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

Sarah Cupido

Early Childhood Teacher

Kia ora, my name is Sarah and I began teaching part time here at Hope Preschool in 2022.  I live just outside Edendale on a dairy farm with my husband Garth and our three children Simone, Theo and Luke.

I have a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) and a background in teaching in the primary school sector in both New Zealand and the UK.  After taking some time away from teaching to pursue a career in dairy farming and raise a young family I have recently returned to teaching in early childhood, which I thoroughly enjoy.

I love being a part of the teaching team here at Hope and consider it a real privilege to be working with and building strong relationships with our young tamariki and their whānau.  I love watching our tamariki grow and develop.  It is a pleasure to celebrate their successes and moments of discovery in the formative years of their lives.  It is such a special time.

When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time in the great outdoors with my family.  This includes time on the farm, in the garden and horse riding.            

Coralie McFadzien

Early Childhood Teacher

I live in Wyndham with my husband Donald and my two children Angus and Lucy.

Originally I trained as a Primary Teacher and in 2021 I completed my teacher refresher course. I was really excited to be offered a position at Hope Preschool as both my children attended Hope in its early years of operation and I really appreciated their values and beliefs they brought to those early years of learning.

I have come to appreciate that children are unique individuals and I love seeing their characters shining through, in their language, interactions and play. The early years go by so fast and I understand how precious they are in learning steps and character building.

My family and I enjoy getting out and about in our caravan and exploring different parts of this lovely country that we live in. We are also looking at getting on our bikes as a different way to explore the country and I personally am aiming to tackle some of our great walks as well.

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.

Erin Gray

Early Childhood Teacher

Kia ora Everyone,

My name is Erin Gray, I am a new member here at Hope Preschool starting my journey here in 2022. I have a Bachelor of Early Childhood Teaching and have been teaching for 11 years and qualified for 8.

I am passionate about all children however I hold teaching infants and toddlers close to my heart and find so much joy in supporting our pēpē discover their own learning journey and exploring the world around them. I believe in buildling strong reciprocal and responsive relationship with all children and whānau.

Outside of preschool I live in Gore with my husband Stephen and 3 children aged 9 7 and 5. 

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.

Shayla Hill

Early Childhood Teacher in Training

Kia ora,

I’m Shayla, a teacher in training here at Hope Preschool. I am currently studying a bachelor of teaching (ECE) with Te Rito Maioha, one of New Zealand’s top early childhood education providers.

I love ECE as I get to form relationships with tamariki, as well as their whānau and the local community. I am also extremely passionate about the sector, as kaiako (teachers) help to shape the future generation.

Hope Preschool is truly a special centre as the tamariki always come first. We have an amazing team of kaiako who are all passionate about providing quality education and care.

When I’m not teaching or studying, I love spending time with my fur baby, friends and whānau.



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.