The WELC Team
Sarah Stephen - Head Teacher
Kia Ora. I have a strong passion for quality early childhood education and believe in creating positive and respectful relationships with children and their families. My qualification is a bachelor of teaching and learning in ECE. I have recently moved from Mapua to Charleston and have 4 adult children.
Katie Bonisch - Team Leader Over 2's
I have been working at the Westport Early Learning Centre for the past 10 years. My partner and I are both born and bred Coasters with the majority of both our families living here in Westport, we spend most of our time with our families or at the gym. Health and Fitness is also something I am very passionate about and love to do anything challenging and outdoors, I recently have competed in my first full marathon and am looking forward to my next one. I am the Assistant head teacher and Curriculum leader for the over 2 area.
Hi my name is Kylie Kennard I have been working here at Westport Early Learning Centre since moving to Westport with my husband in March 2012. We have a 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son who attends WELC so my spare time is kept very busy. Before moving here we lived in Auckland where I worked at a model and talent agency called Red11 for 4 years as the creative and social media assistant as I have a degree in Graphic Design. But I decided on a career change as I have always been passionate about children so I now hold a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood and have recently become fully registered.
I have been working at WELC since finishing at Buller High School in 2012. I completed my certificate of Early childhood Education in 2013. I have always lived in Westport, and continue to love doing life with my partner Corey. In 2018 I successfully completed my Bachelor of Education in Teaching and learning (ECE), and am currently working towards my full teachers registration. I work alongside the children and their whanau in the over 2 area at WELC, and absolutely love it.
I am originally from Australia where I completed a Bachelor of Education (Primary) in 2003. In January 2012 I moved to Westport with my partner and began doing relieving around the school in Westport and at the Westport Early Learning Centre. I am a teacher in the over two area, and very much enjoy working with both the infants and toddlers and with the older children. I relish the fact that the early childhood curriculum document Te Whaariki is child focused and supports the development of each child individually, with a holistic approach, which is what has drawn me to stay in this field of education. I also cherish the close and genuine relationships with our children, families and fellow teachers we have here at The Westport Early Learning Centre.
Karen Skewes - Curriculum Leader infant and toddlers
I have a bachelor of teaching, early childhood education, and am the curriculum leader in the infant and toddler room. I was born in Christchurch and have spent many years on the coast living, working, and raising four beautiful children. I have a strong passion for providing quality education for children and respectful environments that embrace a sense of well-being for all.
I am an Infants and toddlers teacher. I am originally from South Africa, but have been living in New Zealand for many years. I have achieved my early childhood qualification here through the university in Auckland. I love working alongside young children. The infant and toddler years are the most important and informative years of a child’s life. So I realise that I am privileged to share in this small window of their development. Close, positive relationships are close to my heart and my firm belief is that relationships are the foundation for education. When I get to know the children well, I am able to ensure the best learning outcomes for them.
I am into my 21st year working with the team at WELC. I have 3 grown up married daughters and 7 grandchildren. I enjoy the experience of working, playing and teaching, with and alongside young children. Over the years I have participated in many professional development workshops. I am at the stage in my life now where I am semi retired working 3 mornings a week which I hope to continue as long as I can.
I have been working as the Administrator at WELC for the past three years and love the variety and challenge the roll provides. It is such a privilege to wrok alongside such a lyal, dedicated and fun loving teaching team who provide an amazing, stable and safe learning environment. I have been lucky enough to see this first hand watching my two children who attend the centre thrive and grow into strong, confident and indepenent young leaders of the future. Having spent most of my life livning in Westport it is great getting to know new families, and reconnecting with those returning to this litle slice of paradise. I really enjoy working alongside the families of WELC and strive to meet their needs wherever possible.
Covering Katie's maternity leave.
Covering Katie's maternity leave.