Meet our Teachers

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

Carina Naude Rotorua Kindy Teacher

Carina Naude

Teacher – Fulltime

Kia Ora,

I come from a child and family therapy background. I practiced as a trauma therapist for 10 years before making a move 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. During my recent studies, I completed a research project that looked at how children can support each other’s social and emotional self-regulation within their sociodramatic play. This was a huge success and was published in the Early Education Journal in 2018. 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 look forward to my journey with Pathways Kindergarten.

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.

Kiri Rotorua Kindergarten Administrator



Kia Ora,

I am an experienced Administrator / Office Manager with over 30 years experience (mostly in school environments). I started at Pathways Kindergarten at the end of July and am enjoying getting to know the staff, families and of course the children. I moved to Rotorua from Auckland 3 years ago and love the lifestyle, the people and the landscape this town offers. I live at Holdens Bay and enjoy daily walks round the lake with my wee dog. I also enjoy photography, reading, art, cooking and soaking in the hot pools!