Our Rimu Road Team

Tara Taaffe

Owner & Managing Director

Bachelor of Teaching and Learning – Primary

I am a passionate educator! While teaching in several high achieving schools within New Zealand, I developed a personal philosophy and skill set that I believe brings out the best in children. Learning through exploration, fun and facilitation is at the heart of what we do here. My love of music and drama, combined with the passions my talented team bring, can be seen in many aspects of life here at SCHOOL OF FISH. My experience as a primary school teacher, curriculum and team leader, enables me to work with families and my staff to ensure that the children at SCHOOL OF FISH receive quality learning opportunities that build strong foundations for the transition to school. Along with operating this busy centre, I love spending time with my husband, family and friends. I enjoy entertaining, eating out and seeing as much of the world as I possibly can.   

Lani Till

Centre Manager

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Hello, I’m Lani a born and bred Kiwi who was lucky enough to join the School of Fish family in 2014. After completing my bachelor’s of Early Childhood Education from Auckland University in 2011, I moved over to Europe where I spent the next three years teaching and nannying in both London and Amsterdam. When I returned to New Zealand, I firstly worked at the Onehunga School of Fish and worked alongside the Big Fish team for seven months before heading away again to Maine in America to work at an all girls summer camp. I was then fortunate enough to be involved with setting up Rimu road and lead the Little Fish room when we first opened in 2016. Since then I have done some more travelling and worked overseas as well as working across both Big Fish and Little School. I love being apart of the School of Fish Family and have a real passion for working with young children. Providing them with as many opportunities to learn and grow as they discover the world around them in an environment that is nurturing and fun.

 

Kerri Selby

Little Fish Team Leader

Bachelor of Education- Teaching

Kia ora whanau, my name is Kerri! I completed my Bachelors degree in Foundation Phase Education in South Africa and I’ve now moved back to New Zealand. I love being apart of the School of Fish family and I’m the team leader in Little Fish, I have a passion for working with this age group and especially using baby sign and incorporating it in my everyday work environment. I feel that children learn best through play and experimentation and I always endeavour to create a safe, inclusive and loving environment in which children feel confident to explore and to learn from their discoveries and sometimes mistakes. 
Outside of work I enjoy travelling around New Zealand with my partner and enjoying the sun! Nga Mihi! 

Jessica Stevens

Little Fish Teacher

Hey, my name is Jess and I have worked at school of fish on and off for years. I have done back to back snow seasons around the world for the past 5 years then I came back to New Zealand and got into nannying. I have nannied many family’s since I have been back and have really enjoyed a change, but I am ready for another change because I can see myself moving forward at School of Fish. I really value school of fish and loving working here. I love snowboarding and I ended up getting qualified to become a snow board teacher for children and have worked at Cardrona and a centre in town. I lived in Japan for a year working in a Japanese centre which I loved. I also lived in Canada for year travelling the snow. I love surfing and being around friends and family is very important to me. I am so excited to be back at School of Fish and to teach all the children here and to get to know everyone. I am a really energetic person and love setting up exciting learning experiences and playing fun play with the children. I cannot wait to get to know everyone here at School of Fish.

 

 

 

 

Amanda Little

Little Fish Teacher

Bachelor of Education- Primary

Kia ora School of Fish whānau, my name is Amanda. I have worked alongside tamariki in Little Fish since August 2020. I am a primary trained teacher born and raised in Auckland. My love for nurturing infants began when I took a gap year in London to work as a nanny. Since graduating, I have relieved in a number of primary schools and worked for a handful of nannying families. I have travelled extensively abroad where I have gained valuable work and life experience. I am a local here in Māngere Bridge, and look forward to seeing you in the community! My passions outside of work include cooking and staying active.

 

Ally Ranson

Big Fish Team Leader

2IC
Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Kia ora, my name is Ally and I’ve been with School of Fish since end of 2018. I completed my Bachelor of Education (Early childhood) in 2009 in Wellington (where I grew up) and I taught there for 5 years before moving to Melbourne, Australia to teach kindergarten for 3.5 years. I then moved back to NZ with my partner, where we have settled into life in Auckland. I have a range of experience working with all age groups from 0-5 and I have 7 years’ experience being in a leadership position. I am also currently undertaking a master’s degree in Early Years and I will finish that at the end of 2021. I love continuing to learn more about teaching in the early years and my passion is working with Under Two’s, as you get to form such strong reciprocal bonds and their curiosity and wonderment towards understanding the world is truly inspiring. I love supporting teachers on their teaching journey too and I hope this is an area I can explore further in the future. 

Annie Treeby

Big Fish Teacher

Teacher in Training

Kia Ora, my name is Annie and I am so happy to be working in the Big fish room with our amazing toddlers. I started my journey at School of Fish Onehunga as a reliever while I studied my fashion degree in 2016, Once Rimu Road opened, I made the move across the bridge to work in the Little Fish room where I worked for two amazing years with Lani and Jess before moving into the toddlers space which I absolutely love! I continue to work closely with the Little Fish team as I help the tamariki transition into their new learning space in the Big Fish room. I believe children and their families are at the heart of everything we do and building relationships with families and tamariki ensure I am providing your child with the highest quality of learning, care and love. Outside of work I enjoy going for long walks and Pilates as well as escaping the city with my partner and our dog Bella to our beach house in Matarangi where we spend most of the summer.

