Our staffing policy

Our policy at Ashburton Baptist Preschool, is to employ caring, qualified staff, as well as those prepared to train.  Children call staff by their Christian names.

Our staffing ratios are one adult to 10 children at the three and a half – five year old area, one adult to nine children in the two – three and a half year old area and one adult to four children in the zero – two year old area.

Management and Board Members

Qualifications: Bachelor of Teaching and Learning ECE. Full Teacher Registration. Kia ora I’m Vince and I started working at the Baptist Preschool fulltime in December 2008. I have completed a Diploma in Teaching in ECE (2012) and a Bachelor in Teaching in ECE (2013). I am a fully qualified and registered teacher after completing my registration May 2015. Te Whāriki (New Zealand’s Early childhood curriculum, 1996) highlights the importance of interacting with people places and things. I believe these interactions need to be founded in ‘real life experiences’. This may be implemented by going for excursions in the community and recognising important land marks like the police station or the library or by finding opportunities where children can participate in fixing or repairing items. I believe that children learn in a social context and that play experiences enable development in meaningful ways for children. Outside of Preschool I really enjoy playing music, spending time with my beautiful family – Shawnee and Oliver, going camping and having a good laugh.
Board of Trustees
Qualifications: JP DipBS(PFP) CSAP MInstD. Kieran brings a broad range of governance experience from both the ‘for profit’ and ‘not for profit’ sectors of the community. He has over twenty five years’ experience in the financial services sector including management and advisory roles in investment management, finance, share broking, investment banking and insurance. He is currently Trustee and Treasurer of The ABC Community Trust (2012). He is also Co-Founder and Executive Director of Genesis Private Equity Limited (2015), an Independent Non-Executive Director of Charta Income Fund Limited (2012), the Founder and Director of K J O’Hagan & Associates Limited (1991), and a Trustee of Community House Mid Canterbury (2012). He was formerly a Trustee of the Rotary Club of Ashburton Charitable Trust Inc. (2014-2015) and Queenspark Community Trust (2000-2011). He is married to Christine who works on a casual basis as a Teacher at Ashburton Baptist Preschool and they have two adult children. He enjoys boating, football and reads widely.
Board of Trustees- Chairman
Qualifications: BE in Agricultural Engineering. I am currently Operations Manager for Valetta Irrigation Ltd supplying water to 50 farmers. My wife Colleen and I also have a lifestyle block where we grow flowers commercially. We have three adult children, and two small grandchildren. I have 6 years experience in school governance having been chairman of the Willowby School Board of Trustees and was chairman of the combined Board which oversaw the formation of Longbeach School. I also have 8 years experience in Property and Project Management at Mount Hutt College and Lauriston School. I have been actively involved in the Ashburton Baptist Church for the last 30 years, particularly in church website management, sound, home groups and more recently the support group Friends of the Pre-School. My other interests are navigational car trials, tramping and water sports.
Board of Trustees
My name is Murray McPherson I have lived in Ashburton most of my life. I am a qualified electrician and have been self-employed for nearly 40 years. I am happily married to my wife Margaret for 33 years. We have two adult children Rhys & Brydie. Marg & I started Lifestyle Motorhomes Ltd in 2001. It’s become a family business as Brydie has worked with us for more than 10years and is currently our office manager and Rhys has just joined our team as a qualified auto-electrician with limited 230v registration. We also operate two other family companies. I enjoy most sports including water skiing and snow skiing. My interests include gardening and doing up our own homes, I also dabble in flying remote controlled aeroplanes. The most important thing in my life is spending time with my wife, family and friends. I believe the preschool is a wonderful place for the children of Ashburton to be educated and nurtured in a safe and positive environment. I feel privileged to be a member of this team.
Board of Trustees
I am married to Sandra and we have 3 children, Angela and Stephanie are working in Southland and Frederick is studying at Canterbury University. We have an arable farm near Methven and run a seed processing and storage business in Methven. Presently I am Chairman of The Ashburton Baptist Church Trust Board which I have been a member of since 2009. Prior to that I was on the Methven Primary School board of trustees for 6 years, 3 as chairman. I have had various other roles over the years ranging from the Foundation for Arable Research to our local hall committee. I became involved in the preschool because I felt that we need to strengthen the ties between it and the Church. I hope that I can assist in building on the centres great reputation by supporting our talented staff and upgrading the facilities as we can. My other interests revolve around my family, boating/fishing and building custom cars.
Board of Trustees

