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.

Tennessa Haydon - Earth Room Team Leader

Kia Ora, my name is Tennessa Haydon and I began my teaching journey eight years ago.

I am passionate about building warm and reciprocal relationships with our tamariki and their whānau, creating a space filled with love and laughter. In my spare time I enjoy being with my family and friends, kayaking and reading a good book. I am so excited to start my new journey at future kids and look forward to meeting you all.

Devon Elliott - Air Room Team Leader

I’ve been working in the ECE sector for 9 years and have held a variety of positions over this time including previous leadership roles. I am particularly passionate about building strong relationships and partnerships between whanau, tamariki and kaiako and enjoy seeing how this leads to best outcomes for our children. Over my career I have had a keen focus on the development and care of our youngest tamariki, our under two’s.

I feel very privileged to be a part of their very important first years and to have the opportunity to witness the world unfold before them as they make new discoveries every day. Born and raised in Canada, I spent 3 years teaching in England before moving to New Zealand 12 years ago. My partner Grant and I have 3 children who we’ve playfully named our Caniwis! Last year we moved to Pukete into our ‘forever’ home and we are slowly discovering our gardening and DIY skills. It has really taught me that you are never too old to learn new things! I’ve been fortunate enough to do a fair bit of travelling over time and we continue to try to do as much of this as we can as family. We also love to go for walks, either in nature or just around the neighbourhood, and go to the beach.

I look forward to having the opportunity to meet each of you and your children and am looking forward to undertaking our shared mahi!

Tanya Bavastro - Water Room Team Leader

Kia ora Future Kids whanau,

Tanya Bavastro is my name but I prefer to be called Tanz.

I am Hamilton born and raised then moved away returning 14yrs ago with my son who has this year started at St John's College.
I have been working alongside or teaching tamariki for approximately 10years now starting as an ESW (Education Support Worker) for McKenzie Centre during that time I was encouraged to pursue my Early Childcare Degree.

I believe in working alongside and encouraging our tamariki and supporting their independence and exploration, building strong reciprocal relationships with their peers as well as kaiako.

I also feel that during these early years tamariki focus most of their learning through play and real life experiences, with saying that I am very excited in becoming part of the team here at Future Kids, and working alongside kaiako and tamariki as this comes through very strongly in the Future Kids philosophy and environment.

Music, singing and the use of Te Ao Maori within my own practice are passions of mine and are included in my day to day practice.
I look forward to becoming part of the Future Kids whanau, getting to know not only the tamariki but also their families and whanau.

Paridhi Sharma - Fire Room Team Leader

Kia Ora, my name is Paridhi Bohra and I am part of the sublime teaching team of the Fire Room at Future Kids Te Rapa. I possess a Graduate Diploma in ECE along with a Bachelor’s degree in commerce (Economic Honours) and I am also a Level 7 Business Operations Management graduate diploma holder.

I have nearly 7 years of teaching experience and a passion to see the next generation have the best possible start. I believe that every child deserves the best and I strive to implement that through meaningful relationships, the best education strategies and beautiful provoking environments. I take pride in forming amazing relationships with our whanau and embed my multiculturalism knowledge into our philosophy. I am looking forward to getting to know the children and their whaanau during my time at Future Kids.

Anne Foulkes

Kia Ora; I am currently studying a Bachelor of Teaching ECE at WINTEC and am in the process of completing my third and final year.

Originally from Christchurch I travelled and lived in Asia for many years before moving to Auckland and then Hamilton where I live now with my family.

I still have a passion for travel but I have learned this year to appreciate the beauty and wonder of Hamilton and New Zealand. This summer I enjoyed local adventures, long sunny days at the beach and exploring nature with my family.

I look forward to meeting you over the coming weeks and am excited to be teaching your tamariki.

Sophie Gibbs

Hello Future Kids! My name is Sophie and I hold a Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education. I also hold the New Zealand Certificate in Nanny Education.

I have had a passion for working with children for the last 8 years which lead me to working in America as an au pair. On my return to New Zealand, I embarked on the formal journey of my Bachelor of Teaching. I strongly believe children should be agents of their own learning in an environment that is safe, stimulating and intriguing.

My passion is for teaching young children and inspiring and developing them into great individuals. I gain great satisfaction and countless proud moments from my role. I love working with children and cannot wait to get to know Future Kids tamariki and their whānau.

