meet the COUNTIES MANUKAU tEAm
Kia tūtaki i te tīma
Kia ora and g’day!
My name is Kat, I am excited to be part of the Life Education team. I became a teacher in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia, in a low-decile school that had a high population of students who were refugees or living in and out of women’s shelters. I quickly realised how important it is to explicitly teach health and well-being to students – this pushed me to complete my research Masters in Education- Student Well-being. I have over twelve years’ experience as a teacher and in management as a Leading Teacher. I have travelled the world too, teaching in London, Paris, Borneo and outback Australia. I am now proud to call New Zealand home with my partner Jeremy and my ginger cat Remi.
I love Harold! I remember as a child when Life Education came to my school, I would look under the classroom to see if I could spot Harold’s legs. I am excited to make some magic happen with the students in Counties Manukau. In my spare time I like to look after my veggie garden, play my double bass, read, bake, tap dance, attend my te reo classes, listen to music and I’ve just started boxing classes. But my favourite hobby is volunteering at Auckland Zoo, where I get to hang out with Harold’s cousins and my favourite New Zealand bird, the kereru.
Maungakiekie-Tamaki, Puketapapa and Otara-Papatoetoe Educator
Hi, my name is Natalie. I have three sons, Matt 18, Ben 15, and Dan 12. We have an International student for most of the year, often 6 months at a time. We have hosted students for the last 4 years and love getting to know the different cultures and customs of these lovely boys. We have had visitors from China, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Chile, Austria and France. It brings another dimension into our family unit. We also have 2 cats, Toffee and Maisie.
I am a photo-lithographer by trade which I did in NZ; and in London. When I had my first child I retrained and did a Post Graduate Diploma of Teaching Primary and Intermediate. Most of my teaching career has been in Early Childhood which I found very rewarding. Since starting with Life Education in 2017 I have loved meeting and engaging with so many students and schools at so many different levels. I love the philosophy and wonderful messages that are woven through the fabric of our learning in the mobile classroom. Harold is a superstar that puts the sparkle in our day.
After working a few years in an office role while volunteering as a brownie leader Carleen
made the decision to make working with children her career instead of her hobby, and hasn't looked back since. She taught in South Auckland primary schools for 13 years and then joined Life Ed in May 2017. She has found working with Life Ed has enabled her to support and empower more tamariki than in her previous roles as a classroom teacher.
Seeing the joy on children's faces when they see Harold and when they make a connection
o the content we are covering makes this job very fulfilling. When not hanging out with Harold in the mobile classroom, Carleen can be found hanging around the amateur theater circuit. Quite often it's doing the behind the scenes things that keep a show/theatre ticking, but every now and then you might actually catch her treading the boards.
Mangere-Otahuhu and Otara-Papatoetoe Educator
Franklin & Manurewa- Papakura Educator
Kia Ora everyone!
My name is Brittney and I'm a primary school teacher from South Auckland. I love meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, and exploring new places.
I was beyond excited to be blessed with this career opportunity as an educator for Life Education.
Teaching is a passion of mine and I enjoy every day of it. Working within the community I grew up in and knowing that I'm making a difference to children’s lives I feel like I have my dream job!
Franklin & Papakura Educator
My name is Mari, I immigrated to beautiful New Zealand twelve years ago. With on only two suitcases and my hubby by my side we took on the new challenge. My first school was in Papatoetoe as a new entrant teacher.
We have two very adventurous boys called Lucas (4) and Ollie (2). We spend our weekends often by the beach, outside on our bikes or taking care of our veggie garden.
Being part of Life Education excites me. I now have the opportunity to work with Harold and thousands of children each year.