Home   About us   Our staff

Our staff

There are three key roles and responsibilities for the adults within our Bowen community.

  • Our dedicated team of eight teachers who work with our children, families and whanau (6 qualified teachers and 2 unqualified teachers) along with our kai creator.
  • The adults who manage the centre on a day to day basis: our Centre Manager with the support of the two teachers sharing the role of Acting Assistant Manager and the Finance/Office Administrator.
  • The adults who focus on ensuring the service meets the needs of the community and ensuring it can be sustainable over time is our Committee (governing group which is made up of parents, the management team and a staff representative). The Committee meets every six weeks to discuss the running of the centre, financials, health and safety, management report and any other topics brought to their attention.

Our centre prides itself on quality interactions with children and their whanau.  We maintain quality teacher: child ratios at a minimum ratio of 1:3 for children under two years old and 1:6 for children over two years old, which exceed the Ministry of Education requirements.  All teachers hold current first-aid certificates and all staff participate in on-going professional development.


Anna Lewis, Centre Manager – Bachelor of Education (Teaching) – Early Childhood

Kia Ora, I started here at Bowen in July 2010, and gained my BEd (Teaching) Early Childhood degree at Victoria University of Wellington at the end of 2010.  

I grew up living on farms and my very first job was in the shearing sheds. I moved to Wellington in 2007, having found my passion for childcare from being a live-in nanny.

I am very passionate about ensuring children and their families develop a sense of security and belonging at the centre, showing respect to the cultures, beliefs, values and views that all individual families bring to our Bowen community. Establishing and maintaining warm, respectful, trusting and reciprocal relationships with children, their family, colleagues, the parent committee and the wider community is at the core of my teaching philosophy.

I believe we are all learning together and bring valuable contributions. I believe in inspiring team members to be their best. Developing a shared vision and direction for the centre and positively influencing its culture. Creating an environment where each staff member feels valued, respected and supported and has the confidence to take on challenges.

I am very blessed to be able to bring my children here with me to Bowen and grateful to be part of such a passionate community based centre.

Whangai ka tupu ka puawai – That which is nurtured, blossoms then grow

“The role of leader is not to get other people to follow but to empower others to lead” – Bill George.

Lisa Haakma, Assistant Manager – Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Early Years 0-8

Kia ora, my name is Lisa Haakma and I joined the Bowen whanau in May 2012 and became the assistant manager in April 2016. Since June last year, I have been on maternity leave and have thoroughly enjoyed spending this precious time with my beautiful son, Micah. On the 27th of May, I’ll be back, working with and alongside my Bowen whanau and I’m excited that Micah can also experience belonging to such as loving community.

Building strong nurturing relationships is a huge part of my philosophy. It is through respectful and trusting relationships that we care, collaborate, challenge each other and reflect to improve – all to guide and support the growth and learning of both our young and not so young minds.

No significant learning can happen without a significant relationships – James Corner

He aha te mea nui i te AoHe tangata He tangata He tangata What is the most important thing on earth? It is the people, the people, the people.


Shelley Gainsford  – Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

I have been working at Bowen ECE Centre since May 2010. I have grown up in Wellington and lived in the Northern Suburbs all my life.

I completed my Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) in December 2014 and gained full registration in July 2017. I also hold a Bachelor of Nursing (BN) which I completed in 2009.

I enjoy working with all age groups here at Bowen and love getting to know the children and their Whanau. I am particularly passionate about for working with the infants and toddlers, providing them with a loving caring environment where they have freedom of movement and can grow, learn and develop their sense of self to become competent capable individuals. All while growing strong, meaningful relationships with Kaiako and their peers.

When I am not working I enjoy going for walks, playing netball, travelling, shopping and spending time with family and friends.

While we try to teach our children about life our children teach us what life is all about – Angela Schwindth

I call your children “My Children” because in our time together they aren’t just children on the class list they become part of my heart


Anneke Bhat – Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Early Childhood

My name is Anneke Bhat, and I started at Bowen in August 2018. I am originally from Dunedin and I am also very proud of my Dutch heritage. I now live in Tawa with my husband Navin and our two children, Aari and Nyah. My Husband is from India and it is important to us that our children grow up with a strong knowledge and appreciation for their multicultural heritage.

I completed my Bachelor of Education ECE at Victoria University and have been working in Early Childhood Education since 2003.

Working at Bowen will be my first time working in a community childcare centre and I am excited to be part of a team that values children’s learning and builds strong partnerships between the centre and home.

I believe all children develop in their own time, and it is up to us as educators to support and encourage that development at every stage of a child’s learning journey. I value input from all members of a child’s extended family as we all have the child’s best interests at the heart of everything we do.

“I am not a teacher but an awakener” Robert Frost


Tegyn Duley – Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

Kia Ora, my name is Tegyn Duley and I joined the team here at Bowen in May 2015. I have been on maternity leave since October 2018 and am excited to be back!

I grew up in Tepuke, Bay of Plenty, but I have lived in Wellington for the last 8 years after moving here for university and falling in love with the culture and community that this windy city has to offer. I now live in Woodridge with my fiancé Brett, our daughter Tahlia and our 3 cats.

