Meet our Staff

Fran MacNamara

Manager of Remarkables Park
NZ Fully Registered Early Childhood Teacher

Fran MacNamaraI graduated from Dunedin Teachers College in the mid 70’s and began my teaching career in the Kindergarten service. In the early 90’s I opened my own Early Childhood Centre catering for children aged from birth to 6 years. I also owned two After School and School Holiday Care Centres.

In 2000 I was lucky enough to participate in a study tour to Italy to experience the Reggio Emilia Centres and their programmes in action. This opportunity inspired me to incorporate this programme which builds upon the interests of children into the ZigZagZoo’s teaching philosophy. This has increased my belief in providing a child-centred programme based upon respect and empowerment.

I was approached to open ZigZagZoo Henry Street at the beginning of 2011 and extremely enjoyed the challenge of establishing, licencing and then leading the teaching team. I moved from Henry Street to establish ZigZagZoo Copper Beech Ave in July 2013.

I am very passionate about Early Childhood Education and believe in establishing awesome teaching teams, trusting relationships with all the families and advocating for the rights of every individual child. 

I love what I do and enjoy going to work every day!

 

Anna Nel

Kindergarten Room

Sharon Zhang

Hi, I'm Anna!

I'm new to New Zealand and Queenstown. I'm a teacher from South Africa. I graduated from the University of South Africa in 2014 and have been a primary school teacher for four years. I moved to New Zealand with my mother, my husband and my son. My son also attends Zig Zag Zoo.

We look forward to experiencing New Zealand culture and enjoying the wonderful things nature has to offer. I am excited to learn from the team at Zig Zag Zoo and grow with them.

 

Leanne Clement

Team Leader of the Toddler Room
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in ECE

Leanne ClementI am ECE trained and a registered teacher. I completed my training through Canterbury University and began working in a Reggio inspired centre where I developed the knowledge to build upon creating environments which is led by the children’s interests. I have spent time both teaching at and managing centres in New Zealand. After teaching in New Zealand for some time, I travelled to Asia where I spent four years working in International Schools. This gave me great experience to work amongst the Early Years Curriculum from the UK as well as a Reggio inspired centre in Singapore.

I look forward to bringing my skills, knowledge and experience to the children and their families in the ZigZagZoo community here in Queenstown.

 

Amy Packer

Toddler Room
Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)

Amy PackerKia Ora I'm Amy and I am originally from Dunedin where I studied Early Childhood Education at the University of Otago. After graduating in 2012 I moved to Queenstown to begin my career in Early Childhood Education and haven't left because I fell in love with the place.

I've had experience with children aged 2-5 and I am currently working with the toddlers age group. This is where I have found my passion and the most joy. I have met some wonderful children and had some wonderful experiences. I base my practice and philosophy on positive guidance, reciprocal relationships based on a foundation of mutual trust and respect.

I am constantly amazed by what children can do and achieve and I feel so lucky to be there to nurture and support them in their sense of belonging as they continue on their journey of learning.

 

Consuelo Fernandez

Toddler Room
Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) in Chile

Consuelo FernandezHola! My name is Consuelo and I'm from Chile. I came to New Zealand in December 2014. My idea was to stay only a year, but fate had a different plan for me so I decided to stay. In May 2015 I moved to Queenstown. 

I always wanted to be a teacher. My older sister is a teacher too and I always wanted to follow her in that path. That’s why when I graduated high school I studied teaching in college for a period of four years. Then I specialized in Asperger Syndrome and Autism. After I graduated college I worked four years in an international preschool. There I had the privilege of working with families from all different backgrounds. I feel so privileged to now be working at Zig Zag Zoo.

Multiculturalism is a tool which benefits both adults and children; so is diversity. To me teaching is vocation, dedication and love. I strongly believe the first years of life are determining and essential in a child’s development. I feel lucky to be able to be part of that process. The joy children give you with every step they take is priceless.

My philosophy is that life is constant learning. Therefore, I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given in life, which have made me not only grow as a teacher, but also as a human being. I’m very happy to be part of this team and I hope to be a very positive contribution to every child and family here at Zig Zag Zoo.

