Meet Our People

Meet The Team

Our team understands that parenting is not always easy. You may be returning to work, taking time out for yourself or want your child to start socialising with other children. Regardless of your situation, we are here to help.

We are committed to developing strong relationships with you, so we can work together in the best interests of your child.

Jenni Potter

Centre Director / Owner

Kia ora, I’m Jenni Potter the Curious Cubs Centre Owner and Director. We opened Curious Cubs in June 2013 and have enjoyed growing and developing an Early Childhood Centre that we are very proud of. I grew up in Hillcrest and qualified from The University of Waikato in 1993 with a Diploma of Teaching Early Childhood Care and Education.

I have worked as a teacher and Centre Manager in several early childhood centres in New Zealand and Australia and recently worked as the Education Manager for a group of private Childcare Centres. In the last few years, I have undertaken postgraduate study and have gained a Certificate in Educational Leadership and Management from Unitec in Auckland.

I have also spent many years working and travelling the world on board luxury yachts and then worked as a crew and charter yacht agent. My husband Ian, our daughter Chloe and I live in the country near Hamilton and we enjoy relaxing and spending time at our lifestyle property.

Anthea Bennett

Team Leader Cubs, Infants - Hamilton City

Kia ora, ko Anthea tōku ingoa. I am the headteacher in our Infants room here at Curious Cubs.

I have been working for many years in early childhood with a Bachelor of Teaching and have found my place working with our youngest tamariki.

It is a privilege for me to be able to work in partnership with the child’s whānau to support children as they master skills, gain a curiosity for life and learning and gain social skills.

Children explore and learn through play and I believe that we should build on their strengths and let them develop at their own pace.

I have been part of the Curious Cubs City team since we opened in January 2017. Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia o tatou mahi – Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work.

Carrie Roberts

Team Leader Tigers, Toddlers - Hamilton City

Kia Ora my name is Carrie and I am a qualified teacher and Team Leader in the toddler room.

I have been a teacher for a number of years and I am lucky to have a job that I love and am passionate about. I believe that strong and respectful relationships with children and their whanau are the foundation to support children’s learning.

I am passionate about empowering children to become confident and independent learners and I especially enjoy creating new and exciting activities to foster children’s imagination and curiosity. I have been at Curious Cubs since August 2019.

Kelly McPherson

Team Leader Lions, Preschool - Hamilton City

Kia Ora and Hello, My name is Kelly McPherson, I have been at Curious Cubs since January  2021 in the Lions/ preschool room. I live in Te Awamutu with my husband William and have 4 adult children, Cassandra, Jacob, Ben, Amie and a grandson George.

I am a qualified and registered Teacher after finishing my training at The University of Waikato completing my Bachelor of Teaching ECE at the end of 2020 after working for over 15 years in administration. In my spare time, I like to do cross-stitch, read, do pottery, tend to my vegetable garden and spend time with my family. I believe the tamariki/children I teach bring with them the experiences of their family, community, culture and background and it is because of this that I strive to see tamariki/children as not just individuals, but as a part within a whānau and community.

My job as a Teacher and Team leader is to plan, implement, observe and evaluate activities and interactions for and with children, with a focus on the overall well-being of the child. When doing this I recognise that children are competent and confident learners who are born with immense potential and it is my responsibility to help them to realise and release this potential.

This is done through guidance; motivation; encouragement; responsiveness; intervention; troubleshooting; observing and evaluating this allows me in turn to create space in which children feel empowered to contribute and communicate as they develop their own learning theories about the world around them.

It is important to me as a teacher to create an environment where a child feels safe, protected and connected. This I believe can be done through connecting the child’s life outside of the centre with what is going on within, bringing in family, culture and community and remembering this when planning, implementing and evaluating the learning and teaching going on within the centre.

I believe we need to ensure that the environment within the centre is one that promotes tamariki to feel safe, stable and where their own self-worth and identity is encouraged. To create this environment, I do my utmost to be consistent, affectionate, warm and understanding to the diverse needs of each individual child.

I look forward to getting to know you all and walking alongside you, your whānau and tamariki as we all learn and grow together guiding and encouraging our youngest members of our community to find their own sense of self and connection to their worlds.

Alison Polglase

Early Childhood Teacher - Hamilton City

Kia ora, my name is Alison Polglase. I grew up in Dunedin getting my passion for early childhood from my Mum. I always knew I wanted to work with young children and graduated from Otago University in 2010.

I moved to Rotorua where I started working with infants and toddlers and where my passion truly developed. My husband and I moved to Hamilton in 2015 to be closer to his daughter and I continued my work with infants and toddlers. In my spare time, I love reading, needlework, baking, cake decorating and spending time with friends and family especially my young daughters Eliza and Ayla.

I love working with infants and toddlers and watching them grow and develop at their own pace, learn new skills and abilities. I believe that the relationships are important and enjoy working with families to achieve the best outcomes for each individual child.

