Our Team

Sue Hill: General Manager

Kia ora, I’m Sue. I hail from Zimbabwe, Africa, where I completed my early childhood studies and worked in ECE settings in both Zimbabwe and Botswana, prior to immigrating to New Zealand.

In 2011, I was privileged to join the wonderful Future Kids Ohaupo community where I worked as a teacher across all age groups, was team leader of the Water room and then centre supervisor, prior to taking on the role of General Manager.

I am passionate about children’s learning and believe in respectful relationships, empowering children to be confident learners who believe in their capabilities. I also believe that this learning extends to all ākonga; tamariki, kaiako and whānau as it takes a village to raise a child. I am excited to be a part of the Future Kids philosophy, supporting nurturing education through sustainable approaches for all.

My husband and I are part of a very active family, who love fishing and the outdoors. When we are not supporting our three children’s many sporting activities, we can be found exploring the waterways around New Zealand and enjoying the great outdoors.

Keryn Hooker - Centre Manager

Kia Ora, my name is Keryn and I am excited to be joining the Future Kids team. I am a qualified and registered teacher with 10 years’ experience in the early childhood sector.

I believe that building strong relationships with each child and their whaanau underpins all other aspects of my personal teaching philosophy. I especially enjoy being outside with children exploring the natural world and helping them discover the environment around them.  I am very passionate about supporting children to become independent, inquisitive and knowledgeable members of society.

My husband Jason and I have two preschool daughters, Kaeleigh and Niamh. We are very blessed to live on a life style block at the base of the Hakarimata ranges. As a family we love being outdoors and you will often find myself and the girls out with the horses.

I am looking forward to getting to know the children and their whaanau during my time at Future Kids.

Stevie-Rae Ofanoa - Earth Room Team Leader

Tena kotou, tena kotou, tena kotou katoa
Ko Kakepuku te maunga,
Ko Tainui te waka,
Ko Waikato te awa,
Ko Tainui te iwi,
Ko Ngati Maniapoto te hapu,
Ko Mookaikanga te marae,
Ko Reitini Houpapa toku mama,
Ko Ian Love toku papa,
Ko Thomas Ofanoa toku tane,
Ko Zyon Ofanoa toku tama,
Ko Israel Ofanoa toku pepi,
Ko Stevi-Rae Ofanoa ahau
No reira tena kotou, tena kotou katoa


Above is my pepeha, my whakapapa, this shows and acknowledges where I came from, it is a reminder of my roots and my heritage. It displays my future with my partner and my children and the next generation to come. My husband is Tongan and I am Maori, our children have a mixture of both cultures and more, as I enjoy exposing them to the wonderful cultures that surround them here in Aotearoa.


I am a qualified early childhood teacher with over 8 years of ECE experience. I enjoy leading teams to achieve their goals and become leaders in their own passions that benefit the outcomes of our tamariki.


Working as a team is the greatest gift in ECE as I believe in the whakatauki, “Ehara taku toa, he taki tahi, he toa taki tini” – “My success should not be bestowed onto me alone, as it was not individual success but success of a collective” and “it takes a village to raise a child”.


Teams that are passionate and highly motivated create successful environments. Individuals who work on their own may not succeed yet become overwhelmed and tired to carry such a heavy load alone.


I believe that whanau are the most valuable teachers in their child's life, they are the experts first of their own child, so building relationships with whanau is important to me. Please feel free to introduce yourself to me and have a quick korero if you see me about.


