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Mamatha Kumar

Centre Director, Registered Teacher

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  • Early Childhood Diploma - New Zealand Tertiary College

  • Early childhood Diploma in Montessori Education (AMI) - Indian Montessori Centre, Bangalore, India

A warm welcome to Marshwood Montessori Preschool !

I am Mamatha Kumar , I am a mother of two adult children and a grandmother to my adorable granddaughter. 

I have been part of the Montessori family in New Zealand for more than 25 years teaching in some well-reputed Auckland Montessori Preschools that have been a member of the Montessori Association of New Zealand.  

My husband and I researched Montessori when choosing a Preschool for my daughter. Seeing my daughter thrive in a Montessori environment inspired me to invest in discovering all about the philosophy to help my daughter, by doing my AMI Montessori training from India. Since discovering Montessori and moving to New Zealand, many rewarding opportunities emerged for a satisfying and enjoyable career in early childhood. 

My learning journey and knowledge within the early childhood sector has expanded in many folds over the years.  I have had the privilege to establish a Montessori centre from its inception, being responsible for the development of its successful programme over 12 years as a Head Teacher and Centre Manager before starting my journey with  Marshwood Montessori.  I am passionate about mentoring and guiding early childhood teachers to gain their full registration by engaging with them in professional dialogue, reflective critical thinking, building teams, conducting workshops and presenting at conferences.   

My teaching experience with children has convinced me that children have the potential to reach amazing heights given an optimum environment. I love to support children in their early developmental years and see all the great strides they make in their learning. The little ones teach me so much about living, learning and laughter. I look forward to continuing to work alongside a supportive team of teachers here at Marshwood  Montessori where I am convinced that my passion for the Montessori philosophy and genuine love for children is fully embraced.

25 years after my discovery I continue to be passionate about improving educational opportunities for children and look forward to serving the community in providing an enriched programme in partnership with you all. At Marshwood Montessori I would like to maximise the collaborative relationships with parents, whānau and teachers to ensure the best possible outcomes for the children. 

I am excited to meet you all and looking forward to working with your children and all of you.

Vasu Paramalingam

 Registered Teacher

  • Diploma of Teaching (ECE) - NZQA certified

  • Montessori Diploma - AMI good Shepherd Maria Montessori Training Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka 

  • Special needs, Massey University

Hi, my name is Vasu Paramalingam.
I am married with one adult child and came from the beautiful island of
Sri Lanka 30 years ago.  I love the peace and tranquillity of New Zealand and the amazing landforms of this beautiful country.

I hold an AMI diploma in Montessori and equivalency in Early Childhood Education and am a fully Registered Teacher. I have 25 years of teaching experience in New Zealand, having worked in many Montessori schools both in Wellington and Auckland. I have been teaching at Marshwood Montessori for over 10 years.
I enjoy interacting with children and I believe that all children are capable learners according to their own needs.  Dr Montessori believed that children have an intrinsic need for order, to move, to communicate, and to explore both indoors and outdoors.

Jaylene Hogan

Relief Registered Teacher

  • Diploma of teaching (Early Childhood Education) - Open Polytechnic 

  • Aperfield Montessori Diploma in Early Childhood Education 

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Hi.  My name is Jaylene Hogan.  I have been a Marshwood Montessori teacher for the past 4 years alongside Vasu in the Pukeko classroom after teaching for nine years in the city.  

I was born in Glendale, California, USA and I've lived in New Zealand since 1988. I am a dual citizen of both USA and New Zealand.  I've been involved in Montessori education as a parent helper, Assistant, Teacher and Board Member.

Having taught at Montessori Schools for the past 30 years in Lower Hutt, Honolulu, Hawaii, Grey Lynn and now St. Heliers, I continue to love learning from our children, my peers as well as our parents and 

whanau to create positive relationships and learning outcomes for our children.  I truly believe in the power of concentration

and how the Montessori Philosophy and Prepared Environment assists children to experience this power for themselves and manifest it in all they do. 

 I have a Daughter, Gayle, who works in Film Production, and is  now taking time to return to University to complete a degree in Arts. Her husband, Julien is a professional musician and their daughter, Layla-Jay is a Year 2 primary school student who loves riding her bike, dancing and performing.  Both my daughter and granddaughter went through Montessori Education and know it's true value. 

When I'm not teaching, I enjoy beach walking every day at Kohimarama, vegetarian cooking and reading Persian Poetry. I love travelling yet in our current global situation, am grateful to stay close to home, and enjoy my family and the beauty and blessing of  being in New Zealand. 

 I look forward to welcoming you to Marshwood and continuing my teaching journey in our wonderful community.

