Our Teaching Staff

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Mrs Jay Moodly - Bethlehem Whanau  - Year 1/2

Mrs Moodly is from South Africa.  She came from Durban;  it is South Africa's third largest city with many top attractions and beautiful long beaches.  It's also a haven for surfers.  She taught for over 15 years in South Africa.

Mrs Moodly loves living in New Zealand with her family.  Her husband is Mr Moodly.  They have two adult sons and their daughter-in-law.  Their youngest son is married and they have an adorable baby boy.  It is a blessing to be a grandparent.

Mrs Moodly has been teaching for over 20 years in Auckland.  She enjoys teaching at St Mary's Catholic School.  "We are like a big family.  We nurture the values of respect, care and responsibility through our faith and teaching, with strong partnerships with the children and the community". 


Her interests are reading, theatre, baking, cooking and yoga.  

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Mrs Tanya Rowe - (currently on leave)

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Mrs Simone Butler - Bethlehem Whanau

Mrs Butler has three children.  Her eldest son went through St Mary's and finished in 2018.  Her youngest son is currently a student at St Mary's and her daughter is looking forward to starting at St Mary's this year.  Mrs Butler's family have been heavily involved in the St Mary's community through the PTFA, BoT and helping out at the annual gala for a number of years.  Simone is now excited to bring her 16 years of experience in early years education to the tamariki in Team Bethlehem.  She especially enjoys inspiring discovery through hands-on learning experiences and also teaching Art and Science.  In her spare time, she loves riding her bike, reading, cooking and spending time with friends and whanau.  

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Mrs Mary Bird - Nazareth Team - Year 3/4

Mrs Bird has been at St Mary's since 2004.  She started as a New Entrant teacher and has taught various year levels at primary school.  She enjoys teaching and enabling children to be the best they can be.  Mrs Bird has a passion for learning and teaching RE, ICT and Te Reo.  

Mary has one son who is married, has his own business, and lives and works in Sydney.  In her spare time, she likes to do gardening, listen to music and work on crafts and decorations.  

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Mrs Jesy Griffin - Jerusalem Team - Year 5/6

Mrs Griffin grew up in the Philippines.  After university, she moved to South Korea to study Korean language and a Masters in International Studies.  She has a passion for languages and cultures, and has taught ESL in Korea, Myanmar and Malaysia.

Mrs Griffin recently completed her Graduate Diploma in Teaching at the University of Auckland.  She is thrilled to start her teaching journey in New Zealand at St Mary's.  

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Mrs Jelinda Adams - Jerusalem Team - Year 5/6

Mrs Adams is thrilled that she "has been teaching for more than 20 years".  She grew up in Durban, South Africa and graduated with a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Kwa Zulu Natal in 1995 and an Honours Degree in Education Law and Policy from the University of Pretoria in 2010. 


She began her teaching career in Johannesburg, South Africa where she taught underprivileged children for more than 15 years before moving to New Zealand.  This year she is teaching Year 5/6 and loving it!  Currently, she lives in Flatbush with her husband Chris and three boys (Ethan, Liam and Caleb).  

Jelinda enjoys cooking, reading, watching movies and spending time with her family.  

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Mrs Anneke Walker - Emmaus Team - Year 7/8

Mrs Walker was born in Christchurch, raised in Australia and lived in Canada for many years.  Her daughter attended St Mary's for six years, so she has been involved in the school from a parent and teacher perspective.  Mrs Walker worked in Event Management and Corporate Travel prior to gaining a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  After graduating and wanting to pursue a career in Social Development, she then completed a Graduate Diploma in Primary Teaching and hasn't looked back since.  Teaching and developing children is her most rewarding career to date.  She especially enjoys teaching in an Innovative Learning Environment, as the increased engagement of children within this learning philosophy is evident.  Outside of school, Mrs Walker enjoys family holidays, spending time with her friends, running and walking her dog.  

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Mrs Susan Pohlen - Jerusalem Team - Year 5/6

Mrs Pohlen is looking forward to connecting with and teaching your loved ones.  Raised in a Catholic family, Mrs Pohlen grew up and was educated in Auckland - she is a proud mother of three daughters.  Susan spent many years living abroad in a variety of countries, which was fascinating.  With an artistic temperament, she is creative and enjoys cooking for her family and friends - also passionate about the visual arts, interior design and music.  Being athletic and drawn to the outdoors, Susan runs regularly, plays tennis, cycles, enjoys boating and being on the water.

"It will be delightful to get to know and teach the Year 5/6 students and continue my educational journey at St Mary's Catholic School".

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Mrs Jean White - Reading Support / International Students

Mrs White loves books and reading, so she would like to help all children to love books and to enjoy reading. 

Mrs White is privileged to work with St Mary's pupils.  

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Mrs Clare Culpan - Regular Relieving Teacher

Mrs Culpan has been teaching at St Mary's for a number of years.  All her children have been through St Mary's and she has had a long association with the school.  Mrs Culpan enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, travelling and loves Pilates.  

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Mr Kay Moodly - Regular Relieving Teacher / Maths Support

Mr Moodly has lived and taught in New Zealand for about 22 years.  He enjoys teaching Maths, doing crosswords, sudoku and puzzles.  He spends time reading history and literature.  Mr Moodly's wife, Jay also teaches at St Mary's School and they have two sons, a daughter-in-law, one grandson and a cat.