Mary Wood

Seniour Teacher

Growing up in a family of ten children was the driving force behind my passion for early childhood education. My teaching career  spans over 40 plus years starting with the kindergarten service teaching in Geraldine, Waiouru and Timaru before moving into the bureaucratic world of Government organisations. Marriage to John resulted in re-locating from Christchurch to Dunedin where another career re-direction saw me lecturing at the Dunedin College of Education (now University of Otago). John and I moved to Central Otago primarily to grow peonies roses, however, my desire for teaching was still strong and Wanaka Preschool was just the place for me to implement my newly developed knowledge. Nine years later I decided it was time for another challenge so I worked as a professional development facilitator for the New Zealand Childcare Association between Central and Southland. My final destination is Molyneux Educare where I enjoy the partnership of the staff and families and their fantastic children.

Provision of quality education is first and foremost in my teaching philosophy; knowing  why we teach our programme is vital to this quality. I am also a keen re-cycler, loving the challenge of turning junk into useful resources.

Marui ora

Beth Phelps

Centre Manager

Hello everyone, my name is Beth Phelps.  I am American born but have called New Zealand home since 1997.  I found my way to New Zealand after completing a 2 year contract with America’s volunteer programme Peace Corps on the island of Niue.  I am married to Matt Connell, winemaker for Akarua Wines and we have 2 children, Emma and Noah.  We have been in Cromwell since 2005.

I am an Accountant by trade and have focused my career mainly on Management Accounting and Small Business and have worked in many interesting industries, including community health, education and wine.  My passion is for not-for-profit and community organisations as they play vital roles in society.  I believe strongly too that communities play a strong role in growing great children by way of supporting families and providing opportunities for families to succeed.  The Centre Manger role at Molyneux Educare has been very rewarding, allowing me to nurture all my business strengths as well as work closely with the community and our wonderful families and staff.    I put so much value on a quality education for all children and it is for this reason I want to be actively involved with education.

Robyn Silvester


Hi I’m Robyn.

I’m married to Peter and have 2 teenage children, Danielle and Jaime.  We moved from Auckland to spend a year on The Clyde Power Project.

We love being involved in various sports clubs and feeling a part of what makes a community.

I became involved in Educare as a committee member 14 years ago when my children attended and then became employed as administrator, when my youngest turned three.

I enjoy getting to know the children and their families and being able to support the teaching team and by helping out with the Explorers outings and any centre trips.  It is very rewarding watching the children grow up and gain confidence and independence before moving onto their next stage in life.

Anita Roberts

Cook and Kitchen Administrator

Vicky Pearson

Teacher - Whetu Room
Hello, Kia Ora, My name is Vicky

I am excited to be working alongside the children, whanau and staff here at Molyneux Educare as we support the children in their learning journey.

I am honored to be a part of so many wee lives, supporting their learning and development in fun, meaningful and interesting ways. I love that moment when a child ‘gets it’, I teach for that instant and I enjoy finding creative ways to enable those moments to happen.

I have just completed my Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) degree through the Open Polytechnic, however I have been involved in early childhood education for 8 years. My interest in early childhood education began when I joined Play Centre in 2007 and became a relieving supervisor. In 2009 I became a Barnardos home-based educator which I did for four years. In 2013 I began my Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) Degree while also working as a kindergarten teacher.

Meraine Rotaria

Teacher - Whetu Room

Mauri, Kia ora,

My name is Meraine Rotaria.  I have been living in Cromwell for the past five years with my husband Fita Lafita and our beautiful, talented son Rota.  We moved from Hamilton and are really enjoying the beautiful weather and lifestyle Cromwell has to offer.  On weekends we have fun with friends, family and sport.

I have recently started studying towards my Diploma in ECE through NZ Tertiary College and am loving working alongside the team and families at Molyneux Educare.

Shirley Hobson

Teacher - Whetu Room

Tena koutou.

I moved to Cromwell in 2014 with my partner Sam.  I am originally from Dunedin, then moved to Twizel for 3 years where my mum still lives.  I have 3 children (Hannah 28, Georgina 22, and Conor 21) who all live in Dunedin.  I also have a grandson Campbell 6.

Helen Wekking

Teacher - Whetu Room

Kia ora.  Ko Helen Wekking ahau.

Originally a secondary school teacher, teaching Geography and English, I so enjoyed my three children’s preschool years that I retrained and gained my Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education.  I worked for many years at one centre in Dunedin, and last year my husband and I decided to move back to Central Otago; we had previously lived in Omarama for many years while my children were at preschool and primary school.  We love living in Cromwell, enjoying the weather and you may often see me out walking with my little dog, Lily.

Young preschool children never cease to amaze me with their searching questions as they seek to make sense of their world.  I value and respect children as unique individuals, empowering them to believe in their abilities, and in nurturing and encouraging self esteem and independence.

