Our Team

Introducing the people who will make your child happy and enjoy their preschool years.

 
  Brenda Stewart  Manager  Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood)   I’m Brenda Stewart, Manager of Coastlands Preschool. My involvement in early childhood began when my eldest child started Playcentre. My three children all attended and loved Playcentre. After completing my Playcentre training and when all my children were at school I worked in a local preschool. I continued training and graduated in 2000.  It was with great pleasure that I was asked to design and open the centre for Gay and Greg West. We opened the then Coastlands Early Childhood Learning Centre in May 2006. I wanted to open a preschool that I would have been happy to bring my children to and I know I have succeeded.

Brenda Stewart
Manager
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood)

I’m Brenda Stewart, Manager of Coastlands Preschool. My involvement in early childhood began when my eldest child started Playcentre. My three children all attended and loved Playcentre. After completing my Playcentre training and when all my children were at school I worked in a local preschool. I continued training and graduated in 2000.

It was with great pleasure that I was asked to design and open the centre for Gay and Greg West. We opened the then Coastlands Early Childhood Learning Centre in May 2006. I wanted to open a preschool that I would have been happy to bring my children to and I know I have succeeded.

 
  Sandy Herewini  Pukeko Room Team Leader  Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood), Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching)   I have been working in the Early Childhood sector for over 25 years and still absolutely adore my job and working with preschool children. They make my job a pleasure and I particularly enjoy seeing those ‘light bulb moments’ or children’s firsts as we share experiences while learning through play. I love working as a team and bouncing ideas off other teachers as we share our journey of both learning and teaching together in such a lovely open environment.  I have grown up in the Eastern Bay area although I was born in Dunedin. I am also a music teacher and keen musician and proud to say that both my son, William, and I are members of the local A Grade Eastern Bay of Plenty Brass Band which I have been involved in for the last 25 years. This and my other hobby, running, keep me busy outside of work hours.

Sandy Herewini
Pukeko Room Team Leader
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood), Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching)

I have been working in the Early Childhood sector for over 25 years and still absolutely adore my job and working with preschool children. They make my job a pleasure and I particularly enjoy seeing those ‘light bulb moments’ or children’s firsts as we share experiences while learning through play. I love working as a team and bouncing ideas off other teachers as we share our journey of both learning and teaching together in such a lovely open environment.

I have grown up in the Eastern Bay area although I was born in Dunedin. I am also a music teacher and keen musician and proud to say that both my son, William, and I are members of the local A Grade Eastern Bay of Plenty Brass Band which I have been involved in for the last 25 years. This and my other hobby, running, keep me busy outside of work hours.

 
  Pania Maynard  Kiwi Room Team Teacher  Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood)   I have worked at Coastlands Preschool since 2008. I have three grown children and four grandchildren: two of whom live in England so I take big holidays every two years to go and see them.  I love reading suspense novels and de-stressing at the gym.  I love working at Coastlands Preschool because my colleagues are such a cool group of women. I look forward to coming to mahi everyday because working with children means you never know what is going to happen.

Pania Maynard
Kiwi Room Team Teacher
Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood)

I have worked at Coastlands Preschool since 2008. I have three grown children and four grandchildren: two of whom live in England so I take big holidays every two years to go and see them.  I love reading suspense novels and de-stressing at the gym.

I love working at Coastlands Preschool because my colleagues are such a cool group of women. I look forward to coming to mahi everyday because working with children means you never know what is going to happen.

  Melissa Taylor  Pukeko Room Teacher  Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood)   I have been at Coastlands Preschool since the very first day the doors opened in 2006. I have two teenage children and my favourite thing to do to relax is watching a good movie!  Every day is different at Coastlands Preschool, this is the reason why I enjoy working here….that and the staff. We have such great teachers here who make working here very enjoyable and lots of fun! I love the ‘Learning through Play’ philosophy we have here and watching the children grow and learn.

Melissa Taylor
Pukeko Room Teacher
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood)

I have been at Coastlands Preschool since the very first day the doors opened in 2006. I have two teenage children and my favourite thing to do to relax is watching a good movie!

Every day is different at Coastlands Preschool, this is the reason why I enjoy working here….that and the staff. We have such great teachers here who make working here very enjoyable and lots of fun! I love the ‘Learning through Play’ philosophy we have here and watching the children grow and learn.

  Ansje Findlay  Pukeko Room Teacher  Diploma of Free Kindergarten Union   I have worked in early childhood my whole working life, in many roles. I started as a kindergarten teacher and have worked in management for Barnardos as well as home based care, and adult education about early childhood. I  have been here at Coastlands since the beginning.  I enjoy the four year olds particularly with their thirst for learning and openness to new experiences. I love seeing families coming through our pre school and watching the children growing and preparing for their lives ahead.

