Farmhouse Preschool offers education and care for children aged 2-5 years in Patumahoe & Karaka


Meet the team...

Our Management Team

Kirstie Nightingale (Patumahoe & Karaka)

Kirstie is the Centre Manager at Farmhouse Patumahoe. She is a fully qualified and registered teacher.  Kirstie is mum to Eli, they spend a lot of time in Whangamata with her partner Brian and his two children Lauren and Joleigh. Kirstie likes to bring a fun-loving approach to her teaching and has a passion for the 4 year old programme and helping children transition to school smoothly. She joined the team in 2013.

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Sharon Dalziel (Patumahoe)

Sharon is a fully qualified ECE Teacher, she is our Head Teacher at Farmhouse Preschool Karaka. Sharon has been part of our team since 2014.

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Sian Mobley (Karaka)

Sian is a fully qualified ECE teacher who moved up to the Franklin region from Papamoa Beach.  Sian works full-time at Farmhouse Preschool Karaka, as our HEAD TEACHER. Sian is enthusiastic about following children’s spontaneous interest’s with the help of their individual lenses and expertise.

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Odette Loosemore (Karaka & Patumahoe)

Odette is our ACCOUNTS ADMINISTRATOR she handles all our enrolments and accounts enquiries.  Odette lives in Waiuku with her husband and three daughters.  Odette works part-time at Farmhouse Preschool and is available - Monday, Wednesday & Thursday  9am-4pm. She joined the team in 2013.

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Our Teachers

Courtney McDonald (Patumahoe)

Courtney was born and raised in Auckland, at the end of 2016 she completed her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Auckland. She believes it is important to respect and enable children to make their own decisions, and follow their own interests.

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Akane Yamauchi (Patumahoe)

I come from Japan and my hometown is Shiga. There is a big lake in Shiga and it is surrounded by nature. I came to New Zealand in 2010, and completed Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) in 2015. I am married to Taishi, and moved to Waiuku in 2017. I like to spend spare time going for a walk, taking photographs, playing and listening to music and making crafts. I believe it is important to build respectful, warm and trust relationships with individual child and parents and Whanau.

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Anita Wilson (Patumahoe)

Anita joined our team in 2017 she works full-time at Patumahoe.

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Sarah Gault (Karaka)

Sarah is a qualified & registered ECE teacher and works full-time at Karaka.

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Rhian Robinson (Karaka & Patumahoe)

Rhian joined our team in 2018 she works across both centres and is currently finishing her final year of her ECE training.


Lucy Muir (Karaka)

Lucy is a fully qualified Early Childhood teacher who grew up in Pokeno but now resides in Pukekohe. Lucy’s desire as an educator it to provide learning opportunities where children gain sufficient knowledge that helps shape them into competent, healthy and skilful members of society.

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Jo van der Gulik (Karaka)

Jo is a qualified & registered ECE teacher. Jo rejoined our team in 2019 upon returning to the area.  Jo teaches three days a week at Karaka and has her son Jaxon alongside. 

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Keely Wright (Karaka & Patumahoe)

Keely is a fully qualified and registered teacher working across both centres. She is an educator who believes that when children develop an enthusiasm for learning and social competence through genuine warm and caring relationships. 

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Our Owners

Jo & Darryl Ward (Karaka & Patumahoe)

Jo is a qualified & registered Primary School Teacher with over 20 years experience in education. Along with her husband Darryl they own Farmhouse Preschool.  Jo & Darryl opened the preschool in 2009 and is currently taking a break to work on her Masters Degree.

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