Our Team and Vision

Founder

Kelli Booth

Founder & Owner
Educational Social Worker Min Ed, Dip Visual Arts, Dip TV & Film

Riverhead Montessori was established by Kelli Booth out of a desire to make a positive difference to our children in their important developmental years from age 1-6.

As an Educational Social Worker with the Ministry of Education for emotionally dysfunctional children, Kelli saw tangibly how the opportunities we expose our children to during their formative years impacts greatly on who they become as adults. As a mother of three children (Bailey, Tom and Lexie) Kelli felt there was clearly a better way to educate our young and dreamed of creating an environment that is loving, all-encompassing and enriching.

She has gathered around her a team of wonderful Montessori educators who have the same passion and commitment to making a positive difference to children in their preschool years.

Kelli was also was instrumental in establishing the Huapai Montessori Primary Unit in 2005 and is very proud that this wonderful classroom continues to thrive. Many of Riverhead Montessori children graduate to the Montessori Primary and as such each year  have a close knit group of  5 year olds  that will  continue their educational journey together.

Kelli’s additional background in broadcast and print media has led to a truly creative centre full of exciting tools and opportunities for nurturing, educating and playing.

Her aim to ensure every child leaves Riverhead Montessori well prepared for life with a set of skills that allows them to succeed at whatever they choose has now been realised thousands of times over and continues to fill her with joy and a genuine love for what she does.

“By teaching children to think outside the box, our children may just save our world, or equally as important grow up to be the best fathers and mothers, mentors & leaders. In my mind, ours is the most important work.”

‘Love for the child’ is at the core of Riverhead Montessori’s vision and mission.  To read them along with our philosophy please click here.

Our team

Bachelor Early Education
Montessori 
Registered ECE Teacher

Centre Manager

Bachelor Early Education Montessori Registered ECE Teacher

Anna Begg

Hi my name is Anna.  After spending my childhood in Massey and Muriwai, I now live in Helensville with my partner of 18 years and our three children Jack (13), Lucas (11) and Isabella (7).


As a family we enjoy watching movies, hunting, fishing, camping and the outdoors. In my spare time I also am an avid baker and cake decorator.

I hold a Bachelor of Education and have been teaching ECE for over 12 years.   I have taught in Montessori centres for over 6 years alongside my children. I  have a strong belief in the Montessori way of teaching giving children the independence and confidence in themselves.  What I love most about working with under 6’s is their appreciation of the small things. I find their capabilities endless and am excited by supporting children’s interests.

 

Bachelor of Education,
Diploma in Montessori Early Childhood

Team Facilitator & Teacher Whare Keas

Bachelor of Education,
Diploma in Montessori Early Childhood

Stephanie Meldau

Hi I’m Steph, I am a fully qualified and registered teacher. I grew up in South Africa, Namibia and England, but have found my heart here in New Zealand. I have two children, Emma (who attends Huapai Montessori Primary) and Luke (who is in the Keas classroom).

I discovered the magic of Montessori while studying my Bachelor of Education, and completed a diploma of Montessori 3-6 years while finishing my degree. Children’s voices so often aren’t heard in our society – what I love about Montessori is that it gives children a way to make their voices heard by fostering independence and teaching adults to learn through observing their children. We should all allow ourselves to be constantly surprised by what our children are capable of.

I love music, and I am currently learning to play the guitar. I also love to get outside when I can – for walks on the beach or even just around the neighbourhood. One of my favourite parts of my role here at RMLC is fostering relationships with our families – making those all important links that support the development and learning of our children. 

Dip of Education,
London Montessori Diploma,
ECE Registered Teacher

Teacher Whare Keas

Dip of Education,
London Montessori Diploma,
ECE Registered Teacher

Aithne Potts

Hi. My name is Aithne Potts. Born in Oxford, England, I grew up in the south of Ireland. I discovered Montessori education at high school and trained with the London Montessori Centre to teach 3-6 year olds. I set up a preschool in my village before moving to New Zealand where I have taught for 30 years.

I have been inspired and mentored by many wonderful Montessorians including Binda Goldsborough, who trained under Maria Montessori, and teachers at some wonderful Montessori preschools. Three years ago, I was privileged to be part of the MANZ “Montessori Journey to Excellence” (MJ2Ex) pilot project . Trained Dyslexia Tutor. 

Bachelor of Education
ECE Montessori Speciality

Teacher Whare Keas

Bachelor of Education ECE Montessori Speciality

Gloria Sutcliffe

Hi I’m Gloria!

I am a fully qualified Early Childhood Montessori teacher. I call Auckland, New Zealand home and I grew up on the North Shore. I have lived on the North Shore from my early childhood years, through till my completion of my Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Montessori teaching) at the end of 2016.

