Annie Percy, Centre Manager
What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?
I have always loved being with young children and even as a child spent time in preschools in the school holidays. I started in ECE because of my passion for children’s learning. Watching children learn and grow is so rewarding for me.
How long have you been working in this sector?
I started in the sector in 2002.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love not only watching the children learn and grown but as a centre manager I coach and mentor my team to be the best that they can be; promoting quality learning outcomes for all children.
What are three things that make your centre special?
I love Little Wonders Pegasus because we have such a homely environment in the peaceful Pegasus town. We have a diverse culture of children in the centre and the feeling of community is so strong here. We have a beautiful centre with a wide range of resources and equipment making teaching exciting each and every day. The teaching team here are professional and knowledgeable whilst having a lot of fun learning with and alongside the children.
What is your favourite time of the year at the centre?
There is always something new and exciting going on at the centre so every day is a wonderful new experience for me.
What is your personal ECE philosophy?
I have a strong belief that unhurried play is essential in ECE centres; the team are here to support and provide the tools for children to extend on their learning. Relationships are at the heart of every centre; parents are trusting in us to care and educate their children and I take that role very seriously.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have two children so my husband and I spend a lot of time outdoors with our children. We go boating, fishing and exploring most weekends and holidays. We live rurally so we are often found out with the animals.
Diploma ECE, Fully registered teacher
Julie O'Connor, Qualified Teacher, Preschool Room
Hello, My Name is Julie O’Connor. I have been working at Little Wonders since April 2019. I am a very experienced teacher who has been involved in early childhood education for the last 30 years. I started in Playcentre when my three children were very little being a parent and then supervising before joining the parent education team and the Playcentre Association. I then moved into teaching at several centres and finished my diploma in 2007. I have worked in community based, Christian based centres and worked for Best Start in Christchurch for 9.5 years as a teacher, then a head teacher, and Acting Centre Manager.
I am a very passionate teacher and like to empower children to guide their own learning by getting to know them and what makes them tick so I can use their own knowledge and strengths to drive their learning forward. I am also passionate about being stainable and using lots of recycled equipment and loose parts play that the children can use to make and create anything they want. This lets them make sense of the world around them, use their imagination and be able to communicate and express their ideas and thoughts with others. I believe that respectful reciprocal relationships are the key to successful learning outcomes for all children.
I have three adult children with my oldest two children Hannah and Brent living and working in London. My youngest daughter Rowena lives and works as a relief teacher for Best Start and has a 9 month old son who attends the Nursery here at Little Wonders.
In my spare time when I am not with my grandson Roddy, I love to do hand crafts. I knit, crochet and sew. I also love to cook and spend lots of time in my garden, growing my own vegetables and enjoying my roses and my many lilies. In the summer I love to support monarch butterflies by growing swan plants.
Christine Bobis, Teacher - Nursery Room
Kia ora! Mabuhay!
My name is Christine Bobis. I have been teaching since 1999, graduating with Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Philippines in 1999 as well as Diploma of Proficiency in Professional Courses in Special Education in 2008.
Since then, I have taught at private and public schools before deciding to migrate to this beautiful country with my family in 2009. I have also gained my degree in Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood from University of Canterbury in 2015. I feel very fortunate to be part of your child’s learning and development, and giving them the opportunity to evolve in their early years here at Little Wonders Pegasus.
I work in the nursery room with our youngest children. I believe infants require reciprocal relationships which develop a sense of security and independence. Children need to feel loved, valued, and respected in every way possible. I will support and encourage our children to be themselves, allowing them to learn in their own way in a respectful environment. I will support them on their journey to self-regulation and self-help, preparing a foundation for whatever path they take in life. I will make a difference and always be here for the children in our care and our parents/whanau to support them on a daily basis at Little Wonders Pegasus.
In my free time, I make sure that I spend quality time with my family – my husband our 3 children, my daughter-in-law and granddaughter.
