Our People

Sandra Gomes, Head Teacher – Tuakana Room

Hi! I am Sandra Gomes. I am the Head Teacher in the Tuakana room and I’ve been working in ECE since 2004. I love working with our tamariki and assisting them in developing their inborn potential so that they have a strong foundation and smooth transition to school. I value working with whanau so that we can help to meet their aspirations for their child. You can always approach me for feedback on your child's day.

Molly Lanka, Head Teacher - Teina room

Kia ora, I'm Molly formerly from South Africa. I have been living in New Zealand for the past 13 years with my son and daughter. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in ECE in 2013.  My passion is working with under five year olds. My inspiration comes from knowing that I am making a positive difference in children’s lives, and supporting  children to grow and develop into capable and confident learners. I look forward to meeting and establishing  new relationships with all parents and whanau.

Subashni Raju, Teacher - Tuakana Room

Namaste. Bula, I am Subashni and I am from the beautiful island of Fiji. I live with my husband and our daughter. I have done my Level 5 Diploma in ECE and have over eight years of experience working with young tamariki. I am very passionate about the learning and development of young children and love to work with both under 2s and over 2s.

Auleen Kaur, Teacher – Tuakana Room

Hi, I am Auleen and I am qualified teacher with a bachelor’s degree in ECE, specialising in Reggio Teaching. I have been working in early childhood for four years now. I am a very passionate teacher who is dedicated to providing a stimulating and challenging environment which encourages courageous play. I believe strongly in creating an environment which nurtures a child’s natural curiosity and sense of wonder for the world through beautiful, creative and ritual based activities. I love working with families and believe in the strength of whanau support and connection. In my spare time I enjoy reading, sketching, camping, travelling and long walks at the beach.

Erika Gomes, Teacher – Tuakana room

Kia Ora,

My name is Erika and I am a teacher in the Tuakana room. I graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE) in 2019 and have been working as a teacher since the start of 2020. 

I am also a registered nurse who graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing in 2016. I worked as a nurse before I decided to pursue my passion for early childhood education. My teaching philosophy is underpinned by my value for holistic well-being, ecological sustainability and respect. I especially enjoy teaching 2-5 year olds. In my spare time I enjoy running, watching movies, reading and catching up with family and friends.

Lee Williams, Teacher – Teina Room

My name is Lee. I have been working at this centre for almost eight years. No children of my own yet but I love hanging out with my nephew. I love speedway, travelling, live music, going to art exhibitions, and watching my footy team.

Xingyi (Emily) Dai, Tuakana Room

Kia ora, Nihao, my name is Xingyi Dai, you can call me Emily. I come from China and I came to New Zealand since I was 17 years old. I studied Computer Science for my bachelor’s degree, but I switched my career to the Early Childhood Education because I really enjoy staying and working with kids and it is exciting that I can feel and witness how children grow up step by step! I love to discover the world together with children. During my spare time, I like reading, hiking and playing the ukulele.

Sue, Teacher - Teina Room

Hi, I'm Sue. I have been working in ECE for the past few years across different age groups. I am very passionate about children's learning and development and I love seeing them grow and learn every day. I love making a difference and contributing to children’s learning and experiences. I enjoy the outdoors, spending time with my family and friends, and travelling. I also love reading, listening to music, playing guitar and going to the gym.

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Maria Mullany, Administrator

After working at Unitec for 15 years I decided to move on as I always wanted to work with children, so I went into teaching for almost a year. Not long after I had a wonderful offer to be an administrator for Evolve, I get to continue to practice what I have learned in the past few years and be surrounded by children and help out if necessary.

 I have got two grown children and three grandchildren that I love a great deal and as much we spend a lot of time together, I have used any spare time for nine years to volunteer with an organisation helping parents deal with children going through difficult times.

I have always had a passion for early childhood, and I love seeing children develop to their full potential. Watching them grow and thrive makes it worthwhile to be part of their lives.

I’m enriched by helping others and it's a joy to work with such a wonderful team and amazing children.

Rae Tavalu, Centre Cook

Faka lofa atu. Hi, I am Rae the centre cook. I am a mother of five children and a grandmother as well. I love cooking healthy and nutritious food for our tamariki.