I studied at Victoria University of Wellington, graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English Literature. I have always had a passion for working with children and families, and have wanted to be in a career where I would be working within the community with children and their whanau, and Bowen has given me the opportunity to do just that. I completed my Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) in October 2017.

I am a strong believer in nurturing a child’s emotional wellbeing and creating a strong sense of belonging and building trusting and reciprocal relationships, in order for a child to thrive, learn and develop. I am guided by qualities such as love, honesty, respect, communication, nurturing care, trust and patience and whole-heartedly believe that children need to feel these things to feel a sense of belonging and a sense of self-worth. A child will thrive with a ‘full-bubble’ made of love, care and respect. I believe that to be a teacher is to make an important investment in the future, and that is a privilege to be able to do so.

“I will let them be little, fill their hearts with laughter, help them grow wings, nurture their sense of wonder, inspire them to believe and love them like there is no tomorrow”

Keegan Sercombe- Unqualified Teacher

I have been working at Bowen since February 2018. I grew up in Johnsonville until I was 5 when my family and I moved to Lower Hutt. I live with my two loving parents and my younger sister.

I attended St Orans College in Lower Hutt. I was the sports captain of my school and was involved in many sporting codes where I coached, captained and played.  Sport is a huge part of my life and I have a passion for Touch Rugby.

I love children and couldn’t think of anything better than being in a place where I can be surrounded by their energy, imaginations and playful personalities.

Every child has a unique personality and each day it becomes more noticeable as they play, talk, create and learn. That is what excites me most about this job – being able to help these little personalities grow big, strong and independent.

“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our clam, not join their chaos”. I.R.Knost

Annika Mitchell – Unqualified Teacher

Kia Ora, I have been teaching at Bowen since the start of June 2018. I was born and raised in Porirua and have lived near the beach in sunny Plimmerton ever since I was born. I have three younger siblings.

I was student at Kapiti college till 2016. I gained my childcare skills by doing childcare as a subject for 2 years. I was a dancer for 16 years – I did ballet, Jazz, hip hop and Contemporary.

I love working with all age groups, and love learning new things about the children at Bowen. I love being outdoors with all the children and getting involved with their play. I am passionate about children learning new things, exploring new environments and learning how to respect others and cultures. I have gained lots of skills and experience working with children and can’t wait to learn more through my time at Bowen.

I am a very social person, I love being around family and friends. Motor biking, going for bush walks with my dog and eating pizza is what I love doing in my spare time.

“Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding” – Robert John Meehan

“Inside every child is a rainbow waiting to shine”

Emma Schofield – Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary) Fixed Term Maternity Cover

My name is Emma Schofield and I am a fully qualified, registered primary trained teacher. I am one of 3 girls, born and bred in Tawa, Wellington and have a dog called Max.
I have travelled extensively around the world throughout my twenties, especially throughout Europe spending 2 years living in the UK and a year living in Canada.
I am an aunty to 2 wonderful nieces and a brand new nephew – Sophia (6) and Charlotte (4) and Leo (1month). I really enjoy photography and travelling.

I love teaching, seeing children grow in knowledge, confidence and skills. I am looking forward to meeting you all and cannot wait to start a new adventure at Bowen!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

Vee Veng – Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) – Reliever

My name is Visal Veng aka Vee. I was born in Cambodia. When I was 6 years old my family and I moved to New Zealand in the early 90’s to start a new life. I have lived in Wellington since then and love it here.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Design, advertising Major at Massey University in Wellington. After working for a few years in the design industry, I wanted a change, that change led me to Bowen Early Childhood Education. I have been a part of the Bowen family since May 2012.

I enjoy working with the children and staff at Bowen ECE. I completed my Diploma in Early Childhood Education in December 2014 and gained full registration in 2017.

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn” – O. Fred Donaldson.

Donna Smith – Financial/Office Administrator

I joined the Bowen team in November 2016.  I am originally from the UK, although I have been in NZ since 2003.  My professional background is in finance and audit in both the corporate and government sectors.  During the 5 years that I was a full time mum to my two boys I also undertook a variety of voluntary positions in the not for profit/ECE area.

Leven Levigne- Kai Creator (food Safety NZQA Unit 167)

Kia Ora, My name is Leven and I joined the Bowen team in July 2018 as the Centre’s Kai Creator.

Born and raised in Wellington, I have returned home after living and travelling overseas.

I’ve always had a passion for working with children and have over 11 years experience working as a nanny, so this role as a Kai Creator is well suited for combining this knowledge with my love for food and nutrition.

I am very excited for this opportunity to not only cook for your children but also involve them in the kitchen while teaching them about what they are eating and keeping themselves healthy and well.

Empowering and valuing children to be active partners in the running of the centre through preparing Kai, enhancing and valuing their mana.

“Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment and creativity” – Guy Fieri

Sarah Veng  – Bachelor of teaching Endorsed in Early Childhood Education

(Current on Maternity Leave November 2018- November 2019)