Tom Hobbs

Kia ora, I am the Acting Principal and kaiako in Room 4, working alongside Ross Bennett and the senior students of the school.  I have been a teacher here at Portobello since 2004 and have worked in many classes during that time.  I worked for many years as the Year 3-5 teacher and more recently in the Year 5-8 area.  My teaching strengths include maths and literacy, digital technology, physical education, and music.  In 2023 I stepped into the challenging role of Acting Principal and am balancing my teaching time with all of the work that goes with the Principal role.

Cheryl Agnew

I have worked at Portobello School since 2015. I have taught in many schools in Otago and Southland. At Portobello I have taught in Junior Whānau, Years 3, 4 and also from time to time in the year 5-8 class. My strengths are in literacy and maths. This year I am excited to lead the BSLA project. Better Start Literacy Practice for years 1-3. I believe in seeing the potential in every child and making them believe they can be the best they can be by working hard, asking questions, and listening to other points of view. But the most important thing is that they treat each other with kindness and empathy.

Candace Christensen

Candace Christensen is one of Portobello School's long serving staff members.  She has deep roots in our local community with several generations of her family having lived, worked and gone to school here.  Candace teaches in the Junior Whānau and specialises in Junior School teaching.  Her strengths include Dance and Drama, Māori, Junior Literacy and Numeracy.

Marilyn Oliver

Marilyn is our Office Manager and has her finger on the pulse regarding the many things happening on a daily basis in our school.  Often Marilyn will be the person you are speaking to on the other end of the phone or the person greeting you with a wonderful welcome when you come into our office.   Marilyn works from 8am to 12pm daily.

Ross Bennett

Tēnā koe, my name is Ross Bennett-Santana and I'm joining Room 4 with Mr Hobbs. I grew up in Ōpoho, attending school and university in Dunedin, and I have 15 years teaching in South Korea, Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin. My wife and I returned here 3 years ago to find a house, and we enjoy the chilly winters in North East Valley. We are kept busy training our dog and cat, while also painting, building, reading and getting active. My educational philosophies include developing agency and independence in our ākonga, getting them ready for collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. I enjoy setting challenges and situations that involve multiple intelligences and problem solving skills, which set up lifelong learning. 

Margaret Fruean

Tena koe,  this is my 3rd year teaching at Portobello School in the Junior Whanau class with Candice.  My husband and I moved to Dunedin from Auckland  at the end of 2019.  I have 3 adult sons all married and living here with their families. with over 20 years of teaching experience I am happy to be a part of this wonderful community.