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Staff Profiles

      Marnie and Maria
 
We asked our wonderful kindergarten staff seven questions about themselves:

1. Do you remember going to kindergarten? What did you do there?
2. What did you do before you came to Westgarth kindergarten?
3. How long have you been at Westgarth kindergarten?
4. What are your favourite kinder activities?
5. What is your favourite food?
6. What are your hobbies?
7. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

 
Here are their answers:

 
Doug Fargher - 4-year-old teacher and kindergarten director

 
1. I remember that I loved kinder and my teachers. It was 1969 I was nearly 4. At kinder I got to watch the landing on the moon on a portable black and white tv. I learnt to fly myself high on the swing, it felt great! A huge concrete pipe sat in the middle of the playground. I desperately wanted to climb on top, like my friends. All year I kept on slipping but kept on trying. Hard smelly plasticine and a friend who modelled perfect dinosaurs (I could only just manage to roll out a snake). Orange peel teeth at "milk and fruit". I remember on some cold mornings running my fingers through red shiny steaming warm just cooked finger paint. One day I found a marble buried in the garden I pocketed the treasure and took it home. I missed kinder when I left, I often dropped in to say "hi" as I walked home from school.
2. Before I came to Westgarth kindergarten I did a number of different things. As a student I did a lot of casual work - gardening, labouring at steel works, hay bailing, and working in a wool testing lab. After graduating I have worked in some great environments. As well as kinder teaching, I was coordinator of a university's evening child care centre and prep teacher at a Steiner school. I am lucky to be the dad of 4 children, the youngest nearly 2 the eldest is 16.
3. Westgarth has been my teaching home for eight years. During that time I have had two of my children at kinder with me as their teacher.
4. I have many favourite kinder activities. Childhood is precious - I like seeing children being children: creative, imaginative, capable. Each day I get to see children proud of their achievements, a caring arm around an upset friend, children tumbling over each other like puppies, a gentle hand rescuing a hurt butterfly, patterns of flowers and sticks on sand cakes. I picture them making our future world a better place. Outdoors in nature is the ideal place for them to be. Bush Kinder!
5. My favourite foods include a really good just-picked cherry tomato, a sweet macadamia nut, liquorice, good coffee, veggie soup, lemon gelati, cold beer ......
6. My hobbies include searching for vintage treasures from markets, hard garbage and op shops. When I have the time I am a gardener. 
7. I would love to have the power to create more time and money I never seem to have enough of either. Flying would be a pretty good super power too!

 

Marnie Saunders – 3 year old teacher

 

1.     I remember I enjoyed going to kindergarten. I remember playing in the home corner, painting and playing on the climbing frames. It was a place I enjoyed going to.

2.     I have always worked with children. I have worked as a nanny, in day care and now teaching, which is my passion.

3.     I have been at Westgarth since beginning of 2014.

4.     My favourite kinder activities is playing in the rain, drawing , and reading books with children.

5.     My favourite food is Indian, Thai, fish and chips.

6.     My hobbies are travelling, watching foreign movies and weekends out of the city .

7.     I would love to be able to time travel. If I could I would like to revisit my days at kindergarten with the knowledge I have now and visit myself as an old woman!

 

Martin Cashmere – 4 year old assistant teacher

 

1.     I remember being there but not how I got there. I remember a couple of faces but not their names. Lots of climbing and running & I loved finger painting!

2.     Ran, jumped, tumbled, travelled, laughed, cried, slept, cuddled, cooked, swam, cycled, danced, made things, broke things, talked, yelled, whispered, watched & listened....... did I say laughed?? Good.

3.  25 days.

4.  All things outside. Hide & seek, balancing, digging & constructing, obstacle courses. I also really like finding a secret spot to chat.

5.  Sticky date pudding, it’s all in the sauce!

6.  Camping, surfing, cycling, travel & listening to music.

7.  I’d love to be able to manipulate my body into any shape at any time....... Just like ELASTIGIRL from “The Incredibles!!”


Annie Jenkins - 4-year-old teacher
 
1. My next door neighbor and I caught the bus to kindergarten.  We waved goodbye to our mothers at the bus stop, negotiated a road crossing and then raced down the hill to the kindergarten. I  recall the smell of oranges,  pencils and the amazing colours of fingerpaint mixing together.  I first heard the word 'winded' being used as I lay flat on my back under the monkey bars, crying to go home. Children were able to borrow books and I loved looking at mine on my bus ride home. I occasionally walk past my old kindergarten and relive happy memories. 
2. I first began working as a kindergarten assistant in Warragul and it was difficult to leave after twenty years. My position was full-time and  included a  Saturday morning session to accommodate the local farming families. After a move to the city and some travelling, I continued my role as an Assistant at the Annie Dennis Children's Centre. My seven years there provided me with the opportunity to enjoy and participate in the Northcote community and I was unaware that eventually my ride to work would not include Ruckers Hill. 
3. This has been my first enjoyable year at Westgarth Kindergarten.
4. Childhood memories are strong and I still enjoy finger paint and reading with the children. Kindergarten is  great, I get to to sing out loud, dance out loud and play (things not always tolerated by others outside of kinder).
5. I believe I enjoy just about any kind of food  if it contains garlic, chili and ginger. I could happily live on pumpkin risotto.  It's hard to say no to a Magnum (Classic of course).
6. Weekends I try to go back home to Warragul where gardening is a serious matter. The competition between family to grow the tallest beans, classiest tomatoes etc is fierce. Reading is  a close second to bush-walking  through the beautiful hills and valleys of  Gippsland.  Local cheese and wine is often included in these walks (as a safety measure).
7. If I could have a super power, I would choose time travel and eliminate sitting on a plane. 

Maria Kontovagios - 3-year-old & 4-year-old assistant

 
1. When I think back to my kindergarten days, I have fond and beautiful memories. I remember my kindergarten teacher, Anna and the wonderful songs and stories she taught us.
  
2. I came from Greece 14 years ago and live with my husband Peter and our two sons Evan and George.
3. I have been at Westgarth kindergarten 8 years as an assistant and sometimes as an integration aide. Before starting at Westgarth kindergarten I was at Westgarth OSHC and continue to work there simultaneously.
4. I’d like to think that throughout the years I’ve been at Westgarth kindergarten that in my own way I have provided basic building blocks for our children to add to as they grow and take on the challenges that their schooling provides. I am always eager to assist our kindergarten to achieve the goals that are set each year and I always enjoy myself in the process of educating and helping the little ones attain confidence and basic life skills.
5. My favourite food is fish and chips. 
6. My hobbies include spending time with my children, doing lots of reading and playing tennis.
7. If I could have a super power I guess I would like to fly.

 
Jan O’Meara – Administration assistant

 
1. I wasn’t fortunate enough to attend kinder.
 
2. Prior to my children, I was a legal secretary/admin assistant for a large city law firm.
 
3. My oldest child Grace started 3-year-old kinder in 2004, and my youngest, Connor, finished there in 2008. I was also part of the kinder committee for 2007 and 2008.
 
5. I love a good curry be it Thai or Indian. Also love chocolate cake.
 
6. My hobbies are cooking, reading and when I get time, a game of tennis.
 
7. I already have a super power…. I’m a mum!!! I would love to be invisible!!!