Principal

Mrs Audrey Kippen is our Acting Principal for 2020.  She was appointed in 2018 as our Deputy Principal and SENCo   (Special Education Needs Co-ordinator).

Mrs Kippen's career in education spans 26 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.

Deputy Principal

Mrs Anna Buckley is our Acting Deputy Principal for 2020.  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 in 2020.  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 Krishnie Govender came across the waters from South Africa to New Zealand in 1997.  She began her NZ teaching career at St Mary's School in August 1997 after teaching in South Africa in three schools in and around Durban for 19 years.  She enjoys being the New Entrant teacher since 2007 and finds it very rewarding.  She is currently holding the Team Leader's role for Team Bethlehem until July 2021.  

Mrs Govender finds that the core values of Respect, Care and Responsibility helps her live and enjoy life as Jesus would want us to.  She has been married to Dennis Govender since 1983 and they have two adult daughters.  When not at work, Krishnie enjoys cooking South African foods and savouries.  She loves road trips around New Zealand as well.