Our teachers

Know our best educators - HeadStart isn't a place of work, it's a home and a family. We understand how difficult it is leave your child for the day. Rest assured, they are in safe hands - this is a profession and a passion for us.

OUR TEACHERS

Chris Diprose

ECE & Early Intervention Teacher Qualified

Purchased Headstart March 2011

I bought HeadStart in 2011 to continue my love and passion for working with young children. HeadStart is a centre where we encourage not just learning, but the love of learning.

I am the owner/operator of HeadStart Childcare and Early Education Centre. Along with my parents Geoff and Di Bunny, we purchased HeadStart in March 2011. I have a Bachelor of Teaching and a Post Graduate Diploma in Early Intervention and have worked in the early childhood and Special Education industry for over 20 years, as a nanny, teacher, Early Intervention Teacher and Education Resource Centre manager. I have lived and worked in New Zealand, Melbourne, Sydney, London and New York and have been lucky to travel all around the world. I came home to have two beautiful boys who mean the world to me.

Owning and running HeadStart is not just a ‘business’ for me – this is my one centre to devote all my time and energy – I am not interested in being part of a chain – what we have here cannot be replicated anywhere else, our centre is unique because of the teachers, the children and families and the community we are together.

I believe in a centre where both children and parents want to come and is a safe, loving and respectful environment that is fulfilling, enriching and supporting of all possible learning and growing opportunities. To make this happen, I am lucky to have amazing staff working with me, without their expertise, knowledge and support, HeadStart would not be the excellent centre it is. Their dedication in providing an outstanding educational programme and learning environment is evident throughout the centre and in the relationships they have with the children and their families.

Rika Straus

ECE Teacher Qualified and Full Teacher Certification

Joined Headstart January 1999

I am from South Africa, but have been a NZ Citizen since 2008. I am delighted to work and live in the same community.

I’m South African and moved to NZ in 1997 and have been a NZ Citizen since 2008. I live and work in the same community and value this opportunity as it helps me connect better with the children and families of HeadStart. I often see familiar faces out of the centre too. I have been teaching at HeadStart Childcare and Early Childhood Centre since 1999.

 

I initially trained in South Africa as a Pre School (Kindergarten) and a Junior Primary School Teacher but chose early childhood as a vocation in 1981. I still see it as a privilege to teach and learn alongside tamariki after all these years. Their honesty, sincerity and inquisitiveness have ensured a very rewarding career with no single day the same. I value the individual strength of each colleague brings to our learning environment and together we have created a unique place for children 2 – 5, where they know they are valued.0

 

I believe in a holistic approach, but I especially place high value on the social and emotional development of children as I see these aspects as the foundation for future success, independence and competency.

 

In 2012 I up-skilled to a Bachelor of Teaching at the University of Auckland.

 

My family is very important to me, I am married to Willem and we have two children, Heinrich and Inge. Inge is currently a medical student at the university of Auckland, whilst our son has moved to Australia with his wife, Jen. This lovely couple now has my first grandchild called Mitchell.

 

I love road trips, gardening, reading, walking and tramping. I really like cold and rainy weather as I have loads of energy on days like that! I love nature and it is therefore important to me to grow children’s awareness of their important role being guardians of our natural environment.

Lucy Presnall

ECE Teacher Qualified and TBC Teacher Certification

Joined Headstart January 2017

I love having the opportunity to be a teacher to support children grow in confidence and build their self-esteem.  I enjoy discovering children’s passions and using this to create strong trusting relationships.

I love having the opportunity to be a teacher to support children grow in confidence and build their self-esteem.  I enjoy discovering children’s passions and using this to create strong trusting relationships. The relationships allow me to encourage children to take risks and challenge themselves and through this become competent individuals ready for life – long learning.

 

I started teaching in 2002 and gained by Diploma in teaching ECEin 2006 and have been in various teaching roles.  I love working in a supportive team environment with passionate teachers. I am married and 2 children who bring me great joy and challenges which allows me to be a supportive person to parents as well.

Rachael Shingles

ECE Teacher Qualified and Full Teacher Certification

Joined Headstart November 2016

I have a passion for learning and love to share that passion with others. I love travel and learning and exploring new things and places.

I have a passion for learning and love to share that passion with others. I love travel and learning and exploring new things and places. My teaching philosophy is one of respect and valuing the uniqueness of each child and encouraging them to follow their inquisitive nature’s. I was born and raised in West Auckland. I have two children who both attended HeadStart when they were preschoolers.

Teaching history: I first started teaching in 2000, while studying and gaining my Bachelor of Business And diploma of Teaching. After travelling and having children I went back to university and gained my bachelor of teaching in ECE. I started teaching at HeadStart in 2016.

Kim Nelson

Centre Chef

Joined Headstart January 2019

I’m a qualified chef who started a cooking apprenticeship in 1982 earning a London City and Guilds qualification and then worked in small restaurants to large hotels working my way up the ranks to Head Chef.

I’m a qualified chef who started a cooking apprenticeship in 1982 earning a London City and Guilds qualification and then worked in small restaurants to large hotels working my way up the ranks to Head Chef.

 

I’m married to Sangeeta and we have two children. Gabriel and Jaya, who both attend High school. My son Gabriel plays softball for the the Roosters and also umpires games when needed, and my daughter does dancing including Ballet, jazz, lyrical and troup competitions.

I was a hands on dad when our children were born and attended all of the day care and school trips and it was during these very early years I realised babies and toddlers weren’t as scary as I first thought. In fact, I loved being around these little people that I became the primary caregiver while Sangeeta went back to work.

