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.

Sue Bennett

Principal

I have a strong connection with St Joseph’s having taught year 5/6 here as Deputy Principal, and recently DRS, since 2008. I was drawn to this Catholic School for the sense of close community that exists between the students, teachers, and whanau. I am enriched by the diverse cultures represented in our school. The people here combined with the open spaces and beautiful natural surroundings, make coming here every day an absolute pleasure and delight. Being a Principal for St Joseph’s is an honour and a privilege, I am looking forward to leading this wonderful school into the future.

principal@sjorakei.school.nz

Bridget Casse

Assistant Principal, SeNCo, Year 0&1

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.

bridget@sjorakei.school.nz

Carol Trotter

Classroom Teacher – Year 4&5

I think life is fun and children are fantastic. I love discovering their personalities and their uniqueness. I believe relationships are key to successful teaching and learning and I love to empower students in their education so they realise that they are capable learners. I love being there when they are delighted with what they have discovered for themselves. Students develop so many new skills as they transition from Year 3 into studying at the senior end of the school. I enjoy seeing their independence and their sense of self evolve as they realise they can have opinions and they can think, adapt, negotiate, problem solve, make decisions, and learn, learn, learn.

My previous experience is classroom teaching in Christchurch across the year levels (particularly Years 2-6). I have Reading Recovery training and have led a Fostering Strengths programme that has helped develop and grow individual learners.

Recently I took a break from teaching to serve in the church in various roles from parish administrator to national resource person for the Anglican Schools’ Office. I have been involved in organising national conferences and developing the RE curriculum for Anglican primary schools.

I love developing an opportunity for children to think about themselves, their relationship with others and with God.

I moved to Auckland with handsome hubby Phil in 2018 to pursue study at St John’s Theological College. Our move here has the wonderful bonus of being close to our eldest son and only daughter, and their spouses, with our three beautiful mokopuna. Family and teaching are my passion and I was drawn to teach at St Joseph’s School because of this. St Joseph’s School puts the children at the centre of all we do. And in partnership with parents we ensure an environment of rich learning.

carol@sjorakei.school.nz

Pam Robertson

Classroom Teacher – Year 5&6

My name is Pam Robertson. David Robertson is my husband of 34 years. We have five children and seven grandchildren. I have been teaching for approximately 15 years in Catholic schools; firstly in Whakatane at St Joseph’s Primary school for 13 years and now at St Thomas More, Mt Maunganui, for the past two years. My main level of teaching has been at Year 5 & 6 and for this past year at Year 3 & 4. I enjoy teaching and seeing children develop in their own strengths and interests. I am musical and have played the guitar and sung for many years. I value community and a team environment. My husband and I have moved to Auckland to be closer to three of our children and five of our grandchildren. I am looking forward to meeting and working with the Orakei St. Joseph’s community.

Rewa Vowles

Classroom Teacher – Year 4&5

Tena koutou,

I arrived on the fair shores of Half-Moon Bay, aged 2 from Taiwan. Sailed to and from Waiheke with my Uncle in the school holidays. Paddled my way through Panmure District Primary with the help of my Maori teacher, Mrs Clifford. This was followed by a dip into the musical- moana at Pakuranga College with Mr Guyan. Although studying for my BCom was a great experience, I knew that teaching was where my heart was. I have two grown up sons and a husband that is brilliant at growing vegetables and nurturing his family.

Being a daughter of immigrants meant that we saved every penny. However my mum and dad ensured I was gifted with a rich family history and a wealth of wisdom of knowing that we were blessed to have each other. I look forward to contributing and learning with all the people at St Joseph’s Orakei.

Kia pai to ra,

Rewa

Olivia Walker

Classroom Teacher – Year 2&3

Bio to come

Ann Quickenden

Classroom Teacher – Year 2&3

New to St Joseph’s School Orakei this year, I am looking forward to teaching in a year 2 and 3 class, especially with the opportunity to teach collaboratively.

Connecting with and inspiring children to enjoy, discover and to become adventurous, confident, life-long learners is my motivation.

All curriculum areas are passions, particularly literacy, the arts, science and physical education. A local resident, I have taught at most primary levels at several large neighbouring schools.

Whaea Deb

Teacher Aid / Support Staff

Shirley-Ann McCrystal

Teacher Aid

I am delighted to work as a Teacher Aide in the classroom and to look after the Library at St Joseph’s. I qualified as a teacher and have been a Teacher/Librarian for 27 years. I spent 10 years at Dilworth School as the Librarian.

I have three adult sons, two are in the medical profession and one is a freelance writer. I am the proud grandmother of ten grandchildren. Widowed in 1991, I have since married Bruce, a yachtsman and we enjoy sailing, cruising and racing aboard Paramour our 36- foot Lidgard modern classic yacht.

Angela Babich

Office Manager

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.

Seti Kigitama

Caretaker
Meet our Board of Trustees