Introducing our Co-Leads

Gaylene Beattie


Debbie Stanger

Kia ora koutou, I’m Debbie Stanger, Tumuaki-Principal at Spring Creek School and newly appointed Piritahi Kahui Ako Co-Lead from January 2022.


I have been involved in education for a number of years, and in Marlborough over the last 17 years. My experience is across a variety of small & rural schools as a Principal, DP/AP in larger schools and experience in the early childhood sector. This gives me a diverse range of leadership experiences that I draw upon and bring to this position.


I believe everything comes back to students and whānau, and work collaboratively with others to ensure the best outcomes for students.


I have strengths in communication, organisation, and relationships. I believe it’s important to have a small school lens and representation in the leadership of the Piritahi Kahui Ako and I bring this balance to the co-leadership team. I’m looking forward to working with Gaylene and Aaron and the talented ASLs team to lead our Piritahi Kahui Ako into the future.

Aaron Vercoe

Kia ora tatou. Ko Aaron taku ingoa. I am principal of Redwoodtown School in beautiful Blenheim and excited at the opportunity to be a co-lead of Piritahi Kahui Ako. My teaching background is from Early Childhood through to Secondary across many schools and several countries, specialising in Physical Education, Science and Technology. I am passionate about delivering equity in education and fostering key relationships to achieve this. Outside of school, I have two amazing boys and I love sport, especially football, rugby and trying to lower my golf handicap. I am looking forward to working alongside our co-leads and amazing team of ASL to bring equity, excellence and belonging to education across Marlborough.