Our People

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Shona Shields, Centre Manager

What was your motivation for pursuing a career in early childhood?

I wanted to provide care and education for children in a group environment, while working with families in supporting their children in learning lifelong skills.

What brings you the greatest joy?

I’ve worked in this sector for 26 years and I’m still passionate about it! I love to work with children of all ages and cultures, I love that children amaze, inspire, teach me and put a smile on my face, with their wonderful ways of thinking and viewing of the world around them.

What’s your all-time favourite time of year at Active Explorers Masterton?

January - as the children are coming back from their family holidays, all excited to share the special adventures they’ve had with family and friends, the sun is out, there’s lots of water play, and the sound laughter flows through the centre.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Education ECE

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Kathryn Gray, Team Leader Room 1 & 2

Tena Koutou parents and whānau, I am the team leader of room one and two.  I completed my Diploma in Early Childhood Education in 2009 through Te Tari Puna here in Masterton, although my teaching career began in 2004.  I also have my full Teacher Registration.

I have a strong passion for creating relationships with parents and whānau to support the learning interests of the children and love supporting children’s natural ability to explore their environment developing a sense of belonging and self-worth.

Diploma of Teaching ECE

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Amy Burgess, Team Leader Room 3

Kia Ora I am the team leader of room three. I completed my Diploma in Early Childhood Education in 2005 through Te Tari Puna in Masterton; I also have my full Teacher Registration. Before my training I worked and trained as a nanny and senior caregiver for the elderly.

I have always had a passion to work with the young children and I find it very rewarding and a joy to be part of helping children to learn and develop. My interests are mat times, music and movement, literacy and I love to get outside in the playground using our large motor skills

Diploma of Teaching ECE

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Shyvonne McKenzie, Team Leader Room 4

Kia Ora I am the team leader of room four. I completed my Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood Education, in 2013 through Te Tari Puna in Masterton; I also have my full Teacher Registration.

My passion is working with families and their children, working together to support children in their learning, meeting their aspiration why having fun in a supported happy learning environment. I am also passionate about Māori culture, values and beliefs, including whakapapa and bicultural practices.

Bachelor of Teaching ECE