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!

 

Jessica Beaumont

Infant Team Leader
Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)

Jessica Beaumont Kia ora, ko Jess toku ingoa.

Growing up in Dunedin I always had the dream of working with young children so when I finished high school I went straight to Otago University and completed my Bachelor of Teaching (ECE).

After graduation I moved to central and worked as a 0-5 teacher at a mountain center for the winter season. This was where I was introduced to the RIE philosophy first hand, inspiring me to move to Queenstown in November 2013 to work at ZigZagZoo Henry street in the infant/toddler room. I worked at Henry street for almost 4 years, becoming team leader and assistant manager before transferring to Remarkable's Park in July 2017.

Working with infant & toddlers I am excited and privileged to share in their learning journey as they explore and grow into confident and capable young children.

I believe children benefit from a peaceful, respectful environment that allows them to play, explore, investigate and move in their own time at their own pace.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you and your child soon.

 

Anna Low

Office Support

"EmmaHi I'm Anna. I am originally from the North Island with a rural background.

My husband and I have recently moved down to Arrowtown as we were looking for a change of scenery and we love it here. I love animals and the outdoors and we have 3 dogs, horses, a cat and a goat. We have an Alaskan Malamute who we do dry land sledding with and he is loving the cold!

I love children and spent a lot of time looking after my nieces and nephews when they were younger.

I am looking forward to my time here at Zig Zag Zoo.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Sinead Harrington

Kindergarten Team Leader
Bachelor of Teaching (ECE)

Sinead HarringtonKia Ora, I'm Sinead!

I am Mum to one gorgeous little boy who makes me smile every day with his fresh outlook on the world. My partner and I have lived in Queenstown for quite some time, and this is where I began my teaching career in 2009. At first I began as an unqualified teacher and as my love of teaching under five's continued to flourish, I took a big leap and studied to gain a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education whilst working full time (before becoming a mum). My studying days are well and truly over but I continue to learn each day, not just through professional courses and readings but through sharing curiosities with the children and exploring the world around us to create shared understandings.

I am strongly influenced by the Reggio Emilia philosophy and believe that the environment is the third teacher and that children should be able to drive their own learning whilst I support and ignite their sense of wonder alongside them.

I am grateful each day for the smiles, laughter, and insight the children bring, sharing their outlook on the world with me.

 

Liz Williamson

Infant Room
Bachelor in Teaching (ECE)

Liz WilliamsonKia ora, I’m Liz.

I’m new to Queenstown. We moved here from Dunedin due to my husband’s business. I am Dunedin born and raised and studied at Dunedin College of Education, graduating in 2005 with Bachelor of Education, ECE. Since graduating I have worked in a variety of centres in Dunedin and one in Taranaki. Working in a range of centres means I have worked with all ages groups 0-5yrs and have experienced a wide range of philosophies, allowing me to grow my own philosophy and beliefs, taking a little of each with me. I have 11yrs teaching experience and my full teachers’ registration.

I have a lot of nieces and nephews that I spoil! I enjoy crafts, sewing and baking.

I am in the Infant Room at Zig Zag Zoo, and I am excited to be learning a different way of working, using key teaching methods. I will be enjoying lots of fun experiences and learning a lot with the children. I look forward to getting know the families at Zig Zag Zoo.

 

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.

 

Hollie Sutton

Infant Room
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Theatre Studies, University of Otago

Hollie Sutton

Kia ora, I'm Hollie.

So far I have spent the majority of my working career on the road presenting theatre in education shows in schools and early childhood centres. These have ranged in subject from healthy eating, rubbish and recycling to financial literacy. I feel very lucky to have combined my passion for drama, education and children all while working.

Having settled in Arrowtown after travelling overseas for a number of years, I am excited to be working at Zig Zag Zoo while I study towards my Graduate diploma in Early Childhood Education through the University of Canterbury.

2017 will be an extremely busy year for me but I am excited to be here and look forward to getting to know you and your child.

See you soon!

 

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.

 

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.

 

Qing (Serena) Xu

Toddler Room
Bachelor in Education

Qing (Serena) XuKia ora, my name is Serena. I am originally from China and I came to New Zealand in 2012. I have done my bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education in Auckland and feel passionate to start my teaching career. During my study, I got chance to work as part-time teacher in a high quality Reggio inspired early childcare center in Auckland. This experience gave me the power and instruct me a lot in early cares.

Working with toddler makes me excited as I am going to share with their development of becoming capable young children. I believe children are powerful learners and has their own right to explore the world rather than are filled with knowledge.

I am looking forward to share my journey and bring my experience to the children and families in the Zig Zag Zoo community here.

 

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!

 

Meg Brownscombe

Kindergarten Room
Bachelor in Early Years

Meg Brownscombe

Kia Ora! I am from north Devon in England and am currently living in Queenstown with my fiancé. I have been babysitting since the age of 14 and still love it to this day and feel this is where my love of childhood development began. I have a first class honours degree in early childhood studies and an early years postgraduate certificate in education. I worked in my previous school for 3 years teaching Reception class, which is children aged 4-5 in their first year of formal education. My specialism is the early years (0-8 years) and I truly believe in learning through play and exploration in a safe, nurturing, caring and respectful environment and love building relationships with the children's extended families who play a huge role in their lives.

 

Leanne Bartholomew

Kindergarten Room
Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (USA)

Leanne Bartholomew

Hi!

My name is Leanne, I'm originally from America. I moved here in January after I fell in love with the beauty of Queenstown on holiday. 

I have my degree in Early Childhood Education and Deaf Studies.

I look forward to learning about Early Childhood Education here in New Zealand and getting to know you and your children.

 

 

Sharon Zhang

Kindergarten 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.

 

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.