Our People

Courtney Williams, Centre Manager

Kia Ora,

My name is Courtney I am an experienced fully registered teacher. I gained my Bachelor of Education in early childhood (level 7) through Manukau Institute of Technology and have been involved in the early childhood industry my whole life.

I come from a rural background and love getting out into the community to spread joy laughter and learning to all. I have known that I wanted to pursue early childhood from the age of 3 and have never looked back.
I am passionate about the arts and exploration and believe children are active explorers who seek knowledge we just must find the means to listen. We learn from everyone around us and our curiosity and inquisitive nature we can discover anything together. I am also a strong believer in relationships and believe a strong, positive reciprocal relationship is the key to unlocking potential ensuring we have a view of the child as a whole and respecting all the amazing knowledge skills and experience they bring with them every day.

I am beyond excited to be joining you and your whanau on their learning journey here at pascals. Together we can support children into encouraging their confidence and protecting their mana to learn alongside us.

Eric Zhou, Team Lead in Under 2's

Kia ora, hello, nǐ hǎo

My name is Eric (Penglong) Zhou. I am a fully registered teacher in early childhood education. I have been with Pascals St Johns since 2021. It is my privilege to join this big loving family.

I came to New Zealand with my wife and my daughter in 2017 from China. I have done two programmes here: a Postgraduate Diploma in Language Teaching at the University of Auckland and a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education at NZTC. Prior to that, I had a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature and a Postgraduate Diploma in Political Economics back in China. My academic interest is second language acquisition. I am a registered teacher in early childhood education with a provisional practice certificate.

I believe children have their own wisdom to learn everything they need to survive in this world. Early childhood teachers are responsible for creating a safe and trustworthy environment for children, in which they can fully develop abilities at their own individual pace as they wish. What we can do is just to support and help them find their own way.

Lucy Ying, Over 2's Team Lead - Assistant Manager

My name is Lucy (Ying) Luo. I am currently working as the assistant manager here. I have a Master degree of Business and a Graduate Diploma in teaching (ECE).    I am a fully registered teacher who has been working in a variety of early childhood centres for more than ten years. I have a great passion for teaching and learning. I am enthusiastic, kind, motivated and put children’s interests in the first place. I am particularly drawn to supporting children’s social and emotional wellbeing. I enjoy encouraging the children to become confident and independent and lifelong learners. I am looking forward to working collaboratively with parents, whanau and staff team to establish positive relationships. Every child will achieve their potential goal.  

Tamryn, Chef

Hiya,
my name is Tamryn and I'm the cook at Pascal's St John's. I'm passionate about food, trying to sneak in as many veggies as is possible while ensuring the kids enjoy the food. I'm also really passionate about making sure that any child that has special dietary requirements or allergies feels included when it comes to meal times by making something that somewhat looks like the others food but is specifically for them.

Luna Qin, Registered Teacher

My name is Luna Qin, and I am deeply passionate about my role as an Early Childhood Education (ECE) teacher. Originally from China, I made the life-changing move to New Zealand in 2015. In 2020, I achieved my Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education from NZTC, a milestone that marked the beginning of my fulfilling career in nurturing young minds.

Being a fully registered ECE teacher, I find immense joy in my interactions with children. My genuine love for them drives my dedication to creating a positive and enriching learning environment. I firmly believe in the uniqueness and preciousness of every child. To me, play is not just an activity; it's a fundamental way for children to learn and develop their skills and abilities naturally.

In my eyes, my job isn't just a profession—it's my calling. I take pride in crafting stimulating and supportive learning spaces tailored to the individual needs of each child. I am dedicated to fostering a love for learning and curiosity in every child I teach. For me, being an ECE teacher is not just a career choice; it's a heartfelt commitment to shaping a brighter future for the children under my care.

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Sajani Paranavithana, ECE Teacher

Hi, My name is Sajani. I'm from Sri Lanka and I’ve moved to New Zealand six years ago. I hold a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and looking forward to study furthermore. I have some experience working with children and l really enjoyed it. I'm a mother to a four-year-old boy and in my spare time I enjoy reading and spending time with my family.

I have always loved caring for others and nature. I'm passionate about developing strong connections with tamariki to allow them to learn developing & explore the nature. I love supporting families through their journey with children in their early years.

I feel privileged to be able to work in Pascals St Johns and I’m looking forward to meeting you all!

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Naiereh Delkosh, ECE Teacher

Kia ora and hello, I'm Naya (Naier) from Iran and my first language is Turkish and Farsi.  I joined Pascals Family in February 2019.  I'm a mother of two boys.  I moved to New Zealand with my family in 2016.  I have Bachelor of Arts in literature from my country and my job was HR in a trading company.  I have caring and working with children of all ages, so you will find me working in all the rooms at Pascals St Johns.  I am flexible, energetic, caring and enjoy learning new things. 

It's a privilege to be part of the Evolve Education Group and Pascals St Johns.  I look forward to getting to know you all.

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Riga Farhat, ECE Teacher

Kia ora my name is Riga Farhat.  I joined the Pascals Family in February 2017.  I came to New Zealand in 2007 with my husband.  I live with my husband and my 12 years old son and 10 years old son in Glendowie.  My sons attend Glendowie Primary School. 

I completed a certificate of Inclusive Education (Teacher Aide) at MIT in 2016 and after finishing it, I got the opportunity to work at Pascals St Johns in 2017 and since then I am at this centre which I absolutely love.

I enjoy working and teaching children here in Pascals and learning alongside them, watching their journeys and seeing them grow into beautiful little human beings gives me great pleasure.  I believe that the foundation of learning and interaction that a child receives at a young age greatly impacts their behaviour and learning in the future.  I base my teaching on building strong relationships with whanau and children and respectful practice.

I can't wait to be in your child's learning journey at Pascals St Johns.

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Catherine Cunningham , ECE Certificated Teacher

Kia ora and hello whanau/family. My name is Catherine and I have been working in Early childhood for over 16 years and I hold a Diploma of Teaching in Early Childhood Education. I was born in England and moved to New Zealand when I was a child. I have two sons who were born in New Zealand and like me they live in Auckland. One is 24 years old and the other is 28 years old.

I believe that every child is different and that they learn in different ways and at their own pace. For me it is important to give children the time to play and learn and to be able to express themselves.

I look forward to meeting you and am excited to work with you and your family.

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Mastaneh Rajestari (Masi), Centre Chef

Kia ora whanau, my name is Masi.  I was born and raised in Iran (Persia), and I have five siblings.  My husband and I have three children and six beautiful grandchildren.  We moved to New Zealand back in 1996 and I can speak fluent Farsi.

I graduated in Iran and my journey as a professional chef began here in New Zealand back in 1997.  I have always been passionate about food and have worked as a professional chef at cafes and restaurants.  I am passionate about the care and education of our young citizens and I pride myself on being a professional, kind and nurturing chef. My philosophy is based on respectful care practices.

I joined the Pascals Family in March 2017.