New staff for 2019

By GHS Office | Posted: Monday February 11, 2019

We welcome a number of new staff starting this year:

  • Mr Daniel Clare (Year 8), Mr Borom Blakie (Year 7), Ms Annabel Duffield (Year 7) - joining our Year 7 & 8 Homeroom Department.
  • Miss Saskia Tremmel - joining our Languages Department.
  • Mrs Teena Vincent - who will be working in Learning Support, Languages and Science Departments.
  • Mrs Karen Strijbis - joining our English Department.
  • Mrs Rose Cullen - who joined us at the end of last year as Principal PA and Admin role.
  • Mrs Mel O'Connor - who joins the Science Department teaching one Year 7 or 8 class as well as continuing the role as Science Technician.  Mrs O'Connor has been accepted into Teachers College for this year and she will be a great asset to our teaching profession.


See below short Bio's from our new staff.

I was born in Dunedin but lived most of my adult life in Christchurch where I worked at ESR as an Executive Assistant for over 13 years. After living north of Auckland for a year my husband and I decided to move to the Geraldine area to be closer to family. We have a daughter living in Christchurch and we have just welcomed a new grandson to the family. I enjoy card making and reading and spending time with family.  

Rose Cullen


My name is Mel O'Connor and I have been the Science Technician here at Geraldine High School for the past 6 years and last year I also took on the mentoring tutor role. This year as well as continuing with the science technician duties, I am embarking on a new challenge in studying toward my Graduate Diploma in Teaching through Massey University and I'm also excited to be teaching a Year 8 science class.

We have 3 boys and live just out of Geraldine on a large lifestyle/small farm where we run dairy grazers. I enjoy being outdoors, camping and running and this year have signed up to my first (and probably only) marathon the Motatapu.

It's going to be a very busy year!  

Mel O'Connor


I was born and raised in Dunedin, where I attended Otago Boys' High School and the University of Otago Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Over eight years, I completed an MSc and started PhD study. However, I found my teaching work more rewarding, and chose to withdraw from my PhD to train as a high school teacher. Outside of study, I have maintained a keen interest in landscape photography, both digital and darkroom-based.  

Borom Blakie


Kia Ora, my name is Annabel Duffield and I am joining Geraldine High School this year as a Year 7 Homeroom Teacher and Junior Drama Teacher. I was born and raised in Timaru and then completed my teaching degree at the University of Canterbury. This is my fourth year teaching, where I previously taught at Highfield School and Oceanview Heights in Timaru. I am currently building a house with my fiancé in Pleasant Point and we are planning to get married in 2020. I am very excited to be given the opportunity to teach at Geraldine High School and look forward to seeing what the year has to offer.  

Annabel Duffield


I was born in Munich, Germany.

I was an exchange student at Newlands College in Wellington in Year 12 and Year 13.

I went to university in Germany.
I have been teaching English (which is ESOL in Germany) and Latin for two years before I came to New Zealand.

Saskia Tremmel


Tēnā koutou katoa my name is Teena Vincent. I was born in Dunedin and spent my first 5 years living in Clyde St near the Otago University. I was blessed to spend the following 20 years in the small vibrant village of Port Chalmers. I then ventured to the majestic West Coast, where I lived predominantly in the beautiful town of Hokitika until moving on the 14th Jan this year to Geraldine. I am a mother of two children, Billy who’s just started in Yr 7 at GHS and Aimee (26) who is still living in our family home on the West Coast. My husband’s name is Chris and we have spent the last 17 years together creating as many happy memories as we possibly can, we’ve been happily married for 13 years, this year. We also have a beautiful chocolate labrador called Bear. My interests include tramping, gardening, whitebaiting, fishing, listening to music, Spring Challenge triathlons, cake decorating, Doterra essential oils, Zumba and cooking. This is my 17th year in education. I taught at Kaniere Primary School for around 10 years and, after two further post graduate years of training, worked the last 7 years as an RTLB (Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour). In my RTLB role I gained a wealth of knowledge and skills to support teaching and learning. I worked alongside many amazing students ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old. I am now enjoying my role as Assistant Head of Department for Learning Support as well as teaching a Yr 7 and 8 Te Reo Māori and Yr 7 and 8 Science class. Please feel free to introduce yourself and have a chat if you'd like to know more.

Teena Vincent


I am in my seventh year of teaching after two distinctively different settings in North West England. I leave behind a peninsula between Liverpool and Northern Wales where I have spent most my life. Both me and my partner have family in Australia and whilst we wanted to be a little closer to them, we were keen to start a new life amongst the mountainous landscapes of New Zealand. Our dog, who is a huntaway cross, is sure to love it too when she eventually arrives!

I look forward to many tramping and camping opportunities, where I’ll likely have my head looking down into a book or up at the stars.

I enjoy practising yoga, mindfulness and meditation but admittedly I have a less than peaceful side to me if the football is on!

I’m settling in socially and professionally because of Geraldine’s wonderfully welcoming nature and it’s already proven to be the right choice.

Daniel Clare