The Okara Team

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

Alicia White

Centre Manager, 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.
I moved back to NZ in 2015 and settled back in Whangarei where I live with my young son.

Karla Macken

Team Leader 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.

Taylor Ball

Team Leader, Registered Teacher
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 have completed year one of a Bachelor of Education (Primary), later realising that my passion was with the younger children. In 2019, I got a job at Educare as a reliever before securing a permanent position. In July 2019 I started to study towards my Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood, which I completed in 2022.
I look forward to getting to know you all as we continue to work alongside your tamariki and your whānau.

Lisa Cunningham

Registered Teacher
Kia ora my name is Lisa Cunningham and I am a kaiako in the over twos at Educare Okara.
I hold a Bachelor of Education in Primary Teaching, and graduated in 2014. I’ve enjoyed working in both the primary and early childhood sector of education and am excited to continue learning and growing alongside your tamariki. Lisa is currently on maternity leave.

Claire Tuff

Registered Teacher
Kia ora whānau, my name is Claire Tuff.
I’m originally from the North East of England and moved to Whangarei in August 2017 with my husband, Richie, and daughter, Rosie.
I completed my Graduate Diploma in ECE Teaching and came back to Educare following this. I am passionate about quality care experiences and developing nurturing relationships with nga tamariki. Under 3’s is my passion and I am excited to have the opportunity to work with this age group here at Okara. I’m excited to get to know your tamariki and be a part of their learning journey.
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family, I love all things Disney and to travel as often as I can.

Gina Williams

Registered Teacher
Kia ora, ko Gina Williams ahau. I am a permanent teacher at Educare Okara. I have a teenage daughter and have lived in Whangarei all her life. I love working with children and the child-centered approach the Early Childhood Curriculum supports. I also love science, have a Bachelor of Science degree, and have enjoyed working in science industries prior to my teaching career. Consequently we have all had a look at what lives in the mud in wetland behind Educare Okara, the pukeko, beetles and bullrushes! In 2019 I graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary), and have since taught in primary and ECE kura in the Hokianga and Whangarei. I am having so much fun working with the fabulous Okara whānau, tino pai rawa atu tenei whānau.

Alyssa Sills

Registered Teacher
Ko Parihaka te maunga ngakau nui ki au Ko Hatea te awa ngakau nui ki au Ko Whāngarei te kāinga Ko Matt Crane toku Tane Ko Axel raua ko Taylor toku tamariki Ko Alyssa Sills ahau Nō reirā, Tina koutou katoa. Kiaora whānau, I have worked in Ece for many years and bring with me a passion for authentic play, nature, kaupapa māori and nurturing your precious tamariki. I love to explore outdoors at the beach, and in the bush. I also enjoy photography and getting creative! I am excited to share my knowledge and work alongside you all.

Nidhi Kaushal

Teacher in Training
Kia Ora koutou, my name is Nidhi Kaushal. I feel privileged to join amazing Okara whānau as a teacher. I hold a Bachelor of Education(Secondary), Certificate course in ECE and Master of Commerce degree. My passion and love for younger children encouraged me to pursue Graduate Diploma in Teaching( ECE) through NZTC which will be completed by 2023.
I have worked as a Primary teacher in India for four years before moving to New Zealand in 2021 with my husband Lalit.
We both love travelling around and seeing different sorts of sceneries in New Zealand. I also love making Mandala art paintings and craft.
I look forward to learning and growing alongside your tamariki.

Holly Knox

Teacher in Training
Kia Ora my name is Holly Knox. I was born in Taupo but have lived in Whangarei most of my life. I live here with my Husband Cory and our three children. I love being outdoors in the garden and am a real farm girl. My biggest hobby is arts and crafts. I have always felt passionately about Early Childhood Education and working with tamariki. I first started as a reliever teacher at Educare in February 2022 and aim to become a registered teacher through study. It is wonderful to join the Educare Okara whānau and community.

Giovanne Harvey

Kia ora, my name is Giovanne and I have been working for Educare since 2022 and I am loving it! I plan to study the year of 2024 to become a qualified teacher as that is my passion. I have a daughter Ella, and having her has shown me an interest in teaching. I am looking forward to work alongside your tamariki and continue to further my career as an ECE teacher.

Anita Car

Kia ora, ko Anita taku ingoa. I have been living in Waipu since I was 5yrs old, I moved up from the North Shore where I was born. I have been brought up on our whānau morals and have always had young tamariki in my life until I was blessed to have my own in 2021; my first pepi, Raia-Lee. She started at Bream Bay Educare in August 2022 and I was lucky enough to gain the position as the Administrator. Move forward just over a year and I am now the administrator at 3 Educare centres; Bream Bay, One Tree Point and now here at Okara. I love the connections I can make as a Mama, a friend, a colleague and now as your admin!
I look forward to meeting you and your whānau here at Educare Okara.