skip to Main Content

We are proud of our team of dedicated teachers and support staff who are all passionate about teaching and learning.

Our Teaching Team

Nickie Hodgkinson

Centre Manager & Pikopiko Teacher

I have been the Manager at Country Kids for over 18 years. I really enjoy teaching in a rural community centre and I am very passionate about children’s learning and development. I value family in its many forms and believe it’s important that the whole family has a sense of belonging at Country Kids. Having fun, laughter and spontaneous learning is paramount in early childhood.

I live with my partner in Motueka and have 3 sons, 2 daughter in-laws and 5 grandchildren. My happy place is spending time with them all.

Diploma Teaching (ECE). Fully certificated Teacher.

Marg Honey

Curriculum Leader & Just4Kids Teacher

Kia Ora, my name is Marg.  I have worked in J4K for a long time – 20 years in fact!  My partner Bob and I live in Tasman within the great Moutere Cluster.  We have a grownup son who started at Country Kids just before I did! I love living and working locally – it is such a great community to be part of. I passionately believe in Community Centres supporting families and the developmental needs of our children. It is a real privilege to see so many of our young children growing up with wonderfully capable and competent skills. Country Kids rocks!

Bachelor Teaching (ECE). Fully certificated Teacher.

Lorraine Boyd

Just4Kids Teacher

Lorraine is another much loved, long serving teacher at Country Kids.  Lorraine lives in Wakefield, but still loves the Moutere.

Diploma Teaching (ECE). Fully Certificated Teacher.

Aimee Thomas

Pikopiko Teacher & Board Teacher Rep

Hey, I’m Aimee or Amz.  I work with the under 2’s in Pikopiko. I have worked at Country Kids for 17 years. I love nature and the little critters that live in it.  I weave this into my teaching.  Another love is music and laughter, which I share with our toddlers throughout the day!  I live rurally out in Dovedale with my beautiful fur baby Inkah.

Diploma Teaching (ECE). Fully certificated Teacher.

Tess Wood

Ngā Whetū Teacher

Kia Ora, my name is Tess.  I have been involved with Country Kids for about 18 years; firstly, through my children attending, then being on the Committee and finally as a teacher! I love the fact that we are a Community Centre and here for our families and children. Being able to be part of child’s early learning is a real privilege.  Their early years are so important. Learning through play and having fun is what we are passionate about.  I have two boys who are amazing; working and travelling around the world.  I live just up the road!

Bachelor Teaching (ECE). Fully certificated Teacher.

Laura Hay

Ngā Whetū Teacher

I am a Motueka girl born and bred with two fun loving girls aged 3 and 5.  I have been a kaiako (teacher) for the last 14 years.  I am the newbie here at Country Kids.  I joined the team in July 2019 with my daughter (Reece) in tow. The philosophy of Country Kids and the warm welcoming ‘country feel’ fits well with my passion for active movement, kids (and teachers) having fun and laughing lots.  All is Awesome! x

Bachelor Teaching (ECE). Fully certificated Teacher.

Kylie Binns

Teacher Just 4 Kids

Kia Ora! My name is Kylie. I have been involved within Country Kids for around 19 years. I live in Brooklyn with my husband who managers an orchard. We have a son, AJ who is 22 and a daughter, Tori who is 19. Family is very important to me and I look forward to getting to know you and your whanau as well.

Bachelor Teaching (ECE). Certificated Teacher (STC).

Pippi Gamby

Relieving Teacher

Pippi has worked with Country Kids over the years and for many years.  She just can’t get enough of the place!

Bachelor Teaching (ECE). Fully certificated Teacher.

Debbie Whalon-Frans

Relieving Teacher

Debbie has been a part of the Country Kids whanau for many years…you could even say for generations!?!

Our Support Staff

Keith Best (Farmer Best)

Finance/Property/ICT/HR – On-Call Teacher aide

Here at Country Kids I have a number of roles.  I support our manager in finance and HR and enjoy my property management role.  I am also employed as our cleaner and caretaker.  Occasionally I help out as a teacher aide. Whether it is being in the playground, reading books or picking produce from the garden.  I enjoy seeing our children grow in confidence and ability.

I was born and have lived all my life in Upper Moutere in a farming family – firstly growing tobacco, then raspberries along with sheep and cattle. After spending 15 years as a shearing contractor I settled back on the family farm along with my wife Anne.  We have been blessed with three wonderful children.

I have a deep passion for Country Kids with a strong philosophical view that it takes a village to raise a child.  I am deeply committed to the value of growing resilience and wellbeing in our children along with a deep desire for conservation and sustainability.

Anne Best


Anne handles the weekly enrolments for families, amongst a wide variety of other administrative tasks. At Country Kids we pride ourselves on being as flexible as possible. Anne’s here to help you, so please just ask!

Ruth Sagar

Cleaner & Support Staff

Hi, my name is Ruth. I have worked at Country Kids for 20 years as the Housekeeper. I live nearby with my dog Lucky and my cat Ted.

What parents are saying about us!

Come visit us and see how good it is here!

Back To Top