Our People

Elise Dawson , Centre Manager

What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher? 

I have always enjoyed being around children - even as a child I loved playing with dolls and acting out care routines with them. It just seemed a natural career path to me for as long as I can remember.

How long have you been working in this sector?

I started working in ECE in 2007 and became a qualified teacher in 2009.

What do you love most about what you do?

I just love watching the children explore the world around them, it is so amazing to see joy spark in their eyes as they discover something new.

What makes Lollipops North Harbour special?

We have a fantastic team of teachers with the biggest hearts, our outdoor environment is inviting and has lots of opportunities for exploration, and of course our children and their families are all amazing.

What is your favourite time of the year at the centre?

The beginning of the year because the sun is shining, and we get to hear beautiful stories from our children and their families of the adventures they’ve had over the holiday period. It is also a time when we welcome new families to our centre, so it is very special.

What is your personal ECE philosophy?

My philosophy is largely based on building respectful relationships with everything around us. If we can remember to always be respectful in all that we say and do then I think we are all off to a good start in anything we set out to do.

Where can we find you when you’re not at work?

In my free time I love to spend time with my family, we really enjoy the beach and going to the park.  I also love to read, I find it very relaxing!

Bachelor of Education (ECE)

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Stephanie Harris, Assistant Manager/Fantails Head Teacher

Kia Ora, my name is Steph. I was born and raised on the North Shore and have lived here my entire life. I now have a beautiful family of my own and live with my husband Sam and our children Oliver and Emersyn. I have a Bachelor of Education in ECE (2014) and began my journey here at Lollipops in February 2017.

I have always known I wanted to work with children in whatever career path I chose, I knew wanted to make a difference in their lives. I chose education as I love working alongside children, gently guiding them in their journey as they learn and grow. I look forward to continuing my journey alongside all the children and whanau here at Lollipops North Harbour.

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Amy Adam, Kiwi Head Teacher

Kia ora, Shalom, my name is Amy, I joined the Kiwis team at the end of 2017. I love the home away from home feel here at kiwis. I graduated from Auckland University with a Bachelor of Education teaching early childhood (2016). Being a teacher has been my dream for a long time, so I feel very privileged to be able to work alongside and support our youngest Tamariki.

I grew up in Warkworth/Matakana and love spending my free time at the beach with my dog Leo. I greeted in Hebrew as I am originally from Israel but have been in New Zealand since 2001. I look forward to getting to know you all and welcoming you to our kiwis home.

Sora Jo, Kakapo Head Teacher

Konnichiwa, I am Sora and I have been working with children for seven years now. I am originally from Japan and moved to New Zealand when I was eight years old. I love being outdoors, getting active and going on adventures. I am a Qualfied teacher with a Bachelor of Education Degree.

I have always wanted to be a teacher at a young age as I love working alongside them and discovering the wider world together. I am a passionate teacher and being in this sector brings me joy everyday. I look forward to getting to know you and working alongside you and your whanau. Thank you.