Teachers and Staff


Artwork by child at St Mary's childcare centre.

St Mary’s Early Childhood Education Centre has 8  teachers, including and led by our Head Teacher, Heather Te Huia.

Our teachers

7 of our teachers are qualified and registered teachers. 5 work full-time, 3 work part-time,

One of our staff, Janet, also works as our Family and Community Liaison Officer, building links with our families and supporting them as much as we can.

Our community gives more information about what Janet does.

Meet the teachers

Click the name of the teacher below to find out more about them. Click the name again to hide the information.

Heather — Head Teacher

I have nearly 35 years’ experience in early childhood education and am a qualified and registered teacher. I love working here at St Mary’s Early Childhood Education Centre — the families, children and parents inspire me.

I believe that teaching children begins with getting to know them and their families very well and building strong and informative relationships with each other. Children grow in different ways according to their experiences. Knowing what knowledge they come with allows me to foster and extend their thinking. I enjoy planning programs that care for and educate the holistic (whole) child, while supporting them in gaining social skills enabling them to enjoy learning.

I am married with 4 children/tamariki and 13 grandchildren/mokopuna and I live in Porirua. I enjoy sharing the Lord’s love with the children and adults I come in contact with.



Kia ora and hello everyone, my name is Amy!

I am a primary-trained teacher and I am excited about developing my career in education further. I started as a reliever at St Mary’s and just never wanted to leave because of the collaborative teaching and inclusive environment at this centre!

I enjoy reading stories, art activities, and working on puzzles with the children. My philosophy is that you learn something new every day — adults and children alike! Discovering and learning alongside children triggers authentic and memorable learning experiences for them, and it makes every day an exciting one for me.

I’m from the South Island and have the ‘rolling Rs’ to prove it. Before St Mary’s, I was an Education Officer at the Lakes District Museum in Arrowtown. Feel free to have a chat with me if you ever want to meet my alter ego “Miss Grey” the Victorian school teacher, or get advice on gold panning!



Kia ora, my name is Claire.

I started at St Mary’s in 2003 as a reliever. In 2004, I took on a full-time permanent position, working alongside experienced and skilled registered teachers who helped me understand and learn the Early Childhood Curriculum.

I believe that it is of paramount importance that each child creates the perception of themselves as confident, competent learners, and social beings as well as being secure in their own sense of belonging.

Prior to St Mary’s, I established the Marie Claire Nanny Agency, recruiting and placing nannies for the Wellington, greater Wellington, and Nelson/Marlborough areas, which still operates today.



Hi my name is Lis and I have had the privilege of teaching children at St Mary’s Early Childhood Education Centre since 1999.

I am a Christian and working at a Christian Centre has allowed me to nurture children’s spirituality so they have a deeper understanding of the need to care for each other and the world around them.

I believe that children should be valued and respected and that it is my responsibility to ensure that they learn life skills that they will need to attain goals in later life (ie independence, motivation, social skills, and a positive attitude to learning).

At St Mary’s there is an open friendly and caring relationship between the children, parents and teachers. We work together to create a learning environment for the children, which is secure, flexible and where they can explore and develop appropriately.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, walking with friends, gardening and reading. I am a ‘foodie’ and love to try new recipes, and I am a fan of New Zealand Master Chef.



Kia ora, my name is Matt James.

I have been part of the St Mary’s church community for about 10 years, and I’m thrilled to be part of the St Mary’s ECEC teaching team.

I have been an ECEC teacher for 5 years and have a background in hospitality.

I am married to Shoba and have 2 school-aged children, Bryan and Shernaia. My interests include cooking, reading and playing the guitar.





My name is Rozie and I have been working at St Mary’s Early Childhood Education Centre since January 2012. After many years working with young children and school-aged children in supportive roles, I decided to undertake study to gain my Diploma in Education (Early Childhood) at Wellington Teachers College here in Karori, Wellington.

I enjoy the team environment in early childhood, where all the teachers bring talents and strengths to share together to enhance the children’s learning.

I am married with two adult children. I thoroughly enjoy singing, having sung in many choirs as well as in amateur musicals and I enjoy sharing my love of music with the children. I also enjoy sandpit activities, messy play activities, and especially engaging with children and their families to help them feel safe and happy in their early childhood environment.



Hello, kia ora, ayubowan. My name is Shiranthi.

I am a fully qualified teacher and I have been working at St Mary’s Early Childhood Education Centre since 2009. I am passionate about working with young children.

I have been working as an ECE teacher since 2002 in New Zealand.

My qualifications include a Diploma of Teaching (ECE), Post Graduate Diploma in Education, BA (Hons) degree, Certificate of Te Reo Maori, and Advanced Certificate of Te Reo Maori.

I was a teacher in Sri Lanka where I taught in primary and high school for 15 years. Also, I have worked as a volunteer library assistant at the Blind Library in Auckland.

My interests are music and dancing, nature and science, cooking, and watching TV. I am now learning to play guitar during my leisure time.



Kia Ora everyone my name is Pauline

I am a qualified early childhood teacher and began working at St Mary’s as a reliever in August 2007. Once qualified I became a permanent teacher in January 2008 until ‘retiring’ in July 2015 to undertake overseas travel, then returning in October that same year as a reliever. I am delighted to say I am now a permanent teacher again and you will see me three days a week or as a reliever on other days as required.

I enjoy both the indoor and outdoor environments at St Mary’s ad delight in watching the children embracing all elements of play, be it outdoors on a hot summer day running under the hose or jumping in ice topped puddles on a winter day, or seeking areas of play indoors, such as block building, writing or making play dough. Their learning, social skills, confidence, and competence is developing in these early years and I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this process.

On a personal note, I am married, have three adult children and a grandson. My interests include travel, scrapbooking, movies, (especially foreign ones), and catching up with friends.

Lorraine — Relieving Teacher

I have been a reliever at St Mary’s since 2013, and prior to that worked at the Centre as an Education Support Worker. I enjoy interacting with the children, and seeing them learn and grow.

I live in Paramata with my husband and my daughter Emma.