I look forward to getting to know your child and your family, develop those relationships and help with their learning journey here at Curious Cubs. I have been at Curious Cubs since September 2018.

Shannon Finch

Early Childhood Teacher - Hamilton City

Kia ora, My name is Shannon. I am a qualified Early Childhood Teacher. I am born and raised in Hamilton, I have a brother who lives in Australia and a sister who has just moved back from London after living there for a couple of years. I love to travel with my friends and family.

In 2016 I travelled to America to pursue my dream at Camp America and that is what got me to where I am today. My journey showed me the impact teaching has on children no matter the context or place and that children are always willing to learn.

I have been teaching at Curious Cubs since just after we opened in February 2017.

Hayley Saunders

Early Childhood Teacher - Hamilton City

Kia Ora Everyone! My name is Hayley and I am a qualified ECE teacher, having completed my studies in March 2019. I began my teaching journey four and a half years ago when I was a reliever for daycare and thoroughly enjoyed being part of children’s learning and development and so began my studies.

Part of the reason I decided to study this profession is because I want to be a positive part of the next generation’s learning and development for their future. I have been working in the infant room for a couple of years and feel fortunate to be part of the first years in each child’s life and see developing a sense of belonging to be an important part of my role as a teacher in ECE.

I believe infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers should feel confident and happy in their learning environment and should have the sense the teacher is always there to go when they need help and encouragement. I value mutual respect between teachers, teachers and whānau, teachers and children, and children with children.

I see relationships as the foundation to support child’s learning and development as they grow. I have been with Curious Cubs since November 2017.

Kayla Watson

Early Childhood Teacher - Hamilton City

Kia ora koutou! Ko Kayla Watson tōku ignoa! I am a qualified Teacher with a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) from Wintec.

My passion for Early Childhood Education began when I first did a placement in high school at a local centre. I then made the move from the Hauraki Plains, away from my whānau, to Hamilton with my partner so I could start my degree as a young 17-year-old.

I have been at Curious Cubs City ever since the move! In my spare time, I like to spend time with family and friends, connecting with papatūānuku and exploring new places around Aotearoa.

I enjoy creating strong responsive and reciprocal relationships with tamariki and their whānau as this is the key to knowing tamariki as a whole. Each day I often find myself getting messy and creating sensory and science activities for tamariki.

Ngā mihi

Tayla Kennerley

Early Childhood Teacher - Hamilton City

Kia ora Everyone, My name is Tayla Kennerley an I have a Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education through New Zealand tertiary college.

I work in the toddler’s room. I spent my teenage years in Waihi, so in my spare time, I love going back there to catch up with old friends and spend time at the beach. I have always had a passion for working with children, and did work experience at an ECE centre at high school, which is where my passion developed.

I believe creating strong and trusting relationships with both children and their whanaus is essential to children at the start of their learning journey to help them attain foundational physical, social, cognitive and emotional concepts and skills they will carry with them throughout their lives.

Katie Peters

Early Childhood Teacher - Hamilton City

Kia Ora e te whaanau,

My name is Katie Peters and I have the privilege of being a Kaiako here at Curious Cubs. I work in the Cubs room with our young peepi. I began my teaching journey in 2018 when I was studying for my Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology, I was hoping to continue my studies to become a child psychologist so that I could ensure that the future generations grow up feeling safe, secure and supported and this is still something I would like to do in the future. During my study I got a job as a relief teacher and fell in love with teaching, building those close relationships with whaanau and helping nga tamariki to grow and flourish. I have since completed my Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childcare Education) Te Poutama ki te Pakaritanga, which I finished in 2022.

My passion is to work with whaanau to ensure that their tamaiti is getting the best education from us and growing in a way that is culturally responsive to them. I love to empower nga tamariki and ensure that when they come to Curious Cubs they have lots of fun! It’s also very important to me that they feel safe, secure and supported.

I’m excited to meet you and your tamariki and look forward to seeing how we can work together to ensure that your child gets the best education.

McKenzie Morris

Early Childhood Teacher - Hamilton City

Kia ora, ko McKenzie toku ingoa. I am one of the qualified teachers in the Cubs/infants room. 

In 2022 I completed my Bachelor of Teaching degree through Te Rito Maioha. This has provided me many opportunities to learn and grow alongside many tamariki on a regular basis.  I was born and raised in Whangarei.  I am very much looking forward to all the opportunities that Hamilton has to offer. I am very involved in my netball, which is something I have been doing most of my life. When I’m not working, I’m busy umpiring netball or coaching umpires. I love being able to help others and open new learning opportunities where possible. 

 Teaching and working with children has always been my passion, I’ve been very fortunate to have many opportunities to work with and alongside tamariki in many aspects. Relationships and care moments play such a huge role within my daily teaching practice.

Danica Butler

Early Childhood Teacher - Hamilton City

Mabuhay! My name is Danica and I am from Philippines.

