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.

Meet the Team, St Joseph’s Catholic School Orakei

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

Meet the Team, St Joseph’s Catholic School Orakei

Jim Dyer

Deputy Principal/SeNCo, Year 0 &1

 

Hi, my name is Jim Dyer. I have been a teacher for over 13 years across all stages of Primary and Intermediate. I particularly enjoy Primary age as this is where inquiring minds really develop. I strive to ensure the students in my care are empowered to be successful learners, confident individuals,
effective contributors and responsible citizens.  I strongly encourage good manners and respect and believe in the quote by Clarence Thomas, “Good manners will open doors that even the best education cannot”.

I moved with my wife and son to New Zealand from Scotland in 2018. I only miss a few things from Scotland, since New Zealand has an abundance of hills to climb and beautiful places to visit. Mostly, I miss family and football. 

I am a strong believer in building a culture of life-long learning giving the students the skills, drive and resilience to take on new ideas and concepts at any age. This is evident in my actions as I recently completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Physical Education 3-14 years and I am currently
working towards a Masters in Leadership.

After a challenging year in 2020 for all of our school community, I am looking forward to becoming one of the St Joseph’s Orekei School whanau and having the opportunity to grow in a nurturing environment.

jim@sjorakei.school.nz

Meet the Team, St Joseph’s Catholic School Orakei

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 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

Meet the Team, St Joseph’s Catholic School Orakei

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.

Meet the Team, St Joseph’s Catholic School Orakei

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

Meet the Team, St Joseph’s Catholic School Orakei

Olivia Walker

Classroom Teacher – Year 2&3

I am excited to be back teaching and learning with my St Joseph’s family! Spending a year with my daughter Mackenzie has fueled my passion for education, while deepening my knowledge and interest in child development. 

I believe in a well rounded education that explores all curricular areas in integrated and exciting ways. Ensuring a child’s social and emotional needs are met are of my utmost priority, so they feel safe, supported and are ready to learn. In Room 2, making mistakes is an important part of the learning process. This is driven by recent research surrounding the plasticity of the brain. 

It is an absolute pleasure to be teaching alongside Ann Quickenden this year. Teaching in partnership allows us to utilise our diverse strengths and explore the creative possibilities of collaborative teaching. 

Woohoo! Bring on 2021 and a jam-packed year of curiosity, creativity and collaboration.

olivia@sjorakei.school.nz

Meet the Team, St Joseph’s Catholic School Orakei

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.

Meet the Team, St Joseph’s Catholic School Orakei

Nicky

Teacher Aide

St Joseph’s has always been a special place to me.  I was married and my two sons were baptised at St Joseph’s Church.  My youngest son still attends here while my older boy has moved on to Sacred Heart. 

I have a background in early learning childhood, spending many years at Ellerslie Playcentre and then teaching since mid 2017 at Playday in Orakei.  I love to create learning opportunities for the children and look forward to connecting and supporting the wonderful tamariki of St Joseph’s.  I’m so happy to be working alongside a close and committed team in a very nurturing environment.

Meet the Team, St Joseph’s Catholic School Orakei

Whaea Deb

Teacher Aide / Support Staff
Meet the Team, St Joseph’s Catholic School Orakei

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.

Meet the Team, St Joseph’s Catholic School Orakei

Seti Kigitama

Caretaker