Head Teachers

Head Teacher in Mohi Kete
Qualifications: Bachelor of Teaching and Learning ECE, National Certificate in Mãori (Te Waharoa) Level 2, Certificate in Tikanga Mãori Level 3, Undergoing Teacher Registration Process. Kia Ora I am Danielle and I started working for the Baptist Preschool as a reliever in 2012 before joining the Mohi Kete Room in 2013. I have completed my Bachelor in Teaching and Learning in ECE (2013) and am currently provisionally registered. This year I am studying part time towards a Graduate Certificate in Infant and Toddler Wellbeing and Learning. Since working with infants and toddlers my passion has grown immensely. My teaching philosophy is inspired by the Pikler and Gerber approach to Infant and Toddler care. I want to expand, deepen and further my knowledge in this field, so I can enhance the quality education and care I provide for the children entrusted with my care. I find this age group particularly fascinating and widely underestimated in their abilities and capabilities, this is an aspect in society I would like to see changed. Infants and toddlers are capable, engaged, active participants in their own learning and I believe that a teacher’s commitment to pedagogy of care reflects attuned interactions between teacher and child and their ability to being fully present, supportive and responsive to the child. Through close observations, secure attachments (child-teacher-whānau) and a teaching philosophy of care, respect, security and belonging enables me to recognise and respond to the children’s learning and development. Here is a little bit about me I am married to Hadley Fletcher and we have two children Leigha who is 9 and Caleb who is 7. We moved to Ashburton from Timaru in 2010 and haven’t looked back, we love the small rural town feel Ashburton offers. Outside of Preschool my family and I like to spend a lot of time doing outdoor recreational activities such as nature walks, boating, hiking, biking, triathlons/duathlons and camping! I enjoy baking, sewing, anything crafty and hanging out with family and friends.
Head Teacher Tuhura Room
Head Teacher Te Ruma Ako
Kia ora! My name is Rasela and here is a little bit about myself. I am the Head Teacher in Te Ruma Ako. I am a qualified and registered teacher. I studied through Canterbury University and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in ECE. I have been working in the ECE sector for over ten years with 4 years experience working with Infants and Toddlers, and rest with 2 to 5 year olds. I also have five years experience as a Head Teacher. My family is everything to me. I have a 14 year old son who keeps us busy with his basketball and other commitments, and I also have three step daughters living in Christchurch. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and catching up with friends. I am passionate about respectful care and providing an environment that allows children to explore, investigate and connect with their natural surroundings. Relationships is a core value to my practice also. I believe in working collaboratively with whanau | families as you know your child/ren best. I feel it is important to learn what your hopes and dreams are for your child and work out ways for me to support your child in achieving these. This is also affirmed by a quote in our Early Childhood Curriculum 'Te Whariki' that states; "Each child is on a unique journey, they come into the world eager to learn and into family, whanau or aiga that have high hopes for them". I also believe that language, culture and identity is really important as language and culture shape a child's identity.


Teacher in Mohi Kete

Qualifications: Experienced Teacher. My time at the Ashburton Baptist Preschool started out with some volunteer work and from there I was offered some relieving work throughout the centre. In 2013, I was offered a part -time position in the Infant and Toddler room where I have truly found my teaching passion. I enjoy working with the Infants and Toddlers as well as working with such a great team of teachers. I am currently in my second year of study towards my Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood). Outside of work I volunteer as a Brownie Leader where I run a unit of 20 + girls. I am also the Youth Representative for the South Canterbury Region of Girl Guiding. I also am involved with Celtic Netball on their committee.

