Our People

Lynette Kioa
Lynette Kioa, Centre Manager

Kia ora. A born and raised West Coaster, I have also lived in Christchurch, Wellington, Canberra, and Tonga. I am a proud mother to my three adult daughters and their families, which includes two precious grandchildren. I have been teaching for over 20 years, and in my role as CM since 2015. I am passionate about providing a centre where respect and relationships are valued, tamariki and kaiako have fun together, and where diversity is acknowledged, respected and celebrated. 

I believe being part of such an environment supports our tamariki to succeed and leave our centre ready to “fly” in the bigger world of primary school. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, reading and spending time with my family.

Stacey Brock
Stacey Brock, 2IC & Team Leader Ruma Tui

Kia ora. It is my absolute privilege to be a part of a team that is committed to providing quality education and care for the tamariki of Māwhera. I am a mum of three and when I am not busy supporting my tamariki with their sports, I am home gardening, baking and undertaking house renovations/landscaping. As a kaiako I am extremely passionate about providing tamariki with a rich curriculum that supports them to develop lifelong skills. Creating a learning environment that is fun, exciting and full of laughter is something I constantly strive for.

Haley Plaistowe
Haley Plaistowe, Team Leader Ruma Kakaruwai

Kia ora. I live with my partner, Jim, and our two dogs and two cats. Originally from Rotorua, we moved from Wellington to the stunning West Coast in 2019 and found the lack of traffic the most significant change. I am a huge animal lover and in my spare time enjoy walking on the gorgeous bush tracks and the beach with Jim and our dogs. I knew I wanted a career that involved helping people, and my passion for supporting and caring for others led me to early childhood education. The look of achievement when children succeed in their aspirations is so rewarding and one of the many reasons I love what I do.

Jolene Blance
Jolene Blance, Administrator

Kia ora. I have been in my job for the past  15 years. I thoroughly enjoy meeting the whānau within the centre. I am a born and bred Coaster. My husband and I have a beautiful daughter who brings us so much joy.  When I’m not busy with my family, I love to go on walks.

Alysha Prendergast
Alysha Prendergast, Teacher Ruma Tui

Kia ora. I have worked in ECE for 5 years now after studying towards a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (ECE) in Christchurch. I came back to the West Coast as this is where I grew up, on a farm. I now live with my partner on a small lifestyle property in the Grey Valley. I love watching the children learn new skills and being able to teach them life skills from such a young age such as gardening and baking. No day is ever the same and I love that about my job.

Andorette Knoetze
Andorette Knoetze, Ruma Tui

Kia ora. I’m from South Africa. My partner and I have a young daughter. I love to do baking and preserving foods with my daughter. As a family we enjoy going for walks and to the lakes. I have just started my Bachelor of Early Childhood studies and I am very excited.

Sally Mehrtens
Sally Mehrtens, Teacher Ruma Kea

I have been teaching in early childhood for many years. I have a Bachelors Degree and am also Montessori trained. I still enjoy teaching children,  being there for their growth and development is always a special time. I’m a family person so most of my time centres around my family. I have other interests of course that I fit in when time allows but somehow grandchildren’s interests are all encompassing.

Kitana Skipper
Kitana Skipper, Teacher Ruma Kea

Kia ora, I completed my Bachelor in Teaching (ECE) in 2022 and moved from Auckland to the West Coast at the end of August 2022. I am Māori on my dad’s side and Samoan on my mum’s. I was born and raised in a big whanau in South Auckland. I love being out in nature and skateboarding. I have always had a natural connection to tamariki and am passionate about our future generation. I am a very empathetic and caring person who aspires to support children to appreciate their individuality and creativity, while also fostering respect and compassion for others.

Natalie Woolhouse
Natalie Woolhouse, Teacher Ruma Kea

Kia ora, I am one of the toddler room teachers. I am currently in my last year of studying to become a qualified ECE teacher. I started my studies in 2020 after moving back to Greymouth from Christchurch, it was in Christchurch where I first started thinking about becoming an early childhood teacher. My interests include baking and art, along with spending time with my family.

Mia Tong
Mia Tong, Teacher Ruma Kakaruwai

Kia ora.  I'm originally from Maungaturoto in Northland, but now happily settled on the West Coast with my family. For the past three years, I've been a kaiako at Active Explorers Nelson Street, where I've found both community and fulfilment in supporting our youngest tamariki with their learning. 

Johanna Lange
Johanna Lange, Teacher Ruma Kakaruwai

Kia ora, I have been working at Active Explorers since 2022. I moved to the West Coast in 2015; I have previously worked in ECE in Canterbury. I have a daughter, Grace. Outside of work we enjoy going on adventures with friends and family, bike riding and spending lots of time at the park. 

Helen Huxtable
Helen Huxtable, Teacher all rooms

Kia ora. I am originally from South Africa. We came to New Zealand in January of 2009 and I am now a NZ citizen. I have been in Ece for 32 years. Teaching children has always been a part of me. I love creating an environment so that every child is given the opportunity to thrive. I have a good sense of humour and a pleasant approach. I am a Mum to three men in their 30's, and have a beautiful granddaughter, Sylvie, and soon to have a second. My hobbies are photography, quilting, sewing, crocheting, and being creative. I love riding my motorbike (Honda Rebel CMX 500) and exploring our beautiful country.

Rochelle Hutson
Rochelle Hutson, Teacher all rooms

Kia ora. I live in Blackball with my teenage son and my two cats. I love gardening and enjoy growing lots of vegetables for my family and friends.  I also enjoy playing guitar, singing and all kinds of music. I have worked at Active Explorers for several years.