The Okara Team

This is our team of teachers and staff at Educare Okara. Scroll through to find out more about our teaching team.

Cheri Taylor

Centre Manager
Kia ora my name is Cheri Taylor and I am lucky enough to be the Centre Manager here at Okara Educare.
I have my Bachelor’s Degree in teaching (Early Childhood) and have many years worth of teaching experience. I also have my first aid certificate and I am a fully registered teacher. I live here in Whangarei with my husband Joel and our tamariki Ruby and Noah.
I look forward to getting to know you as we continue learning and teaching alongside and with each other, your tamariki and your Whānau.

Emily Connelly

Registered Teacher
Kia ora, I’m Emily. I live locally with my partner Paul and our three tamariki, Mischa, Carter, and our littlest love Beau who joins me here at Educare.
I am passionate about quality care experiences and developing nurturing relationships with nga tamariki me te whānau to instill a sense of whanaungatanga. I believe this begins with our littlest tamariki through responsive relationships and responsive care interactions.
I am a passionate Kaiako who values the underpinnings of Te Ao Māori within our early years sector, I absolutely love working alongside nga tamariki to support them to become confident, competent and aspiring learners. I am excited to begin my learning journey here at Educare Okara and look forward to getting to know you and your tamariki.

Alicia Cartledge

Provisionally Registered Teacher
I joined the Okara whānau in 2017 and am excited to work alongside you and your tamariki.
I hold a Bachelor of Education, Diploma of Teaching (Primary) as well as a diploma in Early Childhood Education.
I was born and raised in Whangarei, leaving to study in Auckland then to travel and work around the world.
Upon completing my Degree at Auckland College of Education, I went onto work as a relief teacher in schools and then as a full time Private Nanny.
This was an amazing privilege, taking me around the world working and living in Egypt, Bermuda, United Arab Emirates and the UK.
My husband and I moved back to NZ in 2015 and settled back in Whangarei to raise our family.

Karla Macken

Provisionally Registered Teacher
My name is Karla. I have been lucky enough to have worked in the Educare Okara team for the past several years, and have now become a permanent member of the team working full time as I have recently graduated with my Early Childhood Degree.
I look forward to getting to know you all and work alongside you and your tamariki and continuing to work alongside a great team.

Chrissie Browne

Provisionally Registered Teacher
Kia Ora, my name is Chrissie Browne. I was born in Northland and grew up on farms around the Kaipara and Whangarei districts. I currently live in Glenbervie with my partner, our three children and lots of animals.
I started teaching at 17 and completed a Diploma in Teaching in 2007.
Since then I have also trained and worked as a Social Worker in the education sector.
I am looking forward to getting to know you and spending time with your children.

Kayla Scott

My names Kayla, I’m 23 and have recently started my journey with Okara Educare.
I was raised in Whangarei on a small farm with my 3 younger siblings, in 2015 I left Whangarei to live in Australia with my partner after a year we moved to Ireland and traveled Europe for the next 8 months.
When I returned home I found a job with my true passion, working with children.
I am really enjoying my new position at and look forward to meeting you all and working alongside your tamariki. Kayla is currently on maternity leave.

Anna Mackie

Kia ora my name is Anna Mackie and I have had the opportunity of returning to Okara Educare after living overseas in Canada since March 2017. I am now back at Okara and will be starting my degree in early childhood education starting the beginning of 2019. This is very exciting for me as I get to complete my studies at this wonderful centre, as well as working and learning alongside you your tamariki.

Taylor Ball

My name is Taylor Ball and I am lucky enough to be one of the Early Childhood Teachers here at Educare Okara.
I was born and raised in Whangarei and started my teaching journey through Auckland University where I completed year one of a Bachelor of Education (Primary), later realising that my passion was with the younger children. In March 2019, I got a job at Educare as a reliever before securing a position at Educare Okara in May. In July 2019 I am starting to study towards my Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood, which I aim to accomplish in 2022. This is very exciting for me as I get to complete my studies at this awesome centre, supported by such a great team.
I look forward to getting to know you all as we continue to work alongside your tamariki and your Whānau.