Pokeno School

Leadership Team

Blair Johnston




General Information

I feel very privileged to be the Principal of Pokeno School.

I came to Pokeno School in 2010 after 15 years of teaching and leadership positions in a variety of schools across Auckland. I have taught everything from year two to year eight and have worked in schools as small as 100 children to schools with more than 600 children.

At Pokeno School I have the pleasure of working with a dedicated team. The staff, BOT, and PTA are all committed to providing 'our' kids with the best possible opportunities to learn and grow.

As a school, we are also fortunate enough to be supported by the wider community and local businesses.

I hope you enjoy our website and invite you to visit us in person one day.

Stephanie Lee

Deputy Principal


B.Ed Dip.T



General Information

Tēna koutou katoa,

Ko Whiria tōku maunga

Ko Hokianga tōku moana

Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua tōku waka

Ko Ngāpuhi tōku iwi

Ko Ngāti Te Pou, Ko Ngāti Whārara ōku hapū

Ko Kōkōhuia tōku marae

Ko Te Ikanui Kararoa Pairama Riki tōku tūpuna tāne, Ko Pakanae Ahinata Pairama Riki tōku kuia

Nō Ōmāpere ahau

Kei Pukekohe tōku kāinga ināianei

He tumuaki tuarua ō to kura Pōkeno ahau

Ko Stephanie tōku ingoa

I initially began my teaching degree in the Secondary programme which would have seen me graduate with degrees in Science and Education. However, when I saw the enthusiasm and excitement for learning in my friends who were enrolled in the Primary degree I asked to be transferred – it was absolutely the right decision. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 20+ years teaching in Franklin primary schools - especially Pokeno.

I am really looking forward to the journey of growing our school as our community itself grows.

Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa

Karen Houghton

Associate Principal / SENCo



General Information

Kia Ora Koutou

I'm Karen Houghton and I've been a teacher at Pokeno School since Term 4, 2015 and in that time I have taught from Years 0-4 and also been a Whanau Leader for both the Ruru and Tui Whanau. In 2020, I was delighted to take on the role of Associate Principal and that of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (Or SENCo). I am excited to be able to support children across the school to access the curriculum at their level and learn in ways that suit them best. Pokeno School is a fantastic school with amazing children and I am super proud to be a part of this wonderful community.

My family and I moved to Pokeno early in 2015 and we love the community and way of life here in Pokeno. I am married to Bevan and we have 2 children; Ava and Nate who both attend Pokeno School.

In my spare time, I love to spend time with my family, When I have time, I also enjoy playing the piano, reading and doing crafting/making things.

I look forward to getting to know you all a little better this year.


Laura Turton

Ruru Whanau Leader



General Information

My name is Laura Turton and I am really excited about being a teacher at Pokeno School.

I am thrilled to be a New Entrant teacher who starts all the new students on their learning journey. I am looking forward to leading the junior school whanau - The Ruru Whanau. You will find me in Room 11 with a welcoming smile.

I moved to Pokeno with my family in 2016 and thoroughly love being part of the Pokeno community. I am married to Shaun and have two beautiful daughters, Jessie-lee who is 22 and Jamie who is 11.

I am an experienced teacher of 20 years and I have a real passion for teaching. I believe building positive relationships and developing a fun and safe learning environment are essential in order for children achieve in their learning. I love to have fun with my students and believe laughter is an important part of the classroom.

In my spare time, I love to spend time with my family and to go for walks. I love reading and take every opportunity to read a book. I also love spending time at Waihi Beach with all of my family.

I am really looking forward to getting to know you all a little more during the year!

Julia McLennan

Tui Whanau Leader



General Information

I am originally from Rotorua but have lived in South Auckland for 20 years where I began my teaching career. This is my third year at Pōkeno School, and my first year in the Tūī Whānau. Previously I taught Year 5/6 so this is an exciting new challenge for me. I have been a Whānau Leader for many years before arriving at Pōkeno School and look forward to leading an awesome team of kaiako (teachers) and ākonga (learners).

Mel Noble-Savidan

Kea Whanau Leader



General Information

Kia Ora
My name is Mel Noble-Savidan, I have joined Pokeno School after 10 years at Sylvia Park School in Mount Wellington, most recently working as the Deputy Principal of Year 0-3.

I live in Pokeno with my partner, our 5 year old daughter - Quinn, a cat called Feather and a dog named Jacko. I am excited to be leading the Kea Year 5 & 6 Whānau this year. You can find me in Harakeke 2. Please pop in and say hello!

Sarah Fraser

Kārearea Whanau Leader



General Information

Kia ora,

My name is Sarah Fraser, and I have been teaching at Pokeno School since 2019. I am excited to be the new Team Leader of Karearea Whanau in 2023. You will be able to find me teaching our Year 7 and 8's in our amazing new classroom block; Te Whare Whakaruruhu Mataranga Tuatahi, upstairs in Kahikatea 1.

When I first started at Pokeno Schoo I was part of Ruru Whanau in a New Entrants classrooms. In 2020, I moved to Kea Whanau and my class became home to Year 6 & 7's. 2021 I taught our Year 7 & 8's and in 2022 as our school continued to grow, I moved to our newly established Karearea Whanau as the Year 8 Teacher.

2023 will be an exciting year, teaching a mix of Year 7's and 8's, and sharing a learning space with Mrs Murran.

As part of the Pokeno community, I feel extremely lucky to teach and live in such an amazing community. You will often see my family out riding our bikes, walking, or scootering around the township, enjoying all that Pokeno has to offer. In my spare time, I enjoy going to concerts, and listening to live music. I love to bake, read, snowboard, spend time with my family, go to the beach, paddleboard, and explore all the amazing bush walks and reserves that our beautiful country has to offer.

I look forward to getting to know you all more during the year, seeing some familiar faces, meeting new faces, and supporting your children on their learning journey.

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