 

Tonia Harris

Toddler Room
Studying Towards Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)

Tonia HarrisKia ora, My name is Tonia. I grew up on the Hibiscus Coast, North of Auckland. I moved to Queenstown in 2008 after spending 6 years on Sunshine Coast, Australia.

I am a mother of 2 gorgeous daughters (9 & 5 years) who are like chalk and cheese to each other. During the years that my children were at Arrowtown preschool I spent a lot of time volunteering with them on excursions and eventually I did a bit of relied work in both of their centres. Over this time and of course my years as a mother I have spent a lot of time with children from all walks of life. This has brought me to realise spending time with young children, helping them to develop learn and grow is something I am very passionate about.

I have been working at Zig Zag Zoo since my youngest daughter started school. I am loving teaching so much and want to be the best teacher I can, so I have enrolled with Open Polytechnic to study towards the Bachelor in Teaching (ECE).

I look forward to meeting your children, supporting and learning alongside them in their learning journey!

 

Sharon Zhang

Toddler Room
Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

Sharon Zhang

Kia ora, my name is Sharon. I’m from China and I came to New Zealand in 2015. After the different experiences here I have discovered that my real life passion is working with children. I find my interaction with the children extremely fulfilling and I enjoy participating in their progress. So I decided to study early childhood education.

Children are competent and confident learners. I believe that all children should be respected and cared for within their learning environment. A warm, safe, stimulating and challenging environment plays a pivotal role in young children’s holistic development.

I started working at Zig Zag Zoo in May 2017 as soon as I moved to Queenstown. I feel very privileged to be here and look forward to working with you and your children.

 

Anzell Kriel

Infant room
Diploma in Teaching (ECE)

Anzell KrielKia Ora, I’m Anzell.

I moved from Johannesburg, South Africa 16 years ago with my husband and two sons. We lived in the beautiful Bay of Islands before my husband and I relocated to Queenstown recently.

I studied for my Early Childhood Diploma in New Zealand and have been very fortunate to work with many wonderful inspiring and devoted teachers, children and parents over the last 12 years. With RIE and Reggio Emillia being a great influence in my practice.

I strongly believe that children are competent, capable learners and with respectful teachers to guide learning they will continue to become independent learners, and I feel honoured that I can be part of any child’s early journey to learning and exploration.

I am very excited to join the ZigZagZoo team and to part of the children’s journey.

 

Lean Reilly

Infant room
Bachelor of Education (Australia)

Lean ReillyDia Dhuit, I'm Lean and I am originally from Ireland.

I began my travels in 2011, spending some time in Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. Safe to say I've caught the travel bug but it seems like Queenstown just might be the place that steals my heart!!

I have a huge passion for working with children. After studying in Ireland, I got my first job and I spent 3 years as infant room team leader. I have also worked as a toddler teacher in Australia for 6 months and worked as a nanny for a year in Sydney. I feel that working in a range of places with different cultures has helped me become a better teacher today.

I enjoy seeing children grow and develop. I love to form a bond with children and their families and like to care and love each child as if they were my own. I believe that the first 4 years of a child's life has a huge impact on the adult they will become and keep this in mind throughout my days at work.

Looking forward to getting to know you all.

 

Jackie Moore

Infant room
Intellectual Disabilities Level 5 (Ireland)

Jackie Moore

Dia Dhuit, my name is Jackie and I'm from Ireland. In 2012 I decided to travel to Australia where I worked on farms for two years. This was a great way to explore and meet new people. In that time I also did some travelling to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and New Zealand. This travel experience therefore encourage me to return home for work experience in childcare.

In 2015 I moved back to Ireland where I became an au pair for three beautiful children, a girl 3years old and new born twin boys. After this experience I began my studies in Intellectual Disability for a year and receiving a level 5 QQI qualification. This training has encouraged me to pursue my passion of working with children.

In 2016 I moved back to beautiful Queenstown where I have worked as a teacher support for 8months and this is now where I join the Zig Zag Zoo team to experience the RIE philosophy. With this in mind I hope to study in the near future.

I am looking forward in building a stable trusting relationship with the children and families and to get to know you all very soon.