 

When the opportunity to be the centre chef here at Headstart came about through a mutual friend I thought that working around children all day was something I could quite easily do and seeing these little people greet me in the morning is a great way to start the day and is food for my soul.

 

My interests outside of work include charcoal BBQing, Hot Rods, American cars and PC video games. Saturday evening at the Nelson household usually means movie night with the kids.

Zurika Scholtz

ECE Teacher in Training

Joined Headstart October 2018

Tatiana Watene

Head Teacher – ECE Teacher Qualified and Full Teacher Certification

Joined Headstart January 2017

From a young age I knew that teaching was the career path for me.

From a young age I knew that teaching was the career path for me. I started working in Early childhood education when I was 16 and have been in this profession ever since. I graduated with my Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) in 2016 and started working at HeadStart in 2017. I feel very privileged to have stepped into the role as Head teacher and work alongside such an inspiring team of teachers who are committed to making a difference to the lives of young children.

 

Building trusting relationships with children, parents and whanau is important to me. I believe that children and people alike thrive in environments where they feel respected and valued. Seeing children through a holistic lens, allows us to understand the whole child and celebrate their uniqueness. I love empowering children to grow and learn in their own way, capable and confident in themselves and their abilities.

 

I was born and raised in New Zealand and have Maori and Tongan ancestry. I come from a big family who I adore very much. My interests include travel, health and well-being, walks in nature, reading and music.

Mi Hee Jang

ECE Teacher Qualified and Full Teacher Certification

Joined Headstart May 2005

My love for teaching allows me to be part of a child’s life and reap the rewards of seeing them grow. I also love meeting a variety of people and develop cultural awareness.

My interests include reading, cooking, fishing, jigsaw puzzles and playing the guitar. I’ve often been described as creative, happy, healthy and friendly around children. My favourite areas of teaching are creative building, science experiments, exploring natural environments and motivating children to find their own interests.

 

I am qualified in teaching and received my B Ed in Early Childhood Education from AUT in 2004. I was born in Korea and have lived in New Zealand since 1996. I really enjoy my life as a teacher because children always give me happiness and it is so rewarding

Janie Hemphill

Primary Teacher Qualified and Full Teacher Certification

Joined Headstart July 2003

I am a teacher because I enjoying watching our young friends gather confidence in an exciting environment.

The special moments when a child discovers something and the wonder on their faces makes it all worthwhile!  My favourite areas to teach are where the children are and believe children’s interests spark the learning. I graduated in with my teaching qualification in 2002 but I have been teaching since my first daughter attended Playcentre starting in 1980!

 

Outside of work I enjoy living on my little farm with the chickens horses and cats. I am often found at a horse show supporting my daughter and her students. I also love going to the movies, the beach, and traveling around this beautiful country I call home. My oldest daughter and grandchildren live in the South Island so it is a destination most loved! I have lived most of my life in Aotearoa/New Zealand but was born in the U.S.A. and lived in Canada from the ages of 9 to13. We arrived in Auckland a month before my 14th birthday. We lived in Coromandel and then moved to Auckland which is still my home.

Leah Favela

USA Teacher Qualified

Joined Headstart March 2018

My name is Leah Favela. I’m an American; I was born in San Francisco but spent the majority of my life in the beautiful capital city of Austin, Texas. One day in Austin, I happened to meet a Kiwi man in town for work and it was love at first sight!

My name is Leah Favela. I’m an American; I was born in San Francisco but spent the majority of my life in the beautiful capital city of Austin, Texas. One day in Austin, I happened to meet a Kiwi man in town for work and it was love at first sight! After three years of flying back and forth between countries, I made the big move to New Zealand. I’ve been here since December of 2016, and though I miss my friends and family a lot sometimes, I absolutely love living in this beautiful country.  I graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelors of Early Education with a focus on English as a Second Language. I taught at a primary level in a bohemian little Montessori school in downtown Austin. I see a lot of similarities in the free-form, yet structured and scaffolded, play here at HeadStart. I enjoy teaching with the children and watching them learn and develop. Young children can accomplish even more than we believe they can if we give them just a bit of guidance and encouragement and lots of love! I work at HeadStart part-time, every weekday afternoon and the occasional full day, as needed. The mornings which aren’t spent at HeadStart are spent in front of my computer writing freelance content. Working part-time at HeadStart allows me to spend time doing two things I love; teaching children and writing. In my free time I love travelling around this beautiful country which I call my new home. I also like experimenting with vegetarian dishes and creating new recipes. I’m a GIANT bookworm and spend a lot of free time with my nose in a book, and once upon a time I was an avid yogi and am once again bringing yoga back into my daily routine. I can’t wait to meet you and your little one(s) and welcome them with open arms to HeadStart!

Amber Rimmer

Clean up Person

Joined Headstart November 2013

I love seeing the children when I arrive at work and they all say hi to me.

I work at HeadStart every afternoon. Every two weeks I do an activity with the children and my Polyem advisor. I volunteer at Henderson Hospice Shop for three hours every Wednesday and I participate in sports with Special Olympics, swimming and ten pin bowling. I also dance and perform with Star Jam.

 

I like hanging out with my friends, going shopping and bowling. I also enjoy reading and listening to music. I am a middle child and my family is very important to me.

Kelly Carrodus

ECE Teacher in Training

Joined Headstart October 2018
HeadStart Childcare

OUR CHILDCARE CENTRE

Proud to be locally owned and operated, HeadStart is an important part of the Hobsonville community, helping grow the hearts and minds of children for over 25 years.

Our hours of operation 7.30am – 6.00pm

Visit us at 193 Hobsonville Road, Hobsonville, Auckland 0618 or call us 09 416 4300

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