Angela Sutton, Centre Manager
What inspired you to pursue a career in early childhood?
My journey began at the age of 17 when I gained my first full-time job as a live-in nanny in Canada. After 3.5 years I returned to Dunedin and began working in a childcare centre. I worked alongside some inspirational teachers that motivated me to undertake my early childhood training.
Since graduating in 1994, I have held a variety of positions from homebased educator, visiting teacher, kindergarten head teacher and most recently, I spent nine years as centre manager at Montessori at the Gardens.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love to see tamariki motivated to learn in an environment that is respectful of oneself, one another and the environment. I am surrounded by a passionate and dedicated teaching team who continue to learn and grow to provide the very best education and care our tamariki deserve.
Teaching is a gift and truly rewarding. Every day is new and brings joy and laughter!
Lizzy Ferris, Team Leader - Kōwhai room
Kia Ora Whānau
My name is Lizzy Ferris and I am team leader in the Kōwhai room.
I was born and raised in Dunedin where I complete my Bachelor of Teaching 0-8 years in 2008. I have been teaching for over 14 years where I previously managed a childcare centre for many years.
I believe that as Kaiako we need to be giving tamariki opportunities to
develop and grow their Mana. Transition to school is one of my passions where I believe tamariki should be given opportunities to develop skills required to enter a new entrance classroom.
I am passionate about providing tamariki opportunities to explore Haora through the outdoors, where they are able to learn about the natural environment, increase their independence, build self-confidence, have opportunities to take risk as well as being creative in the natural environment.
Outside of Little Wonders I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I love being active and exploring nature. I live with my fiancé Hamish and we have two beautiful daughters, Poppy and Indi, as well as our dog Rocky.
I am excited to get to know your tamariki and the people who are important to them. As well as supporting them along their learning journey here in Kōwhai.
Jess Robb, Teacher - Kōwhai Room
Kia Ora Whānau
My name is Jess I am 34 years old, I am excited to be part of the Kōwhai teaching team. I am from Dunedin where I have completed my Teaching degree studying at Otago university graduating with a Bachelor's degree. Since then I have taught in Milton for about 5 years in the under twos and then moved to Christchurch where we lived for 3 years. I did some relieving at a range of different centres ,home base care and I worked in a centre. I am grateful for the experience which has helped me further develop my Teaching practice.
I live with my partner James and our two beautiful girls Arlee (1) and Manaia (6). In my spare time we spend a lot of family time together and are always out and about doing fun things with the girls.
I’m looking forward to developing strong relationships with your children and whanau I am excited to be apart of there learning journey.
Teena Fuller, Teacher - Kōwhai Room
Kia ora koutau katoa
My name is Teena Fuller, I moved to Dunedin about 5 years ago now from Central Hawkes bay.
I have a 10 years old son Cordell Jade, who keeps me pretty busy with sports and after school activities.
I enjoy working in the ECE sector as everyday is always a new and exciting time for children to learn, grow and explore the environment around them.
This age is such an exciting time for there young minds to learn and develop.
I feel that being able to be apart of your child's learning journey is pretty rewarding and exciting to be apart of.
Nga mihi nui Teena Fuller kaiako for Kōwhai.
Samantha Hayde, Teacher - Kōwhai Room
My name is Samantha Hayde and I teach in the Kōwhai class.
I have wanted to work with tamariki ever since I was in primary school taking a lunchtime ‘Little kids club’. My dream come true when I graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education.
I’ve since worked in a variety of setting in New Zealand and overseas and reignited my passion for teaching by completing a refresher course in 2016.
I love working with tamariki and sparking their own love for learning especially through imaginative and creative play with a special link to the environment/Papatuanuku.
Outside of Little Wonders I enjoy adventures with my boys, my husband Michael, our son Felix and our dog Milo,
It’s such a privilege to be part of your child’s learning journey and I look forward to getting to know them and growing together.
Emma Sheridan, Team leader - Mānuka room
Kia Ora Whānau
My name is Emma Sheridan, I am 34 years old, and I am the team leader of the Mānuka room.
I was born and bred in Dunedin, this is where I completed my teaching degree studying at Otago University graduating with a Bachelor of Education in 2009. Since then I have been learning and developing my teaching practice in different settings, with different ages and in different roles.
I live with my beautiful blended family which consists of my partner Sam, his two boys Brayden (14) and Lucas (13), my daughter Mackenzie (12) and my son Xander (10), and Sam and I have a son together Rocco (7months). We also have a golden lab Dixie and two apple snails.
We are a busy family that love to spend time together. You may see us out and about horse riding, involved in club rugby, cheerleading, dance groups, water sports, hunting and camping.
