Meet our teachers
We are a passionate and stable team of teachers, dedicated to knowing and nurturing each child, and providing emotional security for all our children.
Heidi Greenwood (she/her)
BEd (Teaching ECE)
Recipient of the National Excellence in Teaching and Leadership Award 2010
No Tenemāka ōku tipuna. No Tenemāka ahau hoki. I noho au ki Iharaira mo ngā tau tekau. Kei Koraunui ahau e noho ana inaianei.
My ancestors are from Denmark, and I was born and raised there. I lived in Israel for 10 years and now I live in Stokes Valley.
I have been Principal at Moriah since 2002 and in that time have worked to develop a real sense of belonging – a place with a heart – at Moriah. I love that if feels like a family environment where everyone knows each other. I’m especially proud that many of our teaching team are ex-parents who have gone on to study Early Childhood Education so they can return to us.
I love seeing the children fully engage in our activities and I believe our successful outcomes are all due to our focus on emotional and social coaching. I love that as a team we are valued and respected for our individual strengths and interests.
My passion for early childhood education was ignited while living on a Kibbutz in Israel for 10 years and working with children. I am Danish and married to a South African with our three children all born in Israel. Having lived in various countries around the world I have a strong appreciation and respect for my own and other people’s culture and values.
Rochelle Kirby (she/her)
Dip (Dance Performance)
Dip (Teaching ECE)
No Te Whanganui a Tara ahau.
I am a born and bred Wellingtonian.
I started my career in ballet and dance, including teaching it to children. I loved working with young children so much that I went on to become a teacher working at various Wellington Early Childhood Centres and then Supervisor at StoryPlace at Te Papa Tongarewa – The Museum of New Zealand.
When I had my children, I was lucky enough to stumble upon Moriah Kindergarten and I knew it was the place for them because of the lovely staff that valued family and it had a real connection to community. Both my children loved Moriah and I became involved as the Chairperson of the Parent Committee.
When my daughters went to Brooklyn Primary School I worked as a Teacher Aide there for over 6 years. In 2015 I returned to Moriah and have been there ever since!
I enjoy seeing children becoming inspired by things and people they love and that truly interest them. A Kindergarten should be a place where there are opportunities for children to have plenty of social experiences in an environment where they can be themselves and feel comfortable about taking another step.
Chandra Littlewood (she/her)
BSc, Grad Dip. (ECE & Secondary) Grad Cert. (Antarctic Studies
Recipient of the National Excellence in ECE Award 2021
No Ingarangi ōku tīpuna. Kei te Tāmaki Makaurau tōku papa tipu. Kei te Turangarere ahau e noho ana.
My ancestors are from England. I grew up in Auckland and now live in Brooklyn.
I came to work at Moriah after being a parent here with my 3 boys. During that time, I was involved on the parent committee as Treasurer for 6 years and I grew to love this special place and its people.
I enjoy working with children and love the enthusiasm and surprises they bring to the world.
I have a background in Environmental Education and Conservation. I started work as Secondary School teacher in Environmental Education for the Department of Conservation. Ever since then I have been passionate about education and sustainability. This led me to bring Moriah on a journey to becoming an Envirokindy.
The Envirokindy programme supports children and young people to plan, design and implement sustainability actions that are important to them and their communities. It means connected communities, in which people care for each other and the environment. For me, this means regular trips to Central Park forest, ensuring our centre and our tamariki are conscious about waste, energy and transport and that we nurture kaitiakitanga and love for our environment in all our whānau.
Madeline Harris (she/her)
BEd (Teaching ECE)
No Ingarangi tōku whaea, no Te Awa Kairangi tōku matua. I whanau mai ahau ki Te Whanganui a Tara, i tipu ake au ki Te Horo, Brunei hoki.
My Mum is from England and my Dad is a Hutt Boy! I was born in Wellington and grew up in Te Horo and Brunei.
The close-knit communities of my childhood developed a love of family in me from a young age. Both my parents are teachers and seeing their passion made ECE teaching an exciting career path for me.
During my studies at Victoria University, I was lucky enough to find myself on placement at Moriah Kindergarten and couldn’t help but fall in love with the centre. Walking into Moriah Kindergarten felt like walking into a safe-haven, filled with incredible staff, and a welcoming community that valued and loved all children who entered. When I finished my placement I couldn’t let go of Moriah Kindergarten and spent my time relieving whilst studying.
