Linda and Evan Ward
Linda is the owner and manager of the Reach Forward Early Learning Centres. Right from the very start she knew she would be involved in teaching – as a young girl she would line her dolls up and proceed to show them all how to read and write. From these humble beginnings she has soared in her career.
For the first 11 years of her work life she taught primary aged school children both here, in New Zealand and overseas. And then before moving on to owning and operating her own businesses she spent a further 11 years working in a church developing their children’s enterprises. Previous experience in opening six children’s facilities led to this stage of her career. But owning and operating Childcare Centres is not all Linda loves to do. She has a passion for training teachers to be effective and gifted professionals. She has published several professional education articles. Her collection of books continues to grow as she buys more and more to assist those under her care.
Travel features high on her goals in life. She has already travelled to over 39 countries – Europe, Africa, America and Asia but she still longs to see more.
Her husband, Evan, spent his teenage years (from 10 to 20) in the middle of the Borneo jungle whilst his parents shared Jesus with the local Dyak people. Evan speaks fluent Indonesian, Dyak and English. Both Evan and Linda support many mission ventures. Having spent many years in the jungle Evan is a practical man – the centres property manager. Spending his young formative years working with people who had very little in the way of material possessions has influenced Evan’s thoughts and actions; he is constantly grateful for the life he has, here in New Zealand. His days are filled with maintenance work, building, carpentry and technology; making him a valuable member of our team.
Both love belonging to a local church. They relax by cooking up a storm and having theme dinner parties with family and friends.
Linda leads by example, works with all her might and has the vision and capacity to grow Reach Forward into a place where children, teachers and families develop and flourish.
Louette van Deventer – Teacher
Aunty Louette is originally from South Africa. She and her husband, Dewald, like to spend time with friends and family. They were both raised in Christian homes and have a deep love for God. Louette has a talent for art and craft; especially painting and sewing. Home decorating and house design also bring her joy. She and her husband love the outdoors and are keen to explore New Zealand.
Louette studied for her Bachelor of Education degree in S.A in a small town called Potchefstroom in the North West province. She completed her studies in 2010. She has been a teacher ever since. She loves children and thoroughly relishes the role of being a godmother to a baby boy.
Louette is of the opinion that she is called to be a teacher. She is passionate about children and enjoys each stage of their development.
Hello, I am originally from Germany. I am fluent in German and English. I have been in New Zealand since 2006. We moved to Warkworth a couple of years ago and absolutely love this beautiful place.
I hold a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education and I am a fully registered teacher. I have a passion for working with babies and toddlers. My teaching models respectful practice. I enjoy researching and revisiting children’s development theories.
I enjoy exercising as well as healthy eating. I am interested in travelling and experiencing different cultures.
I am looking forward to getting to know you and your children.
Teaching has been a passion for most of my life. I am excited to walk alongside of you and your child. I love teaching, caring and developing a relationship of learning. I have taught overseas as well as many years in New Zealand. I am married to my wonderful husband, Sheldon. We have a daughter, Millie and a son, Charlie. With being a wife and a mum I enjoy also house design, museums and family time. As a family we have taken up fishing and growing vegetables. We love being a part of the beautiful kind and giving community of Snells Beach. A few of my favourite things are: the colour pink, hot chocolate, walking and faith. I love to use my skills and talents to assist, encourage and provide opportunities for each child to grow and learn – loving who they are!
Courtenay van Zyl
Courtenay was born in South Africa and recently moved to New Zealand. She gained her Bachelor degree from the University of South Africa, specializing in Early Childhood Development in the Foundation Phase.
Courtenay loves to explore New Zealand’s beauty. She also enjoys being outdoors, getting creative and spending time with family.
For as long as she can remember, Courtenay has felt the calling to be a teacher and to work with children. She has worked previously as an assistant teacher, as well as an au pair for many years. During this time, Courtenay has further discovered that her passion lies with working with the up to two-year-old age group.
Courtenay highly values providing a nurturing and loving environment which allows babies and toddlers to grow and learn through play, discovery and lots of love.