Meet Our Team

Nissa Mowjood, diploma of teaching, montessori, nelson, new zealand

Nissa Mowjood (Owner and Manager of The Bays Montessori Schools)

Diploma of Teaching (ECE) 1998

Association Montessori Internationale Diploma in the Montessori Method 1989

Nissaᅠ Mowjoodᅠ trained as a Montessori teacher in 1989 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She workedᅠ with pre-school aged children as a Montessori ᅠteacher for two years and in 1991, she migrated to Nelson with her husband and two small children to Nelson. She has worked at Nelson Montessori since 1991. In her spare time, ᅠNissaᅠ loves to go for long walks around Nelson.

Nelson Montessori

Kaylene Simmiss

Kirsa Rhone

Theresa Byrman

Kaylene Simmiss, montessori, nelson, montessori
Rhone, studies, montessoir, DePaul University, teacher
Montessori teacher

Classroom Directress


Diploma Teaching and Learning ECE (1999)

St Nicholas Montessori Diploma 0–6 years (1994)


Kaylene grew up in Nelson and has been involved with caring and educating tamariki/children throughout her adult life. Kaylene lives here in Nelson with her whānau, partner and two school-aged children. She enjoys exploring geography and finding about people and places.


Kaylene first became involved with Montessori while working as a nanny and decided to pursue teacher training following the Montessori Method of Education. She finds this immensely satisfying and gains great pleasure from observing and assisting children blossom in the Montessori environment to their individual potentials.


She particularly enjoy the orderliness within the class environment, the extensive educational materials that allow the child to freely explore the materials, either individually or together with friends.

Classroom Directress


Certificate in Montessori Studies for ages 3 - 6 (1988)

Bachelor of Teaching in ECE (2015)


Over the last 25 years, Kirsa has taught at Montessori schools full time and in relief.


In 2005, Kirsa and her husband moved from the San Francisco area in California to sunny Nelson. They live in the Glen where they enjoy the sea, nature and the close-knit community.


Kirsa has been in and around Montessori her whole life. Her mother started a Montessori school when she was two and she retired in 2007, after 36 years! Kirsa’s mother now lives

nearby in Todd Valley; Kirsa helps support the family farm on Fridays. Kirsa says, “The warmth, trust and respect that underpin theMontessori philosophy resonate deeply with me. I feelfortunate to spend my days with tamariki sharing in the joy of discovery.


Classroom Co-Directress


Bachelor of Teaching in ECE (2014)

Montessori Diploma in Teaching (in progress)


Theresa was first introduced to the Montessori Method by chance through having the opportunity to do some relieving work at the Bays Montessori schools.  She was immediately drawn to the respectful interactions the children demonstrated not only towards one another, but also the environment.  She values how children learn at their own pace, in a self-correcting environment and feels privileged to have joined the Montessori community.


In her spare time, Theresa enjoys going for walks, pottering around in the garden, supporting her children in their sporting interests and spending time with her husband and two children.





Karen Kale


Outdoor Directress


After many years teaching children aged 5 to 7, Karen sought new teaching experiences in the preschool sector and this led her to relieving for Bays Montessoris. She felt that the Montessori philosophy fit with her strengths and beliefs. Whilst working at Nelson Montessori, Karen completed her Montessori training through the North American Montessori Centre.


Karen is a lover of the Outdoors and has a family bach in the Kenaperu Sounds that enable her to go boating, fishing, kayaking and swimming. She is also passionate about the creative arts. Currently, Karen is sharing her love for the creative crafts with the children and whanau at Stoke Montessori where she is a Directress. She believes that “a happy child is a learning child” and therefore it is important to spend time getting to know a child and build up their trust so they feel secure to engage in their learning environment.

Stoke Montessori

Gina Green

Jessica Corbett

Suzette D'Rosairo

gina, bays montessori, nelson, stoke, new zealand
Jess, bays montessori, teacher, school, new zealand, stoke

Classroom Directress

NMAC Diploma in Montessori Education

Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Psychology (2007)
Post Graduate Diploma in ECE Teaching (2008)


Gina has worked at Stoke Montessori Preschool since 2004. She says that she enjoys working with children as each day brings something new and exciting. Gina values family/whānua involvement and believes that partnerships between centre and families help children to develop a sense of belonging within the centre. In her spare time, when she is not busy with my family, she enjoys tap dancing, reading and gardening. Gina is currently studying Te Reo at NMIT.

Support Teacher


Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Education (2000)

Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (2006)


After completing her degree in 2000 Jessica Corbett travelled to Japan where she worked as an English language teacher in a high school for three years.  Upon returning to New Zealand she commenced her training in primary education.  She worked as a primary school teacher for four years in Auckland and Nelson both full time and as a reliever until she took up a position at Stoke Montessori in July 2011.  In her spare time she is actively involved in Elim Church, she enjoys walking her dog, has a passion for art and is currently studying te reo Māori.

Classroom Directress


Association of Montessori Internationale Diploma in the Montessori Method (2006)

Sri Lankan born Suzette D’Rosairo worked in the Financial Sector for 7 years after she left school. In 2004, she decided she wanted to make a difference in the world and what better place to start than at the beginning, which gave rise to her completing the Montessori Training in 2006. She took up position in Stoke Montessori in July 2009 and has since been living in Nelson. Other than her devotion to her faith and her chosen profession, she enjoys reading, watching TV, dancing Latin American and ballroom, and chilling out with friends and has a creative element in her. Suzette is currently working toward her New Zealand ECE qualification.

