Highly Qualified Staff
Hi my name is Maria Johnson. I have lived in Wellington after getting married in 1992 (two of these years were spent in Sydney!!). I spent my childhood growing up on a farm with my parents, two brothers and three sisters.
I moved to Wellington after training as a Primary School teacher at Hamilton Teachers College and completing my Bachelor of Education at Waikato University. B.Ed, Dip. Tching Primary. In 2006 I studied full time and gained my Early Childhood qualifications from the New Zealand College of Early Childhood Education.
I am married to a wonderful husband Craig and have four beautiful boys - Mathew, Joshua, Benjamin and Jacob (twins). I love being with my children and watching them grow and develop as individuals! Being a Mum is the greatest job in the world (even though sometimes it tests our patience).
I really enjoy spending time with family and friends, relaxing in my garden and being creative. When there is any spare time I also like to exercise.
After living in Sydney and experiencing the wonderful Pre-School Education system there, both Craig and I felt there was a huge need for quality education in Wellington. We are both excited about Little School's programme and what it has to offer.
I am passionate and ambitious about young children discovering their abilities and providing them with the knowledge, skills and values to make them lifelong learners. I continually aspire to be a leader in education and thoroughly enjoy this journey. I am extremely fortunate to work alongside a brilliant team of dedicated teachers at Little School. Together we aspire to be widely recognised leaders in preschool education.
I have also been an executive member of the Early Childhood Council since 2008 and am currently the ECC President. This is a role I thoroughly enjoy and again I am fortunate to work alongside a team of people who are dedicated within the early childhood sector.
In 2012 Little School won two Her Regional Wellington Business Awards - Best Small to Medium Business and Wellington Business Woman of the year.
Hi, my name is Rachel and I started working for the Little Schools when they first began in 2003. I was born and raised in Wellington and attended Victoria University, graduating with a BA (Hons) in International Politics. My husband Gary and I have three teenage children - two sons and a daughter.
After using my degree working for Department of Trade and Industry facilitating NZ's trade and economic relations with Pacific Island countries, I then decided to move into the area of Accounting. I worked in London for Reuters and then returned to Wellington where I worked for Unisys as one of their financial Accountants.
Although my work experience has been varied, my main priority has always been my children and this is where the flexibility of working for the Little School has fitted in perfectly with my life. I enjoy being a member of the Management Team at Little School and look forward to meeting with all our new children and their families.
Hi, I'm Kathy
I have been employed since May 2007 as part of the Management Team at Little School, where my role is extremely varied, no two days are the same! I thoroughly enjoy working with the staff at Little School.
My background is in Primary School teaching. I completed my degree and teaching diploma in the early 90s, and taught in several primary schools within the Wellington area, working with children in years 0-6. I completed my Early Childhood Teaching Diploma in 2009.
I myself have a daughter, Maddi, who attended Little School, so I have an interest and perspective as a parent as well as a staff member and educator.
When I'm not working I enjoy spending time with family and friends, watching movies, reading, exercising, cooking, eating and travelling.
Hi My name is Megan.
I began working as a Teacher at Little School when it first began in 2003.
I have a Diploma in Teaching Early Childhood which I completed at Whitirea Polytech. I then nannyed for two very special families which have remained a special part of my life and I still enjoy watching the children grow.
I took a break from Little School in 2007 when I had my son Oscar, who is a delight. I returned to Little School in 2009 when I became a member of the Management Team which I really enjoy. My son attended Kelburn Little School and was enriched by this experience.
In my sparetime I enjoy cooking, skiing and spending my time with family and friends.
Hi, my name is Jane. I began working as a teacher at Little School just after it first began in 2003.
I have a Diploma of Teaching in ECE and a Bachelor of Education which I completed at Dunedin College of Education and Otago University in the early 90's.
From mid 2004-2008 I took a break from Little School and Andrew and I had our two children Sarah and Harry - they are busy little people who bring lots of joy, love and laughter to our house. Sarah attended Khandallah Little School and Harry went to Kelburn before transferring to Khandallah - so I have and interest and perspective in the schools as a parent and as an educator.
I returned to Little School in 2008 as a release teacher and in 2010 I became part of the Management Team and took on the role of teacher support and curriculum support.
In my spare time I enjoy running, walking, cooking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Khandallah Little School
It is with great pleasure that I can say I am part of the Little School family AGAIN! It feels like Little School is my second home. I first joined Little School as a teacher at Kelburn Little School and became an Assistant Supervisor at Churton Park Little School in 2008. In 2011, I joined Khandallah Little School as a teacher.