Disna Galappaththi

Kia Ora, I am Disna, I was born in Sri Lanka and moved to New Zealand in 2018 with my husband and two children. I have two lovely girls. They are Dahamsi (15yrs) and Buthmi (10yrs).

I completed my Diploma in Child Care Consultancy and Diploma in Teaching in Sri Lanka.

I worked as a Primary Teacher while I was in KSA. I started to work in New Zealand as a Casual Teacher from 2018.

I love to listen to music and read books in my spare time.

I am very passionate about working with young tamaraki and contributing to their intellectual, social, emotional and physical development.

I am looking forward to getting to know all the Future Kids families and children.

Nicole Wang

Ko Baiyun toku maunga
Ko Pearl toku awa
No GuangZhou China ahau
Ko Canterbury toku kura
Ko Yiwen toku whaea
Ko Jianchao toku papa
Ko Xiaowen toku ingoa

Kia Ora, hello, 你好. My name is Nicole. I originally came from Guangzhou, China and I have been living in New Zealand since 2002. I have gained a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and a graduate diploma of ECE teaching in NZ.

Currently I live with my partner Jim and three children (9,3 and 1 year old) in Pukete. They are very supportive to my postgraduate study in early intervention.
I have been working in various childcare centres since 2011. I enjoy nurturing and educating young children and I always have great passion in project-based learning approach while I am aiming to provide all children with provocation-rich and inclusive learning environment.

I am very excited to become a part of the Future Kids teaching team and I am looking forward to getting to know all the families and children.

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.

Kate Hill

Hi, my name is Kate and I am excited to be joining the team at Future Kids.

I am currently studying to gain my Bachelor of Teaching at Wintec and am looking forward to continuing to develop my knowledge and practice here at Future Kids. I have always had a passion for working with children and have previously been a swimming instructor, in my home town of Te Awamutu.

Through coaching young children, I became aware of my passion for encouraging tamariki to develop the knowledge and skills needed for life and decided to move into ECE.

I was born in Zimbabwe and lived in Botswana until I was 9, when I moved over to New Zealand with my family. In my spare time, I enjoy being active and getting out and about, whether it be a day at the beach or a day on the netball court. I look forward to being a part of the Future Kids whānau and furthering my experience.

Na Tan

Kia ora My name is Na,

I began working in Early Childhood Education in 2015 and completed my Graducate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood) in 2017.

I believe children learn best when they feel secure and are immersed in a rich, natural environment. I have a true passion for working in the early childhood industry and enjoy building special relationships with children and their whānau.

I am a mother of three children, one daughter and two sons. Hamilton has been my home for the past 17 years. My interests are music, travel and hiking. I love to spend most of my spare time with my friends and family, just relaxing, hanging out and embracing the special moment.

I look forward to working with your children and can’t wait for the new challenges ahead.

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. 

Sophie Taurua 

Natasha Bland

Ko Natasha Bland ahau!

I am passionate about teaching and learning with children of all ages as they transition from home to preschool and onto primary school education.

I am a Primary Trained Teacher with 13 years experience, Early Childhood Qualified with 10 years experience and a Mum to 3 children. 

I strive to provide a strong and supportive cultural connection with all children attending Future Kids Hamilton. 

I believe that children, teachers and whanau will thrive and grow when opportunities to engage in each other's learning is fun, interesting and collaborative!

I look forward to learning alongside your tamaiti, their families and the teaching community of Future Kids. 

Samantha Capper

Kia Ora,

My name is Samantha and I am a new teacher at Future Kids, Te Rapa.

Teaching is in my blood, my grandmother, mother, aunties and several cousins are all teachers. Therefore, it was no surprise when I began my Bachelor of Teaching, Primary at the University of Waikato, later graduating in 2018.

I grew up all over the Waikato as my father was a farmer, eventually settling in Hamilton. I live in Dinsdale with my partner and daughter. We love gardening, hiking and getting outdoors together.

I look forward to meeting you all and getting to know the tamariki and whanau of this beautiful centre.

Te Rapa Preschool

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Read about our centre in Te Rapa.

New Plymouth Preschool

New Plymouth Preschool

Read about our centre in New Plymouth