Community kindy looking fab at 40

It seems two heads are better than one when it comes to building a tower block. Pictured are twins Fergus (left) and Leo Drum, aged four years.

Warkworth’s only public kindergarten will mark its 40th anniversary next month and among those celebrating will be at least one foundation student, plus a descendant of the original landowner.

Mahurangi Kindergarten in Albert Road is part of Kaitiaki Kindergartens (Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association).

Foundation pupil Sarah Clark has been teaching at the kindy for the past 13 years and describes the centre as more like a home. Also on the teaching staff is Kara Dudley, whose father Ron Buckton sold part of his land to the Ministry of Education at a reduced price to help the kindergarten start.

Head teacher Michelle Fogarty says the kindy has established strong connections in the community over the past 40 years.

“All the teachers are dedicated to providing an exciting and unique experience for the children that come here,” Michelle says.

“There is always something interesting happening to engage the children and their families, like our recent vegetable garden project which the children and their families were fully involved in.”

Mahurangi Kindergarten is also an Enviroschool, teaching the children about sustainability and how to look after the environment, their community and their world. The anniversary celebration will coincide with the school’s receipt of an Enviroschool Silver Award, recognising its 25-year participation in the programme.

“We are still the only public kindergarten in Warkworth and believe every child has a right to an affordable quality education. We are a non-profit organisation so all the money raised goes back into the kindergarten,” Michelle says.

The kindy has 40 children on its roll, aged two to five years, and a waiting list.

It is holding a function at the kindergarten on Friday, November 17 and all past and present families are invited to attend.

Info: Phone 425 7096 or email

Head teacher Michelle Fogarty.
Toys may come and go, but playdough never loses its appeal for pre-schoolers. Pictured are Cleo Manawaiti (left) and Ayal Kuzin.
Teachers Sarah Clark (left) and Kara Dudley have, on and off, had a connection with the kindy for most of their lives.