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.
Moriah Kindergarten Principal Heidi Greenwood has led the kindergarten since 2002 and worked to develop a real sense of belonging – a place with a heart – at Moriah. She describes it as a family environment where everyone knows each other.
“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.”
Heidi was awarded a National Excellence in Teaching and Leadership Award for leadership in 2010. The award was recognition of her efforts to lead change at Moriah Kindergarten to create a sustainable, strong and special place with high standards and a caring community.
She holds a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Early Childhood and is fully registered. Her passion for early childhood education was ignited while living on a Kibbutz in Israel for 10 years and working with children.
Heidi is Danish and married to a South African with their 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 started her working career in ballet and dance, including teaching it to children. She enjoyed being around young children so much that she did her Diploma of Early Childhood through Wellington College of Education and she is a fully registered teacher. She then worked at various Wellington Early Childhood Centres and spent a few years as Supervisor at Storyplace, the Early Childhood Experience at Te Papa Tongarewa - the Museum of New Zealand.
When she had her own two girls, she was lucky enough to stumble upon Moriah Kindergarten and recognised it as a place of quality childcare with lovely staff who valued family and had a real connection to a community. This appealed to Rochelle so both her own girls attended the Kindergarten and she became involved as an advisor, mentor and chairperson of the Parent Committee. Her own girls went off to Brooklyn Primary School and Rochelle followed them there for six years working as a Teacher Aide. In 2015 she returned to Moriah to work with the fabulous family here again.
Rochelle believes, "Children want to learn most when they become inspired by people and things that 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."
Kaoru comes from Tokyo in Japan. She and her family moved to New Zealand in 2012, and soon after, her son began attending Moriah Kindergarten. The teachers there have gradually become an extended family. Kaoru felt that this is a place where everyone is welcomed, supported and respected. Later her daughter attended Moriah too. “It has been a pleasure that my children know they have a place that they belong.”
Fascinated by the Jewish culture Kaoru says “I appreciate that the Moriah community opens its doors to non-Jewish families to experience their culture and values.”
Kaoru has always had a deep affection for children and a passion for working with pre-schoolers. She respects each child’s unique identity. “I love listening to them, talking to them and accepting them for who they are. Being around children always gives me great joy and makes me smile. I really enjoy my teacher aide role and working with the amazing team of quality teachers.“
Providing exciting creative experiences for the children at Moriah Kindergarten is one of teacher Sam Treister’s many strengths. “ I like to tap into childrens’ imaginations, and draw out their ideas. I love using puppets along with songs and rhymes; language exploration sets the scene for literacy skills when the children leave for school”.
Sam has a Teaching Diploma from Wellington Teachers College, an English Literature Degree from Victoria University and is a registered primary teacher.
“I like creating new things from old and it’s fascinating to see what the children can create when given the opportunity and inspiration.”
After teaching new entrants and year 5/6 children at Remuera Primary School, she managed ‘Weird & Wonderful’, a hands-on discovery centre at Auckland Museum, for a number of years. There, she facilitated groups from early childhood up to tertiary level learning about natural history topics.
She returned to Wellington in 1997 and purchased the ‘Lily House’ a ceramic and gift store, before beginning her family. Sam and her husband now have three boys who have all attended Moriah Kindergarten.
While being a ‘stay-at-home mum’, Sam took on various part-time roles, before returning to relief teaching in primary schools and early childhood facilities around Wellington, including Moriah. Currently she also works part time with the elderly as a community worker.
“I love working with these two diverse age groups, both the old and the young give me such wonderful insights into their worlds, and sometimes the behaviours cross over!”
Injecting humour into her work at Moriah Kindergarten is a strategy Bodil Rosenbaum
uses to foster some unique traditions at the kindergarten.
Bodil’s puppet shows are a highlight for the children, and her way of teaching Hebrew
and Judaism to the children in a fun and lighthearted way.
Likewise, an ‘elephant’ she draws on the children’s hands are a way for her to teach the
children which hand is the right hand. There are often queues of children lined up to
receive their elephant.
“I grew up in a house where everything was put into humour and that’s what I like to try
and do. I think the children respond positively to this.”
Bodil has taught at Moriah Kindergarten since 2000, bringing a wealth of experience
and an interesting background with her. Originally from Denmark, where she gained her early childhood teaching qualification she has taught in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland
and Israel. She was the leader of a kindergarten on a Kibbutz in Israel for 27 years.
She arrived in New Zealand in 2000 with her Australian husband and joined Moriah.
“I have always been passionate about early education. I think it’s especially important
and I think it’s a big responsibility and privilege that parents give us to look after their
Chandra comes to us as a teacher after being part of the parent
committee for six years while her three boys were at Moriah. She believes Moriah is a very special place for children and their families and is excited to continue to be part of the Moriah family as part of the amazing teaching team.
A qualified Early Childhood teacher, Chandra also has a background in Environmental Education and Conservation. . After training as a Secondary School teacher she worked in Environmental Education for the Department of Conservation working with schools and community groups across Canterbury and Wellington.
"I love the honesty and enthusiasm children bring to the world. They live each day with such a fierce passion and it's a privilege to be part of their learning journey".
Chandra is very passionate about education for sustainability and she believes that children, parents, teachers and their communities all have an important part in this.
She is very excited to be leading the Enviroschools programme at Moriah as this supports tamariki to learn about their environment, explore and care for the natural world as well as empowering them to take action for their environment.
Madeline spent most of her life growing up in a small knit community in rural New Zealand, as well as the same overseas in Brunei. Family and community therefore became core values engrained in her from a young age. With both her parents being teachers and valuing it as a passion that asks for nothing back, ECE became the obvious career path for her. She completed her studies at Victoria university, setting her on her future pathway with a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Early Childhood.
During her studies Madeline was lucky enough to find herself 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. Once Madeline’s placement was over, she couldn’t let go of Moriah Kindergarten and spent her time relieving when she could whilst studying. When she completed her studies, she was overjoyed to accept a position at Moriah as a full time teacher.
Madeline strongly believes “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.”