Arohanui,
Stevi-Rae
  

Gemma Cole

Kia ora e te whanau,
Ko Gemma Ngarita Cole taku ingoa,
I was born in Hamilton and have lived here my whole life, I love the Coromandal and have family history there. My Whakapapa steams back to this area and it is where many of my whanau have lived and passed. I love spending time at the beach and walking through the native bush with my husband and our tamariki. We have two children, a daughter and son, both school aged. As a family we spend many hours camping, fishing, and exploring the wonder of nature and the beauty which surrounds us.
I have been in Early Childhood Education for over thirteen years and am a quailified and registered teacher. I have been involved in caring for childen aged 0-6 years old and have also been involved in Home-based Education and Care for the past three years in a leadership role as a Visiting Teacher. 
I come from a family of teachers and follow in the footsteps of my mother and Aunty.
My family and I have birds, a cat, a dog, and a turtle. We take pride in kaitiaki (guardianship) and enjoy growing our own vegetables, respecting and caring for the land and it's creatures.
I love art and creative adventures, writting and sharing in fun and laughter with my family and friends.
I am excited to join the Future Kids Whanau and look forward to meeting you all as we share in this journey.
Gemma Cole

Monique Harrison - Team Leader Fire Room

Hey everyone I’m Monique.

I am really looking forward to joining the team at Future Kids. I am a fully qualified and registered teacher and have working in ECE for the past 8 years. The concept of a sustainable and eco-friendly environment is something I feel strongly about, so being part of a centre that is built on this is very exciting. I believe in creating an environment that is a good place for children to be, somewhere where they feel safe, cared for and confident to explore and learn in the environment around them, while building respectful and meaningful relationships. My 3-year-old twins Peppah and Ollie will be coming along with me each day and I am thrilled about them being part of Future Kids too. Along with our twins, my husband Adan and I have two older boys, Ashton is 9 and Elijah is 5, who definitely keep us on our toes! We are a very busy and active family who spend lots of time being outdoors, in the weekends you would find us on the rugby field, at the beach, at the park or bike riding. If by chance I manage to get a quiet moment to myself I like to spend it reading a good book. I can’t wait to get to know the children and their families at Future Kids.

Gemma Weston

Kia ora whaanau,

My name is Gemma. I am a fully Qualified and Registered Teacher who has been teaching for over 15 years. I really enjoy interacting and teaching children and have many years experince working within the Education sector. I understand the importance of Early Childhood Education for young children, toddlers and infants, as they are our next generation on this beautiful world of ours. I always wanted to be a teacher, for as long as I can remember.

I completed my Diploma of Teaching (ECE) in 2008 through Te Tari Puna o Aoteroa (New Zealand Childcare Association) and gained Full Registration in 2011.

I live in St Andrews here in Hamilton with my partner of 16 years Dean. We have four cats, Molly, Poppy, Freddie and Zena. I love animals! I have a younger sister who is a Registered Nurse at Waikato Hospital and a funny, handsome and energetic nephew who will be eight years old in June. They live in Hamilton with my brother-in-law. My parents also live in Hamilton and we spend lots of time together. Family is a huge and important part of my life. My hobbies include drawing, painting (anything arty), swimming, gardening, camping and spending time at the beach with friends and loved ones. I like to be one with nature, to explore and value what Papatuanuku (Earth Mother) has to offer us all.

I am very excited to be part of our Future Kids Preschool team here in Te Rapa. I am looking forward to meeting the children, whaanau and families that will be involved and attending Future Kids Preschool Te Rapa.

Nga mihi nui

Gemma

Shannon Jackson

Kia ora my name is Shannon.
I have been working in early childhood for eleven years and I am currently provisionally registered and have a bachelor of teaching. I have been brought up in early childhood with my mum, aunty and cousins all being involved in the Early Childhood sector.
I love being out in nature going for bush walks and spending the day at the beach collecting resources. I enjoy camping, spending time with my family, friends and being surrounded in nature. Family is important to me and i was lucky enough to work with them in early childhood.
I have a passion for caring for all living things may that be a spider or a dog. I am passionate about childrens learning empowering them to lead their learning being there to support and guide them on their learning journey. I enjoy engaging with the children in messy play watching their creativity flow. Teaching our tamariki the importance of caring for our earth and the wonderful things it has to offer. I live in Hamilton with my partner Andrew and our dog. I have a stepson who is eleven that I love spending time with. I look forward to starting a new teaching journey with you all at Future Kids.