I am Maria Charmaine Ramos-Yee from the Philippines. I am married with a wonderful son named Jaeci, the sweetest thing that spices up our lives. I come from a family of teachers. However, being a teacher was not my first profession. I am a graduate of Bachelor in Journalism and worked in a telecommunications company. After eight years of working in the corporate world, I decided to retrain in the teaching profession. I took post-graduate studies and earned a Master of Arts in Education, majoring in Early Childhood Education. I have gained intensive training in International Baccalaureate-Primary Years Program (IB-PYP) while working in international schools in Philippines and New Zealand.
I believe that the child’s success in school lies in the partnership of teachers and parents. I am happy to be part of this wonderful partnership with you on your child’s learning journey.
Last year, I discovered another passion which is makeup artistry. I enrolled myself to makeup schools and earned certificate in makeup artistry and became professional makeup artist for weddings, fashion shows and other special occasions. This became another outlet of my creativity. I enjoyed swimming, cooking, baking, photography and traveling. But most of all, I enjoy spending my time with my son.
My name is Katie Prescott and I grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne in England. I have recently settled in Wellington with my fiancée after exploring the world for two years. I fell in love with Wellington the moment I arrived here and I am so lucky to have the chance to stay and call Wellington my home.
I studied in the UK and have a Bachelor with Honours degree in Early Primary Education. I thoroughly enjoy working within the Early Childhood sector and have been doing relief teaching in Early Childhood centres since arriving in Wellington in December 2011. I hope to gain a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching within two years in order to further enhance my knowledge and understanding of teaching ECE within New Zealand.
In my spare time I enjoy keeping fit by going to the gym and walking or jogging around the water front. I love going to new places and exploring, especially big parks and botanic gardens. I have a love for animals, although I don’t have any at the moment I can forsee my future home resembling a sanctuary.
I am extremely excited to become a member of the team at Khandallah Little School. I am creative and always coming up with inspirational ideas. I hope to use my skills to enhance each individual child's learning journey extending their knowledge, skills and understanding which will last a life time.
My name is Amanda Lund. I am from Christchurch and have recently moved to Wellington.
I have just finished studying at Rangi Ruru Early Childhood College where I gained a New Zealand Nanny Education Certificate and a Diploma of Teaching in ECE.
In my spare time I enjoy listening to music, going to the beach, playing team sports and spending time with my friends and family!
I am passionate about early childhood education.
I am very excited about starting my career as a teacher at the Little School in Khandallah.
I look forward to getting to know, and working alongside, both you and your children and becoming part of the team at Little School.
My name is Hannah Roebuck and I am originally from the South of England. I have been living in Wellington since 2008. I came to New Zealand to visit my sister, but loved it so much I wanted to stay. I have enjoyed exploring this beautiful country - embarking on some wonderful adventures.
I studied primary and secondary teaching in the UK, and have had experience teaching 7-16 year olds. Since coming to New Zealand I have been thrilled to discover the amazing provision and value given to early childhood education. It inspired me to complete the Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching at Vicotria University, Wellington. I have really enjoyed studying and working in early childhood education and look forward to teaching at Little School.
I look forward to meeting you all and becoming a part of the Little School whanau.
Churton Park Little School
Hi, my name is Nicole Straube. I am originally from Chicago, USA. I have a Bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education and have taught for five years as an early childhood teacher in Chicago. Throughout those five years I have grown and developed along with the children and am very excited to continue my growth as an educator at Little School.
In my spare time I am fond of reading, traveling and hiking. I also like to exercise and take my dog, Cleo, for walks. I can not wait to explore New Zealand and make a new life with my partner and dog.
I am a firm believer that parents are a child's first teacher and a positive partnership between parents and teachers is necessary to help each child grow and develop into well rounded, confident and happy learners. I am thrilled to be part of the Little School team and look forward to meeting the families and children of Little School.
My name is Yixuan Wang, call me Yaya instead.
I have a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from Massey University, Palmerston North. I also hold a Bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education and worked two years as a kindergarten teacher in China.
I feel very privileged to be a part of Little School. It is my belief that individual differences need to be recognised, respected and celebrated. All children have strengths, and it is the goal of education to assist them in the learning process. I also believe that early childhood centre should be an extension of the home where children develop strategies for making and maintaining friendships, have opportunities to explore the world around them and most importantly to be happy and have fun!!
I am looking forward to getting to know you and starting my new life at Little School.
Talofa lava, my name is Niagai (Nia) Apineru. I was born and raised in Samoa. I came from a family of nine children six boys and two sisters. I came to New Zealand in 1979 and worked at the Justice Department Land and Title Section.
