Meet the team 2018-08-14T16:09:19+00:00

Meet the Team

Welcome to St Joseph’s, Orakei Catholic School, where our mission is to be a place of learning where everyone grows towards their full potential in a Catholic environment.

I have been a educator for over 25 years, most recently at the brand new Ormiston Primary, in FlatBush. I am delighted to be returning to the Catholic System and am looking forward to the next stage of my journey at St Joseph’s.

For me as the Principal nurturing our families and a building on a sense of community are the priorities, allowing children to feel comfortable and safe at school and to enjoy being part of the St Joseph’s family.

I am committed to consultation and to continuing to build a community that works together in harmony with respect and understanding.

As a staff we are all committed to ensuring our school is a safe place of joy and wonder where all children are afforded opportunities to grow and learn in a holistic manner. We have a curriculum that encourages innovation, and excellence through quality teaching and learning, encompassed in a Catholic education that provides inspiration.

I invite you to come and visit and see what we offer.

Yours in Faith,

Caroline Bush


Sue Bennett

Deputy Principal  |  Classroom Teacher – Room 7, Years 5 and 6

I first came to St Joseph’s as a reliever in 2007. During that year I taught Year 5/6 and occasionally Year 3/4.

In 2008, I returned to St Joseph’s as Deputy Principal and Classroom Teacher of Year 5/6. Prior to moving to St Joseph’s I taught mostly on the North Shore. Since I have been at St Joseph’s I have had the privilege every day of teaching children from different cultural backgrounds, this has enriched me as a teacher.

Jayne Forbes – DRS

Classroom Teacher – Room 6, Year 5&6

I have 30 years of experience teaching in a variety of roles in Auckland Primary Schools and now I am enjoying working at St Joseph’s, Orakei. The Catholic Character is central and underpins the culture of the school. My special interests are the teaching of Te Reo Maori and Literacy. I also play the guitar and sing. I am looking forward to continuing my involvement in the St Joseph’s, Orakei community.

Hannah Clayton

Classroom Teacher – Year 2, 3 & 4

Education plays an integral role in my life. My grandparents, parents, many aunts and uncles, along with my two sisters and a cousin or two have all worked as primary school teachers. Before moving to Auckland in October, I taught for  two years in Ireland in a wide variety of school settings. When I visited St Joseph’s for the first time, the openness and positive atmosphere of the school and the team was amazing. I am so excited to join the school community and to further my teaching experience here in Auckland. My interests lie particularly in Arts Education, especially Visual Arts. This year I hope to evoke a sense of enthusiasm and love of learning in all curricula areas, as well as instilling a sense of pride and ownership for our school grounds. I will work hard to ensure that every child feels safe and happy this year.

Laura Ahern

Classroom Teacher – Year 2, 3 & 4

I have worked as a primary school teacher in the U.S. for seven years before moving to New Zealand in 2014.  In addition to a bachelor’s degree in primary education, I have earned a master’s degree of education in reading and writing.  My strengths and passions include teaching literacy, the integration of technology into all curriculum areas, and sports and fitness.

Therese Arahill

Classroom Teacher – Year 0 & 1

I grew up in Gisborne, I am from a family of six girls and a boy, between us we have 23 children with the next generation on its way, we are a social bunch, we love to get together and share family stories. My teaching career, which began thirty years ago, has helped me hone my skills as an educator, these skills and the stories shared with family and friends inform the way I teach today. I am proud of my three children, the oldest has finished university, the second is embarking on her next degree and my thirteen year old son, “a modern learner, a digital native” is someone who challenges the system. The change I see in the world they are growing up in and their stories in particular, keep me innovative in my approach to teaching and learning, constantly thinking and re-thinking what and how people learn. To quote the Blessed Cardinal John Newman, who the family claim as our own, To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” I have taught in both state and Catholic schools, I have an interest in Catholic education, the more teaching experience I have, the more potential I see within the treasures the Catholic system can offer. Thousands of years of knowledge and wisdom to draw from. As a primary school teacher I particularly like the one about the Prodigal Son, I try to be more like the loving father in my teaching practice and the one about the Lost Lamb, an inclusive and safe education where learners can look for happiness is for everyone, without exception. I look forward to learning even more about education at St Joseph’s.

Angela Babich

School Secretary

I have been working at St Joseph’s for three year’s now and I just love the children, the parents and the special community that we have here. It’s a lovely school to work at and the Catholic Character that is instilled in our children shows in their kindness, empathy and compassion. Every day here brings something different and the children never cease to amaze me. It is wonderful being part of such a great community.

Lisa Cousins

Teacher Aid / Support Staff

Seti Kigitama

Meet our Board of Trustees