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Louise Henderson

Big Fish Teacher

Kia ora my name is Louise,
I have recently moved to Mangere Bridge, with my nine-year-old daughter, and already I love this little community.
I have been working in ECE for nearly 5 years now, and I was also involved in Playcentre with my daughter when she was younger. I love seeing children grow and learn and helping them become who they are as individuals.
Before becoming an ECE teacher I was a dairy farmer, and I was born and raised on the farm an hour north of Auckland.
Some of my hobbies include adding to my indoor plant family, getting out in nature exploring new places and going for nice walks at my favourite place the beach.
I look forward to meeting you and your whanau and working together to encourage and help you along your learning journey.
Nga mihi
Louise

Alexandra Lu

Big Fish Teacher

Bachelor of Arts- Education and Interpreting 

Kia Ora, I’m Alexandra Lu and I’m so glad to join the teaching team here at The School of Fish. I have been relieving since year 2 in university and wanted to continue my journey in early childhood field. I have a passion working with children and happy to see them grow and explore themselves in the centre. I’m looking forward to seeing you and your children in the future. I hope I can help your children to grow happily and confidently in The School of Fish. 


Sreevidya Midamanura

Little School Team Leader

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Kia ora! My name is Sreevidya Midamanura, in short, ‘Vidya’. I am very excited to be part of School of Fish team and to share their vision and passion for children. Children’s world fascinates me. Their laughter, creativity, innocence, honesty and non-judgmental attitude teach me to embrace life in all its simplicity. My love for children and passion for teaching has motivated me to quit my career in IT industry where I worked as a Functional Analyst (Data warehousing – Abinitio) for 7 years. I left the job to study Master of Arts in
English Language Teaching from Coventry University, England. Later, I worked as a secondary school English teacher for 2.5 years in
Bangalore, India. During these years I have noticed few behavioural issues in children, which could have been addressed if intervened early in their lives.
The quote by Frederick Douglass, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”, resonates very well with me and I am committed to the cause of building strong foundational years for children and empower them to reach their fullest potential. I live with my younger sister, Teja and my parents live in India. We are a close knit family and I am so fortunate to have a family that stood by me through thick and thin. I am what I am by their contribution and investment in my life.

 

 

 

Elodie Rodriquez

Little School Teacher

Master of Education

Bonjour,
Je m’appelle Elodie, I am a new teacher at School of Fish.  I started my teaching journey in France as a Physical Education Teacher, I am a first year graduate in Master of Education. In September 2018, I landed in New Zealand and fell in love with this beautiful country rich in culture. Learning is a real exchange between kids and teachers. My philosophy of education is that all children are different and unique. Children must have a safe and joyful educational environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. 
As Les Mills Fitness Trainer and with my PE teacher background I am very passionate with working on children’s motor skills and their physical abilities. It is my desire to create an atmosphere where children can have a variety of experiences, activities more or less challenging. 
I am really excited to meet you all and I am proud to be part of this incredible team of teachers. 

Mele Lemeki

Little School Teacher

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Malo e lelei. My name is Mele Lemeki and I am a Tongan. My passion to pursue a career in teaching in Early Childhood Education (ECE) is due to my belief that children are gifts and treasures from God and their learning in early years is the foundation to develop a successful long-life learning. I also have an intrinsic desire to work in partnership with colleagues, children and their whanau to make positive impact in the life of the children to support their holistic development in a loving, fun and caring environment.

I am privileged to have this opportunity to be part of the School of Fish family and make contribution to the children’s learning journey. I am looking forward to build and maintain a trustworthy relationship and work together with you all. God bless.

 

 

Rich Monk

Little School Teacher

Hi my name is Richard, but all my friends call me Rich. I am an enthusiastic professional with a passion for working with children and young people. After my first round the world trip I found myself back in my small English hometown working in my old ECE center. I absolutely loved it and spent over 6 years there. During that time, I attained Level 2/3 NVQ in Children’s Care, Learning and Development. I later moved to Thailand and spent 2 years teaching English in an International Primary school. The people, food and adventure’s were most memorable. Since arriving back in New Zealand I have Managed 2 successful OSCAR Programmes and worked alongside Athletics NZ delivering sports programmes and fundamental movement skills to children in schools across Auckland. I love sports (especially football) travel, good food and the outdoors. I am thrilled to get back into ECE and work alongside the fantastic team here at School of Fish.

Michelle Andrews

Permanent Reliever

Kia Ora, My name is Michelle. I am a relief teacher for School of Fish.
I am a mother to three beautiful children aged 14, 12 and 2. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and riding my horses. 
I have completed my first year of the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and now I am completing my second year. I am very passionate about working with children and early education.

 

Babila Trivigno

On Maternity Leave

Hello , my name is Babila Trivigno! I was born and grew up in Italy with my  parents and two younger siblings. After school and during the summer holidays I used to work as a private nanny and as a teacher aide. It was through these experiences that I discovered my passion to work with young children. In 2013 after having completed school, my partner and I decided to come to New Zealand to travel and learn English but the beauty and the love for this country was so strong that we decided that this was the perfect place to build our future together; in fact last year we applied for residency and we are now New Zealand residents. Since I moved to New Zealand I have been working as a teacher with young children and in the near future I would like to start studying and became an ECE qualified teacher.

 

 

Florencia Nash

Centre Chef

My name is Florencia, I am from Argentina, where I have completed my bachelor’s degree in nutrition, I also have a food safety and hygiene certificate gained in New Zealand.
I enjoy cooking and love preparing healthy, fresh, and delicious meals for my family.
I am looking forward to growth valuable experiences in childcare while working collaboratively with other team members in the centre.