I became a teacher because of my brother who had cerebral palsy. I finished my Bachelor’s degree in the Philippines majoring in Special Education. Moving to New Zealand at the age of 23 was a scary move for me as I had to settle in a new country far from my family. I arrived in 2016 and I have over seven years of early childhood experience.

Working with children has been my passion ever since I was a child. I love being around them and teaching them new knowledge and skills that they could use in their future. I believe that ages 0-5 years old is the most crucial stage of a child’s life since it is the foundation of the child’s personality.

I am living with my partner and our dog. We love to go hiking, biking, and walking around the lake. In my spare time I do fitness activities such as hula classes, yoga, aerial (lyra), pole fitness, headstands and stretching. I love to explore the outdoors tramping on mountains and chasing waterfalls, but I am not a fan of the sun.

I am glad to be the new member of Curious Cubs and I’m looking forward to meeting you all.

Tiana Symons

Early Childhood Teacher - Hamilton City

Kia Ora koutou, ko Tiana Symons tooku ingoa (My name is Tiana Symons). 

I am currently studying Bachelor of Teaching: Early Childhood Education at Wintec. I am in my third year and will be finishing up in the start of July.   I have been working in the early childhood education sector for around 4 years now. Starting off as a cook/cleaner and making my way into teaching positions. My philosophy stems from whanaungatanga and manaakitanga and how we share that with our tamariki daily. Focusing on who our tamariki are as individuals and supporting, caring and guiding them in their learning journey.

I was born and raised in Hamilton and am currently residing in Melville with my partner. When I am not teaching, I find myself going for walks, exploring waterfalls, connecting with friends and just enjoying life.

I look forward to meeting you all the kaiako, whaanau and tamariki at Curious Cubs and supporting the tamariki on their learning journey!

Poipoia te kakano , kia puawai
Nuture the seed and it will blossom

Caitlyn Marshall

Teacher in Training - Hamilton City

Kia Ora, my name is Caitlyn. I have been working in early childhood education for over two years and I have really enjoyed my journey so far, I’m a second-year student studying towards my Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood Education at New Zealand Tertiary College.

I am passionate about creating a warm, loving home away from home for children to develop. I have grown up in the Thames surrounded by all of my family and I’ve decided to make the big move to Hamilton and I’m excited to begin this new adventure.

I enjoy being outdoors, going to the beach and socialising. I look forward to getting to know all of you and your families.

 

Lexi Bolt

Teacher in Training - Hamilton City

Lexi is in her 2nd year of Teacher Training and works 3 days each week in our Toddler room. 

Taylor Voeroes

Teacher in Training - Hamilton City

Kia Ora, my name is Taylor Voeroes. I have been working full time in early childhood for a little over 3 years, working with all age groups. I am also about to start my second year of study to become a qualified teacher.  I decided to pursue this career as I wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of the future generations. I am passionate about building strong and trusting relationships with the Tamariki and their whānau.

Outside of work hours I am passionate about Marching. I am entering my 10th year of marching, during my time in the sport my team and I have seen ourselves gain many National titles.  I enjoy working at Curious Cubs and look forward to meeting you all. 

Ranshika Sharma

Teacher in Training - Hamilton City

Ranshika is in her 2nd year of study and works in our Toddler and Preschool rooms.

Sandee Turton

Teacher in Training - Hamilton City

Kia Ora, my name is Sandee Turton, I have been working at Curious Cubs for a couple and have loved every moment.

I have always found enjoyment in working with children. I am currently studying to become a qualified Early Childhood Teacher, I look forward to getting to know you all and be a part of you and your child’s time here at Curious Cubs.

Nikki Bush

Administrator - Hamilton City

Kia Ora. I’m Nikki, I was born in the UK and raised by two wonderful parents. I moved to New Zealand in 2000 with my kiwi husband Russell and our 3 wonderful children, who have all grown up now.

Russell and I became grandparents for the first time to a gorgeous baby boy this year, which is such a tremendous feeling. In my spare time, I enjoy gardening and spending time with my family. I became a New Zealand citizen last year, which I am proud to call myself a kiwi. I was a stay at home mum until our youngest child started school.

I went back to work in 2005 where I worked at a well-known supermarket chain in the office dealing with accounts, cash handling and other office duties. I left in 2012 to work as an administrator in an early learning childhood centre, it was then I realised this was the best job for me! I love greeting the children and their families each morning and personally getting to know them all.

In 2017 I am delighted to have joined Curious Cubs, where I am looking forward to developing a great relationship with all our whanau through good communication.

Catherine Richards

Chef - Hamilton City

Catherine is our wonderful chef who makes us nutritious and delicious morning tea’s, lunches and Afternoon teas.

Moira Wallbank

Housekeeper - Hamilton City

We are very lucky to have a housekeeper like Moira. She takes care of all the jobs that keep the centre running.