Meet the team 2019-05-20T08:43:44+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 an 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  |  DRS
Classroom Teacher  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.

Nikki Ive

Classroom Teacher - Room 6, Year 4&5

Hi to all the wonderful families of St. Joseph's. I’m Nikki Ive and I come from the relaxed surfing town of Durban, South Africa and feel incredibly blessed to join the incredible St. Joseph’s family! My passions include surfing, the ocean, animals, traveling and of course, teaching. After gaining a wealth of experience from various schools in my hometown, I decided that it was imperative for both my career and personal growth to embark on a journey that would see me developing both of these aspects positively.  I married my passions of teaching and travelling through teaching at an International School in Thailand and subsequently embracing this wonderful opportunity here in New Zealand, where my husband and I now plan to settle; the people and landscapes are far too wonderful to resist (as well as the wine and potato skins!). The exposure to such diverse environments, both inside and outside of the school, is invaluable life experience which will serve to enhance my abilities, allowing me to serve our children in a greater capacity. I cannot wait to meet and get to know you all as I continue to grow in this beautiful community.

Mary Pithey

Classroom Teacher – Year 1&2

My name is Mary Pithey and I am very excited to be joining the wonderful Saint Joseph’s School and community here in Orakei. I have moved up to Auckland from Christchurch with my husband, Richard and son Ryan. We have been here for two years and love the beaches, warm weather and the friendly people in our neighbourhood. 

I have taught in both the junior and senior areas of primary school for nearly twenty years both here and overseas. I have a special interest in how boys and girls  learn differently and believe that "physical literacy" is just as important as reading, writing and mathematics. I also incorporate art and drama in my daily teaching. My other interests are in ICT and I am currently completing a Postgraduate certificate in Digital and Collaborative Learning. I am so looking forward to continuing my learning journey at St Joseph’s School and helping the students be the best they can be!

Olivia Walker

Classroom Teacher – Year 2 & 3

After leaving school I initially achieved a bachelor’s degree in Film and Television then in 2018 completed my Masters in Teaching and Learning. Following my bachelor’s, I worked in film and television and the corrections sector for a couple of years, realising firsthand the wider impact of education and significance of becoming a lifelong learner. 

My strengths lie in the arts, literacy and health and well-being. I am passionate about empowering children to explore their interests and find their passions within the classroom, and believe in a learning environment where student voice is heard and effectively utilised. I am looking forward to becoming part of the SJO Community.

Bridget Casse

Assistant Principal SeNCo

Kia ora to all our current and future St Joseph’s whanau! I am Bridget Casse and I have been teaching in Auckland since 2003. Most recently, I was Assistant Principal at a very large school of almost 700 students and I am very much enjoying being part of our smaller, more intimate community. I am mum to Phoenix who is 10 years old and partner to Byron (who is also a teacher).

Teaching, learning and education has always been my calling and I thoroughly enjoy the challenges and delights this career presents me with daily. I live very close to St Joseph’s, and in fact grew up in the street I now live in so I am very conscious of the unique environment we are blessed to enjoy. I am passionate about teaching our children the value of nurturing and caring for our environment. I am also very enthusiastic about children having fun with, and being active participants in their learning.

It has been wonderful getting to know our St Joseph’s family and I am looking forward to sharing exciting learning journeys with our tamariki.

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