Meet our Teachers

We have a fantastic team on board – read below to find out more about them.

Carina Naude Rotorua Kindy Teacher

Carina Naudé

Centre Manager, Teacher

Kia Ora,

I come from a child and family therapy background, and was a trauma therapist for 10 years before moving to ECE, a decision I have never regretted. With both a Masters Degree in Teaching and a Masters degree in Play Therapy, I feel very fortunate as it grants me extensive knowledge about child development and the importance of this for children’s learning within a play based environment. I have extensive experience in building strong and effective relationships with whānau and believe in the child as a whole, involving whānau in the assessment and learning process to ensure the best outcomes for our tamariki.

My teaching philosophy is based around play. My belief is that ultimately, children learn through play and without this, learning would not be possible. I believe my role is as a facilitator of children’s learning and thus put a lot of value on my role as a teacher – but believe that only the child can determine where they are at, and what must happen next. Thus, I value my ability to recognise children’s verbal and non-verbal cues about what they find interesting and what they want to learn from that.

Furthermore, I place high value in guiding children in their social and emotional development. My studies included a research project that looked at how children can support each other’s social and emotional self-regulation within their sociodramatic play. This project added so much to my own practice and created an awareness for me about the abilities of children in managing their own emotional and social challenges, with the right guidance from myself, as teacher. It also confirmed the importance of imaginative play and how this really serves as a learning tool in itself.

I pride myself on my sense of humour and sense of fun and find this to be a way for me to connect, not only with children, but also with adults. Having said this, I also know how to be serious at the right time. I am so happy to be at Pathways Kindergarten.

Kim Ireson Rotorua Kindy Teacher

Kim Ireson

Head Teacher

Kia ora,
Ko Kim Ireson toku ingoa. Originally from Auckland, I have lived in Rotorua for a long time now and consider this to be my turangawaewae.

I have 3 adult children, and many mokopuna, whom I love spending time with. In my spare time I like walking my dog, and mountain biking. I am so thankful for the forests, lakes, and beaches within this area where I can enjoy all of this easily.

I am one of the teachers here at Pathways Kindergarten. My teaching philosophy, in a nutshell, is about relationships – whakawhanaungatanga and connectedness. I believe that when I value children and treat them with respect, then they in turn will show respect and value to others around them.

Heather Rotorua Kindergarten Teacher

Heather Jeffcote

Support Teacher

Hi, I am from Rotorua. I have a Diploma of Teaching (Primary) and a Bachelor of Education. I am married to Steve and we have four adult children and Eddie, who is 6. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, creating, kayaking, walking and making the most of our beautiful lakes and forests.

I am passionate about nurturing and empowering children to be curious and caring human beings, who are learning to manage their own emotions, relate well to others and solve problems. I look forward to getting to know each of your precious children and walking alongside them in their journey of wonder and discovery.

Kirby Cass Rotorua Kindy Teacher

Kirby Cass

Support Teacher

Kia Ora,

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a post grad in Secondary Teaching. I taught art in New Zealand and after traveling and teaching in Istanbul, came home to have my children.

My interests include gardening, art history, travel, cooking, reading and lyenger yoga. I live locally with my husband and two small children where we are restoring an old house and creating a garden together.