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Staff and Board

Teaching Staff

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Dr Owen Arnst


As Principal, I am honoured and enthusiastic to be leading Palmerston North's very special independent school.

Through my career I have been Principal of a range of state and independent schools, and while I bring my own experiences and perspectives to Carncot, I am constantly learning with the pupils, staff and parents as we review, refine and extend the wide range of exciting learning opportunities that set the Carncot experience apart.

I look forward to meeting with you and discussing and how your child will benefit from the multitude of opportunities offered at our great school.

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Mrs Larissa Hogan

Deputy Principal and Year 8 Teacher

I am extremely excited to be part of the Carncot team. It is a privilege to be the teacher of Year Eight and be the Deputy Principal of such an amazing school. I have been teaching Year 7 and 8 for the last eleven years with four of these in an Academic Excellence class. I am passionate about Year 7 and 8 education, outdoor education and students achieving their best.


Mrs Jane Harris

Assistant Principal and Year 5 Teacher

I am enthusiastic and happy about being part of a wonderful team here at Carncot School. It is a privilege to be the Assistant Principal and teacher of Year 5 pupils. I have spent the last 30 years teaching in independent schools in the Wellington Region and I look forward to this new opportunity and experience with excitement. I have a love for developing learners who are critical thinkers and globally minded along with an interest in international curriculum development. I have previously been responsible for the Gifted and Talented programmes within the school structure and I look forward to developing new opportunities for our learners to take authentic action in the community.

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Mrs Raewyn Morris

Year 7 Teacher

I am very excited to be on the staff at Carncot School. I have 20 years experience teaching Year 7 and 8. I enjoy helping students to be their best in all areas and to gain confidence as they progress through school. We have amazing resources and opportunities for the students at Carncot and I endeavour to utilise them all whether it be with my Year 7 class, for electives or during technology.

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Mrs Juliet Redmond

Year 6 Teacher

I enjoy being a member of Carncot's vibrant teaching team. My background in teaching English as a second language and business enhance the learning opportunities I provide for our students. I am passionate about understanding the individual needs of each learner, and planning and delivering a targeted programme to meet these unique needs. In addition to teaching the Year 6 class, I oversee the literacy across the school, lead the Middle team camp, mentor the St Margaret house leaders, coach hockey and run the tennis competition.

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Dr Jennifer Te Huki

Year 3/4 Teacher

I feel privileged to join the Carncot team. It is such an inclusive and welcoming community. I have been teaching in international schools all around the world for the past twenty years. I have been lucky enough to teach international curricula that lead pupils to be globally minded. I hope to continue that work here at Carncot. I look forward to getting to know and constructing knowledge with my students.

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Mrs Leandra Roberts

Year 1/2 Teacher

I am a loving teacher who is deeply passionate about creating an environment where children feel safe, supported and inspired to learn and explore. My goal is to foster a nurturing atmosphere that encourages students to reach their full potential. I was born in South Africa, a country known for its rich cultural diversity and vibrant landscape. Growing up in this dynamic environment has instilled in me a deep appreciation for the power of education in shaping young minds and transforming lives. Having gained valuable experience in independent schools, I have had the opportunity to work with diverse student populations and collaborate with dedicated educators. This experience has honed my skills in creating engaging lessons and managing classroom dynamics. I am excited to make a positive impact on the lives of the children I have the privilege of teaching at Carncot.

Specialist Teaching Staff

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Ms Sarah James

Art Teacher

I am thrilled to be Carncot School's Art Specialist having taught Visual Art in both Primary and Secondary Schools for 14+ years. I am looking forward to an Art room filled with creativity and a School year full of fun and learning. One of my goals is to make Art a positive experience for every student regardless of their artistic ability. My passion is to sensitively encourage and inspire students to explore their creativity in and outside of the Art room - ultimately, to develop and excel with confidence in their artistic literacy / education. Student's can look forward to feeling safe, respected and cared about when in the Art room. Let’s build a positive community in the Art room together! Teaching motto - " To encourage, nurture and inspire the whole child in a positive climate of achievement and success".

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Ms Heather de Ridder

Specialist Music Teacher

On the piano music room door there is a sign that reads “Music is for Life”. How true that has been for me. I have had the pleasure and privilege of teaching piano and instrumental music at Carncot for over 30 years. I have witnessed life changes in students as they progress on their musical journeys. Concentration levels increase, confidence in achieving each milestone and mastering the ability to perform and enjoy their music making are amongst the benefits. Every child should be given the chance to have a lifetime enriched by music.

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Mrs Marise McNeill

Specialist Music Teacher

I teach violin at Carncot school, enjoying the one-on-one individual rapport with each student as they grow and develop. Music offers opportunities, experiences, skills, and supports life’s on-going journey. Enriching a child’s world with this long-time gift of the international language of music is an honour and a privilege.

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Mrs Kirsten Clark

Specialist Music Teacher

My Role at Carncot is that of a specialist music teacher. I teach singing. I love having one on one contact with the students and seeing them grow in confidence.

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Mrs Brenda Pinfold

Specialist Music Teacher

I teach guitar at Carncot as an extension of Kevin Downing’s Guitar School. Our philosophy is to teach formal musical knowledge with an enjoyable and layered approach which attains results fast. We teach all students how to play and communicate with other musicians. It is a pleasure to see my students grow in confidence, and totally enjoy the journey.

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Mrs Nery Juarez


Hola! I am originally from Mexico and I have lived in NZ since 2002, I have a degree in Architecture, a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education, I am the owner of MiCasa Spanish Classes and I am also a NZ registered teacher. I have a passion for teaching. I have been teaching for more than 20 years, and I am very excited to be part of the Carncot Community teaching Spanish to your children. I am committed to teach Spanish to my students in a way that they will love to learn a new language and they will find a passion for the Spanish language and culture.

Support Staff

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Mrs Natasha McCann

Assistant Teacher / Before- and After-School Co-ordinator

As an experienced before/after school and holiday programme carer, I am pleased to be able to bring this fantastic programme to the parents and children of Carncot. I love being able to build relationships with the children outside of a classroom setting as well as inside the class as a teacher aide.

From Term 2, 2022 I am looking forward to my new role as a assistant teacher in the new entrant classroom.

Administration Staff

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Mrs Janelle Ramsay

Administration Team Leader / Finance Administrator

It is both a privilege and a pleasure to lead the Administration Team of Carncot within my role as finance administrator. The core values of school Respect, Integrity, Care, Honesty, Excellence and Responsibility are a reflection of my everyday practice. I am a people's person and enjoy working alongside and building relationships with the students, their families and staff.

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Mrs Vicki Smith

Office Administrator / Uniform Shop

I am married with 3 adult children and along with my husband have been in business in Palmerston North since 1999. Prior to my role as Teacher Aide I was a Medical Practice Manager for 14 years. Having experienced the Carncot Community as a parent when our daughter Abby attended, it is a privilege to now be part of the dedicated staff who are committed to the development and growth of each Carncot student.

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Mrs Tanya Neilson-Phillips

Office Administrator

I have a dual roll of both Admin on a Friday and Teachers aide on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. I love the variety of both of my roles and enjoy being amongst the students, teachers and admin staff alike.The rest of my week is spent looking after my one year old grand daughter and my wee sewing business which keeps me busy.

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