The Heart of the Kindergarten

Kindy with Dawn Wilks at Campbells Bay

Dawn Wilks was the original pioneer of early learning at Kristin; she was both the head and heart of our Kindergarten in those early years, leading the department from its inception in 1973 through to her retirement in 1990.

Previously the head of the kindergarten at St Anne’s School in Takapuna, Dawn became a member of the Steering Committee that was investigating forming an independent school on the North Shore after the closure of St Anne’s in late 1972. Subsequently, she was one of the first teachers to be appointed to the Kristin staff by founding principal Roy Munn in 1973.

It was an absolute pleasure to host Dawn for a morning in Little Doves. While the new facility and its staff is a world apart from those early days at Kristin where resources were tight and Dawn and Shirley Hart were caring for up to 50 students between them, there are similarities that cross the decades. Little Doves Centre Manager Sarah Jones could certainly relate to the challenges that come with building a new centre that cares for our community’s youngest. “It is incredible what can be achieved by a small group of people who share the same huge vision about creating a really special place for young children,” she said.

Dawn said her visit to Little Doves was an absolute pleasure and she wishes she was 40 years younger so she could be a part of it all again.

We shared the photo from Dawn’s visit on our social networks and received an influx of messages from Alumni who treasure their years in Dawn’s care. She is remembered for her “huge heart and friendly smile” and as a “magical” and “amazing teacher”.


Step inside our gates and see for yourself what makes Kristin so unique. We invite you to take a tour and observe a typical school day. Take the opportunity to engage personally with student guides and staff.