Ansje Findlay
Pukeko Room Teacher
Diploma of Free Kindergarten Union

I have worked in early childhood my whole working life, in many roles. I started as a kindergarten teacher and have worked in management for Barnardos as well as home based care, and adult education about early childhood. I  have been here at Coastlands since the beginning.

I enjoy the four year olds particularly with their thirst for learning and openness to new experiences. I love seeing families coming through our pre school and watching the children growing and preparing for their lives ahead.

  Janelle Cashell  Pukeko Room Teacher  Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood)   I love working with and teaching young children, supporting them and encouraging them to grow and learn. i love the science curriculum - animals, insects, gardening, experiments and cooking. I also love nurtuting children's creativity in arts, drama and construction using loose parts play, both within the inside and outside environments.   I live just over the bridge on the way into Whakatane with my partner Shayne and two children, our four year old daughter Evie and teenage step son, Noah. 

Janelle Cashell
Pukeko Room Teacher
Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood)

I love working with and teaching young children, supporting them and encouraging them to grow and learn. i love the science curriculum - animals, insects, gardening, experiments and cooking. I also love nurtuting children's creativity in arts, drama and construction using loose parts play, both within the inside and outside environments. 

I live just over the bridge on the way into Whakatane with my partner Shayne and two children, our four year old daughter Evie and teenage step son, Noah. 

  Amy James        Teaching Assistant and Reliever  My husband and I have recently moved to Whakatane from Cairns Australia with our two gorgeous children and thus far we are extremely happy and content with our move.  I have worked in the childcare sector since 2000, during this time I have gained my Advanced Diploma of Children’s Services and I have had the opportunity to experience several different roles within the childcare industry. These roles include Room Assistant, Lead Educator, Centre Director and Family Daycare Educator.  I absolutely love Coastlands Preschool, the women that work here are all so genuine and dedicated to the children in their care. I am very grateful to be part of an awesome team and an amazing community. 

Amy James      
Teaching Assistant and Reliever

My husband and I have recently moved to Whakatane from Cairns Australia with our two gorgeous children and thus far we are extremely happy and content with our move. 
I have worked in the childcare sector since 2000, during this time I have gained my Advanced Diploma of Children’s Services and I have had the opportunity to experience several different roles within the childcare industry.
These roles include Room Assistant, Lead Educator, Centre Director and Family Daycare Educator. 
I absolutely love Coastlands Preschool, the women that work here are all so genuine and dedicated to the children in their care.
I am very grateful to be part of an awesome team and an amazing community. 

 
  Chris Wiley  Teaching Assistant and Reliever  I have lived in the Whakatane (Pekatahi) area most of my life. I have three daughters and have been blessed with six grandchildren so I enjoy spending lots of time with my family. We love to travel overseas and take road trips whenever possible.   For many years I was a design and photo technician and also a sport and portraiture photographer. I have also worked with primary and intermediate children so I am finding working with preschool children a refreshing change. While I am based in the Pukeko Room, I also spend lots of time relieving in the Kiwi Room so I also get to spend time with our younger children.   I enjoy working at Coastlands Preschool as it is spacious and offers a great variety of learning opportunities for the children. I work with a team of supportive and very enthusiastic ladies. We also have amazing children and families here. 

Chris Wiley
Teaching Assistant and Reliever

I have lived in the Whakatane (Pekatahi) area most of my life. I have three daughters and have been blessed with six grandchildren so I enjoy spending lots of time with my family. We love to travel overseas and take road trips whenever possible. 

For many years I was a design and photo technician and also a sport and portraiture photographer. I have also worked with primary and intermediate children so I am finding working with preschool children a refreshing change. While I am based in the Pukeko Room, I also spend lots of time relieving in the Kiwi Room so I also get to spend time with our younger children. 

I enjoy working at Coastlands Preschool as it is spacious and offers a great variety of learning opportunities for the children. I work with a team of supportive and very enthusiastic ladies. We also have amazing children and families here. 

  Marama Coffin   Kiwi Room Teacher  Bachelor of Early Childhood Education   I have been working within early childhood for seven years since gaining my Bachelors of Early Childhood which has my knowledge of the learning and development of children. I chose Coastlands Preschool to continue my teaching journey because of the simulating learning environment. I also love how you can hear the ocean when you stand outside.  I have a particular interest in sensory play and nature which I look forward to exploring with the children. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. 