Tamara Harwood

 Profile Coming Soon!

Kauri Montessori

Vanessa Tunstall

Sunanda Reddy

Jessica Fullford

Jane Murray

 Support Teacher


Certificate in Food Safety Practice 2014


Vanessa has worked as a reliever at The Bays Montessori since 2010 and started her role at Kauri in 2013 as a Support Teacher.


She loves that each day brings something different and interesting and enjoys supporting the children in their learning.


In 2017, Vanessa received the “Rito Healthy Heart Award” from the New Zealand Heart Foundation for cooking nutritious meals and promoting physical activity.


In her spare time Vanessa enjoys family time, reading, watching TV and walking.

Classroom Directress


Bachelor of Design Studies  (2001)


Association of Montessori Internationale Diploma in the Montessori Method (2006)

Sunanda began her Montessori journey as a NIDO assistant in Japan in 2007 and received her AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) 3-6 diploma in Chennai, India in 2010.


Before moving to Nelson in July 2017, she worked as a 3-6 Montessori Guide in Sydney for 7 years where she led two Casa Dei Bambini environments.


Prior to her Montessori life Sunanda graduated from Griffith University with a degree in Design Studies, majoring in graphic design and worked as a design consultant in Melbourne and Brisbane.


She is currently working towards a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (ECE). As a pseudo-mummy to her cat, Sunanda thinks that people who parent little people are the bravest and most selfless beings on the planet; she believes that it takes a village to raise a child and is grateful that her work truly is love made visible. Sunanda enjoys reading, printmaking, Ubud, Scrabble, Cards Against Humanity, Faithless and roller derby.

 Profile Coming Soon


 Profile Coming Soon!

Miro Room

Susan Davidsen

Louise Browning

Lynda Jessen-Tye

Jane Murray
Jane Murray
Jane Murray

Classroom Directress

Bachelors in Education in Montessori (2004)


Susan is mum to four 'children', all now off finding their way in the world. After spending 15 years working alongside tamariki and whanau in the 3-6 class at Nelson Montessori, Susan has embraced the whole new way of being that comes with 1-3 year olds. The inspiration for the move into an infant / toddler space arose from nine years involvement in parent / infant classes where she found whanau incredibly open to exploring new ways of being with their tamariki. Her first year in Miro Room at Kauri Montessori has overflowed with new learning as she delights in the children's ebullience as well as their ability to almost disappear into the moment. They are truly masters of mindfulness.

"It follows that at the beginning of his life the individual can accomplish wonders – without effort and quite unconsciously." (The Absorbent Mind, p. 54)

Susan strongly believes that learning is a life-long journey for all and continually seeks to grow her knowledge and skills to improve her practice. If Susan is asked what she aspires to most in her work with infants and toddlers it would be whakawhanaungatanga / building strong relationships for "it is only when we connect deeply with those around us that we can truly meet each others needs and feel safe to fly"

When not in the toddlers' house at Kauri Montessori Susan loves to connect with friends and family while time spent in the ngahere o Aotearoa / native bush feeds her spirit and helps maintain her equilibrium in, what can be, a very busy world!


Classroom Co-Directress

Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood (2012)


Louise joined Bays Montessori in November 2016 with the opening of the Miro Room.  Previously she had been an Infant and Toddler teacher at another centre in Nelson.  Louise began studying towards her teaching qualification while her son was in early childhood, and it was this that sparked the interest and desire to enter the teaching profession.  She gained her degree in 2012 and full teacher registration in 2015.  Louise holds a strong passion for the infant and toddler age group, seeing them as capable and competent learners.

Louise is originally from Nelson and returned after 9 years living in Australia and London.  She is married with two children and enjoys family picnics, reading and walks along many of the Nelson beaches.


Classroom Co-Directress

BA (Hons) Psychology and Education (1994)

Diploma in Computer Graphic Design (1999)

Graduate Diploma in Teaching in ECE (2013)

Postgraduate Diploma in Art Therapy (2017)


Originally from Wellington, Lynda has lived in Nelson since 2001 with her husband and teenage daughter. She likes to do spin classes, yoga and to go for walks to keep fit. In her spare time, she also likes to draw, paint, do creative writing and read.


Lynda started teaching in Miro Room at the start of 2017. Prior to that, she worked for the Nelson Tasman Kindergarten for three years. Lynda feels privileged to teach infants and toddlers and to witness the learning that occurs on so many levels, each and every day. She enjoys working in the unique space that is Miro Room - a beautiful family-like setting that is like walking into an oasis of calm.


In 2018 Lynda is starting a two-year Masters in Art Therapy at Whitecliffe College of Art and Design.

“Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorise, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core”

– Dr Maria Montessori

the bays montessori, nelson, stoke, kauri

To enrol your child or to find out more information



Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Form received.

Captcha Image
the bays montessoris, new zealand

Phone us on 03 546 8768

“The classroom has a peaceful atmosphere and children have opportunities to concentrate without interruption, to develop self-control and to explore the things they are interested in”

– Parent Testimonial