were here from 1990 until 2004. I have been employed at Holy Cross since 1995, starting as the school librarian, then as a teacher aide, school secretary and finally a teacher! I love the children at Holy Cross and enjoy getting to know them, and especially like break times when I get a chance to talk with the older children.

Lucy Wooles -  Room 11 / NE / Year 1 Teacher

My name is Lucy ("Miss Lucy Wooles" to some) and I teach in Room 11/12 with Corrie Skells. I really enjoy working with juniors; they are all so full of energy and eager to learn new skills and information. Our classroom is an exciting place to be!  I look forward to sharing our learning with students, staff and whanau.

Corrie Skells -  Room 12  Year 1 / 2 Teacher, Reading Recovery, Sports Co-ordinator

Kia ora koutou katoa. I feel very lucky to be a part of the amazing teaching team here at Holy Cross. Me and my family joined this supportive community when Austin (my eldest) began school here. Now that my other little guy, Henry, has started, I have been given the chance to tap into my passion and depth of teaching experience to teach Years 1 and 2. I am a life-long learner who thrives on igniting a spark for learning in others.

 My husband and I are originally from Canada, but have made Wellington our home for the last 12 years. We enjoy living in Miramar not only so we can feel a part of such a great community, but also to stay active and walk to school! I love exercise and if you can’t find me at school, then you might find me at the gym, teaching energetic classes to adults! Please pop in to Room 12 and say hello at any time. I would love to chat!

Release Teachers

Brenda O'Hare - Reading Recovery / ESOL

Hello, I am proud to have had a long association with Holy Cross School as my three sons (who are now adults), completed their primary schooling here. I work in the classroom and also as a Reading Recovery teacher. I find it very rewarding to work alongside a child in their learning journey and see it come to fruition, especially when they are learning to read. Outside of school, I enjoy reading, seeing great movies, travelling, walking and exercising at the gym.

Eleanor Stefanidis - Release Teacher for Room 3

I am born and bred in Wellington -  love Italy and speak a little bit of Italian. My passion is the sea, the marine environment and sailing. I have been a release teacher at Holy Cross for years (since Virginia was a first year teacher!) and have taught in most areas of the school. I love the community and the fact that I get to teach the kids as they progress through the school. I have known Celeste since I was a trainee teacher working in her classroom.

Patsy Wooles - Release Teacher for Room 7

Kia ora and Talofa lava. I am very pleased to be doing a job share with Virginia Blewman on Fridays. I have had a long association with Holy Cross and I love the spirit of the school and openness of the kids. It is great to have three generations of the Wooles at this school - myself, Ms Lucy Wooles and Billie-Rose.

Support Staff

 Aleksandra Alagh Kitchen Co-ordinator for Garden to Table


Tēnā koutou,

I have been running the Garden to Table programme since 2020 at Holy Cross Miramar School. It has been a privilege being part of this fun, generous, caring, positive community. I enjoy the welcoming, inclusive work environment and most of all I love creating yummy food with our tamariki.

I have three children and I am co-owner of Artrageouskids Ltd. I am passionate about the arts, reading, music, photography, gardening and learning new things. 

Maria Anstiss - Support Teacher

I work at Holy Cross as a specialist outreach teacher. I work with teachers, families and teacher aides to support the inclusion of children needing learning support. I enjoy the warm and welcoming culture at Holy Cross and have made some good friends here. I am studying through Massey at the moment and really enjoying it. When I'm not working or studying I love to run in the bush and hills with friends. I run at night with a headlight during winter too. I have two daughters with one who is still at home.

Olivia Boyd - Garden Co-ordinator for Garden to Table


Tēnā koutou, I have been running the kitchen as part of the Garden to Table programme since mid 2017 and have recently transferred to the role as Garden Coordinator. I also support the GTT programme at other Wellington schools. The community at Holy Cross is generous and positive and I really enjoy being a part of it. My husband and I have three active daughters and together we enjoy sport, walking with our dogs, biking and gardening.

Kelly Bush - Teacher Aide


Kia Ora, I’m so happy to have joined the lovely team here at Holy Cross Miramar. I am a Miramar local, living here since I was born. I’m currently in my final year of my Masters of Educational Psychology at Victoria University and enjoying being able to put the skills I am learning into practice with the tamariki. I hope to have a positive impact on life’s of the students at Holy Cross and look forward to getting to know them all better.

Pam Cambridge Teacher Aide


Kia ora koutou, My name is Pam and I am so grateful to be part of the wonderful Holy Cross community. I love getting to know all the children and support them on their learning journeys. Myself, my husband James and our two beautiful children are Miramar locals, we enjoy getting out and about in our local environment especially the beach. I’m originally from Nelson, where I began my career as a secondary school Geography Teacher. I am passionate about education and working together to support children to be the best they can be. I look forward to meeting you. 

