My name is Janine O’Connor. I bring to your community an extensive background in education with experience teaching in state and special character schools within New Zealand and an international school in Singapore. Throughout this time, I have worked alongside learners ranging in age from 5 to 12 years. While always being a full time classroom teacher, I have enjoyed all opportunities to engage in new learning that helps children succeed. This means I have many skills to bring to Room 18 while also benefiting from the rich learning opportunities available there. 

Historically, my family have all been involved in surf lifesaving influenced by my Dad who grew up in Waihi. He loved competing in the surf boats and was still competing when he was 72! I have been a lifeguard too and now both of my children are lifeguards who have competed for Waihi, Mount and Omanu. My son Lochlainn is 19, loves swimming and surf lifesaving and makes us super proud in all that he does. He had a great year in 2019, representing New Zealand at the International Lifesaving Champs held in Durban, South Africa and of course we went to watch and cheer. My daughter Dannielle is older, but has also represented New Zealand at Surf Life Saving in the past. Now she lives and works in Hamilton and will soon take up a new job as a graduate lawyer. 

My husband Sean and I have shifted homes many times. We both enjoy the beach and moved to Tauranga to be closer to the sea and Waihi Beach, from Hamilton, way back in 2003. When we first met he was a builder, and so we love to design and build new homes and gardens. We are looking forward to our new project which is building our “forever” home in the Papamoa area. Sean currently works part time as a paramedic for St John Ambulance Service and occasionally calls in to see me at work so don’t be alarmed if you see an ambulance near school!

Janine O'Connor
Lead Teacher 6–12

Hi Montessori Community. Joining the Arataki classroom as practical life assistant is very exciting for me and I can’t wait to get to know the 22 children and families. My daughter Maia started as a foundation student at little sweethearts Montessori, Girven Road and completed her education with year 7 at Bellevue. Now thriving in the Mount college sports elite class, I take delight in Maia’s passion for sport, maths and her education in general and attribute her thirst for knowledge to her Montessori education.

Having hosted the first parent meeting in my lounge many years ago to discuss requirements to open a Montessori class at Arataki, then years later assisting our Bellevue seniors with planting fruit trees at Arataki Primary, I feel well invested in this community already.
In my spare time I love to cook, stay fit with gym and pilates, hiking, boating, skiing, travelling and more.

Felicia (Fliss) Clark
Practical Life Assistant