I think all children bring with them unique theories and knowledge of the world around them and an ever-growing passion to learn more. Being surrounded by quality care and knowing that they always have a place at Moriah, will help the children to grow up as confident and competent learners, ready to explore.
I live in Te Horo with my husband Nick and our dog Sadie.
Rose Swindells (she/her)
BA hons. (History and English Lit)
He uri ahau ki Airani, Ingarangi hoki.
I whānau mai ahau ki Kirikiriroa, engari i tipu ake ahau ki Ahuriri.
My ancestors are from England and Ireland, I was born in Hamilton and bought up in Hawkes' Bay.
My children and I have been members of Houghton Valley Playcentre for 10 years - this is where I developed my real passion for early childhood and it’s wonderful to continue this at Moriah. At Playcentre I was involved in our Huihuinga Reorua/Bilingual session - building on skills in Te Reo Māori that I have built since being a young person. Kei te ako tonu au, no reira, me korero tātou! I'm still learning - so please lets speak together!
As well as Playcentre my other paid work has families as the focus. For seven years I have been an antenatal educator for Birthwise. I am also a facilitator of Incredible Years Parenting Programme and worked for RespectEd Aotearoa. I love to see our little 2-year-olds "graduate" as confident, happy learners when they go to school. I am especially interested in ways we can support our tamariki to develop social and emotional competence - to notice how their feelings feel and then talk about them. A true skill for life!
Anna Penny (she/her)
BA (Ed & Psych.)
Kei te taha o tōku matua, ko Ngāti Porou te iwi. Kei te taha o tōku whaea, no Kotirana ahau. No Kāpiti ahau.
On my Dad’s side Ngāti Porou is my tribe. On my Mum's side I am from Scotland. I was born and grew up in Kāpiti.
I grew on the Kapiti Coast before moving to Wellington Central to study a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Education and Psychology, at Victoria University. Through my studies I developed a passion for inspiring and engaging the youngest minds. After completing my studies, and spending 3 years within the health sector, I came across an opportunity to join the Moriah Whānau. My Māori heritage and experience attending Enviroschools meant Moriah’s values and beliefs aligned perfectly with my own.
I feel so at home at Moriah and I love that we create a safe and welcoming place for children to discover and grow in all aspects of life. I believe that all children are unique in the way that they learn, form friendships and perceive the world. I hope to encourage the children here to succeed in the way that is best suited to their individual strengths, cultures and interests.
During my free time, I enjoy baking and cooking, going for walks through the Wellington bush and horse treks.
Anna Matheson (she/her)
BA (Creative Writing) Grad. Dip (Teaching ECE)
He uri ahau ki Kotirana, no Hunua ahau.
I’m from a small rural town in Auckland called Hunua and my ancestors are from Scotland. I moved to Wellington in 2022. I choose to become an Early Childhood teacher because I want to have a small part in shaping Aotearoa’s future generation.
My Mum jokes that I have been an early childhood teacher since the age of two. During our lunch breaks, I would sit all the children down and pretend to be the teacher. My evolution into childcare began when I turned fourteen and looked after three children plus a twelve-month-old baby. Since then, I have been an afterschool care teacher, a nanny, a teacher aide, and a part-time kindergarten teacher.
In 2019, I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing, so I am a big advocate for creativity as well as holistic learning. When I was studying for my Diploma in teaching I came for a placement here at Moriah. It felt so right to be here! I love the ethos of inclusion and sustainability, the mixed age sessions and of course the lovely children.
In my free time I enjoy songwriting, reading playing the guitar, singing, painting, reading, swimming in the ocean, and walks around the Botanical Gardens.
Malka Benita (she/her)
I whānau mai ahau ki Netanya, no Iharaira ahau.
I was born in Netanya in Israel. I visited New Zealand on my honeymoon and we loved it so much that we returned in 2020 with our three sons. In Israel I worked as a Baby Development Instructor and Lactation Counsellor. I was particularly interested in helping babies and parents who were struggling.
I have always loved working with children because they are honest. Most of all though children make me laugh and I have fun with them.
When we moved to Wellington two of my sons joined the Moriah whānau and I felt so happy to see them nurtured and challenged here. In fact, I fell in love again with Moriah! I feel so lucky to get to play all day with the children and get paid for it.