Michelle Ryan

Manager & Co-owner


Hello, my name is Michelle Ryan.  I am originally from the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa.  I began my Montessori journey here in 1995 where I completed my international Montessori teaching diploma before establishing a Montessori preschool called Starting Blocks. 


Several years later, my family and I moved to New Zealand where I furthered my studies, completing papers in Working with Children with Special Needs as well as my Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood.   Shortly after arriving in New Zealand, I began teaching at Marshwood Montessori preschool which was then under the ownership and management of Leonie Kelly. 


I worked there for a number of years and was fortunate to have my daughter attending the preschool at the same time.  Some years later, I found myself back teaching at Marshwood and shortly afterwards was offered an incredible opportunity to take over the management of the preschool.  

I am now the co-owner and manager of Marshwood and am looking forward to continuing to build strong relationships with our families and teachers as well as working in and serving a wonderful community.  

Vasu Paramalingam

 Lead Teacher 


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

 Teacher of the Pukeko Class

Jaylene Hogan photo.jpg

Hi.  My name is Jaylene Hogan.  I've recently returned to Marshwood Montessori as a teacher alongside Vasu in the Pukeko 

classroom after teaching for nine years in the city. It's wonderful to be back and I'm enjoying meeting all of you and am feeling so warmly welcomed.


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. 


Thanks again for welcoming me back to Marshwood.  I look forward to continuing my teaching journey in your wonderful community.


Hiroshi Perera

Teacher of the Pukeko Class

Kia Ora!

My name is Hiroshi Perera. I am a Montessori Teacher from Colombo, Sri Lanka. I started my Montessori career in 2006, trained at the Good Shepherd Maria Montessori Training Centre (affiliated to the Association of Montessori Internationale, founded by Dr. Maria Montessori) in Colombo, Sri Lanka. I have studied the principles and practices of the Montessori Method for children from 3 to 6+ years of age, eventually attaining my A.M.I. Montessori diploma qualification in 2008.

I worked as a Montessori teacher at Good Shepherd Montessori House of Children in Sri Lanka, also worked at AMI centre assisting the directress of training in carrying out day to day operations.  

I migrated to New Zealand with my husband and daughter in 2014.

Since I have been here, I have also obtained more than three years of hands-on experience in dealing with Special Child Needs in Mission Heights Junior College, Auckland. Before joining with the Marshwood Montessori, I was working at Best Start Montessori Hernebay.

I am a passionate teacher who aims to develop the potential of the whole child. I have a genuine love of working with children in this age group.

I aim to help cultivate this potential in our children, bringing out the very best of their creativity and independence, helping to focus on their specific needs through individualised learning, the Montessori way.

The Palmer Family

Proud Owners

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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 as 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 over the last 25 years alongside our supportive and .

experienced teaching and management team.