Team leaders

The school is served by dedicated Christian staff who have undertaken to maintain and preserve the Special Character of the school.

In 2019, the key leadership staff supporting our Principal Dr Peter Ferrar are:

Chris Mitchell – Deputy Principal

Chris 2016

There are not many schools in New Zealand where a person feels privileged to teach, but Cornerstone Christian School is definitely one of those. It’s a great place with great staff collegiality and fantastic kids and at Cornerstone a teaching job becomes a full time Christian Ministry! Teaching is my passion, but the things that really get me going are Maths, Science, the Arts, taking students on education experiences in the outdoors and integrating ICT into learning.

I have been teaching for 17 years, all in the Manawatu region. Five of those years were as Teaching-Principal at Awahou School in the Pohangina Valley, and I have been teaching at Cornerstone Christian School for the last nine years. In 2016, I was appointed to the position of Assistant Principal and I now, as Deputy Principal, have the awesome job of guiding the teaching and learning in the Primary School and helping teachers become even better than they are already!

Graham BlackGraham Black - Deputy Principal

Graham Black came to Cornerstone at the beginning of 2016 from Palmerston North Boys High School, where he was Head of Commerce. He also taught at Feilding High School. Graham has 6 years’ experience as a panel leader for NCEA marking and has written national resources for Accounting. He directed Young Enterprise Studies at PNBHS and has led a community garden initiative for lower-socioeconomic families. Graham is a leader at Christian Community Church and has completed a post-graduate diploma of Theological Studies.

Katrina Bannister - Team leader, Aroha Team (Years 0-2)Katrina cropped 2018

I am thrilled to be leading Aroha team which is comprised of up to 6 classes of Year 0-2 students. I have taught Y0-9 in my many years of teaching and am very experienced in teaching at New Entrant/Y1 level. My experience teaching the British foundation stage (Pre-school) has enabled me to have a deep understanding of early learning and how important transition is to school. My time abroad has enabled me to share many cultural experiences with our students, bringing more depth to biblical stories and an awareness of our ever-growing international communities. I am also well-grounded in the New Zealand Curriculum, having started my teaching career many years ago in my hometown of Gisborne and having trained in Reading Recovery and ESOL. It is a real blessing to teach at Cornerstone, surrounded by great kids, great staff and great learning whilst serving and growing in God together. 

Jane S 2016Jane Sutherland – Team leader, Manahau Team (Years 3-4)

I joined the staff at Cornerstone in 2008 and currently teach one of the wonderful Year 3 classes. I enjoy teaching all curriculum subjects and specialised in music and technology at Teacher’s College. I am the team leader for Manahau (Joy) team which consists of the Year 3 and 4 classes at the school. I was also privileged to be the staff trustee on the Board of Trustees for two terms of office.

Joy is a heart attitude we want the children to develop. The age of the children in our team is perfect for encouraging an enjoyment of learning. We want them to confidently take 'ownership' of their learning and celebrate their progress as they see it unfolding. Even mistakes need to be seen as positive opportunities to grow rather than failures to be upset about. Each child is a special gift and we seek to work with parents to help each child reach their full potential in God.

David 2018 croppedDavid Henderson - Team Leader, Tumanako Team (Years 5-6)

I’m just starting my journey in leadership at Cornerstone. I’m excited to be working with the passionate and creative teachers that we have in the Tumanako Team. I have a background in Occupational Therapy and hope to see all students be able to thrive and reach their potential. I really enjoy the Year 5 and 6 age group where students are learning to become more independent and are also happy to give most things a try. Cornerstone is such a fantastic school to work in and I hope to develop my leadership skills over the next few years and be able to offer my support to fellow teachers in the areas I am passionate about, such as digital learning and fitness.

Tarryn Rose - Team Leader, Whakapono Team (Years 7-8)

Tarryn 2015My name is Tarryn Rose and my family consists of my husband James (who is also a teacher), our two boys and our dog Jack. Palmerston North is my home city, but I have also lived in Whanganui, Africa and the Philippines.

I began teaching almost 20 years ago after graduating from Massey University in Palmerston North. My degree was in Education and my major was in P.E. I enjoy encouraging the students with the idea we focused on in Term 4 2015: “Fit Body, Healthy Mind, Honours God”.

2017 is my third year at Cornerstone and I look forward to all that it holds for the Whakapono Team. The Year 7s and 8s have a fabulous year ahead, with some of the highlights being: sharing and hearing God’s word in our team assemblies, ski trips, sports events, celebrations and classes with specialist teachers here at Cornerstone and at Monrad Intermediate. 

Full staff directory







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Phone: +64 6 356 7326
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Cornerstone Christian School
119 Mihaere Drive
Palmerston North 4414
New Zealand