Our Staff

Centre Manager

Claire Hesketh | Centre Manager

Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (ECE) Certificate in ECE Management

Our Centre Manager Claire has been working in Early Childhood Education and Training for the past fourteen years. She had the privilege of studying at the Pikler Institute in Hungary, completing her RIE One in Los Angeles, and being the only New Zealander to attend an in-depth study programme on Documentation and Assessment at Reggio Emilia, Italy. Claire is particularly passionate about respectful practices for infants and toddlers, planning and assessment, and leadership in Early Childhood Education.

Claire lives with her partner Daniel and her two sons Jack and Johnny, both graduates of our Preschool.

Preschool

Pip Jonathan | Team Leader

Bachelor of Teaching (Primary), Graduate Diploma ECE

Kia Ora Ko Pip taku ingoa.

I live locally and am both primary and early childhood trained, completing my graduate diploma in ECE in 2016.

I have a passion for preparing children for their school days and believe strongly in the value of learning through play.

I am also passionate about using Te Reo in my everyday teaching and life.

My son Blair graduated from The Village and loved being here as much as I do.

Natalie Orme

Bachelor of Teaching, Post Graduate Diploma in ECE Currently on Maternity Leave

Hi, my name is Natalie, I am a qualified primary teacher with a passion for early childhood education, and I have just completed my post graduate diploma in ECE. I have lived in the sunny Bay of Plenty all my life and have worked with The Village for over three years. I am married and love spending time with friends and family.

I believe strongly in inspiring children to achieve their goals, interests and personal strengths and to create a nurturing and safe environment for them to learn in. I have a passion for teaching learning experiences that engage and encourage children to learn and grow.

Lynda Braid

Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)

Kia Ora Whanau

Ko Lynda Toku ingoa

I have been teaching three to five year olds since graduating from the University of Auckland in 2012. I have three children and five grandchildren.

Originally from Tauranga, I am happy to be returning to my hometown to support my family and community.

I have a strong passion for the value of learning through experiences in nature, so it is important to me to be able to offer children interactive experiences with gardens, bush and wildlife. I also believe that children of this age learn best through play.

Rachael Downs

Bachelor of Teaching

Kia Ora! My name is Rachael, I have been Teaching since 2013 in Primary and ECE settings and have been at The Village since 2019. I have a Bachelor of Education majoring in Primary Teaching and anticipate completing my Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education in 2020.

I believe in fostering the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual development of a child and empowering them to take ownership over their learning. Children have a lot to teach us, so I aim to learn from them as much as they learn from me.

I look forward to developing a strong relationship with your child and whanau.

Frances McNamara

Bachelor of Musical Arts, Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE)

Hi, I’m Frances and have been teaching since 2010. I have a Bachelor of Musical Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE) and enjoy combining my love of music with teaching and sharing that passion with the children.

My husband and I have two daughters aged one and four, Elsie and Rose. As a teacher I want to build warm caring relationships with children, helping them feel happy and safe while responding to their interests to foster their creativity.

Sue Te Kani

Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Australia)

Hi, my name is Sue Te Kani and before joining The Village I was working and studying in Sydney where I completed my Diploma in Children’s Early Childhood Education and Care. I have been working in the Preschool for the past three years.

I have three children and one grandchild and I love all kinds of outdoor activities. I love The Village outdoor environment which nurtures the children in nature. The natural surroundings resonate with my beliefs and values as I believe that exposure to nature is fundamental for our future generations.

Explorers

Rebekah Penhall | Team Leader

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Tena Koutou. Hi I’m Rebekah, teaching is an absolute passion of mine. I have been teaching for 10 years and over that time I have enjoyed working across all ages.

I believe in supporting and including all tamariki through positive relationships and stimulating experiences that allow our tamariki to develop and grow alongside their kaiako and peers.

I have just returned from Maternity Leave after having my son Benji, who is in Tots. I have two more beautiful children that I have had the pleasure of teaching, and now I look forward to supporting you and your tamariki in their amazing learning journey.

 

Tessa Arnold

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Hi my name is Tessa. I have been a teacher for four years and recently moved to Tauranga. I pursued other careers before teaching, which has added to my interests and knowledge and helps me in my job as a teacher.

I believe it is my role as a teacher to help children learn to manage themselves and become independent, and to find and develop their strengths.

Choiwee Moon

Bachelor of Teaching

I have a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) from the University of Waikato and graduated in 2012. After graduating I moved to Wellington to work in Early Childhood.

My teaching has been inspired by Magda Gerber’s RIE Philosophy and the Reggio Emilia Philosophy, as well as the teachings of Rudolph Steiner. I have a daughter who is 7 and two sons who are 4 and 2. I have spent the last couple of years at home with them and am enjoying working back in Early Childhood.

I am passionate about holistically teaching children, the natural world, play-based learning and supporting children to become the best versions of themselves. I enjoy running, yoga, reading, baking, nature walks and adventures with the kids.

Hayley Brown

Teacher in Training

I am a mother of two beautiful boys and studying towards my Bachelor of Teaching (early years) and am passionate about my teaching journey as well as being a part of a team here at The Village.

I believe children can realise their full potential in mind body and spirit and are able to feel a sense of belonging through responsive, reciprocal, respectful, trusting and nurturing relationships. Acknowledging each child’s unique journey in life, their culture and beliefs is something I value.

I support opportunities which build on children’s individual interests and abilities. By using the environment as the third teacher, I believe in encouraging exploration through the earth’s natural resources so that children are able to be creative and make sense of their world around them.

Jackie Jenkins

Teacher in Training Currently on Maternity Leave

Kia ora kautou

Ko Jackie toku ingoa

I am a mum to two amazing boys Jae (10) and Neo (3.5). I am currently studying towards my Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) and am extremely excited to have the opportunity to be part of The Village Whanau.

I am passionate about building children’s social skills, encouraging their strengths and interests through play, whilst supporting diversity, cultural beliefs and values.

I think each child should be given the opportunity to explore the huge possibilities the world has to offer, igniting their passion for learning.

Tots

Lisa Havill | Team Leader

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Kia Ora to all the families here at The Village Childcare.

I am so pleased to have been given the opportunity to join the family here along with my daughter Shari.

I graduated in 2004 and have been working with Infants and Toddlers since then. I love that I am able to share such special moments with young children on their learning journey and am excited to be a part of the Team at The Village.

Kushla Morris

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Kia Ora Koutou,

I am excited to return to The Village and be a part of The Village whanau again after many years of teaching out of Tauranga. Tauranga is home for my whanau, and what an amazing place it is. I began my journey as a teacher straight out of high school, and went on to have three children of my own.

It is such a joy to see children grow in their personalities. I enjoy setting up activities and providing materials to help extend their interests. I know that as a teacher, we have the best job in the world!

Building strong, respectful relationships with tamariki and their whanau is so important to me, as this partnership enhances the quality of care. The hope is that this will result in empowering them to become competent and confident learners and communicators.

I look forward to getting to know you, your pepi/tamariki and their whanau.

Ashley Rolls

Bachelor of Sport and Exercise, Teacher in Training

Hi, my name is Ashley Rolls and I am the new teacher in the Tots room. I graduated last year with a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise, but have decided my passion lies with teaching young children.

This year I am studying to complete a postgraduate degree in Early Childhood Education. I look forward to meeting you all along the way.

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