Teacher in Mohi Kete

Qualifications: Diploma of Teaching ECE, Diploma in Child Psychology, Provisional Registration. My name is Shelley Smith and I am a new Kaiako (teacher) in Mohi Kete. I have worked in early childhood for 12 years. I qualified in 2010 after working and studying correspondence, both full time. I spent 2 years as Head Teacher in an Over Fours room and 5 years Head Teacher in an infant and toddler setting before having my own three children. Harrison is 6, a great wee rugby player. Hazel 5, an amazing swimmer and Archie 2.5 is the energy and life of the family! We enjoy camping and swimming, lots of sport and value family and friends very much. I have a passion for infant and toddler learning and development and raised my own children under the same Gerber free movement theories we use here at Baptist Pre School. I attended the Yea Baby conference in Wellington which expanded my knowledge and theory and I have a drive to be always extending on my practice and professional knowledge. As parents are a child’s first teacher, I believe the parent – teacher relationship is immensely important. We get a holistic picture of a child when we learn more from parents/caregivers which enables us to provide the most appropriate environment and interactions for the child.

Teacher in Mohi Kete
Teacher in Mohi Kete
Teacher in Mohi Kete
Qualifications: In training for Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood). I am currently in my second year of studying towards this. I have worked at the Ashburton Baptist Preschool since 2016, starting out as a reliever, so I have worked with all three age groups. I am currently working in the Infant and Toddler room which is great because I really enjoy this age. I have found my passion with this age group, I love developing reciprocal relationships with the children and their families and encouraging them to discover the world through play. I am married to Mitch, and we have three children together - Emma who is 7, Ellie who is 3 and Hadlee is 2. We enjoy spending time together as a family going on nature walks and bike rides.
Teacher in Te Ruma Ako
Kia ora. A little about me… I have been teaching in early childhood for about 7 years. I have 2 teenage children and a wonderful home husband. I believe joy and laughter should be daily present as children explore, challenge themselves, communicate and interact. I am very passionate about this. A joyous and fun moment is a moment that is remembered and often requested again from which more learning occurs. I enjoy gardening and all outdoor type experiences, love to dance and love to be creative. I am passionate about sharing the love of Jesus.
Teacher in Te Ruma Ako
My name is Laura Wang and I have been teaching as an English teacher in a secondary vocational school in China since 2002. I started to be a Sunday school teacher for young children in our church in 2014. I am especially passionate about working with young children. Therefore, I came to New Zealand to pursue my post graduate diploma in early childhood education. I believe that a good teacher can make a difference in a child's life. Respect, love, praise, and encouragement can always make miracles. God has created every child differently. They have different gifts, personalities and interests. God bless you!
Teacher in Tuhura Room
Qualifications: Experienced Teacher. Kia ora and a big Malo e Lelei from the Kingdom of Tonga. My name is Ana Taufa. I have five children of my own – Stephen who is 9, Taniela who is 8, Tuipulotu who is 6, Peni who is 3 and my little girl Natalie who is 11months old. I have been working here at the Ashburton Baptist Preschool since 2012. I find that working with the children is a real joy. I look forward to getting to know you and your children better, working with and alongside them throughout their learning journey.
Teacher in Tuhura Room

Qualifications: Registered Teacher. Kia ora! My name is Annie and I am a fully registered Primary Teacher with over 10 years teaching experience. I gained my Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in 2004 and last year I completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Collaborative and Digital Technologies). I am “Mum” to two sons in their early 20’s and both live in Christchurch. I returned to Ashburton in 2016 to spend more time with my parents who live in Tinwald. Most of my teaching career has been with New Entrants and I strongly believe in the value of “Play based learning”. Building strong relationships with children is vital to ensure that they feel safe and are supported to learn, grow, and explore the world. A successful learning partnership involves the child, whanau and teacher all working together with purpose. I look forward to working with you all and your precious children.

Teacher in Tuhura Room
Kia Ora! My name is Sarah and I’m a fully qualified and registered ECE teacher with over 10 years experience in the sector. During my time as a teacher I have spent time in the UK teaching and travelling Europe and have now settled back in Ashburton with my husband Richard and our daughter Evelyn. In my spare time I love being involved in theatre and have been in shows both onstage and behind the scenes. I also enjoy playing netball, travelling and spending time at the beach. The thing I love the most about teaching in ECE is supporting our youngest tamariki and giving them the best start in life.
Domestic Support
Hi my name is Marie and I am married to Donald. We have two daughters and three wonderful grandchildren. I have been working at the Preschool since August 2015 and love working alongside the teachers, helping the children to grow and develop. In my spare time I like aqua jogging, walking, cycling and making teddy bears alongside other craft activities.