Kidz Corner staff

Kidz Corner has a fabulous staff of 12 – our teaching team of Gillian, Helen, Sue, Felipa, Debbie, Tessa, Tessa, Jo, John, Marlene, Svetlana and our Office Administrator, Claire.

We are very fortunate to have nine of our teaching staff qualified, two teachers in training and a very low staff turnover, all contributing to our ability to offer high quality early childhood education to our community.

Here's a little information about each of our team members:

Gillian (Centre Supervisor)

I have a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (ECE) and have been teaching for over 20 years.  I have been at Kidz Corner since 2004. I have three sons Simon (and his wife Ange and daughter Elsie), Karl and Paul. I love going for long walks around Wellington, going to the movies and enjoying a meal at one of our local cafes.

What is fabulous? My three sons and beautiful granddaughter.

My most amazing discovery - Laughter is the best medicine and when things go wrong there is always, always someone watching out for you.

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... (if it's just been made and still warm) knead and roll it as if it was fresh bread.


Felipa (Teacher)

I completed my Bachelor in Early Childhood Education in 2016. I have a background in art and textiles. Having a whanau has empowered me to work the last seven years with special needs and young children.

What is fabulous? Being constantly creative with a bubbly cheerful personality with an eye for detail.

My most amazing discovery - The lengths children go to, to get their faces painted.

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... poke it, squash it, mould it, make it, roll it, cut it, shape it, squeeze it and then bin it.


Tessa B (Teacher)

I started working at Kidz Corner in January 2018. I have just completed my Bachelor of Education (ECE) degree at Victoria University. I am enjoying getting to know the children and whānau at Kidz Corner. I am passionate about surf lifesaving and spend my weekends down at the beach helping children and adults.

What is fabulous? Surf Lifesaving and spending time at the beach with my friends and whānau.

My most amazing discovery - Discovering how young children learn and explore, about their interests and the world around them.

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... roll the play dough into balls and make a pyramid with them.


Jo (Teacher)

Kia ora kotou
I live in E Motu Kairangi (Miramar Peninsula) and am thrilled to be at Kidz Corner after many years of walking past it.  I originally trained to be a chef but realised it wasn’t my forte when I was better at the theory than the practical.

What is fabulous? I think education is fabulous.

My most amazing discovery - How smart children already are!

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... knead it, pat it and roll it while I listened to the children’s working theories that they share as they work.


John (Teacher)

Kia ora, my name is John Cunningham and I am the newest member of the teaching team at Kidz Corner.
I am originally from Scotland but moved to the Peninsula in 2003 and feel blessed to call it home. I have a Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood Degree and have been teaching for 7 years. Most recently I was assisting children with special needs at the International School of Brunei.
My wife Lisa is from Hawkes Bay and is a secondary school teacher. We have two children, Alastair and Kirsty, who both attend EBIS. As a family we love the outdoors, whether it be cycling, tramping, kayaking or camping.
I also enjoy reading, music, wildlife and travel. We have recently returned home from a two-year spell living on Borneo, however we are more than happy to be back in Wellington!

What is fabulous? Something that is so amazing it is almost indescribable. A creation or an event or happening that has me lost for words!

My most amazing discovery - having my DNA tested and learning that I have both Norse and Middle Eastern heritage!.

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... make lots of animals.


Marlene (Teaching Assistant)

First time around I started at the centre in 1989. I returned to the centre in 2010 and have grown through all the learning I have done. I love the team approach and working in this centre with the children and staff.

What is fabulous? Being open to all people including children, and also being yourself and caring and supportive.

My most amazing discovery - Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... share it with a group and we would share ideas then create a master piece and talk about how we can serve one another.


Svetlana (Student Teacher)

I’m studying for my Bachelor in Early Childhood Education. I live in Johnsonville with my fiancé. I love exploring new places around Wellington.

What is fabulous? How quickly children learn.

My most amazing discovery - the harder you try at something the better your chances are at accomplishing it.


Helen (Assistant Supervisor)

I have been at Kidz Corner for over 10 years. I have a son aged 12. I love to be busy/active!

What is fabulous? My polar fleece and electric blanket.

My most amazing discovery - Keeping life simple.

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... make my own farm full of animals.


Sue (Teacher)

I love working at Kidz Corner and I have been here for 10 years. I have a BEd Degree Teaching (ECE) and a Diploma in Art and Creativity (Honors). I have a husband, two daughters and a son.

What is fabulous? Learning, playing and exploring outside in the sun with the children.

My most amazing discovery - How much I love to draw and paint and share my knowledge with the children.

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... show the children how to roll it into balls and roll the balls across the table.


Debbie (Teacher)

Kia Ora, I’m Debbie. I’ve been a Miramar local my whole life, though I’ve been living in Newtown with my lovely husband for the last 5 years. Some of you may have seen me and my twin sister Tessa working at Miramar New World. I have left New World now and started at Kidz Corner in mid May 2015. I enjoy creative activities and love to discover and learn new things with children. I feel that learning is a continuous, vast and valuable thing.

What is fabulous? Bright colours, glitter, feeling truly grateful and happy.

My most amazing discovery - One amazing discovery I have made this year is how a monarch butterfly lays her eggs! I didn’t know that she hooks part of her body under the leaf while the rest of her stays upright on the top of the leaf!! Quite a sight!

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... ponder what to do - there are so many possibilities! If it was a huge bucket of playdough maybe I would make a playdough couch! Cupcakes are cool too- with glitter sprinkles!


Tessa M ( Teacher)

My name is Tessa Mitchell, I initially trained as a primary school teacher but an opportunity to be an early childhood teacher came up. I took the opportunity and have been working as an early childhood teacher for just over two years! I love it!

I started working with preschoolers and then worked with toddlers. It has been great getting to work with the different age groups. I have learnt lots and have gained valuable experience.

I live in Maupuia with my boyfriend and our cheeky lovable cat Salem.  I am one of 4 girls and am the twin sister of Debbie.

I love art and creativity. I look forward to getting to know everyone.

What is fabulous? When something is exciting and creative and people working together to do/make fabulous things.

My most amazing discovery - Finding out about The Learning Connexion Art School and studying there.

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... play with it all day, make lots of things and take a photo of what I had made at the end.


Claire (Office Administrator)

I am the Office Administrator at Kidz Corner and started in the role in March 2012. I moved from London to Wellington in 1998 with my Kiwi husband Andrew and we now have two children, Oliver and Ada.

What is fabulous? A walk with my dog on a fresh sunny morning. Sharing a leisurely meal with family and friends.

My most amazing discovery - My children are continually amazing me.

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... squidge it and share it with my daughter, Ada, who loves play dough.