Meet Our Team

Meet our teachers that pass on their love and excitement of learning to the children. 

Lisa Thomas

Manager | Early Childhood Teacher

At Hope Preschool, I am able to live out my faith and love of learning every day.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a teacher. Two of the things that are important to me are my Christian faith and learning. I have a Bachelor Degree in Christian Education, a Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Teaching, and previous experience in accounting.

In my roles at Hope Preschool as the Manager and a teacher, I am responsible for the growth and wellbeing of both the staff and children and the overall running of the centre. I have spent most of my life in the Mataura area and I am committed to providing educational opportunities for the community, in the community.

My husband and I have three young adult children. We attend the Mataura Christian Church. When I am not at preschool I enjoy spending time with my family and in my garden.

Lisa Thomas - Manager
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Janette Cole

Early Childhood Teacher

I really enjoy working here at Hope Preschool because of the values it promotes of kindness and respect for each other.

Kia ora, my name is Janette and I have been an early childhood teacher for over 20 years. I am committed to this profession as I am passionate about growing the hearts and minds of our youngest citizens. I started my teaching career in Hamilton before moving to Dunedin, where I lived for 20 years. I then moved to Southland where I have been teaching at Hope Preschool.

I really enjoy working here at Hope Preschool as the values it promotes of kindness and respect for each other and ‘our environment’ align with my own values and what is important to me as a teacher and citizen in our community.

I am currently studying, as I believe it is important for a teacher to always be learning, developing, and building on our skills. I am doing my upgrade from a Diploma of Teaching ECE to my Bachelor of Teaching ECE.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with extended family and walking my three dogs. I enjoy nature and the outdoors, and exploring our wonderful country of Aotearoa and the many beautiful places it has for us to visit.

Sara McVicar

Early Childhood Teacher

Tēnā koutou katoa
Ko Takitimu tōku maunga
Ko Aparima tōku awa
Ko Oamaru tōku waka
Ko Ngāti Pākehā tōku iwi
Ko Clifford tōku hapu
Ko Otautau tōku turangawaewae
No Maruawai ināianei
 
Ko John Clifford tōku matua
Ko Anne Wright tōku whaea
Ko Bryce McVicar tōku hoa tane
Ko Charlotte McVicar tāku tamāhine
Ko Sara McVicar tōku ingoa
No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa

Kia ora my name is Sara McVicar and I am part of the teaching team here at Hope Preschool. I live in Gore with my husband Bryce and our daughter Charlotte.

I have been teaching at Hope Preschool since the end of 2018. I studied through Otago University obtaining a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) degree as well as receiving awards for teaching practice excellence and academic excellence. I am passionate about teaching from a bicultural perspective and I am continuously upskilling myself in te ao Māori. I value diversity and I love learning about other cultures.

What I love about working at Hope Preschool is the strong relationships that we have within the team, families and wider community. Every day I get to work alongside children and their whānau to plan a curriculum that builds on each child’s knowledge, strengths and interests. Through establishing responsive and reciprocal relationships we genuinely know who each child is and what their whānau aspirations are for them. It is a privilege to be part of each child’s development at such a crucial period of their life.

In my spare time I like to go boating and camping with my extended family and friends.

Sara McVicar - Early Childhood Teacher
Michelle Kiernan - Early Childhood Teacher

Michelle Kiernan

Early Childhood Teacher

I am so lucky to have the opportunity to work with such wonderful children, families and co-workers!

I joined Hope Preschool in August of 2018. I have worked in ECE for over 10 years. My passion for Early Childhood Education arose from a desire to support children when working as parent help in the new entrants room at Edendale Primary School. I have worked with children ranging from 4 months to 8 years.

I love watching the children learn and grow. It’s amazing to see how much they change in the course of a couple of years. Now that I have a 17 year old son I see first-hand how precious these years are because they pass by so quickly.
In my spare time I like to be outdoors, spending time with family and friends. 

I look forward to the expansion and deeper connections to this amazing team and community.

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Kayla Waihape

Early Childhood Teacher

I am passionate about providing respectful quality education that nutures children during their crucial early years.

Kia ora!

My name is Kayla Waihape and I am delighted to be part of the team and community here at Hope.  With the support of my husband and our three children I was able to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a teacher, gaining my Bachelor of Teaching (endorsed in ECE) through the University of Otago in 2019.

Building strong relationships with tamariki, whānau and kaiako are at the heart of my teaching. I am passionate about providing respectful quality education that nurtures children during their crucial early years. I see my role as an encourager and partner in play, inquiry and discovery.

What I love most about Hope Preschool is the people. Every child, family, teacher and citizen of the wider community presents us with new opportunities to learn, have fun and explore together, creating meaningful educational experiences.

When I am not teaching I am usually found pottering about in my happy place (at home/on the farmlet in Waikaka). My family and I also enjoy camping, where we can be found enjoying ourselves lake or beachside.

Renee Shaw-Mantell. - Teacher Aide

Renee Shaw-Mantell

Teacher Aide

I love working at Hope as it is rewarding and no day is ever the same!

I live in Mataura with my husband Chris and our two beautiful girls Lilly and Iyla. I have lived in the Gore/Mataura area my whole life. I love working at Hope Preschool because it is rewarding and no day is ever the same. I have worked here almost six years. Outside of preschool I love to head away camping, reading, singing, theatre and spending time with family and friends.

Come

work with us

We are always interested in hearing from early childhood teachers who are interested in joining our team. Please call in for a visit and drop off a CV anytime, or you can get in touch with us online.