Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Educators
    • Caroline Bryant
      Preschool Teacher

      Caroline Bryant

      Preschool Teacher

      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 Leader/Nursery Teacher

      Rowena Fletcher

      Centre Leader/Nursery Teacher

      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 full time teacher in our nursery and secondly as the Centre Leader. As the Centre Leader it is my role to support and mentor all the other teachers, I take a lot of pride in this role. Being a nursery teacher is where my passion for teaching lies.

    • Karen Stephens
      Nursery and Preschool Teacher

      Karen Stephens

      Nursery and Preschool Teacher

      Tenā Koutou Katoa
      Ko Karen Stephens ahau
      Nō Ōtautahi ahau
      Ko Pamela toku whaea
      Ko Walter toku matua
      Ko Mathew toku tungane.

      My family is really important to me. I have a large family on both sides. My father was brought up in Parawenga his first language was Te reo Māori. His tribe is Nga Puhi and sub tribe is Te Aupouri. He also has some Scottish blood in him.  My mother was brought up here in Christchurch and her family home was in Burnside. She has Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English in her blood line. Her mother was born in Kaikoura and her father in Clyde, Central Otago.  As a family we had a lot of interests together and one that we all agree on and love is Rugby League. My dad and brother both played league for Hornby. My brother currently still plays for Hornby Rugby League.

      I am a huge fan of the Warriors and Kiwis. I love to watch  NRL games when I have the time.

      At the moment I am currently enjoying learning how to box and also doing weight lifting. I am feeling healthier and stronger everyday for doing this.

      I have been working in Early Childhood Education  for a number of years now. I first relieved here in 2009 and started to job share as a reliever with another permanent staff member in 2010.  In 2011 the position that I was sharing became open and I was offered a full time position at Elmwood.  I accepted the position because Elmwood is very open and welcoming and has a sense of home away from home feel.

      I also like how the Centre Management are very encouraging and support the children and staff to grow.  We also have a lot of input from the Centre Owner which really helps in all aspects of Elmwood Preschool.

      I also love the fact that it is a smaller Centre and it is a very calm and relaxing environment where learning happens naturally.  It is also an intimate setting and there are a lot of opportunities for one on one interactions and at the same time working in larger groups.

      I currently run the Healthy Heart programme, I also have a passion for PMP and love to garden with the children all year round.

    • Sherine Abeykoon
      Preschool Teacher

      Sherine Abeykoon

      Preschool Teacher

      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
      Service Provider / Manager

      Eileen Keane

      Service Provider / Manager

      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.

    • Coral Murphy
      Nursery Teacher

      Coral Murphy

      Nursery Teacher

      Tēnā koutou katoa,
      Ko Whakapunaki te maunga
      Ko Takitimu te waka
      Ko Ngatikahungunu te iwi
      Kei Wairoa tōku kāinga tipu
      Nō Ōtautahi ahau
      Ko Murphy te ingoa whānau
      Ko Steve Murphy rāua ko Janine Murphy ōku mātua
      Ko Brook Murphy tōku tungāne
      Ko Coral Murphy tōku ingoa
      Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

      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 provisionally 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 straight away, 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 training. 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), and teaching for a year, 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 nanny. Now I have settled back into Christchurch I love going on little roads trips exploring more of New Zealand, or going for brunch with family and friends. I also enjoy going to the gym for body pump, body jam or boxing. Currently I am also studying part time, working towards a certificate in Te Ara Reo Māori.

      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 everyday practice.