Maya Kumar

Registered Teacher

  • Bachelor in Education Early Childhood - University of Auckland

Kia Ora koutou! My name is Mayanka (or you can call me Maya). I have completed a Bachelor in Education (Teaching) in Early Childhood at the University of Auckland and have worked within the field for 10 years. Montessori’s philosophical approach to learning holds a special place in my heart as it has played a significant role in my personal education experience, having attended a Montessori between the ages of two to nine years old, here in New Zealand. I take pride in having been a child of Montessori and continue to see the limitless benefits it has had on my personal life.

I am deeply passionate about education in the early years as I believe that these years are fundamental for children as they begin to develop their own unique personalities and make sense of the world around them. I believe that all children are competent and confident individuals and endeavour to foster their independence and love for life-long learning.

I look forward to translating my love for Montessori to our tamariki, making resources, as well as integrating my passion for dancing and arts and crafts through my teaching. I am excited to be part of the Marshwood Montessori team and look forward to  getting to know you all, working in partnership with you to help guide your children through their learning journey.

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Beisy Fan

Registered Teacher

  • Bachelor of Arts (English) - Guangzhou University, China

  • Master of Arts in Education - University of East Anglia, UK

Kia Ora Marshwood Montessori Preschool Whanau,
My name is Beisy, originally hailing from China. I had the unique privilege of growing up within the nurturing environment of my mother's early childhood education centre. Even at the age of 54, she continues to dedicate herself to providing the most advanced Early Childhood Education (ECE) for children. She has always been the guiding light in my life.
Being immersed in the world of ECE from an early age, I've personally witnessed the transformative power of education in the lives of children and, indeed, in my own life. Now, as I embark on my fifth year in New Zealand's ECE sector, I am eager to contribute my patience and passion to the development of our young learners while collaborating closely with our team.

One aspect that I'm genuinely grateful for is the shared commitment that Mamatha and I have, where children are our priority. We are both humbled by the opportunity to reflect, learn, and continually enhance our teaching practices to support the holistic development of every child in our care. I am thrilled to embark on this new teaching journey with the Marshwood Montessori Preschool community.
Outside of work, I find solace and happiness in reading, music, meditation, cooking, maintaining a tidy home, and taking walks in nature.


Elva Wan

Registered Teacher

  • Bachelor in Education Primary - University of Hong Kong

  • Graduate Diploma Early Childhood Education, in-training - NZTC

Hi, my name is Elva from Hong Kong. I am a student teacher who is currently studying Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) in NZTC. I moved to New Zealand with my husband and two children in November 2023. I am fortunate that we have chosen to stay in this peaceful and friendly Glendowie community.  

I have been an English teacher at primary school in Hong Kong for twenty years. Engaging with children's learning journeys and witnessing their growth have enriched my life with a feeling of accomplishment although challenges were inevitable.

ECE setting in New Zealand is very different from the primary setting in Hong Kong. There is so much for me to learn from the ECE course and at Marshwood. My teaching philosophy is to build relationship and empower children holistically in their learning journey. 

I feel grateful to be a student teacher at Marshwood Montessori Preschool and to be mentored by Mamatha. working with such a good team and enjoying time with the lovely children at Marshwood. I am looking forward to meeting the children and families and contributing what I have learned from my course as well as my teaching experience.



  • Certificate in Pre-School-Education - Open University of Sri Lanka


Hi! Allow me to introduce myself; I am Tilini Korala, a recent immigrant to New Zealand from the enchanting island of Sri Lanka. Married and blessed with two young sons, I have dedicated my career to the noble profession of Montessori education, having completed a Certificate in Pre School Education and First Aid.

With a decade of experience as a trained ECE teacher in a Montessori preschool in Sri Lanka, including in the fields of Speech and Drama, I am deeply committed to cultivating a passion for learning and facilitating children's growth. I firmly believe that the formative years of childhood are a critical period for development, where every moment presents an opportunity for social and intellectual advancement.

As educators, it is imperative that we not only seek to impart knowledge, but to also serve as catalysts for inspiration and nurture the innate potential residing within each child. I am wholeheartedly dedicated to this ethos, and I look forward to contributing positively to the educational landscape here in New Zealand.

The Palmer Family

Proud Owners

Hello.  We are the Palmer family, Jacqueline, Stu, Jacob, Finn and Reid.  

Our boys attended Marshwood Montessori several years ago and when the opportunity arose to purchase the school, we seized the  chance. Not only was it an ideal fit with our lives, but more importantly it upheld the principals we value.

We have always believed in the Montessori philosophy and noticed a real difference when our boys started at the school.  This was reflected not only their development but also in their behaviour and  the respect they have for others.   

Our goal is to continue the fantastic work and reputation the school has built since 1996, restore and create a lasting legacy for the community  alongside our talented, supportive and experienced teaching team.

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