Nikki Reynolds – Centre Owner and Teacher

My name is Nikki. I am the ‘hands-on’ licensee and owner of Mairangi Bay Preschool. I have been engaged with children since the age of 13, initially taking a very ‘formal’ approach to teaching as a Dance and Drama teacher. However, I found my real passion was with young children, therefore studies lead to my graduating with a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education in 2001. I then opened my own centre.

My individual interests in the connection between Active Movement and brain activity opened a further teaching opportunity for me. This was with North Harbour Sport and SPARC. I was very proud to have Discovery’s nominated as a finalist in the ECE initiative award two years in a row. I still retain this passion and strive to provide an environment where agility skills are acquired daily.

I believe we should never stop co-constructing our learning.

This should be what excites us!


Stephanie Duder – Manager and Teacher

Hola a todos! I have been involved in the early childhood sector now for over 12 years. My journey started with studying at AUT and completing my Bachelors of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) (speciality Montessori Teaching). I have been involved in Reggio and Emmi Pikler inspired centres now for a number of years.

Recently I went on my OE and travelled around Europe. During this time I lived and taught in London. Upon my return to NZ in 2012 I started teaching a Mairangi Bay Preschool. I was appointed the manager role in 2013 and along with my team we have embarked on a Emmi Pikler and Magda Gerber inspired Journey together.

My teaching values and beliefs incorporate developing children’s social-emotional skills and learning to learn, thus teaching children they are confident, competent learners.


Jenny Chen – 2IC and Teacher

Nihao, Hello everyone, my name is Jenny Chen. I am originally from China, and have been living in New Zealand since 2004.

I started my study in New Zealand as a high school student. I have now become a qualified and fully registered teacher within New Zealand teaching qualification, Bachelors of Teaching (Early Childhood Education), and now working in Early Childhood Centres for over 10 years. I have a great interest in art and also did two years of study in Art and Design/Painting in New Zealand. My own educational philosophy is inspired by the values, beliefs and principles of the Emmi Pikler and Magda Gerber Philosophies, which focus on the child and the importance of relationships that develop through respectful interactions between the educator and child/ren. My teaching goal is to encourage children to develop positive self-concepts, self-discipline and become independent learners.


Bonnie Zhang

Hello everyone, I have been working at Mairangi Bay Preschool for a number of years. I finished my level 6 studies in Early Childhood Education at New Zealand Tertiary College in 2014.

I really enjoy spending time with children in the centre. I believe children are capable learners and they are a special gift for every family. Children are learning through their playing.

I am a hands-on person who loves painting, arts and crafts. Badminton is my favourite sport and I love walking along the beach with my family and enjoy the beautiful sunshine out there.


Renee Liu

Ni Hao, everyone! Mairangi Bay Preschool is my second home in New Zealand as I have been working here for over 7 years. I am going to obtain my Bachelor of Teaching and start my new journey —teacher registration soon.

Anything in relation to art makes me interested and stimulates me to explore. So far I am a key member of a dance group while beginning to extend my interest in painting.

Learning with children is one of my favourite things. It is vital for me to support children to joyfully engage learning so as to become an independent learner. I believe that building up respectful, responsive and reciprocal relationship with children, families/whanau and the wider community is of the upmost importance.


Esther Lee

안녕하세요 여러분! I was born in Korea but I’ve been living in New Zealand for almost 20 years. I am fluent in both Korean and English. I have a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology which I completed in 2011 and then I completed my Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE) in 2012.

I believe wholeheartedly in the importance of relationships and also in the idea of having fun while learning! I take pride in being able to help children learn what they love and to grow alongside them.

During my free time I love finding good places to eat with my loved ones and travelling wherever I can!


Sarah Stear

Hello, I moved back from Tauranga and originally from South Africa, Cape Town. I have lived in New Zealand, Auckland for 10 years and travelled overseas after my schooling. Moved back after wonderful 11 years being away, and now back in New Zealand.

I have been in early childhood for a number of years and redoing my final Bachelors of teaching (early Childhood Education) with NZTC. I have been involved in centres now for a number of years and looking forward to grow further with my journey with Mairangi Bay Preschool. I come from a big family and I am one of a triplet. I love the outdoors, hiking, running and water skiing. I spend some days out on the boat fishing and just enjoying the wildlife with family and dear friends.

Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.


Tracy Ching

Ni Hao, everyone! My name is Tracy Ching, I am originally from China. It is nearly 10 years since I came to New Zealand. I graduated from Manukau Institute of technology in Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) in 2012, and became a Registered Teacher.

I am also a qualified primary teacher in China. My interest in teaching leads me to be a teacher and I am an experienced teacher for all age groups. Nice to be with you and families in Mairangi Bay Preschool. Look forward to see you around. Learning with children is one of my favorite things. It is vital for me to support children to joyfully engage learning so as to become an independent learner. I believe that building up respectful, responsive and reciprocal relationship with children, families/whanau and the wider community is of the upmost importance.


Wendy Old

Kia Ora, my name is Wendy Old.
I am a Mother of 6 children and Grandmother to 2 gorgeous children. I have been at Mairangi Bay Preschool for a number of years and love working with children. I do value the importance of forming relationships with children and their families. I also value the importance of nutrition and the role it plays in forming well balanced, happy, healthy children and the impact it plays on their learning and development. I am aware of the needs of the individual child and that each child’s dietary requirements may vary.