I was teaching in Samoa before I came to New Zealand. In 1995 I started my training as an early childhood teacher at Wellington College of Education, and graduated in 1998 with a Diploma of Teaching Early childhood.
I have two children of my own that are grown up now and very independent. I have completed my B.E.D in July (2006).
I enjoy working with infants and toddlers and their families.
Hello, my name is Tatjana Manabe and I'm originally from Germany. I studied Primary School Education at Koblenz University, Germany, and moved to New Zealand after passing my state exams in October 2008.
During my one year working holiday in New Zealand (2005-2006) I worked as a live-in nanny and found myself thoroughly enjoying the work with pre-school aged children. Therefore, I was more than happy when I got the opportunity to join the Kelburn Little School team in February 2009.
In 2102, I gained my Graduate Diploma of Teaching for Early Childhood Education and also got married to my wonderful partner of seven years.
In my spare time I enjoy reading a good book or two or spending time in my garden (depending on the weather), and taking my dog for long walks.
I am looking forward to getting to know the children and families at Churton Park Little School, and learning and exploring alongside them.
Hi, my name is Keri-ann Dobbs.
I started working for Little School in April 2010, after I completed my BEd (Tch) ECE at Victoria University.
This is my first full time teaching role. Previously I worked as an after school teacher and a relief teacher.
Wellington is my home town and I love it here. Activities that I love to do are reading, singing and camping. I am a member of Newlands Baptist Church where I am part of the music group and often sing on a Sunday morning. My family, my partner Michael and I are always going on camps.
I look forward to getting to know you.
Kelburn Little School
My name is Kristiana Denford-Deck.
I'm married with three adorable teenagers and one lovely "tweenie".
I have been teaching since 1990 and during this time have taught in both full and part-time capacity within the Wellington area.
I have a particular passion for literacy and art and have attended and facilitated many Professional Development courses in these curriculum areas.
Most recently, I have been combining relief teaching with our children's sporting and social engagements! It's definitely my turn for some action!
I am looking forward to a more permanent teaching position and joining the Kelburn Little School team this year.
Ka Kite Ano
Kia Ora my name is Jacquie Costello.
I have lived in Dunedin all my life on the Otago Peninsular. I moved up to Wellington with my partner in November 2006, to further my career as an Early Childhood educator.
Following completing High School I took a year out of study and worked in the hospitality industry, training as a chef the following two years.
I then followed my passion in working with children to extend their knowledge and development, and started training at Dunedin College of Education.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with friends and family, exercising, healthy eating and living, listening to music, exploring the North Island, and exploring personal culture.
I am thoroughly looking forward to getting to know and working with the children and families/whanau of Kelburn Little School.
Hi, my name is Louise Macdonald and I am originally from London. I studied and trained in London and qualified as a Primary School teacher. I spent 4 very happy years teaching in a school in Twickenham before moving to New Zealand in 2006.
During my teaching experience in the UK, I have taught both infant and junior age children. I have also worked with children with special needs. I particularly enjoyed the challenge of working with infant aged children, as no two days were ever the same!
Since moving to New Zealand I have spent most of my time teaching - from Early Years relief work right through to Adult Education.
In my spare time I enjoy watching sports, especially rugby and cricket. Living in Wellington has allowed me to do lots of this. I also like to spend my time with my friends.
I look forward to getting to know and working alongside both you and your children.
Hi there, my name is Emily Eckhoff.
I grew up in Dunedin and moved to Wellington in 2008. I originally studied the Bachelor of Education in Primary Teaching and then decided to further my teaching studies and did the Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education.
I am passionate about teaching and I love helping children to grow their potential and become independent learners.
In my spare time I enjoy going for walks, spending time with family and friends, listening to music, tramping and exploring the North Island.
I look forward to getting to know you and your child at Little School.
Hi! I'm Paola Malibran. I have a Bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education and have taught for three years as an early childhood teacher in an international school in the Philippines. It is my privelge to continue my profession as en educator at Little School.
I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was in first grade and I am very happy with my choice. Pre-school teaching is challenging but at the same time, very rewarding. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that I've made a difference in the life of a young child!
I value learning and experience and not only do I give all my thought and skill to teaching, but also my passion and commitment. I can't wait to experience new adventures in teaching in New Zealand!
Hi I’m Sophie and I’m from the UK. I first came to New Zealand to chase the snow and work as a children’s ski instructor in Wanaka. I worked as an instructor in America and Wanaka until I moved to Wellington in 2008.
