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With a committed experienced team, NewHope Baptist Preschool staff offer children a safe, warm and enriching space to explore and learn.


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Andrea Simons

Andrea Simons is the Director & the teacher of  the 4-year-old Possum Group. She began her teaching at NewHope in 2023. She has a dual bachelor of Primary and Early Childhood Education, specialising in children 0-8. She has many years of teaching experience, in a range of different settings. She had the privilege of sharing some of my experiences with the Department of Education and the AEU, where she is also an early childhood sector councillor and use this role to advocate for Educators, children and the sector.


Andrea is passionate about creating an environment where children feel safe, respected, nurtured, capable and supported as they learn, grow and discover. She is passionate about teaching through open-ended play with an environment that is beautiful and sparks interest and wonder. She aims to empower children as capable thinkers and decision makers, where children’s voices are not only heard, but lead to action. She is passionate about children’s home languages and incorporating them within the program, as well as her knowledge of Spanish, Japanese and Auslan. She is also passionate and committed to the ongoing acknowledgment and reconciliation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and embedding this within the program


Andrea and her husband lead a church in the Eastern suburbs, where they attend with our 3 children. She also enjoys spending time with my family, reading, gardening and baking.

Tianyi Zhu
Tianyi Zhu

Tianyi is the Teacher of the 4-year-old Kangaroo Group.

She began her teaching at Newhope in March 2023. Prior to this, she worked in various early childhood settings, including Early Learning Centre from private schools and an Autism Specific Centre in Melbourne. She holds a Master of Teaching in Early childhood and a Bachelor of Health Science.

Being a preschool teacher, Tianyi believes it is essential to help our next generation to understand, recognise and experience different aspects around them in order to shape a better inclusive world in the future.


Miranda Lee

Miranda is the Teacher of the 3-year-old Koala Group. 


She began her teaching at NewHope in January 2015. Miranda speaks four languages and is a gifted violin and piano player. She holds a Bachelor degree in Music and a Master degree in Early Childhood Teaching. She has previously worked in other preschools and Early Learning Centres.

Miranda has a lovely rapport with the children in her care and has a gift in working one on one with the children.

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Kristine Jiang

Kristine is the Teacher of the 3-year-old Platypus Group.

She has been working as a kinder teacher since 2012 and joined the NewHope Preschool team in 2023. Kristine holds a Graduate Diploma in Early childhood and a Master degree of Education specialising in Early Childhood. She also achieved an International Montessori Teaching diploma in Early Childhood.


Kristine loves to explore different educational theories and apply to her teaching practices for ongoing improvements. She’s also passionate about inclusion education that all children’s social, cultural and linguistic diversity is valued. She believes that each child was born for greatness. Kristine always enjoys collaborating with families and the community to support each child to feel belonged and loved, to learn and grow, and to empower each child to become a positive influence and to fulfil their unique purposes in the future.


Cath Bezemer

Cath is the educator in the 4 year old Possum Group and joined the team in 2022. Cath ran her own Family Day Care prior to joining our team, caring for children aged 6 months – 4 years in her home. She holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care as well as a Bachelor of Arts and Information Technology. She couldn’t be happier with her career change from IT to working with children, her true passion!


Cath is a part of the kids team at Neuma Church, where she attends with her husband and three children. Cath loves almond lattes, watching the kangaroos and wildlife where she lives, caring for her veggie garden and camping with her family at Wilson’s Promontory National Park.


Cath loves building strong relationships with the children and getting to know the beautiful variety of personalities that God created in each and every one of them. She loves to find their strengths and encourage and build on those as well as support the children as they develop and grow in other areas.

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Joanna Yang

Joanna is our Kangaroo Group educator and joined the team in 2023. After completing her degree in Bachelor of Commerce, she discovered her real passion on working with young children through volunteering at kids' church programs.  Following her passion, she has worked in Early Learning Centres as an educator since 2015.

Joanna is passionate about building positive relationships with children and families and respecting children in their routines and play. She embraces diversity. She finds it beautiful that each child is different and has their own personality, interests and areas of strength. It is very rewarding to support children’s needs and celebrate their achievements together. She is excited for the journey ahead with children and families at NewHope Baptist Preschool.

Joanna speaks 3 other languages and enjoys music, movies, reading, and spending time with her family and friends in her spare time.

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Jo Belousoff

Jo is our 3 year old Koala Group educator and she started working at NewHope Baptist Preschool in 2023. She has spent 15 years total working in early childhood education including long day care and sessional kindergarten. She initially completed a certificate III when she first began working in the industry, and went on to complete her diploma in 2014. She really enjoys building close relationships with children and their families, and helping develop confidence and resilience to enable children to reach their full potential in life. 

In her spare time, Jo enjoys spending time with her husband and son, reading, playing tennis and spoiling her beautiful cat Altas. 

Rachel Allsop

Rachel is the educator in the 3 year old Koala Group and the Preschool First Aid Supervisor.  She started working at NewHope Baptist Preschool in August 2015.  In addition to her role as Educator of the Platypus group, she works as a Registered Nurse.  Rachel holds further qualifications in International Health and Theology.


At Preschool Rachel loves getting to know the children and their families, and enjoys the colour and liveliness of the Preschool world.  Rachel has a big family who keep her busy, and enjoys occasionally having the time to knit and paint.

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Tess Leigh

Tess Leigh is the educator of the 3 year old Platypus Group and joined the team in 2022. She completed her Certificate III of Early Childhood Education in 2019, discovering a passion for working with young children. She is now completing a Bachelor of Early Childhood Teaching with Swinburne University.


In her free time, Tess enjoys spending time with her family, going for walks and curling up with a good book. Tess is passionate about children's wellbeing and particularly enjoys providing rich learning environments. She is excited to journey with families and children at NewHope Preschool.

Gillian Liew

Gillian is our lunch cover educator, adminstration and enrolment officer. She joined the team since 2020. She has spent many years with the Department of Education but finds working with Kinder children most rewarding!  She has worked in early learning centres and preschools in private, community-based and independent school settings before joining the team in 2020.


Gillian holds a Diploma of Education and Care in addition to a Bachelor degree of Applied Science. She speaks 3 languages, loves to sing and have fun exploring the world with the children. During her spare time, you will find her at one of the many walks around greater Melbourne, the NGV, Arts centre or buried deep in her books.

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