Meet Our Kaiako

Meet Our Kaiako
    • Coral Murphy
      Kaiako Matua o te Wāhi Pēpi

      Coral Murphy

      Kaiako Matua o te Wāhi Pēpi

      Ka rere tāku manu ki tōku maunga, ko Whakapunaki,
      ka tiro ia ki tōku Marae, a Hinemihi.
      Kua haria e Takitimu ōku tūpuna ki Aotearoa,
      e rere ana te toto nō Ngāi Kahungunu i tōku tinana.
      Engari, I whānau mai au i te wairere o Waimakariri.

      Kia ora, my name is Coral and I am a teacher here in the nursery at Elmwood Preschool. I have a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education, graduating from Canterbury University in 2016. I am fully registered. My second professional placement whilst training was here at Elmwood Preschool in the Nursery. I found the calm and respectful environment fit my personality and my philosophy on teaching. Once I had finished my placement at Elmwood I found myself gravitating back to the Centre, and did some relieving in the over two’s once I had finished my studies. I was very excited to be offered this position in the nursery and to be a part of a close and supportive teaching team where tamariki, whānau, and relationships are the main focus.

      I was born and raised in Christchurch, and have one younger brother. My family and I are all golfers and enjoy getting out on our local course in Waimairi Beach. After graduating from The University of Canterbury in 2008 with a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (primary), I moved to England where I began a five year journey travelling to many countries around the world, enjoying many different cultures and experiences. During this time I worked as a primary school teacher and a nanny. Now I have settled back into Christchurch I enjoy going on little roads trips exploring more of New Zealand, going to my local beach with family and friends, and having kiwi barbeques. Currently I am also studying Te Ara Reo Māori and He Papa Tikanga part time at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

      I have a passion for working with nursery children, and using primary caregiving which extends from my years and experiences working as a nanny. I believe infants needs should guide timing and pace of routines. A secure attachment with a familiar and unhurried adult creates a calm and respectful environment where children can feel free to explore, play, and just be. Bi-cultural practices are also a passion of mine, and I strive to incorporate these in my everyday practice.

    • Caroline Bryant
      Team Leader / Kaiako

      Caroline Bryant

      Team Leader / Kaiako

      Kia ora, I am the Head Teacher of the Over Twos. I have a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood) from Canterbury University. I graduated in 2013 and have been teaching since. I am fully registered.

      I had my last teaching placement here at Elmwood. I knew I wanted to work here. I worked as a reliever here for a few months until I found a full time position elsewhere. I spent a year working with both the three year olds and in the nursery. When the opportunity to work here came up I jumped at it and was lucky enough to get the job. After a year and a half I was offered the Head Teacher position.

      My philosophy fits very well with Elmwood’s. I enjoy working in a smaller Centre where you can give each child the focus they need. The ratios mean a peaceful working environment and a better outcomes for the children.

      I have spent most of my life here in Christchurch. I was born in Singapore and spent a few years in Canada as a child. I backpacked through Europe in 2013 with my older sister and some friends. I visited a friend in America for Christmas 2014. I got to spend some time with the American family she lived with and see New York. I have a passion for travel and intend to do more!

    • Rowena Fletcher
      Centre Manager/Kaiako

      Rowena Fletcher

      Centre Manager/Kaiako

      Kia Ora, I grew up in Tai Tapu Canterbury, in a family of four children, myself being the eldest. The majority of my family still live in Christchurch. This gives me a chance to be very involved in all the lives of my nieces and nephews. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity.

      I feel very strongly that family/whánau are the most important influence in a child’s life. So communication with families is extremely important in my teaching practice. Primary Care Giving gives me the opportunity to foster these relationships with all our families. I believe that all children deserve time to just be a child. Our daily lives are all so rushed in today’s society, so I really value our nursery learning environment where we try to lead an unhurried day.

      At Elmwood Preschool, I hold two roles, firstly as a kaiako in our nursery and secondly as the Centre Manager. As the Centre Manager, it is my role to support and mentor all the other kaiako, I take a lot of pride in this role. Being a nursery kaiako is where my passion for teaching lies.

    • Karen Stephens
      Nursery and Preschool Teacher

      Karen Stephens

      Nursery and Preschool Teacher

      Tēnā koutou katoa,
      Ko Ongaro te maunga,
      Ko Rotokakahi te awa,
      Ko Tinana te waka,
      Ko Mōrehu te marae,
      Ko Te Uri o Tai te hapū,
      Ko Rarawa me Aupōuri ngā iwi,
      Nō Ōtautahi ahau,
      Ko Karen ahau
      He tauira tau tuarua ahau o Te Rito Miaoha,
      E whai ana ahau i te tohu paetahi whakaakoranga,
      Nō reira, ngā mih nui ki a koutou,
      Tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.

      Kia ora, ko Karen ahau, I have been teaching at Elmwood Preschool for ten years. I enjoy the close reciprocal relationships that are built within a small centre to form a solid foundation to enacting and empowering to be capable and confident in their wellbeing.
      I am currently studying at Te Rito Maioha for a degree in Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education), and I am currently in my second semester as a year two student.
      I am passionate about teaching and education tamariki in physical development and skills that have come about form my interests and experiences in sport and the love of being a passionate Rugby League fan.
      Ngā mihi nui,

    • Sherine Abeykoon

      Sherine Abeykoon


      Kia Ora,

      I had previously worked at Elmwood Preschool for 6 years. I then worked in another preschool for another 7 years full time. I am fully registered teacher. I have gained 13 years of experience in this field since I started as an Early Childhood Teacher. I love nature, reading and spending time with my family and close friends. I decided to join Elmwood preschool this year as a teacher in the Over Two area. It’s like coming back home. I truly like Elmwood as a small centre with a family atmosphere, which allow opportunities for greater relationships between teachers and children.

      My passion for learning is based on creating positive connections with children and building rich relationships which support to extend their ongoing learning to become confident and competent learners.

    • Eileen Keane
      Director / Kaitātaki

      Eileen Keane

      Director / Kaitātaki

      Kia ora

      I’m Eileen Keane and I am the owner and manager of the preschool. I have been an early childhood teacher since 1986 and have enjoyed many years of teaching. Recently I have moved solely into the role of manager. I am very passionate about this role and thoroughly enjoy supporting the staff on their journey as preschool teachers. I am constantly working at growing myself as a manager so I can be an inspiring leader and mentor to the teachers.

      One of the reasons we have a small roll in the preschool is because I believe the teachers are more able to have quality interactions with the children and they also have the opportunity to work closely with you in extending your child’s learning and development.

      One of my favourite things to observe is when I walk into the preschool and see your children fully involved in play/learning with their friends and the teachers.

      My husband Mark and I have two daughters. We love to travel together as a family.

      In my free time I like to keep fit. Some of the sports I enjoy are running, Pilates and squash. I also enjoy having social times with my friends.