The Totara Park Team

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

Angela Whittam

Acting Centre Manager
Kia ora, I have been involved in early childhood since 2008.  I graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor in Teaching specialising in Early Childhood, and gained my full registration in 2018.
I grew up in England and emigrated to NZ in 2007 with my husband Darren and children Madeline and Ellinor. 
I began working outside and gardening which led to my love of the outdoors.  I enjoy spending time at the beach with my family, gardening, watching my daughters play sports and walking my dog.
I am an advocate of messy and wet play as tamariki learn through different experiences gained whilst using their senses.
I look forward to getting to know you and spending time with your tamariki to watch them learn and grow.

Chelsee Dovey

Team Leader, Registered Teacher
Kia ora whānau
I’m Chelsee, and I have lived in Whangarei my whole life, living the beach life on the east coast (Ngunguru).
I have always wanted to be a teacher originally as a primary teacher however; I managed to stumble into early childhood discovering my love and passion in teaching and learning about the world alongside tamariki.
I began my journey in 2011 with Educare, I got my Bachelor in Early Childhood Education in 2015, now I plan to gain my full registration. I have a strong interest in implementing Te Ao Maori and I would like to strengthen my practice and knowledge, which is why I have joined the amazing team at Totara Park Educare.
I really look forward to getting to know you, your child and whānau on this amazing journey.

Anna Hall

Registered Teacher
Kia Ora, I’m Anna. I live with my two girls Dawn and Alexis, who you will see here in the centre. We live here in Tikipunga and I grew up in Onerahi with my family. As a child I spent a lot of time outside riding bikes and exploring with my friends. We would often go fishing and spend time gardening. Our family holidays were often spent visiting family in New Plymouth.
I started my teaching journey with the completion of my Bachelor of Education specialising in Primary Teaching. I then took a year's break to have Dawn and spend time being a mum. Since returning from maternity leave, I did a fixed term role at Educare Norfolk Street working with 0-2 yer olds which quickly became my passion.

Grace Farrant

Registered Teacher
Kia ora whānau, ko Grace tōku ingoa. I am so excited to start my early childhood journey with Totara Park and your amazing tamariki. I recently moved to Dargaville with my daughter Sunny and partner Christian. However, I am originally from Auckland where I have been working as a primary school teacher. On the weekends I love baking, sewing and spending time with my whānau. I also love music and dramatic play and dressing up! Teaching and learning is a fun and fulfilling journey of self-discovery and exploration of the world we live in. I love seeing what each tamariki brings with them each day in their kete full of knowledge, experiences, culture and personality. I feel very honoured to have the opportunity to explore, learn and succeed alongside your tamariki.

EJ Antido

Registered Teacher
Mabuhay! Kia Ora! I have been a teacher since 2007 with a strong passion in helping and supporting children with diverse needs. I have migrated to New Zealand together with my husband Emmanuel from the Philippines in 2013, and gave birth to my first-born Elijah in 2020. In my spare time, I like exploring outdoors with my whānau and visiting the lovely beaches and parks around Northland.
I enjoy meeting and getting to know the children and families and building trusting relationships with each one. I put great value in utilising the environment as a special place where children can develop a sense of belonging, wonder, curiosity, playfulness, kindness and love for learning and discovering their world.
I look forward to being a part of your child’s learning journey.

Karmen Reid

Teacher in Training
Tena koutou katoa!
I have lived in Whangarei for most of my life, and have two handsome boys
Conner and Lincoln. Becoming a mum and babysitting for many years has naturally inspired me to choose this career path and I have just begun my journey with Open Polytechnic to gain a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education. I am passionate about providing messy play and art experiences for tamariki, and enjoy games that get the imagination going. One of my goals is to strengthen my use of Te reo Māori, by speaking it more when interacting with tamariki.

Olivia Harris

Kia Ora, I am Olivia, I was raised as a farm girl and live in Maungatapere on our family farm. From a young age I have been involved in sports. I started playing hockey when I was five. I’ve always loved being part of a team and the excitement of winning together. Between school, sports and working I spend a lot of time babysitting. This is where I started to get my passion for childcare. When I started at Totara Park as a reliever I realised this is where I want to work and that I wanted to study. This year I will be starting a Bachelors teaching degree specialising in ECE with Open Polytechnic and cannot wait to learn and grow. I love watching when the tamariki learn new things and the excitement and joy that it brings to their faces. I am looking forward to getting to know you all.

Andrea McKenzie

Kia ora koutou
I'm excited to be a part of Totara Park Educare.
I am Andrea Mackenzie I live in Tikipunga with my partner Steve and two boys James and Ryan.
Before taking on the nutritionist role I was reliving for Educare cooking and teaching for the last year.
I have lived in my whole life on the east coast (Ngunguru) on a small farm. I always have wanted to be a chef. I study my first year at North Tec then moved to Wellington to finish my diploma in Cookery and Culinary Arts.
I think it is important to teach our tamariki about food, healthy eating and where our food comes from.
I look forward to getting to know you, your child and whānau.

Lisa Bertram

Kia Ora my name is Lisa.
After years abroad, My husband, daughter and I moved to Whangarei in 2021 to be closer to our whānau. I really enjoy living in Whangarei and am pleased that it is my new home town.
I love being a part of the Educare Totara Park team and seeing the tamariki daily.