Marian Catholic School

(07) 856 7515 30 Beale Street, Hamilton East

Leaders of Learning

Marion McKoy

Learning Community 1


General Information

Kia Ora te whanau!

I love teaching the little people at Marian School. I love the energy and excitement that the children bring to their learning, and I love to see the absolute joy on their faces when they master a new skill! I want the students in my class to get excited about coming to school and about their learning. I believe that learning should be great fun!

I have been a junior school teacher for many years, and although I enjoy teaching all areas of the curriculum, I have a special passion for Literacy, Music and Art. I also LOVE a good picture book, and I have worked alongside the University of Waikato to develop New Zealand picture book collections.

In my spare time, I like to read and run. I live with my family - my husband Arron, our 3 children and our 3 very noisy chickens. I love to explore the world and have spent many years travelling and teaching overseas and in New Zealand.

Mariette Els

Learning Community 2

Suzanne D'Cruz

Learning Community 3


General Information

Kia ora whānau, my name is Miss Suzanne D'Cruz.

Teaching our Marian Catholic School students has been my passion since I was welcomed into the whānau in 2018.

I thoroughly enjoy seeing the students I work alongside connect and get excited about their learning. I love the energy and love for learning that grows and builds when 'light-bulb' moments happen in our learning space.

I believe in making our learning environment a safe space where everyone feels that they belong. Our classroom will always be filled with love, laughter, fun, challenges and will be a space for you to grow and be YOURSELF.

At school, I love to read aloud to the tamariki, get them involved in the range of Arts and celebrate the successes we witness in our classroom.

In my downtime, I love to cook new recipes, curl up with a cup of coffee and a good book, and watch Disney movies!

A favourite quote to live by is:
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

So I believe it is very cool to be kind everyday.

Maria Maarhuis

Learning Community 4


General Information

Kia ora, te whānau!

I am the Leader of Learning of Learning Community 4 (LC4) and teach Year 5 & 6 students in Room 19. Working alongside students, supporting them in their learning and helping them to achieve their very best is something I am passionate about. I work alongside a great team of teachers who are passionate about what they do and who inspire me in my own teaching.

My connections to Marian Catholic School extend back long ago to when my grandfathers attended Marist. I am also a past pupil and now feel privileged to both teach here and have my own children attend the school.

Outside of school, I enjoy keeping fit by running and walking and being caught up in a good book! Catching up with family and friends is also something I love to do.

Nicole Higby

Learning Community 5


BTchg with Honours. Master of Education, Postgraduate Certificate in Digital & Collaborative Learning.


General Information

I began working at Marian Catholic School in January, 2012 after teaching at St Pius X, St Joseph's Fairfield and Te Pahu schools. I love teaching in Room 20 and Leading our LC5 team for many reasons. I love working with students, and learning alongside them and other adults. I have a great team of teachers around me that I really enjoy working with.

My many passions and interests in LC5 include sport, (I lead the LC5 sports programme, support the Student House Leaders and Sports Council, and coach netball) math, literacy and art. I enjoy developing students’ confidence and self expression skills through writing, and completed my master’s degree on motivating boys’ in writing. In maths I really enjoy extending children’s thinking around the ‘why’. There’s nothing like building growth mindsets and a love of a challenge! I have lead ALIM Maths programmes and enjoy engaging students in Messy Math sessions.

My strengths and passions in the classroom involve building meaningful teaching and learning relationships, while creating interesting hands on learning experiences. I thrive on variety and creativity, and believe every child has something to offer to our classroom, LC5, our school, and our changing world. I find that learning in a catholic school inspires children to develop their spirituality and hauora like no other environment can. Our te reo confidence and learning is growing as we support each other to learn more about Māori culture every year.

Outside work, I enjoy spending time at home, the beach, or in the bush with my friends and family (we have four adult children) working in the garden, playing sport, or walking/running with Bailey.