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Principal's Welcome


Kia Orana Tatou Katoatoa,

Welcome to Apii Te Uki Ou! We are located on the seaside in Ngatangiia, on Rarotonga’s East coast.

We are an independent school that was formed over twenty-nine years ago as an ECE in a garage, based on the Montessori model of education. After several moves due to rapid expansion, we are now an ECE (3 years old) – Year 8 full primary school, recently expanding to Year 9. We have 280 students with 30 full-time staff members. 

We pride ourselves on our ‘Inclusive Education’ philosophy and have several students with additional needs who are well supported by our team of teachers and teacher’s aides within the school. We have improved upon this support by employing the expertise of a Learning Support Coordinator full time to improve our ability to meet the needs of those who need a little extra to learn.

As a school, we value Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) and this features heavily across our programmes helping learners make sense of their learning by connecting them to real-life experiences. 

Like all schools in the Cook Islands, Apii Te Uki Ou enjoys unlimited internet capability and the Board of Governors and school leaders are focussed on consolidating and enhancing our innovative learning environments through generously funding our hardware, software and infrastructure to enable IT-integrated teaching and learning programmes.

Currently, all of our classroom teachers are Cook Island, New Zealand or Australian-trained teachers and our teaching and learning programmes are always of the highest standard.

Our Te Reo and Cultural programmes are a big part of who we are and we continually feature strongly in all interschool or community-initiated cultural events. We are actively involved in a wide range of sporting activities, and the interschool competitions are always something we look forward to competing in across all codes!

We offer a values-centred education aiming to prepare our children with strong academic and social foundations to be competent leaders of the future. 

Do drop by and visit if you’re ever in the neighbourhood, you’re always welcome!


Meitaki Ma’ata e Kia Manuia!

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Carly Ave, Principal

Meet Our Teachers


Kia-Orana, I am Mrs Noovao.

Mum to Taylah and Alice and wife to Tangata. We love the island life and feel very privileged to be part of the Apii Te Uki Ou community.

I have been teaching for twelve years in a variety of schools.

I am passionate about designing learning to ensure it is social, engaging and caters for individual learning needs. I continually explore practices to ensure the success for all learners. Some of my strengths include classroom culture, communication, literacy, ICT and Inquiry learning. I am looking forward to working with all the classrooms and the amazing team of TA's. 

My door is always open, be sure to come and say hi.

Kim Noovao

Deputy Principal Learning Support

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Sophia Panzarella

Senior School Assistant Principal

Yr 9 Teacher Tavake

Carmen Dodd

Junior School Assistant Principal 

Yr 5/6 Teacher Ka'oko

Shana Kamana

Teacher Kura

Saireni Pekepo - Poila

Culture and Te Reo

Natasha Tafa Maoate

Teacher Kura


Kia Orana, My name Aunty Tash and I am a part of the Preschool squad. I am Samoan | Cook Island and have been in ECE for 8+ years.

Manon Fleming

Yr 1 Teacher Kuriri

Stacey McCormack

Yr 2 Teacher Kakerori

Pearl Cleaver

Yr 3/4 Teacher Kotuku

Rachel O’Sullivan
Matt Schmidt
Hamish Bennett

Yr 7 Teacher Kopeka

Yr 8 Teacher - Kota'a

Support Teacher

Mary Bagnell

Support Teacher

Meet Our Support Staff 

Tina Mitchell

Office Administrator

Harriet Brown

Learning Support Assistant 

Mereana Atatoa Carr

Learning Support Assistant 

Teariki Ra

Performance Tutor 



Tangata Noovao
Mere Ravonu Tearaitoa

Learning Support Assistant 

Miria Kietonga

Office Assistant

Chris Bishop

Learning Support Assistant 

Samantha Knowles

Learning Support Assistant 

Lani Vano

Learning Support Assistant 

Marlina Nicholas

Learning Support Assistant


Yr 3/4 Teacher - Kukupa

Lucy Marshall

Yr 5/6 Teacher Kuramo'o

Naomi Schmidt

Yr 7 Teacher - Kakaia

Lydia Hammersley
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