The Teaching Staff

My Treehut & The Cubby

The staff at My Treehut & The Cubby are passionate – passionate about life, about My Treehut and about every child at my Treehut and The Cubby. We all have a love of children and thrive in watching them grow and learn.

As a staff we also value our own Learning Journey and My Treehut values, professional development and supporting the staff in their learning and interests.

Once a fortnight we hold a professional development evening where we eat and learn together outside of Treehut hours. This is a time to reflect on our practices and learn together sharing what we have learnt during the previous fortnight and form goals moving forward.

We are continually learning and often attend professional development training both at My Treehut and with a range of outside agencies.

We take our role as the educators and carers of tomorrow’s young minds very seriously. We feel that we are creating the future citizens of our world. The early childhood years are key to the development of keen learners and responsible fun loving citizens who challenge their own and others ideas.

Kirsty Darvill

BBS, DipGrad Teach Ece, DipGrad Teach Primary, Post Grad Diploma Communications

It has been my dream for a long time to provide quality early childhood education for young children. I have always been passionate about learning and feel that the early years are so important – if your child develops a love of learning at this age they will be set for life. I have a love of the outdoors, nature and building strong relationships. My Treehut and The Cubby are my home away from home and my other whanau.

I live on a lifestyle block near town with my husband Mike, our four girls, Ella, Kate, Pippa and Charlie, our dog Rubble.

Emma, The Treehut Team Leader

BA Ed (Hons), Grad Dip Tchg (ECE)

I feel so lucky to be part of a team of inspiring educators, working in such a beautiful environment.  Supporting the children here at My Treehut as they discover what wonderful, creative, inquisitive human beings they are.   I feel passionate about children learning that they are the stewards of our environment, helping them to develop respectful relationships with the beautiful world around us.

In my ‘downtime’ I’m a busy mum of three rapidly growing children, Riley, Dylan and Rowen.  Myself and my husband Mark sold up and moved over to New Zealand in 2010 from North Wales, a move we have certainly never regretted making.  When I’m not being taxi driver, cook, laundry assistant or life coach to my children, I love to go for long walks with the dog, curl up in the sun with a good book or spending time with my lovely friends and family.


Eddy, The Cubby Team Leader

B Ed (Tchg) ECE

Kia ora koutou.

My name is Edward (Eddy) Perry and I am The Lead teacher at The Cubby. I have over 9 years of experience working in an early learning Center 6 of which have been at My Treehut and The Cubby. I have decided to make early learning my life’s work because I believe a child’s early years are THE most important when growing up.

To me the most amazing part of this job is working with children when they are outside. The wonder they have for nature, and the open-ended resources that we are so lucky to have creates moments that are incredibly rewarding for both tāmariki and Kaiako.
I look forward to meeting and working with you.
Nga Mihi, Eddy

Suzy, My Treehut

Grad Dip Tchg (ECE)

Syd, My Treehut

B Ed (Tchg) ECE

Kia ora!

My name is Sydney Pilkington and I have had the pleasure of teaching at My Treehut and The Cubby for over 5 years. To be apart of a teaching team like ours is what dreams are made of and our environment truly speaks for itself. Our team, our environment and our beliefs drive my passion for guiding our tamariki to be resilient, inquisitive and confident lifelong learners. Taiao (nature) and kaitiakitanga capture my heart, and I’m fortunate to live out these passions here at My Treehut.

In my personal life, I am lucky to call Taupō home with my inquisitive and cheeky son Cooper, and Husband Thomas. We are a huge sports whānau and often spend our weekends at the netball courts where I play and coach or cheering on our favourite Rugby League teams.

Briar, My Treehut

B Ed (Tchg) ECE

I’ve always been one of those privileged people that always knew what they wanted to be when they were older!! My joy for teaching stems from all the different things that happen on the daily. The community is special as everyone is able to bring their own individuality but together, we shine. I especially love adventures and alongside tamariki I get to have different ones each and every day. Being a kaitiaki is important to me as I like to spend majority of my time outdoors. I endeavour to be respectful and caring as our environment gives me so much on return. In my personal life, I really enjoy pushing myself, physically and mentally through a range of endurance sports. I believe ‘anything is possible,’ a motto I bring into every aspect of my life!

Clare, The Cubby

B Ed (Tchg) ECE

Paige, The Cubby

B Ed (Tchg) ECE

Kia ora koutou,

My name is Paige Haswell and I’ve had the incredible opportunity to teach at My Treehut and The Cubby for the past year and a half. Being a part of the My Treehut Cubby team is amazing, I feel so lucky to be in such a supportive and creative environment. I’ve been a qualified teacher for over 3 years now and I have learnt so much here as I truly believe you never stop your learning journey as a kaiako. At the core I believe in building strong meaningful whānaungatanga (relationships) with tamariki, whānau and community. I have a passion for sustainability and inclusivity, and I love being in this environment where you can so clearly see this passion reflected in the day-to-day My Treehut Cubby life. I’ve always known I wanted to work with tamariki and when I discovered ECE as young teen I knew this is where I wanted to be.

