Meet the Team

Kia tūtaki i te tīma

Linda Thompson

CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Kia ora koutou! My role as Chief Executive for Life Education Trust Counties Manukau, has enabled me to work in a community which I am passionate about  I have a background in nursing and over 10 year's management experience in the non for profit sector, predominately in health. I live in New Lynn with my daughter Tash her husband Aaron and their 3 children, Cooper, Sienna and Taika.

Harold

All-AROUND AWESOME GIRAFFE

I love helping kids see their full potential.

I give them the tools and life skills to: understand how to make healthy choice, learn about their bodies, develop self esteem and a positive understanding of themselves and develop strategies for relating to others.

Help me help our kids!

Debbie Larsen

ADMINISTRATOR

I grew up on a farm in the Manawatu, moving to Manukau in my early teens and now reside with my long suffering husband
and teenage daughter who currently attends College.

Previously I have worked in finance and our family business until the pandemic closed the
borders, however not one to be idle I am always found somewhere volunteering or
lending a hand where needed, from primary school, to figure skating which our
daughter is heavily involved in.   Our family has also had many foster puppies for MPI and we can proudly say that two
are currently on international duties at Auckland Airport.

I am delighted to have the chance to help support and empower tamariki while working in this rewarding role with
Harold.  

Our Educators

Natalie

Maungakiekie-Tamaki, Puketapapa and Otara-Papatoetoe Educator.

Hi, my name is Natalie. I have three sons, Matt 18, Ben 15, and Dan 12. We have an International student for most of the year, often 6 months at a time. We have hosted students for the last 4 years and love getting to know the different cultures and customs of these lovely boys. We have had visitors from China, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Chile, Austria and France. It brings another dimension into our family unit. We also have 2 cats, Toffee and Maisie.

I am a photo-lithographer by trade which I did in NZ; and in London. When I had my first child I retrained and did a Post Graduate Diploma of Teaching Primary and Intermediate. Most of my teaching career has been in Early Childhood which I found very rewarding. Since starting with Life Education in 2017 I have loved meeting and engaging with so many students and schools at so many different levels. I love the philosophy and wonderful messages that are woven through the fabric of our learning in the mobile classroom. Harold is a superstar that puts the sparkle in our day.

EMAIL ME

Carleen

Mangere-Otahuhu and Otara Papatoetoe Educator

After working a few years in an office role while volunteering as a brownie leader Carleen made the decision to make working with children her career instead of her hobby, and hasn't looked back since. She taught in South Auckland primary schools for 13 years and then joined Life Ed in May 2017. She has found working with Life Ed has enabled her to support and empower more tamariki than in her previous roles as a classroom teacher.

Seeing the joy on children's faces when they see Harold and when they make a connection to the content we are covering makes this job very fulfilling. When not hanging out with Harold in the mobile classroom, Carleen can be found hanging around the amateur theater circuit. Quite often it's doing the behind the scenes things that keep a show/theatre ticking, but every now and then you might actually catch her treading the boards.

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Samuel

Franklin / Papakura Educator

My name is Samuel Kett, I'm 36, I live in Pukekohe with my wife and 2 1/2 year old daughter. I was born in Waiouru, and grew up moving around NZ quite a lot as my dad was in the military. I'm of both Maori and Pakeha descent. Ngati Tuwharetoa Toku Iwi.

I have been teaching for almost 15 years. I returned to New Zealand in 2019 after teaching overseas for 8 years. I taught in Oman, Shanghai and Uganda. Most recently I have been working at Red Hill School as a Senior Leader Classroom Teacher, Music Specialist and Sports leader. I love sport and have played competitive Cricket and Rugby League for most of my life both in New Zealand and on my travels around the world. I am a musician and have recorded and released 3 albums, toured Europe twice and played countless shows in Australia and New Zealand. Positive Psychology and well-being in schools for both students and teachers is a passion of mine I am currently coming to the end of a Diploma in Positive Psychology. I have developed my own blog on flourishing and thriving beyond the classroom for teachers, which I launched in January 2022.

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Daniel

Manurewa / Papakura Educator

Ko Duke of Portland te waka, ko Aoraki te maunga, ko Waitaki te awa. Ko Waihaorunga taku rohe. Ko Tāmaki Makaurau taku taone e noho nei ahau. Ko Ngati Pakeha taku iwi. E ki ko Garland taku whānau. Ko Daniel taku ingoa.

I have been a primary school teacher in Manurewa for the past four years. What I enjoyed most is seeing children's eyes light up when coming out of their comfort zone, being confident in who they are and really succeeding in their un-tapped talents. Before teaching I studied drama, music, live sound and events. And worked as a lighting technician.

I have a passion for health and education, but on the side, I also enjoy doing the odd pull-up or two on the monkey bars or at the gym.

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Kate

East Auckland Educator

Kia ora everyone!

I grew up in QLD, Australia where I worked as a teacher before moving to New Zealand in 2018. Since moving, I've enjoyed working in a variety of settings including as a swimming instructor and, most recently, as a flight attendant with Air New Zealand.

I've loved being able to see and experience this beautiful country in so many different ways and am now excited to join the team at Life Education!

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