Megan Applebee - (Maternity leave)

Hi, my name is Megan and I am beyond excited to join the team at Future Kids!


I moved to New Zealand from Canada seven years ago, and I absolutely love it here! I have my Canadian qualifications for Early Childhood and am hoping to transfer them over and continue on an Education Degree in the near future. I have worked in Early Childhood for over ten years now and I couldn’t think of a better career. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of a child’s learning, and to experience the wonder of the world through their eyes. I think each child should be treasured for what makes them unique and special. Laying a proper foundation in childhood sets them up to grow into amazing humans. I feel honored to be part of that process.


My husband Nick and I own a lifestyle block in the Tauhei area, and we enjoy spending most of our time outside with our two year old son Maddon. We also have two dogs, a cat, two goats, a sheep, a calf, and some chickens. We love being able to grow our own fruit and vegetables, and Maddon loves running around with all the animals. I think the idea of creating a more sustainable earth for our children is so important, and being part of a centre built on this is very exciting.


I look forward to meeting all of the children and families at Future Kids.

Beina Liu

Hey, my name is Beina Liu.

It is so exciting to be part of the team at Future Kid. I came from China in 2005. I have been a ECE teacher since 1998 while I was in China. As well as this, I completed my Bachelor of Teaching ECE at The University of Waikato in 2011 and have been teaching ECE in New Zealand since 2009.

I am passionate about providing a quality early education to children. I enjoy interacting with children through positive teaching attitude in plays. I believe respecting children, listening to them, understanding their needs and providing quality resources to them are very important to promote their development and learning. I am looking forward to having fantastic time with your children here.

I live in Rotokauri with my husband, Jason and my beautiful girl, Georgia. I also have two dogs, Kuti and Marley, two mummy bunnies, Snow ball and Cinder, one daddy bunny, Lucky Grey and two broods of baby bunnies, who were born recently. I love animals. I enjoy cuddling them, playing with them and having good time of being their friend.

I love spending time with with my family. We love to travel to other towns in New Zealand or oversea. In my spare time, I love doing exercise, listening to music, watching movies and playing piano. I also enjoy doing painting with my girl. I love being her team and completing pictures together.

Apart from English, I also speak mandarin and Taiwanese. If I can help you with any mandarin and Taiwanese language problems please do not hesitate to give me a yell. I am willing to support all families.

I can’t wait to meet you at Future Kids. Looking forward my next teaching journey.

Navneet Dhiman - Team Leader Water Room

Kia Ora, My name is Navneet (NEET) Dhiman. I am a qualified and fully registered ECE teacher with more than 7 years of work experience. I hold Graduate Diploma in Teaching, a PG diploma in Education from AUT, and a Masters degree in Science from India.

Coming from a family of teachers, I have always been passionate about working with children and their whanau for making a positive difference in their lives. I view my role as a friend, facilitator and scaffolder to encourage children’s learning in a fun, exciting and confidence building environment.

I love working in a team and role model positive and respectful behavior to develop meaningful trusting relationships with everyone involved. I live in Hamilton with my husband and we love spending time together doing cooking, listening music, playing chess and travelling.

I am very excited to be a part of Future Kids, Te Rapa. I look forward to contributing to their continued success.

Jordyn Boot

Kia ora koutou, my name is Jordyn Boot and I am a 21 year old student in my

Second year at wintec studying a Bachelor of Teaching. I currently live in

Flagstaff, Hamilton with my parents, younger brother.

Prior to starting  my studies I  worked in a child care centre and it was only after leaving  here  for a position in a  totally different  role   that I realised how much  I missed it and decided that  this was  the career path that I wanted to pursue.

