Meet our team

Dawn Herber | Centre Manager

(BSc (hons))

Kia ora my name is Dawn Herber, I have lived in New Zealand for nearly 20 years and I’m married with two beautiful girls. I have worked in education and management for over 15 years.

I am passionate about Early childhood education, Te Whāriki and the New Zealand Early childhood curriculum.

I love to work in a collaborative and supportive way with the staff to create a loving, nurturing and playful environment from which our children can learn, play and grow in their own unique way, becoming confident lifelong learners. I look forward to warmly welcoming you and your children to our kindergarten.

Michelle Bishop | Curriculum Leader

(Bachelor of Education)

Kia ora my name is Michelle Bishop, I am a fully certified teacher and have a Bachelor of education. I was born in New Zealand and have lived in Auckland most of my life. I have worked in Early childhood Education in a variety of roles since graduating from the University of Auckland. I have a passion for working with the New Zealand Early childhood Curriculum and supporting teachers with ongoing professional development, research and learning.

My practice is guided by the philosophies and principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy and the research and work done by Dr Emmi Pikler and Magada Gerber. These philosophies are centered on developing reciprocal relationships between child, parents and teachers that are respectful. I believe that respectful relationships are at the centre of children’s learning.

Both of these philosophies align well with Te Whariki our New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum which also strongly influences my teaching practice. Te Whariki embraces our unique bicultural heritage in New Zealand and encompasses four main principles, Relationships, Family and community, empowerment and Holistic development. I believe that children are active participants in their learning and that an environment that works in partnership with family and whanau and the wider community, helps us all learn about the diverse cultures and values that are in Aotearoa New Zealand.

I aspire to be a teacher who inspires children to pose questions and be curious about the world they live in and develop a passion for learning.

Gayani Samarasekera | Teacher, Team Leader

(Bachelor of Education Teaching)

I am Gayani Samarasekera, mother of two children who enjoyed being at a local playcentre alongside both of my children. That was the turning point of my life here in New Zealand. My passion for teaching started after my children left to school, since then I worked in the New Zealand early childhood sector for more than 20 years.

Even though I was a trained teacher in Sri Lanka I prefer the freedom young children have here to engage in learning while they are playing.

I am blessed to engage in play with children and teach and learn alongside them and support children to develop skills required to become competent and confident life-long learners.

Jennifer Wu | Teacher

(Graduate Diploma in ECE, Bachelor of Music, Full Teachers Registration, Full ECE first aid Certificate)

My family immigrated to New Zealand in 1990 from Taiwan, I'm married with two beautiful daughters. I joined the team at Remuera Baptist Kindergarten in March 2011 after spending 4 years at an all-day childcare centre. I believe in quality care and respectful practices. I believe each child is a gift from God and through respectful relationships, love and support they will grow uniquely in their own way.

I also have a passion for music and enjoys teaching children new songs, especially Christian songs.

I aim to provide children with a safe, fun, stimulating environment in which they feel safe to express themselves and to discover who they are.

Lynn Harris | Teacher

(Diploma in Early Childhood Education Full Teachers Registration, Full ECE first aid Certificate)

Hi, my name is Lynn and I graduated from Teacher College over twenty years ago with a Diploma in Early Childhood Education. Over the years I have worked in both public and private kindergartens and child-cares within the Auckland area. I have been teaching at Remuera Baptist Kindergarten for the past two and a half years.

I am originally from England; however, I have lived in New Zealand for most of my adult life. Between us my partner and I have three children and six grand-children. As a family we enjoy sailing and travelling, and I also enjoy sewing, cooking and gardening.

I am passionate about early childhood education and the importance of providing quality learning for children based on the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum 'Te Whariki'. I believe my role as an early childhood educator is to work in partnership with families/whanau to support their children to develop as confident learners. It is also important to me that children have fun and are proud of whom they are and develop an enthusiasm for learning in a safe and enriching environment. I look forward to working with you and your family/whanau to provide positve learning outcomes for your child/children.

Rolinda D’Souza | Teacher

Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education), Degree of Bachelor of Arts

My name is Rolinda D’Souza and I’ve had the privilege of being a part of the Remuera Baptist Kindergarten since 2011. I am from Mumbai, India, where I was a Primary School teacher and Sunday School teacher. I came to New Zealand to settle down with my husband in 2006. I have a beautiful daughter who taught me how important the early years are, and the positive lifelong impact it has on the holistic growth and development. I was a stay-at-home mum for the first few years and I enjoyed watching my daughter grow and glow during her early years. I feel fortunate to teach in this kindergarten which upholds Christian values. Teaching is definitely my passion, not only do I love to teach, but I find joy in seeing children becoming competent and confident learners. ‘A child is a treasure, to be nurtured, to grow, to flourish’, (Te Whariki Early Childhood Curriculum, 2017). My strengths are teaching about respect, relationships, kindness and sharing.

And finally, when I am not at the kindergarten... I enjoy going for long walks, swimming, reading and spending time with my family.

Jan Bliss | Administrator

(Bachelor of Commerce, Dip Hons NCNZDIP)

Hi, my name is Jan. I am a Mum of three very busy primary school aged children.

I have a background working as an Accountant, Administration and as a teaching assistant in both a Primary School and a Kindergarten.

I am enjoying getting to know all the children and families and love the community feel being in this environment.

Barbara Murdoch | Teacher, Reliever

Hi, my name is Barbara, I am married with two children & four grandchildren. I began my years working in preschool education as a young mum, when I took my children to play centre and subsequently began my training. Through the ensuing years I have worked in various pre-schools mainly with children with special needs, which has been a very real privilege for me.

For several years now, I have been a part of the Remuera Baptist Kindergarten team working in a relieving capacity. Every day I go to ‘work’ is a joy & delight for me as I see the children developing their personalities and growing in the unique giftings that God has given them, through the skills & guidance of the dedicated team of teachers. I am passionate about young children & humble to be able to work with them.

“When I approach a child, he inspires me in two sentiments – tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become” – Louis Pasteur French Chemist & Microbiologist.

Caroline Lee | Teacher

(Masters of Education and Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education, Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Child First Aid Certified)

Hi, my name is Caroline Lee. I have recently joined Remuera Baptist Kindergarten in July 2019. I have 12 years of teaching experience in Early Childhood Education where I have worked as a teacher in Auckland in the last 2 years and also as a Centre Manager and teacher in Singapore for 10 years.

I returned to New Zealand to continue pursuing my passion as an Early Childhood teacher where I believe in the importance of establishing trusted relationships with tamariki and whanau. Through collaborative relationships, teachers can work closely with families to provide meaningful learning opportunities for tamariki to scaffold on their learning of themselves and those around them.

I believe and advocate for respectful interactions which in turn supports every individual to become the best version of themselves. Having grown up in a Christian family, I strongly believe in compassion, gratefulness, humility and giving into others through service. I am passionate about being a teacher who encourages tamariki to be their authentic self as they explore, navigate and make sense of the world around them.