At Nimbin Preschool we value having a team of educators who are highly skilled and knowledgeable. 

Meet our team...

 

Educational Director:  Katie Pennant

"Children inspire me every single day. They have the capacity to make the every day magical. They have a foot in the mystical world while still having a grasp on reality. What adult can do that?"

Katie has been part of Nimbin Preschool since 2017 and has worked in early childhood for 25 years. Preschool is a place of wonder and inspiration under Katie's leadership.

Her formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood), Diploma of Children's Studies, Certificate III - Dog Training and Behavior, Diploma of Vocational Training and Assessment and Level 3 Forest School Leader. Katie has also completed a range of professional development in the Reggio Emilia Philosophy, nature engagement, educational support dogs and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Katie brings to preschool a firm belief in the right of all children to access a democratic, high quality early childhood education.

 

Educator: Gordon Ellard

"Each child has so many different ideas, imagination, cultural identities and beliefs. Every day is never the same. Being part of the wonder and magic of early childhood inspired me to work with children."

It was through raising his young son and an observation that there are too few male educators working in early childhood, that Gordon became inspired to become an educator himself. Gordon has worked in early childhood for 11 years and has been a part of the preschool teaching team for 8 years.

Gordon has completed Certificate III in Children's services, followed by the Diploma in Children's Services and brings both knowledge and experience to the preschool team.

 

Educator: Sara Hudd

"I always wanted to work at preschool. Since I was 5! I enjoy providing a loving, positive, safe and secure environment for our young people to explore their world and their relationships."

Sara is passionate about connecting with community through the children and families of Nimbin Preschool. She began her career in early childhood education 30 years ago and has been part of Nimbin Preschool for 18 years- First as a parent and then as a staff member for 12 years. Sara has completed the Diploma of Early Childhood Education.

Sara brings her passion for nature play, animal care and gardening to her role at Nimbin Preschool. She aims to impart a love and care for nature on all of the children she works with.

 

Educator: Barbara Mills

"Working in early childhood education connects me to a rich diverse community as we develop a deep understanding in our relationships and our place in the world."

Barb's work with the children of Nimbin Preschool is informed by the perspective that that she is going on a journey with each child, sharing experiences and knowledge. She brings her wisdom to Little School, sharing her interests in creative arts, yoga and dance, horticulture, bush foods and nature play. A long-standing project at preschool is the creation of habitats for native bees as part of Barb's passion for biodiversity and healthy habitat construction.

Barb has been with Nimbin Preschool for 16 years and has completed both Certificate III and a Diploma in Early Childhood Education. Complimenting her formal qualifications are further training in Bundjalung culture and art, AUSLAN sign language and native bee keeping.

 

Administration: Susie Godden

 

Educational Support Dog: Gidget

Gidget is a standard poodle cross golden retriever who has been bred for companion work with children.  She traveled to Melbourne when she was just ten months old to train at the Lead the Way therapy dog school with her cousin Jimbi.  This week long course taught her the basics of working with people with diverse needs and abilities.  After this intensive training she worked with Sarah Rutley in Ballina completing some basic and more advanced behaviour training.  Katie and Gidget worked together on the Certificate 3 in Dog training and Behaviour through NDS, this course was both the theory and practical skills in training.

Gidget loves children and makes her own decision each day whether she will attend school.  Her human mum asks Do you want to see the kids? and this is usually met with a bounce and keen eyes (but sometimes its a yawn and that means a bed day).  Putting Gidget in charge means that we can ensure she is experiencing joy in her work and that is the goal joyful interactions between her and the kids.

In her spare time Gidget loves to run at the park, swim at the beach and lie in the sun and chew big bones.

Oh, and we have a theme song for her

Giddy giddy boo we love you

High ho and everywhere you go

Giddy giddy boo boo we love you

Sung to the tune of chitty chitty bang bang

 

The Chickens

Our chooks are bantams and offer the children the opportunity to connect with feathered creatures.  We watch them, care for them and collect delicious eggs (sometimes).  The children also clean out their pen and use all that chooky goodness in our organic veggie garden.

We only have happy and content animals at our school because we want children to care and respect creatures of all descriptions.

The Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are glorious animals small, furry and sometimes willing to share a cuddle.  Again, the children are responsible for their care.  We know they just love fresh grass so we move their hutch around the playground and the veggie patch it also helps mow our lawn!!

All our small animals have the opportunity to breed so the magical experience of babies happens quite regularly at preschool.  There are also occasions where we are searching for foster homes for the animals over the holidays and many families love the chance to provide these loving sleep overs for our critters.