Meet Our team.
Owner and Manager
I have worked in early childhood in both New Zealand and Australia since 1986.
I completed my original diploma in 1995 and became a registered teacher when returning to New Zealand in 1999. I went on to complete a Degree in Education in 2015.
In 2006/2007 My husband and I purchased Tree Bears, which fulfilled my dream to own a small boutique family-orientated preschool.
My personal teaching philosophy has been strongly influenced by Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum. For me, it reinforces my belief about reciprocal relationships, as being a very important tool that supports our children’s learning.
I enjoy being a part of both the Nursery and Preschool, getting to know children and families.
I wear many hats supporting families, teachers and managing the centre but for me the best part is being actively involved and engaged with children.
My name is Manon, and I am thrilled to be working at Tree Bears.
Early childhood teaching is something I am really interested in and keen to learn more about since having my own children, Lola, and Summer.
I am French but have lived in both Australia and New Zealand for over 10 years now.
I work mainly in the Nursey here at Tree Bears
I am really looking forward to working alongside all the children here at Tree Bears.
Hi, my name is Kim-Michelle, I have been teaching young children since the early 2000s and completed my Diploma of teaching in 2007.
I base my own teaching philosophy on building respectful relationships with families and working alongside children to build and extend their natural curiosity and love of learning.
I enjoy spending time with my dog Hazel, I also enjoy building Lego, music, crafting, colouring, and reading.
Working in this beautiful village is both tranquil and peaceful I really enjoy being surrounded by nature. I really enjoy working at Tree Bears, it is such a lovely village.
My name is Tony. I moved to Hanmer Springs in 2022 with my wife, Yifan. I previously worked in Christchurch at an Early Childhood Centre.
I have completed my level 5 in Early Childhood papers. Here in New Zealand.
While I lived in China, I also worked in Early Childhood and before that, I helped build rocket ships!
I believe that the children should always come first and that we must listen to the child and take their lead on their learning journey.
I am a huge believer that learning should be fun and inviting for all.
Hi, my name is Yifan. I am originally from China. I moved to New Zealand with my husband Tony in January 2018.
I have worked at Tree Bears since January 2022 after completing my Master of Teaching and Learning (Primary) in New Zealand, I have a daughter Elena who attends Tree Bears.
Before moving to New Zealand, I worked with young children for 3 years. I am dedicated to creating a secure, challenging environment that is flexible engaging, and fosters potential. I look forward to working alongside families and children so children can reach their full potential.
I have been involved in Tree Bears since I was 2.5 years old when my Mum and Dad moved to Hanmer Springs.
I attended Hanmer Springs School and then went on to attend the local area high school. During my high school years, I was part of a gateway program that gave me the opportunity to undertake work experience here at Tree Bears. After finishing Year 13 I joined the Tree Bears teaching team.
I have known since I was young, that I wanted to work with young children, following in mum's footsteps.
I plan on furthering my education in the next couple of years.
Teacher/ Admin support
Kia ora Whanau
My name is Michaela and I am just returning after an extended maternity leave.
I worked at Tree Bears in both the Nursery and Preschool for 5 and a half years before having my son Lachie.
I have my diploma in Early Childhood education and care and then will further my studies later down the track.
I am looking forward to reconnecting with the tamariki and whanau as well as building relationships with the ones I am yet to meet.