Our People

Emilee Keefe , Centre Manager

Emilee found her passion in working with children in the early childhood sector when she left school. Emilee holds a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) ECE, a Diploma of Teaching ECE and full teacher registration. As an experienced early childhood teacher with an interest in leading teams, Emilee joined Lollipops Petone in January 2015.
Emilee lives in Lower Hutt with her partner and young son Jack. She enjoys DIY around their home and spending time outdoors at local parks and the Hutt River with their dog. Emilee has an interest in travel, especially within Aotearoa and enjoys spending time at the mountains in winter.


“I have been fortunate to be able to work with children of all ages and this has built on my knowledge and teaching philosophy. Working alongside families and whanau to build on positive outcomes for children is my passion along with leading a passionate teaching team within my leadership role”

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Lauren Shugg, Assistant Centre Manager & Team Leader - Kiwi Room

Lauren began working in early childhood education in 2003 and completed her Diploma of Teaching (ECE) in 2006. Lauren holds full teacher registration. Lauren joined Lollipops Petone in September 2013 and with her strength and passion for mentoring and leading teams Lauren moved into leadership.

Lauren lives in Lower Hutt with her husband Nathan, young children Vanessa and Damien and Samoyed dog Thor. Family and friends are important and in her spare time she enjoys movies, shopping and exploring the great outdoors with her family.
“I love working with children of all ages and experiencing the fun and challenge each day brings however my real passion and expertise lies with infant care and education. I have targeted my knowledge and teaching practice to ensure respectful practice and positive outcomes for children and get inspiration from RIE Pickler and Reggio philosophy”


Nicole Hunt , Team Leader - Tui

Nicole graduated with a Bachelor of Early childhood in April 2018 at Whitireia. Previous to this Nicole has had many years in swim teaching and nannying. Nicole now holds a full teacher's registration and with her passion, drive and strengths she moved into leadership.

Nicole lives in Johnsonville with her partner's family and dog named Diesel. Nicole is very close to her large extended family and enjoys catching up with them during the week and on weekends. Nicole also loves to adventure in the outdoors with her friends where she walks her dog and enjoys everything that nature has to offer.

Sarah Magson, Team Leader - Kakapo

Sarah has always had a passion for early childhood education during her college years, volunteering at local early childhood centres as part of her college journey. Once Sarah left college, she started her Bachelor of Early Childhood Degree, completing her degree in 2013.

Since Sarah has taught all ages of children however has found her passion with teaching in the transition to school age group. Sarah is a fully qualified teacher and joined Lollipops Petone in October 2019 as Team Leader of the Kakapo Room.

Sarah lives in Tawa and in her spare time enjoys spending time with her family and taking her dog Charlie on adventures around local beaches and parks.

“I love helping children grow and learn. Providing all children with a fun and engaging environment to explore and learn within. I am a keen learner and enjoy leading my team towards growing to their best potential as teachers.”