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 formed over twenty-five 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 and have 220 students with 23 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!

Mark Harris, Principal

Meet Our Teachers


Kia-Orana, I am Mrs Noovao. Teacher of Kakaia, 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 over ten years in a variety of schools. I design 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 communication, literacy, ICT and Inquiry learning. Our door is always open in Kakaia, be sure to come and say hi.

Kim Noovao

Deputy Principal 

Yr 7/8 Teacher Kakaia

Carmen Dodd

Assistant Principal 

Yr 3/4 Teacher Kukupa


Kia Orana, everyone! My name is Charlee Lowe. I’m a Cook Islander, I spent most of my life in New Zealand and some time in Aussie but the Island has called me home. I feel so blessed working and living in Rarotonga with family and culture! I’ve had 11 years worth of fun, laughter, craft and adventure working with young people. I am teaching in Preschool (where all the fun happens!) and I’m excited for an awesome year ahead exploring, creating and growing!

Charlee Lowe

Head of ECE

Teacher Kura

Saireni Pekepo - Poila

Culture and Te Reo

Brittany Reekie

Yr 2 Teacher Kakerori

Lyzette (Lil) Howard

ECE Teacher Kura

Emma McQuade.jpg
Carolyn Edwards

Yr 0/1 Teacher Kuriri

Jess Fotheringham

Yr 3/4 Teacher Kotuku

Emma McQuade

Yr 5/6 Teacher Kuramo'o

Sophia Panzarella

Yr 7/8 Teacher Kota'a

Emily Hatch

Yr 5/6 Teacher Kopeka

Shannon Harris

Learning Support Coordinator 


Our Support staff

Jared Pauga - TA
Jared Pauga - TA
Tina Mitchell - Office
Tina Mitchell - Office
Mere Ravonu - TA
Mere Ravonu - TA
Tata Potoru - TA
Tata Potoru - TA
Tangata Noovao
Tangata Noovao
Chrissy Piakura
Chrissy Piakura
Marisha Hickes - TA
Marisha Hickes - TA
Chris Bishop - TA
Chris Bishop - TA
Maeva Carr - TA
Maeva Carr - TA