Jorden Plaskett, Qualified teacher
Hello, Kia Ora, my name is Jorden and I have been teaching in early childhood for the past 9 years. I have 3 children of my own and I have recently returned to work after being on maternity leave with my youngest Nixon. This has bought about a change in my practice and I am excited to be on a new teaching journey by joining the team in the nursey room after being in the preschool room for the past 3 years.
I have a passion for being apart of children’s learning journeys and love inviting the children into new and exciting experiences that spark their curiosity and wonder of the world. I believe that the environment plays an important part in our learning and enjoy getting out in nature, exploring all it has to offer. At Little Wonders I love that we support this and get to do this often by taking the children out on excursions, whether it be the forest, a walk around the lake or a trip to the local library.
In my spare time I enjoy taking my own children out to explore the world, whether we are scooting biking or walking, it is fun watching them discover new things and find joy in the simple things in life. I also enjoy baking and spending time with family and friends.
Dawn Adams, Non-certificated teacher - Preschool room
Hello, My name is Dawn Adams and I work in the preschool. I originally come from a horticulture background moving on to get my certificate in Human Services, which led me to being a Youth Worker for disadvantaged teens in America. I moved to New Zealand in 2002.
I spent time traveling with my partner, then I worked for the 'What Now' tv show and then in the Healthcare sector. I got married and had my son, and once he went to preschool I decided to pursue a career in the ECE sector. I decided teaching is what I wanted to be a part of.
I've been working in this field since 2016. I love assisting children with their learning and watching them grow and develop as individuals and forming friendships. It is such a pleasure to be part of this special time in their lives. I believe in a play based philosophy, where children are encouraged to initiate their own learning and being creative. We have an amazing art room giving the children as much access to art resources as possible, which is my one of my favorite things. Throughout our centre, we provide fun and exciting experiences. I am happy to be part of the Little Wonders team.
Sandy Mclaughlan, Centre Cook
Hi my name is Sandy Mclaughlan and I am the cook here at Little Wonders Pegasus.
My love of children and years of cooking and hospitality have inspired me to work in Early Childhood. I have worked in Early Childhood on and off for the last 9 years now.
Cooking and interacting with the children, watching their confidence grown and experimenting with new flavours and meals is what inspires me.
Being responsible for the role here and putting together healthy nutritious meals for the children brings me great joy. I love working at this centre as we have a lovely work environment, a great team and it ‘s a home away from home.
In my free time I enjoy gardening and the outdoors. Restoring furniture, abstract painting and listening to music.
Rochelle Sutton, Qualified fully registered teacher
Hello, My name is Rochelle Sutton, I am married and I have three children. I have been working in the early childhood sector for the last six years and graduated in 2018. I love working with children because it is rewarding but at the same time challenging and they keep me young. My hobbies are biking, walking, and scrapbooking, as a family we love watching movies, camping, and sightseeing.
Audrey Stone, ECE Teacher
Kia ora, my name is Audrey and I have been working in early childhood for over 13 years. As a teacher I am passionate about forming strong reciprocal relationships supporting outcomes of children and am also very about teaching sustainability, encouraging tamariki to engage in messy-play, explore, make discoveries and take safe risks.
I am married to Darren and have three older teenagers. In my home life I love farming, camping at the beach, travelling, long walks, reading, movies and gardening.
Jill Waterman, Teacher in Training – Nursery
I have a very strong belief that all children should grow up loved, protected, happy and reach their potential. I started my studies last year so I could be a part of making this happen.
I am studying my Bachelor of Early Childhood Education with the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. My family and I have just moved from the West Coast in January. We now live at Leithfield Beach. I am loving the East Coast!
The beach is my happy place. I love fishing, plants, biking and creating and building anything around my home and garden. There are quite a few creations that come off the beach between me and my nieces! My family and I spend a lot of time at motocross for my son, camping and helping the younger riders.
Jess Rushworth, Teacher
Hi I’m Jess.
I am a Mum of 3 and passionate about making healthy meals for kids to enjoy.
In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and living a fit and healthy lifestyle. I love my role here at Lollipops and enjoy providing children with yummy, healthy meals daily.