Kidz Corner staff

Kidz Corner has a fabulous staff of 11 – our teaching team of Gillian, Helen, Sue, Felipa, Debbie, Tessa, Jo, John, Paul, our Office Administrator Claire and support staff Marlene.

Kidz Corner is very fortunate to have a fully qualified teaching team. Our very low staff turnover contributes to our ability to offer high quality early childhood education to our community.

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

Helen (Centre Manager)

I was born and grew up right here in Wellington with most of my life spent living in Miramar. I graduated with my Bachelor of Teaching in 2006 and began working at Kidz Corner in 2002. I love working with such a supportive and inspirational teaching team and getting to know so many families as they come and go from the centre. I love to go walking, especially if there are birds or wildlife to discover. I do enjoy going home in the evening to my nice quiet home of two, where I live with my son Cameron.

What is fabulous? That a little kindness can go a very long way and we can all pay it forward.

My most amazing discovery - That the more I go walking, the more I discover just how lucky we are right here at home. The wildlife, native birds, sea life and freedom to explore it all.

If I had a bucket of play dough ... my favourite start to each day is making play dough noodles and meatballs alongside my Kidz Corner friends.


Felipa (Teacher)

I completed my Bachelor in Early Childhood Education in 2016. I have a background in art and textiles. Having my own whānau has empowered me to continue working with young children, unlocking their many inner strengths is a joy to watch.

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.


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.


Marlene (Support Staff)

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.


Paul Beres

I’ve been an early childhood teacher for 17 years and enjoy singing in my church choir (in which I’ve sung for over 30 years – but who’s counting). I love supporting, creativity, spontaneity, and playfulness especially when this involves co-operative play and interaction between children and their world.

My most amazing discovery - as a child it was realising everyone loves, fears and cares. They just have different ways of showing and sharing it (that this knowledge makes you respect and appreciate everyone).

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... make a mask out of the bucket and share the play dough with my niece and nephew.

Sue (Teacher)

Kia ora, Ko Sue ahau.
I love working at Kidz Corner, especially with the under twos. I have a BEd Degree Teaching (ECE) and a Diploma in Art and Creativity. I have a husband, two daughters and a son.

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

My most amazing discovery - How much I love to draw and paint and I encourage the children to do the same.

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


Debbie (Teacher)

Miramar is my second home as I grew up in Miramar, my parents live in Miramar and I work in Miramar! I live in Karori with my lovely husband Chris and my cat and lone gold fish.

I am a fully registered kaiako/teacher with a graduate diploma in early childhood education and have a Bachelor of Communications Degree.

I enjoy creative activities and love to discover and learn new things with children, supporting them to see out their wonderful ideas.

I feel that learning is continuous, vast and valuable. Tamariki can teach us as much as we can’t teach them, we can learn together (Ako).

I love being part of the Kidz Corner team, there is a great vibe!

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

My most amazing discovery - there are many amazing things to discover! One thing in recent years is that I found the confidence to play the ukulele at a workshop that team and I went to. It was a great personal achievement.

If I had a bucket of play dough I'd ... ponder what to do – there are so many possibilities. Make cupcakes, unicorns, animals. I made a train play dough cake once for a tamaiti/child (and a unicorn one for another, now that I think about it ha-ha!)


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 in 2015. I took the opportunity and have been working as an early childhood teacher ever since! I continued my study and did a one year post graduate diploma of early childhood study in 2019.

I started working with pre-schoolers 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 Mapula with my partner and our cheeky lovable cat Salem. I am one of four girls and am the twin sister of Debbie. I love art and creativity. I love working in a team.

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. Getting into early childhood teaching.

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 ... enjoy a relaxing session of squidging, kneading and rolling the play dough.