Frances Nimmo

Principal - Room 2 (Years 4-6)

I am originally from Scotland, have a wonderful Kiwi husband – Graeme, three great step-kids, a grandson and granddaughter, a mother (90 this year) and a sister.

I have lived in Springfield for 23 years, have travelled extensively and spent six months working my way to New Zealand, on-board a yacht.

I love life, live it to the full, and enjoy sharing my passion for teaching and learning with others. I also love fishing, skiing, playing bridge and gardening.

It was through teaching skiing at Porter Heights that I met lots of teachers and their children and decided that I wanted to give something back and make a difference. The result – studying at Canterbury University and Christchurch College of Education for four years, gaining a Masters degree; teaching the Year 7s at Darfield High School for 10 years; and now living the dream at Windwhistle School with its fantastic staff and community.

Jane McMillan

Room 1 (Years 0-2)

Kia ora koutou.

I was born in Auckland. Educated at Aorere College in Mangere. Began teaching in 1981. I spent 3 years teaching at my old primary school before heading to London for 4 years. After teaching and nannying in North London, I forced myself to return to NZ. (London is a great place if you’re young and single!) On my return I travelled south to Christchurch and taught at Chisnallwood Intermediate where I met Grant. I also worked for Life Education for 2 ½ years, having the fun of being one of the first 2 teachers employed and taking the programme around the schools in the South Island for the first time.

Grant and I married within 3 months of meeting, moving to Hororata. That was 25 years ago. Grant is also a teacher and currently Principal of Ashburton College. Grant was Principal of Lake Coleridge School in 1990, moving to Glentunnel in 1992. We then headed south for 4 years, living in Woodlands (loved it) then Carterton for 3 years (did not love it!) returning to Greendale in January 2000. Built a new house in 2001 around the corner from our old house and have been there ever since. We have three children - all but one has left home!

I began teaching at Windwhistle in January 2006. Right from the start I knew this school was exceptional. The children are a delight to teach (well, most days!) All staff that I have worked with are hardworking, dedicated teachers. I think our school is one of the best kept secrets in Canterbury. I like to work in partnership with parents and welcome any of you into our room at any time. Ngā mihi. Jane

Donna Young Year 3 teacher

Kathy Mehrtens

Room 2 (Years 4-6)

I teach the Year 4-6 class on Thursdays and Fridays as Principal Release and this is my 16th year. I have always been lucky in that each principal has trusted me to have a free hand (within the confines of the national curriculum) as to what/how I teach. Frances and I look closely at the students' learning and plan together how best to complement one another's teaching, in order that the Room 2 programme will be as seamless as possible for the students.


I also run music, and Jane and I run an interchange programme for 10 weeks of the year, I teach her Year 0-3 class Music and Dance and Jane takes mine for Maori, Sign Language and Drama.

I love creating units of work that get the children out into their own community to see what's going on, give them a real sense of identity and belonging and then use this as a platform to extend their understanding of what's happening in communities further afield. I always have my ear to the ground for new opportunities for the children and never let the fact that we are a small, rural school disadvantage us.

I live in Kowai Bush with my husband Bevan. We run sheep and cattle – I particularly enjoy my work with the sheep and my dogs! In my spare time I love to catch up with our children, to go tramping and to attempt to keep the garden under control.

Windwhistle is a very special little school. It is a real pleasure to work with such a dedicated staff, a wonderfully supportive community and your gorgeous children - thank you for the privilege of being entrusted with their education.

Lucy Cookson

Room 1 (Years 0-3) - Relief Teacher

Tamara Wilson

Cleaner / groundsperson

Yvonne Hawtin

Teacher / Teacher-aide


Rhonda Hamilton-Cross

Office support Mon, Wed, Frid 8.15am - 11.45am