"The educators are EXCEPTIONAL, they love and care for every child and their uniqueness."
 

- Renee, Yarra Warra parent.

Our Educators

The Yarra Warra Preschool & Bush Kinder team are enthusiastic about early childhood education and working with the families in our wonderful local Warrandyte area.  They are community minded and are Warrandyte and Nillumbik locals.

 

Our teachers are passionate and many maintain long standing tenures at our centre.  Each kindergarten teacher brings a variety of skills to the kinder, that is joined as one to make the team a cohesive unit.  The combined years of experience, coupled with the love and admiration of our preschool children produces a centre of excellence that many kinder’s can only aspire to.

As far as preschool teachers go, we have the best!  Here is a little about them to introduce you to the amazing team we have at Yarra Warra.

Connie Solty

Teacher in Charge (Exemplary) and Educational Leader

4 year old Teacher

 

Connie is the Educational Leader at Yarra Warra. She enjoys the respect of her co-workers and the admiration of the children

 

Connie is an experienced early childhood teacher who has worked in a number of local preschools before joining Yarra Warra.

 

Connie is passionate about keeping up with the latest research in early childhood and different pedagogical influences and integrating them into our local learning community.  Whilst on an overseas trip, she took time to visit Reggio Emilia and has adapted some key ideas to the kinder.

 

Connie has the rare classification of ‘Exemplary’ for teachers, through the VETASSESS’ Early Childhood Teacher Validation Department.  She attained this qualification in 2007, reflecting her dedication and achievements in early childhood education.

 

All three of Connie’s own children attended Yarra Warra Preschool & Bush Kinder before moving to a local primary school in Warrandyte.  She is a strong advocate for community involvement and credits the strength of the community as fundamental in the Kinder’s success.

Meegan Hall

3 year old Teacher

Meegan started her journey with Yarra Warra Preschool & Bush Kinder as a parent, with her own two children attending the preschool for both the 3 year old and 4 year old programs.

She has been a local North Warrandyte resident for over 25 years and through her time at the kinder, has become a beloved figure in the community.

 

Beginning her career as a Primary School Teacher, Meegan has worked in education for over 30 years

Her journey into early childhood education began in 1995 through an invitation by the Yarra Warra Preschool committee at that time to join the teaching team, facilitating an enrichment program for older students.

 

Meegan believes in life-long learning. She went on to complete a Post Graduate Diploma to further her expertise in Early Childhood Education.

Meegan's 3 year old program reflects her passion for teaching young children.

 

Kaye Versteegan

4 year old Educator & Administration Officer

 

Kaye is one of our 4 year old educators and is very loved by all the children.  

 

Kaye joined the amazing Yarra Warra team with the Enrichment Program.  

Before long she transitioned to the role of 4 year old educator.

She loves the individuality and independence of this age group, supporting children as they learn to experiment, create, express themselves and make sense of their world through play.

Every day brings new learning !

As Kaye holds a Commerce Degree she also performs many of the administration tasks for the kinder.

 

Kaye has also been involved with many aspects of the Warrandyte community over the years through her children's activities.

Carla Tice-Hay

4 year old & Bush Kinder Teacher

 

Carla is our Bush Kinder Leading teacher and has a wonderful ability to create learning experiences in nature.  From edible plants to fire pits, from mud-pits to building forts, the open ended learning opportunities are endless in Carla’s classroom.

 

Carla began her educational career as a Primary School Teacher. She taught 2 - 8 year olds in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. for 6 years, before returning to Australia.

Driven by her love of teaching the younger levels and passion for play based learning,  Carla decided to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching.

 

Carla enjoys outdoor learning spaces and understands the importance of educating children about their natural environment and the world around them. She has undertaken further studies in this area.

 

“I am inspired by the Danish Forest schools where children are outside most of the day, sometimes all day and are connected to their natural environment. As a teacher I see the importance of educating children about their  environment and the world they live in.”

 

Sue McIntyre

3 year old Educator

 

Sue is our resident artist.  What she can extract from your child is nothing short of amazing!  In the first week of one child, who hadn’t drawn anything beyond a scribble, Sue managed to help the child visualise and draw a dinosaur!

As an experienced mother of four herself, Sue's time with the kinder began when her youngest daughter attended Yarra Warra in 1990. She thoroughly enjoyed her time on parent duty so much (and was such a natural at it), that it was an obvious progression for her to become part of the permanent staff!  During her time here at the kinder Sue has seen our other team members - Connie, Kaye, Kym & Meegan's children come through the preschool - proving the connection to family and community is a big thing here!

Sue was teaching at the kinder when the North Warrandyte and Yarra View Preschools joined in 1995 to become Yarra Warra Preschool.

"How many jobs can you go to where you’re greeted by the beautiful smiles of children everyday? I love children and I love being around children. I hardly call it work,” said Sue. “It’s just a dream for me. It wouldn’t be the same without this beautiful team I work with everyday.”

 

Outside of kinder, Sue is a successful artist in a number of different mediums and her work is exhibited in Australian and overseas collections. Fortunately for us here at Yarra Warra, her creative talents inspire the children's own imaginations as she works closely with them on the amazing kinder kid artwork.

Kym Poole
3 & 4 year old Educator
Extended Care Leader

 

Kym has been a much loved educator with Yarra Warra since 2009.  

 

Kym has the privilege of working with all the children at the kinder.  Her time is spent with both the 3 year olds and the 4 year olds in the kinder room, but she really enjoys in getting dirty with in bush kinder [link].  

 

“I love everything about my role(s) and am particularly passionate about seeing our beautiful children get excited and interested about the world!“

 

Kym has furthered her education to qualify for her Diploma of Children's Services. Kym is the Leader of the Extended Care Program, providing a calm and fun session after Kinder hours.

All four of Kym’s children came to Yarra Warra, and they were all fortunate enough to be taught by the Yarra Warra team!

 

Kym has been a Warrandyte local for years and participates in other community initiatives, including band management at the Warrandyte Festival.

 

 

Rachael Sherriff

3 Year Old Teacher

 

Rachael joined our Yarra Warra Preschool community in 2021.

Her experience includes 20 years in education. This began as an assistant then she added a Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education to her Fine Art Degree to then become a teacher.

Rachael understands it’s a big step that children and families take when children enter a new community, like preschool.

So, it’s very important to her to get to know children, so they settle into kinder and feel comfortable to play and learn.

Rachael has a passion for teaching young children especially 3-year-olds, in play-based programs including art, music, outdoor and natural environments. Her passion extends to seasonal food gardening and creating a sense of wonder in the local bush environment.

 

 

Belinda Gray

4 year old Educator

After working in the corporate world for sixteen years, Belinda decided to follow her passion of working with children and returned to study last year. In 2021 she was excited to secure her ‘dream job’ at Yarra Warra Preschool, helping kids along their early learning pathway. 
 
Working with Carla and the children in bush kinder brings back wonderful memories of the fun and adventures she had as a child living in the Yarra Valley with so much to discover and explore.  
 
Belinda also gets to work with Kym in extended care where the kids get to unwind and have fun with their friends after a busy day at kinder.  
 
Belinda is married and has two beautiful boys currently at primary school, who keep her busy when she is not at the kinder, racing to sports and activities on weekends.