Mrs Audrey Kippen was appointed in 2018 as our Deputy Principal and SENCo (Special Education Needs Co-ordinator). After holding the role of Acting Principal from January 2020, Mrs Kippen was appointed as our new principal on 14 November 2020.
Mrs Kippen's career in education spans 30 years, during which she has worked as a teacher in South Africa, a Principal of an international school in Doha, Qatar, for many years as a school leader in South Auckland and also as an education adviser for the Ministry of Education in Auckland, New Zealand. Her love for the New Zealand curriculum is reflected in the St Mary's school curriculum and environment and her belief that every child can be successful and everyone is worthy of forgiveness, is reflected in our "positive behaviour for life" approach to behaviour management and pastoral care.
Mrs Kippen is passionate about supporting children to reach their full potential and growing their personal relationship with Christ.
Supported by her husband Renay and 2 wonderful children, Dylan and Eryn, Mrs Kippen is an active member of the St Mary's Parish and loves to lead children to worship by sharing the love of Christ.
Mrs Anna Buckley is our our Deputy Principal. She started at St Mary's in 2012, as a classroom teacher and carried out a series of other roles. Mrs Buckley was appointed Acting Deputy Principal for 2020, after which she was permanently appointed to the role. She is very passionate about teaching and learning. She enjoys working alongside teachers and other colleagues, supporting them in their endeavors to help children learn and succeed.
Mrs Buckley loves to see children engaged and excited about their learning and growing in their spiritual journey. Mrs Buckley is a member of the St Mary's Parish and works with the children's liturgy team.
Mrs Buckley and her husband, Patrick have been blessed with two beautiful children, Zara and Leo - which keeps them busy outside of school. She enjoys heading to the beach, shopping and spending time with her family.
Director of Religious Studies / Nazareth Team Leader
Mrs Bernadette Paulse joined our staff in 2011 as a classroom teacher. She has taught at intermediate level in Manurewa, Otahuhu and Conifer Grove where she learned a lot about the different cultures in her new adopted country. Bernadette has a great sense of humour; she loves singing and dancing too.
Her three children attended our school when they were younger and she is now the proud mother of young adults and grandmother of one granddaughter. Her passion is her family and she also has a huge heart to accommodate all her friends, colleagues and students too.
Bernadette collects beautiful cups and enjoys entertaining her friends for special high teas to fundraise for different charities or just to celebrate special occasions.
Our school's special Catholic Character is something very close to Bernadette's heart and she leads our staff and students prayerfully throughout the liturgical year of our faith journey. She enjoys spiritual journaling, attending women retreats and she has lead staff and student retreats too.
Emmaus Team Leader
Mr John Frings has over 30 years of teaching and Principal experience. He first joined St Mary's School as a Year 7 and 8 teacher in 1999. He became Team Leader in 2001 before accepting a Principal position at Waitakaruru School in 2007. Prior to his return to St Mary's School in 2018 he also completed three years as Teaching Principal of Mayland International School, Guangzhou, China.
Mr Frings believes that the establishment of genuine caring relationships within the classroom is a critical positive factor in achieving learning success. He has very much enjoyed reconnecting with the St Mary's school and parish community and acknowledges the tremendous privilege he has in supporting the learning and well being of intermediate aged students.
Originally from Hawkes Bay, he is now a firm Blues and Warrior supporter having lived in South Auckland for over 25 years. Mr Frings, his wife Michelle and sons Joshua and Luke live busy lives but love to spend time surfing, fishing and relaxing at Port Waikato whenever they get the chance.
Jerusalem Team Leader
Mrs Kerryn Baker is the Team Leader of our Year 5 and 6 Jerusalem Team. Kerryn enjoys the outdoors, movies, baking and spending time with her family. Mrs Baker has been at St Mary's School for over 11 years and has taught in a range of year levels. She has two children who also attend the school and loves seeing them grow in confidence and ability.
In 2017, Kerryn was appointed as one of the five Across School Community of Learners Leaders and works with other schools and teachers in our Kahui Ako/ Community of Learning on a Thursday and Friday. Mrs Baker is passionate about seeing children excited about their learning and succeeding in their learning goals.
Bethlehem Team Leader
Mrs Tanya Rowe is the Team Leader of our Year 0-2 Bethlehem Team. She is from South Africa and has lived in New Zealand for many years. She has been a teacher for 15 years and taught at a few Catholic Schools, having been at St. Mary's since 2018. It has always been a wonderful part of her teaching journey to be in Catholic Schools. Mrs Rowe is a member of St. Mary's Parish and is a Minister of the Word.
Her passion for music flows into the classroom where learning is hands-on and fun. She loves to see the excitement in the children as they develop their love of learning. At home, Mrs Rowe enjoys spending time with her family. She has a stepdaughter already at University and her two younger children, dogs and rabbits keep her and her husband very busy. She enjoys cooking, baking and going to the beach.