MANZ Conference 2023 Speakers

22 February 2023 - MANZ

Keynote Speakers

Arapera Herewini-Card

Arapera Card is the Pouhere Kaupapa Māori | Senior Advisor Māori for Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand (ECNZ). Arapera who has over 30 years of experience in early childhood education, beginning in Te Kōhanga Reo with her own tamariki comes from a long line of chiefs through her Ngāpuhi and Tūhoe whakapapa.

Her cultural leadership ensures that Te Rito Maioha upholds its bicultural integrity and is responsive to the needs of Māori and Pacific students and employers.

Arapera takes pride in her ability to forefront the teachings handed down to her by her tūpuna among kaiako, tauira and tamariki to further grow knowledge and learning of the language, culture and identity of te iwi Māori.

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Arapera Card

Kavya Chandrasekhar

Kavya Chandrasekhar is AMI trained across the 0-3, 3-6, 6-12 and 12-18 age groups. She has a bachelor’s degree in commerce, and a post-graduation in PR and Advertising from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. Currently, she is pursuing the rigorous AMI training of trainers’ programme at the 0-3 level. She has presented core ideas of Montessori Pedagogy at the Montessori Institute of Prague and Montessori Institute of Bangalore.

Kavya is the Executive Director at Montessori Institute of Bangalore, which offers AMI training at three levels namely Assistant to Infancy, Primary and Elementary. She is the Founder and Montessori Guide of The Montessori School (0-6 years) and Kriyasthala (6-12 years) with 18 years of experience working with children and families from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. She was a member of the editorial team of Montessori Matters which carried serious articles and papers of interest to the Indian Montessori community. Currently, she dedicates her time to mentor the Youngest Children’s Community and the Children’s House Programme and she also facilitates the Parent-Infant and Parent-Child sessions at The Montessori School. Kavya leads a team of educators to implement the cosmic education plan at the elementary programme at Kriyasthala. She and her team are working towards beginning the adolescent program in the coming year. Kavya has also worked in AMI recognized Montessori Environments in the United States and United Kingdom.

Kavya’s global experience helps her to constantly enrich the programme in numerous ways. She is invested in bringing authentic Montessori practice into the day to day running of the various programmes by building a cohesive unit of parents, team members and administration. Her vision is to work towards creating a team of educators deeply invested in the authentic implementation of the pedagogical ideas of child development from birth to 18 years of age. She is deeply committed to transforming education that supports and nurtures development of every child by reaching out to educators globally.

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Kavya Chandrasekhar

Jip Bartel

Jip’s dream was to become a professional soccer player. He signed a contract at AFC Ajax aged 16, but unfortunately, three cruciate ligament injuries during his stay at AFC Ajax and FC Utrecht at the age of 17, 18 and 19 prevented him from living that dream. He kept playing semi-professionally but decided to focus on his study; he won the prize of ‘Student Talent of the Year’ during his Bachelor (Honours) in Organisational Sciences. He thanked this to his extracurricular activities and his positive, energetic, and disciplined attitude. After finishing his Master Business Administration, he moved to Melbourne to start Montessori Sports programmes in Australia. In 2021 he went to Amsterdam to continue his mission with Montessori Sports. He holds a 6-12 AMI Assistants diploma. Jip believes that sports and Montessori is the best combination for young children to develop their full potential.

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Jip Bartel

J. McKever

J. McKeever holds diplomas from the Association Montessori Internationale for Children’s House and Elementary levels and has 20 years of experience working with elementary children. She has been Director of Training, Co-Director, or Lecturer on 6-12 diploma and certificate courses. Ms McKeever is a founding member and past board member of the Elementary Alumni Association (AMI-EAA), and she is an AMI examiner and school consultant at the Elementary level. She has presented workshops to teachers, parents, and administrators in the United States and internationally on a variety of Montessori topics. Ms McKeever holds a B.A. in English, M.A. in Educational Processes. She is an adjunct faculty member of Loyola University Maryland.