I have lived in Taupō my whole life, and I currently live with my wonderful partner Raiden and our 3 cats Marble, Lilly, and Luna. In my downtime I love spending time with my family who I’m lucky enough to have close-by. I also love reading, gaming and am an avid board game collector and player.

Cate, My Treehut

Kaiako in training

I have been at My Treehut for three years now, studying to be a qualified teacher. It has been a wonderful adventure where I have learnt so much from the teaching team and the beautiful tamariki that we are so fortunate to work with. I am so passionate about creating an inclusive environment where tamariki are empowered to reach their full potential. I think Early Childhood Education is such a rewarding field to work in as tamariki navigate making sense of the world around them, these foundational years are so important for all future learning. As a teacher, it is my aspiration for tamariki to experience their foundational years where they are nurtured, inspired and know they have a place to ensure a successful learning journey.

In my spare time I enjoy playing netball, going for walks and spending quality time with my friends and family where I fight to hold the title of “Favourite Aunty”!

Alex, The Cubby

Kaiako in training

Growing up I was never sure what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until after a few gap years after high school that I chose to give teaching in early childhood a chance. To me, working with younger tamariki is so rewarding and a privilege to be a part of – always learning something different every day. The interactions with tamariki, and getting to be a part of their learning journeys while watching them grow as individuals is what makes me love what I do. Being connected with nature and being able to explore many different cornerstones while getting dirty and of course having fun is something that I cherish and feel that we are so privileged to have on our doorstep here at both My Treehut and The Cubby. I am greatly appreciative of and proud to be a part of an amazing team who are endlessly supportive and always willing to lend a hand. I am excited to be heading into my third and final year of study and continue to grow as a teacher and a person while also deepening my knowledge.

Rahiri, The Cubby

Kaiako in training

Tēnā tātou katoa.

Ko Rahiripoho taku ingoa.

He uri tēnei no Taranaki, Ngāti Kahungunu.

Ko Te Ika Roa te whenua.

Ko Kapoaiaia te Awa.

Ko Te Pae Pae O Te Raukura te Marae.

Ko Parihaka te papakāinga.


Hi everyone, my name is Rahiripoho, my nickname is Rahiri.

A bit about me:

I was born and raised on the coast in Taranaki. I am a sibling of 9 and have a big blended whanau. Growing up we lived rurally on our whenua and I had the privilege of having Tangaroa on my back yard. With that privilege came the opportunities of learning how to fish and surf along with growing our own kai.

My personal hobbies include swimming, travelling and walks in nature.

Sam, My Treehut

Kaiako in training

My Name is Samantha, but feel free to call me Sam. I’m 19 years old, and just finished at Tauhara High School.  I’ve grown up in a family of eight, with five other siblings. I enjoy meeting and getting to know people of all ages, learning about other cultures, reading, outdoors, and acting. I’ve lived in Taupo most of my life, except for six years where we lived in the country by the West coast. In these six years we lived in a small community, and were immersed in Maori culture. It was here I realized that I was fascinated by other cultures.

I want to become an early childhood teacher, because I love children’s energy and curiosity, watching and helping them grow and learn, and also giving children a safe and caring environment to be in.

I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this place, and the amazing team of teachers. I am looking forward to getting to know the teachers, children and families here at My Treehut and Cubby.

Lyn Edwards, Qualified Reliever

Kindergarten Teaching Diploma

Lynda Arderne

Kaitiaki, Organic Homemaker and Job Afficionado

Hi, I work with the children, in the kitchen, and in the garden.

I have been in New Zealand over ten years with my husband Richard, we have two beautiful children.

I have always worked in a kitchen in various restaurants, lodges and cafes. I love teaching the children about basic food and enjoy spending time on the floor with the children.


Organic Homemaker


Sandy Connell

Numbers whizz

Katie Sherman

Admin support

I work mostly from the office, getting to know you and becoming a point of contact as you are introduced to our incredible centre. I have the added benefit of forming quality relationships with our amazing My Treehut and The Cubby tamariki and hanging out with them as relief cover. I am passionate about building positive life-long values for our future generations. I love the atmosphere, the camaraderie and the engrained values of My Treehut and The Cubby – I feel honoured to be a part of everyday life here.

I live on a lifestyle block with my husband Daniel and our two daughters, Jessie and Tegan. As a family, we love the outdoors, animals and the freedom living out of town gives us. As well as spending tile with my extended family, I love to read, listening to music and enjoy the creativity of photography, though the majority of my time outside of work is spent running my girls around to dance classes, dance competitions and winter sports – which I love too!