In my spare time I love to travel, watch films and go to the theatre. In my weekends I also try and ski as much as possible up at Mt.Ruapehu.
I completed my Primary Teacher Training at Victoria University in Wellington in 2011. I am very excited to start my teaching career at Kelburn Little School.
My name is Kiri Woods, and I am part of the Kelburn Little School team!
I attended Victoria University where I obtained a BA/BTeach, majoring in education and early childhood education. This furthered my interest in working with children and helped me develop many valuable practices to support and enhance learning experiences for children in the early years. I enjoy teaching and working in early childhood and supporting the education and development of the younger years.
I first began working with Little School in 2007 where I became assistant supervisor at Khandallah Little school.
In 2010 I headed over to the UK to live and work for a couple of years. This was a fantastic experience both personally and professionally. During my time overseas I was able to gain new skills to grow as a teacher, and explore a diverse range of countries and cultures.
After an amazing O.E. working in London and travelling all over the world. I am very happy to be back working and living in New Zealand.
I enjoy spending time with family and friends and also being outdoors exercising or relaxing! I am a keen traveller and I am constantly finding new places to travel to both in New Zealand and overseas.
I am very happy to be back in the Little School environment, and look forward to meeting you and working alongside your child/ children.
Kia Ora, My name's Katrina Brewer and I am a country girl from south Taranaki. I studied at Massey University in Palmerston North and have a Bachelor of Education, specialising from birth to eight.
Teaching is something I have always wanted to do and I am truly passionate about supporting children to grow and learn while having lots of fun! I began working as a qualified teacher in 2010 gaining a Kindergarten position in Palmerston North. At the beginning of 2012 I decide to adventure to Wellington where my partner, Jared, works at the Zoo.
I am an active person who likes to get out and about, embracing the highlights of Wellington City. I spend my free time playing netball, snowboarding, travelling and socialising.
I am very excited to be continuing my teaching journey here at Kelburn Little School and look forward to getting to know all the children, families and whanau.
St Heliers Little School
My name is Nahida Morris-Adams and I am a teacher with an Early Years specialism. I am originally from England, and I studied at the University of Birmingham for both my BA (Hons) and my Post Graduate Certificate in Education. I have been teaching 3-6 year olds for over five years and I have thoroughly enjoyed my career so far, particularly my extremely rewarding years as a Nursery teacher.
I have been married to my wonderful husband Dan, who is also a teacher, for just over a year now. After our honeymoon in New Zealand, we decided to make the big move...and we haven't looked back! My husband and I enjoy walking and cycling together, and in my own spare time I like to read; I especially enjoy children's literature and some of my all time favourites include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Goodnight Mr Tom.
I've been extremely lucky to have worked with some lovely characters for the past five years; I am now very keen and excited to get to know some new and no doubt special personalities at Little School! I look forward to meeting you!
My name is Gretchen Greaves. I am originally from the state of Iowa in America.
After earning my degree in elementary education, I had the opportunity to live and work in one of America’s national parks, where I met my Kiwi husband-to-be. We lived in Colorado for six years, where I taught preschool and decided that early
childhood education was my passion. We moved to New Zealand in 2011 and are quite excited about our future in this amazingly beautiful country!
In my spare time I enjoy being outside in the sunshine! Camping, tramping, traveling and bicycling are all activities I love. I also enjoy cooking, relaxing with a good book and gardening.
I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Little School team and will strive to help each of the children to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence that will lead them into the next chapter of their lives.
My name is Elizabeth To'oto'o. I am a New Zealand born Samoan raised and residing in Auckland.
My family are the biggest influences in my life. Having the joy to help raise and observe my four nephews and niece grow has shaped the way I teach and view children. I strongly believe if children are given the opportunities to be explorers, investigators, researchers and communicators this lays the foundations towards them becoming confident, competent learners.
In my spare time I like to cook, go on road trips, read, shop but mainly hang with my family.
I look forward to meeting all the children and families at St Heliers Little School. I strive to work in partnership with children to create, and encourage opportunities for children to develop the skills and knowledge needed to reach their goals. Please if you see me around don't be afraid to introduce yourself.
At Little School we are proud to have highly trained early childhood and primary school teachers. Our unusually high staff to child ratio allows teachers to spend quality time with your child.
It also enables small group teaching opportunities, which are vital for children's learning experiences.
Our highly qualified teachers will gain knowledge about your child by working in partnership with parents and caregivers.
We will help develop children's emotional well being, relationships with peers, and knowledge of limits and boundaries for acceptable behaviour. Teachers will support children in learning strategies for active exploration, thinking and reasoning.