Kate Caseley - Teacher Aide

Kia ora koutou. I joined the wonderful staffing team last year but my whanau have been apart of the Holy Cross School community since our eldest son started school here in 2013. We now have two, soon to be three tamariki attending Holy Cross. In my spare time I love exploring different bush walks with my whanau and kuri(dog). I feel extremely lucky to be working in a school that is so passionate about learning and always encouraging our tamariki to be the best version of themselves. 

Suzanne Dawe - Finance Officer

Hello, I work in the school office on Wednesday and Friday taking care of the school finances I love what I do and always come to school with a skip in my step. I love the rich cultural diversity of the school community and the variety in my role here in the office.

My interactions with the wonderful families, students and staff make my job a very rewarding one. 

Karin Graham - Teacher Aide

Kia ora I am Karin Graham and some of you may recognise me from around Miramar. I have been associated with Holy Cross since 2003 as an active parent and hung around a lot longer and they finally employed me. I am a born and bred Wellingtonian. I have three beautiful children and wonderful husband John (who also happens to be the plumber here) who have instilled in me the importance and the passion for education. I love working with the children here and the staff are fantastic.

Kate Jackson Teacher Aide


I returned to Miramar with my family (husband Mike and our boys Joseph, Ben and Sam) in 2017. We had the privilege of joining the Holy Cross community then when Ben and Sam started school.

I work part-time as a registered nurse and have started this term at Holy Cross as a Teacher Aide to support children with additional educational needs. I worked with IHC for a number of years during my nurse training and have always enjoyed both the rewards and challenges of supporting people with disabilities.

My hobbies include book (wine) club, walks around Wellington and spending time with friends and family.

Vicky Holben - Teacher Aide

Kia ora. I am Vicky Holben and I enjoy being a part of the Holy Cross community. I am passionate about supporting children with special needs. I am really excited when I can make connections with children through singing and playing the ukulele. 

Agnieszka Lowl Teacher Aide


Kathleen O'Connor - English Language Assistant

I have been at Holy Cross for several years in the role of English Language Assistant. I feel extremely lucky to be part of school that is so passionate about children's learning.  I can remember the warmth and respect of the school when I came for my interview.  I am proud to be part of the Holy Cross school team. 

Isitokia Paasi -Teacher Aide


Deb Paget - School Secretary   


Malisha Patel - Teacher Aide

Hello, my name is Malisha and I have recently joined the amazing team at Holy Cross.  My family and I immigrated from the UK 23 years ago and we became part of the Holy Cross community when my siblings went to school here.  I love learning more about the students that I work with and discovering how to help them along their individual learning journeys. Outside of school, I love reading, travelling, and spending time with my family and friends.  I look forward to getting to know you all.

Kirsten Puddick - Librarian

I have been at Holy Cross for over 3 years and love my job as school librarian here because of the wonderful children and school community.  I worked for many years as a picture editor before becoming a teacher in the UK.  My husband and I moved here ten years ago and we now have two kiwi children.  As well as reading I enjoy surfing and walking.

Jimmy Stokes - Caretaker

Hi. I have been at Holy Cross for 3 years  and feel like I am part of the furniture (mainly because I have fixed most of it). I support Manchester United and am a life member of the Seatoun AFC. I have been in New Zealand for 40 years in various jobs and have ended as caretaker at Holy Cross which is a wonderful job because of all the beautiful people here.

Ameera Yokhanna - Bilingual Tutor

مرحبا، انا اسمي اميرة يوخنا، انا اشورية من العراق. اقيم في نيوزيلندا منذ ستة سنوات و اعمل في مدرسة هولي كروس منذ اربع سنوات كمساعد معلم. يسرني ان اكون كادر من كوادر هذه المدرسة او بالاحرى جزء من هذه العائلة الكبيرة التي فتحت لي بابها و ضمتني بين ذراعيها و اشعرتني باني فرد منها.

  احب مدينة ولنكتون كما احب مدينتي نوهدرا. ساحل سيتون هو ملاذي عندما يتوق بي الحنين الى اهلي، تلك الافق الواسع الذي تأخذني الى عالم اخر اجد فيه ذكرياتي الجميلة و التي تمنحني الهدوء و الراحة النفسية رغم عنفوان  البحر حين يثور.

Hi - My name is Ameera Yokhanna. I am Assyrian from Iraq, I have been in New Zealand for six years and I have worked at Holy Cross School for the last four years as a Teacher Aide. I am glad to be a member of this school, in fact part of this big family, which opened its door and held me between its arms, making me feel as a part of school staff. 

I like Wellington as with my city Nohadra. Seatoun Beach is my sanctuary when I am always eager to be with my family, with the wide horizon that takes me to another world where I find beautiful memories which give me the peace and comfort even when the sea is rough.

Leanne Chote - Office Manager