I’m looking forward to developing strong relationships with your children and whanau and excited to be a part of their learning
Steph Cook, Teacher - Mānuka room
Kia Ora Whānau
My name is Steph Cook, I was born and raised in Queenstown but moved to Otepoti to study my Bachelor of Teaching endorsed in ECE. I graduated in the middle of 2018 and have achieved full registration as well.
I live in Waihola with my fiancé and our fur baby Lyra.
I have huge passion for Te Reo Māori and tamariki. I love watching tamariki grow and flourish to reach their full potential with the help of our amazing kaiako.
I’m looking forward to getting to know our children and whanau and building meaningful and reciprocal relationships with all.
Karri Sanders, Team leader - Rata and Tōtara Rooms
Kia Ora Whānau
My name is Karri Sanders and I am the team leader here in Rata and Tōtara.
I live in Dunedin with my partner and dog Arlo. I graduated in 2017 from Otago University with a Bachelor of Teaching. I have been teaching for six years and have taught all age groups. On the weekend you’ll see me renovating my house with my partner, socialising with friends or taking my dog on adventures!
We are a passionate team who value and encourage independence. We love getting messy and getting hands on in daily activities. I look forward to getting to know you and your whānau.
Talina Stichman, Teacher - Rata Room
Kia Ora Whānau
My name is Talina Stichman and I am a teacher in Rata room.
I live in Brockville with my partner, son and our two dogs and two cats. I graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Teaching. I have been teaching for nine years and have taught all age groups.
On the weekends I like to spend time with friends and family or taking the dogs on adventures. I look forward to getting to know you and your whānau.
Charmaine Simonsen, Teacher - Rata Room
Kia Ora Whānau
My name is Charmaine Simonsen. I have been working here at Little Wonders for two years now.
I live in Dunedin with my son Riley who is six. In my spare time I am spending time with my son and family adventuring around Dunedin, and coach and participate in Marching. I have a passion for the younger tamariki and enjoying messy and creative play with them. I look forward to getting to know you and your family.
Samantha Whitty, Teacher - Mānuka Room
Hi my name is Samantha Whitty, I am 23 years of age and I am very excited to be a part of the Mānuka room teaching team.
I have a passion for Early Childhood and enjoy following children’s journey as they grow into amazing learners. I currently have the Certificate of Early Childhood which I received in 2017. I am currently on my way to a degree in ECE. I am in my second year, going into my third where I will graduate in 2023.
In my spare time I love to spend as much time as I can with family and friends and living an active lifestyle. I live with my fiancé Adam and our puppy Macey.
I am looking forward to forming relationships with your children and their families while being a part of the Little Wonders teaching team.
Britney Brown, Teacher - Mānuka Room
My name is Britney Brown. I am 22 years old and I am from the Catlins NZ. I look forward to being a part of the Mānuka room at Little Wonders Roslyn.
I am in my second year of my Bachelors degree, studying Early Childhood Education.
In my spare time I love spending time with my family and friends and going back to my hometown and enjoying the wonderful walks the Catlins has to offer. I also enjoy going to the beach.
I’m excited to develop relationships with your tamariki and being a part of their learning and development
Holly Ellis, Teacher - Mānuka Room
My name is Holly, I am 23 years old and I am one of the teachers in Mānuka room.
I grew up in Australia and lived in Dunedin for the last 10 years.
I am currently working towards completing my Bachelor’s degree of Social Services and have a passion for working with young people.
In my spare time I like to paint, draw and listen to music.
I am looking forward to forming further relationships with Mānuka room children and whānau
Poppy Hasler, Teacher - Tōtara Room
Kia Ora Whānau
I’m Poppy Hasler, a 22 year old girl born and bred in South Otago. I grew up on the countryside with my family and a lot of animals, so outdoors and socialising is what I enjoy being a part of when I’m not working.
I have been working in Tōtara room for just over a year now, I started as a reliever then I was quick to realise my remarkable passions for the young tamariki here that I never realised I would have. This has led me to crave more knowledge and education in this industry so I will be starting my studies in ECE in 2023!
I look forward to getting to know you and your family!
Clara Telfer-Hynes, Teacher - Tōtara Room
My name is Clara and I am 26 years old. Since completing my Certificate in Early Childhood studies back in 2016 I have been a part of the Little Wonders team as a teacher, spending my first three years in Kōwhai and have been a teacher in the Tōtara room since.
I have a passion for supporting children to be the best versions of themselves through helping them learn and grow in their early, important stages of life. I live in Port Chalmers with my partner Jordan and my very special pug Fergus. In my own time I love playing music, drawing and socialising with friends.
I love being a part of the Tōtara room whānau and look forward to spending time with you all!