I would describe myself as a responsible, intuitive, very caring person. I am organised and although I enjoy structure, I do find it easy to adapt to new environments, and situations. Life is a learning journey and I am open to all I can do to improve myself and those around me.

I am excited to be joining Future kids and am looking forward to being part of a team who are also passionate about children and working with them to help them not only grow but thrive and succeed.

I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know you and welcome meeting you all and developing the many relationships that are to come.

Dale Newton

Kia ora my name is Dale,

I have a bachelor of education,  graduating in 2017, currently on a provisional registration.
I've been working in early childhood for 3 years. My passion for children's learning strengthened with having my own child and attending playcentre. Working with children has to be the most rewarding career.
Whenever possible my daughter and I try to find new walks to connect with nature and enjoy the hidden treasures. My fondest childhood memory would be picking fresh vegetables to eat out of my great grandmother's garden to eat, establishing a vegetable garden at home is a priority once we relocate to Hamilton in the near future.

Sophie Taurua

Kia ora, 
Ko Pouerua e Tuwatawata toku maunga 
Ko Owhareiti e Whirinaki toku awa 
Ko Ngatokimatawhaorua e Maataatua toku waka 
Ko Oromaahoe e Waikotikoti toku marae 
Ko Ngapuhi e Ngati Whare toku iwi 
Ko Darcy Taurua toku papa 
Ko Tracy Taurua ne Malaquin toku mama 
Ko Nadene Taurua toku tuakana 
Ko Sam Drake toku tuhinga 
Ko Rennie Taurua-Drake toku tama 
Ko Sophie Taurua toku ingoa 
No reira tena koutau tena koutau tena koutau katoa 

Kia ora whanau, 
My name is Sophie Taurua and that was my pepeha to introduce myself to you all. I am a new-graduate with a degree in Early Childhood Education where I studied through Wintec and have experience working with children for the last 4 years while completing my studies. 

Family is hugely important to me and I spend as much time with them as possible, I have a 15 month old son as well as two nieces aged 4 and 6, and they are definitely a handful but well worth it. I have lived in Hamilton my entire life, but my partner Sam is originally from Invercargill. 

Some things I like to do for fun include, playing sports - especially netball, listen to music and sing, spend time with family, and just anything to do with being outdoors. I also love baking and messy play activities. 

Being able to form reciprocal and meaningful relationships with both children and whanau is something I think is really important within early childhood and really resonates with who I am as a person. 

I look forward to meeting and getting to know you and your tamariki in the Water room. 

Arohanui, 
Sophie Taurua 

Balbir Ghattaure (Neena) - Team Leader Air Room

Kia Ora Everyone

My name is Balbir Kaur Ghattaure (Neena). I am from India and I have been working in Early Childhood Sector for over 7 years, where I have been in roles of a teacher and a team leader. I am a fully registered teacher and hold a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Education and Graduate Diploma.

I have a passion for children. I always knew I was going to be a teacher. My passion has continued to grow over the years making me a better teacher and mother. I have a one beautiful daughter and she is one and a half years old.

I recognise the importance of the early years in children’s learning and development. I believe that children are confident, competent learners who can take lead of their own learning as well as shape my teaching practice.

I look forward to getting to know you and your family.

Jenny Skelton

Hello, I'm Jenny, my family and I just arrived in New Zealand two months ago. I have been teaching for a total of 19 years now; in the UK where I am from originally, Qatar and Beijing. I love teaching young children, encouraging them to happy and confident.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, I have four children; Joe who is 11 years old, Freddie aged 7 and our twins Maggie and Elsie aged 3 they are enjoying settling into life at Future Kids too!

I am very excited about our next adventure in New Zealand and look forward to being part of the Future 

Nicky Burgess

 

Relieving Staff

Val Strange - Chef

Our onsite chef

Te Rapa Preschool

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We're in Te Rapa...

Read about our centre in Te Rapa.

New Plymouth Preschool

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New Plymouth Preschool

Read about our centre in New Plymouth