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker J. McKever

Workshop Speakers

Gillian Somers

nā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa
Ko Three Rock te maunga.
Ko Dodder te awa
No Ireland ahau.
Kei Ngāmotu tōku kāinga ināianei
Ko New Plymouth Montessori School tōku kura.
Ko Gerry tōku matua
Ko Valeria tōku whaea
Ngāmotu tōku kāinga ināianei
Ko New Plymouth Montessori School aha e mahi ana
Ko Gillian Somers tōku ingoa.
No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Gillian was co-opted to the MANZ Council in August 2007, and was elected as president of MANZ after the 2014 AGM.
She is the principal of New Zealand’s oldest Montessori School. After completing her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) 3-6 and 6-12 training in her native Ireland, Gillian moved to New Zealand in 1994. She taught at New Plymouth Montessori School and undertook her Diploma in Teaching Early Childhood Education. In 2005, Gillian took over as principal. The school comprises 100 children from 3 – 6 years old and supports a Montessori primary unit. Gillian was the chair of the original Montessori Journey to Excellence Te ara ki huhuatanga Working Group in 2011/2012.

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Gillian Somers

Bill Hubbard

Bill Hubbard has worked in the secondary education sector for 30 years across diverse deciles as a teacher, School Guidance Counsellor and Deputy Principal. In the last 4.5 years Bill has served at Matatū Aotearoa | Teaching Council as practice lead for Professional Growth Cycles, practice lead for Initial Teacher Education programme approvals, and as a Professional Practice Evaluator for teacher competence issues.

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Bill Hubbard

Simon Cottle

Simon Cottle started his early childhood education journey as a Playcentre dad in Newtown, Whanganui-a-Tara. The Playcentre philosophy of adult education led to a career in teaching, with professional leadership roles across services in Manawatū, Taranaki and Hawke’s Bay. Currently residing in Papaioea, he is a Senior Advisor with the Teacher Capability and Collaboration team at Matatū Aotearoa | Teaching Council.

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Simon Cottle

Michela Homer

Tēnā tatou katoa
Ko Magaliesburg te maunga
Ko Vaal te awa
Ko Cathy Pacific te wakarererangi
No Āwherika ki te Tonga ahau
Kei te noho au Whanganui a Tara
Ko Guido tōku matua
Ko Audrey tōku whaea
Ko Michael tōku tane
Ko Luke me Georgina tōku tamariki
Kei Busy bees aha e mahi ana
Ko Michela toku ingoa
No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa

Michela was elected to MANZ Council in 2013 and was re-elected in 2015, 2018 and 2021. She is currently the Regional Manager for Provincial Education. She completed her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) 3-6 diploma in London in 1994 and worked in two very diverse Montessori centres in the U.K. When Michela moved to NZ, she was privileged to work as the centre manager for a small Montessori centre in Tauranga for two years and loved seeing Montessori in Aotearoa truly make a difference in children’s lives. Michela chaired the Re-Working Party for Montessori Journey to Excellence Te ara ki huhuatanga: Essential Elements, which was published in 2019.

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Michela Homer

Jill Bond

Jill Bond is a contemporary leader and a positive disruptor. She has enjoyed an expansive career in the public sector and more recently, in the For-Purpose Sector. Jill has held senior and executive leadership roles during her career in Housing, Education and Health. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of New Zealand Kindergartens, an Incorporated Society focused on helping local Kindergarten Associations to thrive.

Jill has a passion and skill for enabling people, teams and organisations to grow and develop, so they can deliver sustainable fit-for-purpose services that deliver significant value and impact. Having worked in strategic and operational roles, as well as with Ministers of the Crown, Jill understands organisational systems and design, governance, policy and practice, change leadership, and resource management. Her ability to paint a compelling picture for change enables her to engage the hearts, minds, and hands of others to work towards a common goal, and to enjoy positive outcomes and success.

She has a Master of Business Administration from Waikato University and a Master of Public Administration from Victoria University. Jill served on the Australian and New Zealand School of Government inaugural Alumni Advisory Council for four years until December 2022. She is a member of the Institute of Directors.