My passion of working with children was fostered through personal experience when I was lucky enough to become an Aunty. In 2012 my teaching passion started and I jumped at the opportunity to do my Bachelor of Education with AUT University.

In my final 2 years of study I discovered Montessori and developed my own perspective on how it can beneficial to all children. Steven Arnold a lecturer at AUT University sparked the passion and love I have for Montessori today. As a teacher I aspire to empower our children to become strong individuals who embrace diversity and who interact with each other and the environment with respect and responsibility.

In my spare time I love cooking and spending time with friends and family, going to concert, and chasing the sunshine. I have also been learning sign language for the past 3 years. I look forward to share my passion and knowledge with all the children, and families at Riverhead Montessori.

Level 5 ECE certificate,
Montessori experience 4 years

Team Facilitator & Teacher Tui's Nest

Level 5 ECE certificate,
Montessori experience 4 years

Rachel Campbell

Hi I’m Rachel; I am 25 years old and have recently moved back to New Zealand after living in the UK for 4 years. I have always had a passion for working with children and have experience working in a variety of child-care based roles including after school care, working in a play centre, nannying and most recently working in a Montessori Preschool School in the UK for two years. I am looking forward to meeting you all and becoming part of the Riverhead Montessori team.

ESW MOE,
0-3 AMI Assistant's Course

Teacher Tui's Nest

ESW MOE,
0-3 AMI Assistant’s Course

Karen Benjamin

Hi there, my name is Karen and I have been working in Education since the beginning of 2013, starting off as an Education Support Worker for the Ministry of Education working at a variety of centres. I was very excited to be offered a role at Riverhead Montessori in 2015  I love this age group and look forward to getting to know both you and your children. I am Mum of 10 year old Sophie and enjoy spending time with friends and family, going for walks, running and reading in my spare time.

Bachelor of Education 
(Montessori Preschool)
Registered ECC Teacher

Teacher Tui's Nest

Bachelor of Education (Montessori Preschool) Registered ECC Teacher

Geonhui Choi 

 

My name is Geonhui Choi (Tina). I am from Korea, and I moved to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2008. Montessori education, which Maria Montessori began to develop in 1897, aims to bring peace to children, to people, and to the world. The experience and knowledge that I have gained during my studies in Bachelor of Education (Specialised in Montessori) Teaching at Auckland University of technology, have guided me to gain insights on what education truly is. The right education and the right teachers are required to bring the peace to the children and to the world.

 

As a teacher, I would like to be a good role-model for the children and provide them with a positive, warm and loving environment. I believe the children will thrive with the values of Montessori philosophy and therefore, I would like to keep my journey of teaching in a Montessori environment. I am very proud that I am a hope the children, their families and whanau, and all of us can thrive through a well-cooperated teamwork of teaching.

My hobbies include Piano, Ukulele and hand-craft.

 

 

Bachelor of Education  Montessori Trained Relieving ECE Teacher

Bachelor of Education Montessori Trained Relieving ECE Teacher

Rebecca Brindle 

I’m Rebecca. I am originally from England, and have lived here in NZ for most of my life. I have always had a passion for working with children. In 1986 I graduated from Auckland Teachers College with a degree in ECE. After many years I followed and extended this interest in ECE and trained and qualified in Montessori education.


I am a mother of 3 sons, 28, 24 and 17 years. We have been living in the Hibiscus Coast for 4 years and just thoroughly enjoy the quieter lifestyle.

.

Montessori Trained ECE Relieving Teacher

Montessori Trained ECE Relieving Teacher

Gordia-Anne Hattingh

My name is Gordia.  I am a passionate Montessori teacher who has been involved in Montessori Centres for many years. You have seen me around in both Keas and Tuis Rooms as I am a relief teacher. I really enjoy working with these age groups as they have so much to offer and we both learn alongside each other on a daily basis.

 

 

 

Administration

Administration &
Accounts Manager ECE Registered Teacher

Hayley Wilson 

I’m Hayley the Office administrator.  I am a qualified and fully registered teacher, who was ready for a change and new challenge. I have the pleasure of being able to do this by filling the role of administrator here at Riverhead Montessori, where I get to learn something new whilst also still get to watch and share in your children’s learning, I get the best of both worlds.

I moved to New Zealand 17 years ago with my husband and two children from the UK, and we have never looked back. We love the small town country; community environment that we live in, it’s awesome.

Maintenance and Caretaker and General GO TO Man :-)

Maintenance and Caretaker and General GO TO Man 🙂

Murrey Locke

 

Hi I’m Murrey. I am the caretaker here at Riverhead Montessori.  You will find me mowing the lawns, cleaning the fish tank, fixing things around the school or in the shed or making things for the classroom.