Kim Clearwater

Teacher - Whetu Room

Nic McNamara

Teacher - Atawhai Room

Kia Ora I’m Nic McNamara.  I am a graduate of Christchurch College of Education and have a Diploma of Teaching & Learning in Early Childhood Education (2004).

I am the proud mum of Kobe and Lane and I am privileged to have Lane here as part of the Molyneux Educare family.  I enjoy working alongside children learning and discovering as we go.  I love my job here at Educare and am passionate about providing children with exciting learning opportunities to build them up for their future to be confident, unique individuals who believe highly in themselves and their abilities.  One of my favourite parts of the program is the introduction of The Educare’s Explorers Club – I thoroughly enjoy the conversations and discoveries that go on in the wider community.  It’s awesome to see the children gain confidence and skills with different people, places and the new environments as we explore.

Mandy Pollard

Teacher - Atawhai Room

Kia Ora,

My name is Mandy Pollard.  I have just completed my Bachelor of Early Childhood Education through New Zealand Tertiary Collage.  My Partner Hayden and I moved to Cromwell from Christchurch with our two cats Nyloa, and Mo two years ago.  We have a daughter Emelia.

I believe that every child is unique, incredible, wonderful and a special human being who deserves to receive a professional and quality education.

I believe that parents/whanau are a child’s first teacher.  Early Childhood teachers play a role to support the parents/whanau to ensure that the child grows up to be a confident and competent individual. I welcome and value your input and feedback and encourage you to read and add information to your Child’s profile book, such as adding comments, stories and photographs.

Monique Wright

Teacher - Atawhai Room

Kia ora, I’m Monique. I Graduated from NZ College of Early Childhood Education with a Diploma of Teaching (ECE) in 2010. I am enjoying being part of the Molyneux Educare family and building relationships with the children their whanau and the other teachers here.

 I believe that each child is unique and should be treated with respect through trusting and responsive relationships. I feel very privileged to be a part of a child’s learning journey as they grow to their full potential, supporting each child as they continue to discover what they are capable of and explore the world around them. 

Press Esc or click anywhere to return to Mail.
by MrsSarahPierce on

Marketa O’Connell

Teacher Aid - Whetu Room

Kia ora, my name is Marketa O’Connell.  I am originally from the Czech Republic.  I lived in the UK from 2006 to 2008 before moving to New Zealand with my 2 children and my husband.  I’ve been part of the Educare Family since 2011 and love working here.  I have always had a passion for children and have dedicated my energy towards children and their well-being, both as a mother and as a Teacher Aide at Educare.  I have also been a part of the Buddy Programme with my husband for the last 4 years.  I enjoy empowering children through gentle encouragement and I am very proud to have the opportunity to be a member of such a loving family here at Educare.  Its a pleasure getting to know the children and their families.

Sharron Walker

Teacher Aid

I’m Sharron Walker, married to Neven, and together be have two beautiful children, Corry who currently lives in Dunedin and Haylea who works at Kiwibank in Cromwell.  We moved to Cromwell from Dunedin 9 years ago for the lifestyle and enjoy anything outdoors, camping, hunting & fishing.

I have a background in Play Centre and enjoy my role within the Educare family and love spending time and getting to know the children, teachers and their families.

One way I like to sum up my days is “frantically fabulous.”

Kathleen Wilde

Teacher Aide - Whetu Room

Kia ora My name is Kathleen Wilde. I moved to Cromwell from Wellington with my husband and our teenage son to embrace the Central Otago lifestyle as we enjoy skiing and motor biking as a family.

My background has been in Playcentre Association as a session supervisor to support families that enjoy the Playcentre learning environments.  I have completed the Open Polytech certification as a Teacher Aide and worked in numerous primary schools in Upper Hutt.  Last year I started training for SPACE, where I was part of a team supporting new parents and their first child.

I am excited with my new role with the Educare family where I am enjoying spending time and getting to know the children, teachers and their families.

Isabella Foster

Relieving Teacher

Hi, my name is Isabella Foster.  My husband Phil and I moved to Cromwell in 2012 from the Otago Peninsula.  Between us we have 6 children and 15 adorable grandchildren.

I began my Early Childhood career 27 years ago, training as a playcentre supervisor.  A few years later I completed my Diploma of Teaching in Early Childhood Education.  On the Otago Peninsula I set up two Early Childhood Learning Centres, one at Portobello and the other at Macandrew Bay.  I taught between both centres full-time until five years ago.  Since then I have been working part-time.

Because of my years of teaching it has become most evident to me, that in order for the child to reach their full potential, they need to be happy, feel good about themselves, confident, inquisitive and challenged.  This is what I really enjoy about teaching – helping a child to achieve these goals.

Ann Trevathan

Relieving Teacher Aid