Marama Coffin
Kiwi Room Teacher
Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

I have been working within early childhood for seven years since gaining my Bachelors of Early Childhood which has my knowledge of the learning and development of children. I chose Coastlands Preschool to continue my teaching journey because of the simulating learning environment. I also love how you can hear the ocean when you stand outside.

I have a particular interest in sensory play and nature which I look forward to exploring with the children. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. 

  Sue Fenton  Kiwi Room Teacher  Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) Diploma in Social Work   Kia Ora. I am born and bred in Whakatane and have two grown children and eight mokopuna, three of whom attended Coastlands Preschool. We have appreciated the wonderful care taken with our babies and, after having relieved here for the past year or so, now happily find myself joining the team at Coastlands Preschool.  Although my teaching background is in the secondary sector, I have had extensive experience in primary schools in latter years. And am rapidly discovering just how crucial these early years are. I am fortunate to be learning my craft alongside a fabulous bunch of teachers, in what is sometimes a much maligned and undervalued sector of our educational community. I am loving getting to know our children and their whanau and look forward to meeting more of you in the future.

Sue Fenton
Kiwi Room Teacher
Diploma in Teaching (Secondary)
Diploma in Social Work

Kia Ora. I am born and bred in Whakatane and have two grown children and eight mokopuna, three of whom attended Coastlands Preschool. We have appreciated the wonderful care taken with our babies and, after having relieved here for the past year or so, now happily find myself joining the team at Coastlands Preschool.

Although my teaching background is in the secondary sector, I have had extensive experience in primary schools in latter years. And am rapidly discovering just how crucial these early years are. I am fortunate to be learning my craft alongside a fabulous bunch of teachers, in what is sometimes a much maligned and undervalued sector of our educational community. I am loving getting to know our children and their whanau and look forward to meeting more of you in the future.

  Cheryl Prince  Kiwi Room Teaching Assistant  I have worked in the childhood sector for many years - from being a nanny in the USA, to homecare and now working at Coastlands Preschool. I am married and have three children of my own. I really enjoy working at Coastlands Preschool and I enjoy meeting all the awesome families and their children.

Cheryl Prince
Kiwi Room Teaching Assistant

I have worked in the childhood sector for many years - from being a nanny in the USA, to homecare and now working at Coastlands Preschool. I am married and have three children of my own. I really enjoy working at Coastlands Preschool and I enjoy meeting all the awesome families and their children.

  Ashely Thompson  Kiwi Room Student Teacher  I am the new student teacher in the Kiwi Room. Working alongside children has always been a huge passion of mine so I am very excited to be studying and working alongside amazing teachers and children on my new adventure.  In the short time I have been here at Coastlands Preschool I have thoroughly enjoyed everyday, getting to know the children and families. I love that I learn something new everyday.  I have two young children and a teenage step son and in my spare time I enjoy exploring new places and activities, spending time with family, camping and walking.

Ashely Thompson
Kiwi Room Student Teacher

I am the new student teacher in the Kiwi Room. Working alongside children has always been a huge passion of mine so I am very excited to be studying and working alongside amazing teachers and children on my new adventure.

In the short time I have been here at Coastlands Preschool I have thoroughly enjoyed everyday, getting to know the children and families. I love that I learn something new everyday.

I have two young children and a teenage step son and in my spare time I enjoy exploring new places and activities, spending time with family, camping and walking.

  Kat Cox  Centre Administrator  I started at Coastlands Preschool as the office administrator in May 2018. Prior to this I stayed at home with my youngest child Zoe and volunteered with multiple organisations.  I have three children, Aiden (7), Gemma (5) and Zoe (2), who have all been a part of Coastlands Preschool. In my spare time I enjoy a lot of family time with my kids and husband and we enjoy getting outdoors swimming, bike riding and bush walks.

Kat Cox
Centre Administrator

I started at Coastlands Preschool as the office administrator in May 2018. Prior to this I stayed at home with my youngest child Zoe and volunteered with multiple organisations.

I have three children, Aiden (7), Gemma (5) and Zoe (2), who have all been a part of Coastlands Preschool. In my spare time I enjoy a lot of family time with my kids and husband and we enjoy getting outdoors swimming, bike riding and bush walks.

  Vicky Mexted  Kiwi Room Assistant    I am a mum of two gorgeous boys, Jye (7) and Maz (1). I am very passionate about working with children and adults from all walks of life. My background is working with people who have disabilities.   I enjoy spending my spare time with family and friends. 

Vicky Mexted
Kiwi Room Assistant
 

I am a mum of two gorgeous boys, Jye (7) and Maz (1). I am very passionate about working with children and adults from all walks of life. My background is working with people who have disabilities. 

I enjoy spending my spare time with family and friends.