Our People

Neena Passi, Centre Manager

I moved to New Zealand in 2005 with my husband and my son who is now 17 years old and attends Long Bay College.

I am a qualified and registered Early Childhood Teacher/ Manager. I have been in the education industry for the last 25 years. I accomplished my Diploma in ECE and Post-Graduation from Unitec, & Bachelor of Education specializing in Montessori from AUT. The Montessori philosophy has inspired me deeply.

I strongly believe that all the children are competent and capable learners. My relationship with tamariki and their parents and whanau are fundamental to my teaching practice. My personal philosophy is one of respect for our children, families and our teachers and to ensure there is a quality of care & education at all time. I encourage the children & the staff to develop their knowledge and skills and become the best that they can be. I would love all children who come to Little Earth Montessori to leave with a love for learning.

Pene Dalton , Administrator

I started at Little Earth Montessori in January 2006 as Administrator after having managed the Mairangi Swim School for 15 years, as well as holding the position of Administrator of NZ Water Polo for 3yrs. I love the variety at Little Earth and enjoy watching the children progress while they are there.

Susan Hong , Qualified & Registered Teacher

I am a Montessori Early Childhood Educator and have been teaching at Little Earth Montessori Preschool since 2005. I hold a Montessori Teacher Certificate from USA and Korea and retrained at AUT University in New Zealand where I further advanced my knowledge and experience and obtained a Bachelor of Education specializing in Montessori. I find all Montessori theories and activities fascinating but am especially interested in Mathematics in the area.

Krystal Lochan , Qualified & Registered Teacher

Kia Ora, my name is Krystal. I have been teaching at Little Earth Montessori since 2013. I am of Indian heritage but born and bred in Aotearoa. So far in my teaching journey, I have learnt how diverse the Early Childhood sector is having been exposed to a wide range of theories and practices. Nonetheless I stood in awe when I first visited Little Earth Montessori. I saw the difference! It has been a humbling experience and my expectations of children’s learning has changed. The Montessori Way of being and learning made so much sense to me. It seems almost every day I am learning something new. I am very grateful to be part of this environment and the level of learning that is taking place here. The best thing about being an ECE teacher is watching the children grow and learning from their mistakes. Listening to the children giggling helps to keep me young and enjoy the simple moments in life.

Cheryl Lee Taylor, Teacher

Kia Ora my name is Cheryl, I am married to Bob. We live on a life-style block in Riverhead. We are blessed to have two adult children and seven grand-children.

I am a Montessori Early Childhood Educator. I recognise all young children have a unique capacity to learn. I believe they are able to achieve their full potential in a happy, fun, inspiring hands-on Montessori environment. I am inspired by the children every day, and I love to help and encourage them with opportunities to empower them to be independent, self-motivated, respectful life-long learners. I know the importance of family and whanau in supporting our children and I look forward to working alongside everyone at Little Earth Montessori.

I enjoy gardening, reading and spending time with my family and friends. My husband and I enjoy travelling and we have travelled to many countries around the world. This has introduced us to many different cultures and amazing places that I look forward to sharing with the children, families and whanau.

Degree in Early Childhood Education Specialising in Montessori, Fully Registered Teacher

Pratima Tewary, Teacher

Tena Koutou and Namaste, 
My name is Pratima. I’m originally from India and am a proud mother of two daughters, Nivedita and Snigdha. I came to New Zealand with my family in 2014 to pursue my husband’s dream of conducting environmental research. I am constantly amazed by the beauty of New Zealand and warmth of its people.

I began learning about the Montessori curriculum when my daughters were at preschool back in India. I was enthused by the philosophy and decided to study and work in this field. I feel early childhood is the most important phase of human life because it shapes a child’s personality for life. I am glad to contribute to the development of our citizens of the future and I’m very much looking forward to getting to know you all.