Rural Scholars Early Childhood Learning Centre, Waimate

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Meet Our Team

Paula Rogers
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education - Manager, Full Time


Kia Ora, I am the Owner and Manager of Rural Scholars Early Learning Centre. I am passionate about ensuring that children and their families/whanau early childhood experiences are respectful, meaningful and valued.

Our environment allows both my interests of children and animals to combine and provide amazing learning opportunities for all. This centre is my dream come true and I enjoy spending my days with a great group of children, parents, teachers, and animals.

Rosie Nicholas
Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education - Head Teacher, Full Time


Malo e lelei, Talofa, Kai ora, my name is Rosie Nicholas, I am currently working in the Kiwi Room (Under 2s).

My passion is getting to know each child as an individual and supporting them on their learning journey. I enjoy supporting children/tamariki reach their personal goals and getting to know the children's families/whanau.

My areas of interest are arts and crafts, early literacy, but most of all I love adventuring amongst nature on trips to the farm, and setting up new and creative environments for the tamariki to explore and challenge themselves in.

Alana Taupo
Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education - Head Teacher in the Over Two\’s


I have a huge passion for working with and alongside children and love experimenting with messy play.

I enjoy being part of the Rural Scholars team and getting to know the Tamariki.

I like being part of the learning journey and am excited about where it will take us next.

Louise Partleton
Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education - Under Two's Teacher, Full Time


I finished my degree in Early Childhood Education in 2012.

I am married with four children and one grandson.

I really enjoy working with young children and helping them to discover the wonderful world around them.

Kourtney Saulala
Started training 2014 - Preschool Room Teacher


Kia ora, Malo e lelei, Namaste, my name is Kourtney Saulala and I have been a full time teacher at Rural Scholars 2014. I married my husband at the beginning of 2017, and we live with our fur babies Dalton, Romeo the border collies. I have a passion for nurturing and respecting animals and the natural environment, reflecting Rural Scholars philosophy in my teaching practises and the experiences I provide for the tamariki. I have a particular interest in culture and language, and am forever challenging myself to grow and learn.

Maddison Rogers


I'm second year studying Midwifery through Otago polytechnic and I enjoy coming back in my holidays and relieving at Rural Scholars.

Joy Williams
(Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education – Preschool Room Teacher, Full time


I have completed my Early Childhood Teaching Degree in 2016.

I am a wife and mother of four children ranging from 11-23 years of age.

I am looking forward to growing and learning as a teacher and working alongside your children on their learning journeys.

Melanie Attfield
(Diploma of Early Childhood Education


Hi my name is Mel Attfield. I have been working in an Early Childhood Centre since 2006 with the last 2 years being at Rural Scholars. I am originally from Alexandra and moved to the area with my partner and 2 children Jacob and Phoebe who also attend Rural Scholars. I love working with children and enjoy scaffolding and facilitating an environment where they enquire, discover and problem solve in all aspects of their learning journey.

Caitlin Fahey


Kia ora, my name is Caitlin and I am currently in my third year of studying towards my Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education through NZTC. I am currently working full time in the Pukeko Room (Over 2s) and am loving being able to work with and alongside the tamariki throughout their learning and development.

Carly Banks


Hi my name is Carly. I have just started my bachelor of early childhood teaching. Working with children is my passion, I'm creative and hope to empower and encourage children’s creativity through my teaching.

Lisa Caird


Kia Ora, my name is Lisa Caird and I grew up with a passion for children and their learning so have decided to pursue this career and will be studying towards a bachelor of teaching in early childhood. I have a love for rugby and being outdoors so love watching the children expand their interests for both indoor and outdoor play. I specifically enjoy getting to know the tamariki and their whanau.

Karen Porritt


Kia ora, my name is Karen Porritt.I have a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in Primary Education and am fully registered. I love working with children, enjoying their excitement and wonder they express when discovering new things as well as their growth in self-confidence they display when supported to explore their capabilities.

I am married to John and have 3 adult children and 3 grandchildren. I love spending time with my family and going on adventures. I enjoy taking photos, baking and gardening. I look forward to working with you and your child.

Kaylee Bell

I'm currently following my music dream. When I am back home I enjoy relieving at Rural Scholars and being able to share my passion for music with the children.