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Jill Bond

Krista Kerr

Krista has been involved in Montessori since starting as a parent in 2005 with her baby at a playgroup at Wā Ora Montessori in Lower Hutt. Discovering that Montessori was something that she wanted for herself as well as her children, she began her journey by gaining her Early Childhood Education Post-Graduate Diploma from Victoria University in 2008. After teaching for six months, she then moved with her family to London to do the AMI 3-6 Diploma, followed by the Post Diploma Observation Course, returning in 2012 to take up her current position as a Head Teacher.

After being involved in various things such as running Observation Workshops, Conference speaking and being part of the Reworking Party for MJ2Ex, Krista is now excited to be part of MANZ Council since 2019 and continued her journey in Montessori in Aotearoa. She also enjoys watching her two sons continue theirs, both now in High school at Wā Ora.

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Krista Kerr

Kerry Pratchett

Kerry Pratchett is a Professional Practice Leader with BestStart. She monitors centre quality by assessing and evaluating practice delivered to all tamariki to ensure equitable opportunities that enhance and promote learning. Kerry engages with centres and supports continuous improvement through reviews and Internal Evaluation. She enjoys helping kaiako to identify their teaching philosophy and helps them to bring this to life. Kerry is passionate about ensuring that kaiako prepare the best environment for tamariki. Part of this preparation is ensuring that kaiako are ready for their day and teach with intention. Kerry has a Bachelor of Education ECE, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and a Montessori Diploma (AMI).

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Kerry Pratchett

Carol Potts

Carol is an AMI 3-6 Trainer. Carol has had the privilege of working alongside young tamariki for more than 25 years. She is a trustee of the Maria Montessori Education Foundation (MMEF), the affiliated AMI training centre in Aotearoa, New Zealand. She is an AMI examiner, consultant and mentor and has offered workshops and training in Australia, Japan & China. Carol is one of the AMI training faculty in Shenzhen, China. She is the Director of Training for the current 3-6 Diploma in N.Z. and when not training, enjoys the ebbs and flows of mentoring in 3-6 environments.

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Carol Potts

Carli Hauser

Carli has been a 0-3 Montessori guide since 2010. She completed her AMI Assistants to Infancy diploma at Montessori Northwest in Portland and is enrolled in the AMI Training of Trainers programme to become an AMI trainer at the 0-3 level. Carli is co-founder of Aroha Nui Montessori and Beyond delivering parent/child classes in Auckland.

“I love this work more and more with each passing day – it is a privilege to be journeying alongside so many wonderful children and their whānau. Every day is a new adventure filled with joy, discoveries, and possibilities.”

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Carli Hauser

Kei Ikeda

Kei Ikeda is a qualified Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) 6-12 educator with over 12 years’ experience guiding children. She is also an AMI National Examiner for Australia and has started mentoring those who are starting their teaching career in Montessori.

In addition to her Montessori qualifications, Kei holds a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Dance and English combined with a Bachelor of Education from the University of New South Wales. Kei was awarded the Wilma Firth Prize for the most outstanding achievement in Bachelor of Dance Education Program, University of New South Wales.

In addition to her Montessori qualifications, Kei holds a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Dance and English combined with a Bachelor of Education from the University of New South Wales. Kei was awarded the Wilma Firth Prize for the most outstanding achievement in Bachelor of Dance Education Program, University of New South Wales.

MANZ Conference 2023 Speaker Kei Ikeda

Shelley Clark

Shelley Clark has been involved with early childhood education for the past thirty five years, and has been a professional development facilitator and provider for the past eighteen years, having worked for the University of Otago and as a preferred provider for the Ministry of Education in Otago.  She joined BestStart in 2016 and has since been supporting Kaiako with their professional growth.  Within these roles Shelley has  worked alongside two Dunedin Montessori schools, and a Central Otago school, supporting them in how to integrate their Montessori philosophy within the framework of Te Whāriki.  Shelley was privileged to have the opportunity to learn from kaiako who worked in these preschools and saw first-hand how powerful and positive the Montessori method could be for tamariki. 

Shelley is passionate about play based learning and localised curriculum, and how this enables us to weave our own unique whāriki.  She is an advocate for having a strong Quality Practice Template, which helps make visible ‘what matters here’ and ‘how we do things in this place’.

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