Our People

Susan Chapman, Centre Manager & Team Leader: Infants Room

My name is Susan and I am the Acting Center Manager and Team Leader for the Infants Room. I am a born and raised Wellingtonian, with a large family based both here and around New Zealand. I am the oldest of 5 siblings with many nieces and nephews.

I started my journey after leaving high school working in primary as both the supervisor for before and after school care, holiday programme and also working as a teacher aide where I supported children with special needs. Next I nannied for a few years, where I thoroughly enjoyed the close relationships with both children and their families. Wanting to learn more I began my journey into teaching. I graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Victoria University and am a registered teacher. I have been teaching for 10 years in ECE with all ages.

I am passionate about promoting an environment where children are free to develop at their own pace, celebrating each and every children’s unique journey. Relationships with families is such an important aspect of my work. Through these relationships I learn all about what you as a parent want for your child. I look forward to working alongside you in supporting your child to grow and develop through respectfully relationships, close bonds and helping them to reach their potential.

Debbie Parsons, Team Leader: Toddler Room

Kia ora, my name is Debbie and I am the acting Team Leader in the Toddlers Room.

I grew up in Wellington and I love living in the coolest little capital. It’s a privilege to be able to work somewhere where I can see our gorgeous harbour and mountains everyday. I am the second of four children in my family, who all still live in Wellington.

I’ve been teaching here at Active Explorers as part of the Toddler Team since February 2017. My teaching journey began back in 2013. After completing my Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching, I spent a couple of years as a special education teacher and an Intermediate teacher. In 2016, I decided to retrain, and I completed my Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE). I enjoy working here at Active Explorers; our friendly teaching team and wonderful children and families make everyday enjoyable and unique.

I believe that children are competent and capable people, who desire to know about their world, and be known by the important people in their lives. Building responsive and respectful relationships with children and whanau is important to me, as it enables me to support their learning and development.


In my personal time, I attend Arise church, and I sing in a young professional choir called Supertonic. I also enjoy watching sci-fi films and tv shows, reading novels, bush walks, and being with family, friends, my partner, and his dog Leo.