Our People

Debbie Betts, Centre Manager

Tell us about your journey in the early childhood sector.

I am a fully qualified and registered teacher and hold a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education). I have been working in the early childhood education sector since 2002. My experience includes working with 3 months to 5 year old children, ECE leadership and research, and professional development facilitation.

What are some of the ECE areas you are most passionate about?

My professional interests include professional development facilitation, engaging in dialogue and review processes that focus on positive learning outcomes for young children. As a manager I strive to provide teachers with the tools and resources to implement a quality learning environment for children, families and the wider community.

What is your personal ECE philosophy

My teaching is strongly guided by our own NZ ECE curriculum Te Whāriki. I am also deeply inspired by the philosophies of RIE (Resources for Infants Educarers) and Reggio Emilia. I consider myself very fortunate to work in an environment where the values and beliefs are so close to my own.

Where can we find you when you are not at work?

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and working in the garden.

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Glenda Henderson,

Ko Glenda Henderson toku ingoa. Paraparaumu Beach is home to me where I live with my husband and thirteen year old son Grant. I've been an ECE teacher for almost fifteen years.

My qualifications include a Diploma well as a Bachelor of Teaching ECE that included a specialised paper on Infants and Toddlers. I love shopping for bargains at the op-shop' especially ones made from wood and other natural resources.  When I'm not at work I love baking and long walks on the beach with my family.

Lesley Hardy, Educator

Kia ora koutou

I'm Lesley. I have worked at Active Explorers Mana for nearly nine years and have been lucky to work with all the age groups. I live in Whitby and have three children and seven grandchildren. I continue to enjoy being part of the growing process of young children.

Kylie Paul, Registered Head Teacher

My name is Kylie. I am a mum of five gorgeous children and live in Titahi Bay.  I have had a passion for teaching since a young age and grew even more when I had my first child.

I have been a qualified early childhood teacher for over 10 years and still enjoy every minute of it!  I am also the team leader of both Kanuka and Manuka rooms and the Centre 21C.

I look forward to learning alongside you and your child/ren.

Teetu Nukunuku (Tee), Registered Teacher

Kia Ora Kia Orana

My name is Teetu Nukunuku (Tee) I am of Maori and Cook Islands Maori descent, living here in the heart of Porirua. I am a qualified and registered early childhood teacher and have been in the early childhood sector for six years now. Being a early childhood teacher has taught me how to grow as a teacher and a mother of four beautiful children. I have a great joy in being of service to children and providing them with the tools and methods to giving them the best start in life.

I enjoy performing Kapa Haka with Pukehuia Kapa Haka group and dancing for Enua Manu Cook Island performing group. I am a big fan of the Brisbane Broncos and the Queenland Rugby League Team.

Melissa Brown, Educator

I am of Maori and Pakeha descent. I have lived all my life in Porirua and have raised my two beafltiful children. I am also a step nana to six beautiful mokos. I plan to study and gain my degree in Early Childhood Teaching. I enjoy playing indoor netball and going to the gym.

I believe the most important thing you can give children is time and love, and with these two things children are given the basis for personal growth.

Min-ju Heo, Registered Teacher

Tena Koutou

Hi! My name is Min-ju Heo (MJ) and I am from South Korea. I visited New Zealand in 2015 and was fascinated by the beautiful environment here for early childhood education which is different from my home country. So I decided to study early childhood and work with children in New Zealand.

I have a graduate diploma in early childhood education and am a registered teacher. I believe children's participation in their learning should be acknowledged and appreciated. I also believe the partnership with children, family/whanau should be based on the respectful, responsive and reciprocal practice.

I am looking forward to getting know family/whanau and children in Active Explorers Mana.

Maryjane Winiata, Registered Teacher

Kia ora koutou

Ko Maryjane Winiata ahau
I am a qualified teacher and have over 12 years experience in early childhood education.
I am a mother of three children and live in Plimmerton.

I can speak the basics of Te Reo Maori and have knowledge in tikanga and Te Ao Maori.
I have a graduate certificate in applied arts and practice the art of Maori weaving.
Early childhood is all about having fun and learning through play!

I look forward to getting to know the whanau and tamariki here at Mana Active Explorers.