Our wonderful Kaiako

Meet our wonderful kaiako. The rich fabric of Montessori Preschool - Belmont is made up of a wealth of talented, passionate, and experienced people.

Renata McIlroy

Renata, originally from Brazil, is the mother of a ten-year-old girl and twin eight-year-old boys. When she's not busy with them, she's out walking Daisy, her Cavoodle.

She values the respectful, responsive, and reciprocal relationships she builds with children, their whānau, and her colleagues. By engaging with others, we can participate in experiences that are meaningful and enriching to all of us.

As one of the owners and teacher of Belmont Montessori Preschool, she embraces diversity and the authenticity of every child. She believes children should be respected for who they are, and that everyone is unique. The individuality of each person adds colour to the world.

Grace Frewin

As an early childhood teacher and one of the owners, Grace's goal is to create a safe and warm learning environment where experiences are tailored to each child's interests and abilities.

She is inspired by the Montessori philosophy and believes that her role as an ECE teacher is to help children learn and grow.

Her teaching philosophy is based on relationships; she values collaborations between children, their families, the community, and the environment. These relationships are based on a culture of kindness, intending to provide children with the support they need to be confident and capable learners.

Mata Priest
Head Teacher

Mata believes that a beautiful environment is essential to fostering and nurturing every child.

It lays the foundation for children to be independent, social, and understand their surroundings. As a teacher, she strives to create a child-centred environment with opportunities for meaningful learning experiences.

She also believes in the value of whānau, culture, and whenua. Incorporating these aspects in learning can strengthen children's confidence, sense of belonging, and potential. She hopes to inspire and enable them to flourish and succeed as positive, caring, and respectful citizens of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Gina Shuwer

Gina, originally from Scotland, has been in New Zealand for six years. She has a five-year-old son, three-year-old daughter and a third child on the way.

Mila, her black and white cat, enjoys nothing more than a nice cuddle.

She has been teaching for over a decade, in classrooms and as a tutor in the community. Gina has always enjoyed learning and loves passing on her enthusiasm to the children in her care, encouraging them to develop a natural curiosity for the world around them. She believes in collaboration between all important people in a child's life to help them become confident, empathetic and responsible individuals.

Debbie May
Long-term relieving teacher

Debbie is an experienced, qualified and registered teacher with a current first Aid certificate. She qualified as a Kindergarten teacher at Auckland Teachers College which is now part of TheUniversity of Auckland.

She has taught in a broad variety of settings including a number of Montessori preschools.Her approach to the tamariki in her care is to work towards supporting and fostering each child in their learning journey by encouraging curiosity, wonderment and self –directed learning (‘dispositions of learning’) within the preschool environment. Within the preschool learning environment there is the opportunity for socialisation, friendship and collaboration. Debbie sees her role as one of supporting the reciprocal relationships which include whānau and kaiako alongside tamariki. She believes that Montessori education offers a structure whereby children can independently learn within a supportive environment. She also sees that nature (Papatūānuku) is also a wonderful learning environment for children (of all ages) to develop, be nurtured calmed in this fast–moving and ever–changing world. The Montessori offers this beautiful combination of Montessori learning within a natural learning environment.

Megan Frewin
Teaching Assistant

The Montessori Preschool Belmont community is very lucky to have the amazing Megan, Grace’s Mum, as our teaching assistant.
Megan is full of life and energy! The children love her quirky sense of humour and fun games!

Megan is also a very knowledgeable gardener and is responsible for keeping our outdoors looking great while also teaching the children about where our food comes from and how to care and respect our environment.

When Megan isn’t at The Montessori Preschool, she enjoys DIY projects, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Get in touch and book your site visit