With a committed experienced team, NewHope Baptist Preschool staff offer children a safe, warm and enriching space to explore and learn.
Andrea Simons is the Director & teacher of the 4-year-old Possum Group. She has a bachelor of Primary and Early Childhood Education. She has many years of teaching experience in a range of different settings and has shared some of her teaching experiences with the Department of Education and the Australian Education Union where she advocates for educators, children, and the sector.
Andrea is passionate about teaching through open-ended play in an environment that provokes interest and wonder. She aims to empower children as capable thinkers and decision-makers, where children’s voices are heard and lead to action. Andrea often shares her knowledge of Spanish, Japanese, and Auslan as well as her commitment to the ongoing acknowledgement and reconciliation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the children and embedding this within the centre.
Andrea and her husband lead a church in the Eastern suburbs, where they attend with their 3 children.
Tianyi is the teacher of the 3-year-old Koala group (Mondays, Tuesdays) and the 4-year-old Kangaroo Group (Thursdays, Fridays).
She joined the team in 2023. Prior to this, she worked in various early childhood settings, including early learning centres 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.
Tianyi believes it is essential to help the next generation understand, recognise and experience different elements of the world so to shape a better and more inclusive world in the future.
Kristine is the teacher of two 3-year-old groups. Koala group (Wednesdays) and the Platypus Group (Thursdays, Fridays). She joined the team in 2023.
Kristine holds a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood teaching and a Master's degree in Education specialising in Early Childhood. She also has further qualifications in pastoral care and counselling to better support children’s social and emotional well-being. She is committed to creating an inclusive environment to ensure children’s social, cultural, and linguistic diversity is valued. Kristine believes each child is born for greatness, and that collaboration with families and community is the foundation to fulfilling their unique purpose in life.
Tingting is the educator in the 4-year-old Possum Group. Tingting held various roles in long day care and sessional kindergartens before joining the team in 2023.
The transformative power of education has reinforced her dedication in promoting a holistic and stimulating environment to foster children’s love of learning. She believes that a deep reservoir of love is key to helping children learn and looks forward to bringing her experience to nurture the young minds at NewHope preschool.
Joanna is the educator in the 4-year-old Kangaroo Group. She joined the team in 2023. After completing her degree in Bachelor of Commerce, she discovered her real passion working with young children through volunteering at kids' church programs. She has a diploma in early childhood education and has been working in the industry since 2015. Joanna is passionate about building positive relationships with children and families and supporting all children to learn, be happy, and thrive.
Joanna speaks 3 other languages and enjoys music, movies, reading. In her spare time, she spends it with her family and friends.
Jo is the educator in the 3-year-old Koala Group. She joined the team in 2023. Jo has 15 years of experience in early childhood education including long day care centers and sessional kindergartens. Having completed her diploma in 2014, Jo has used her knowledge to strengthen relationships with children and their families and develop children's confidence and resilience so to reach their full potential.
In her spare time, Jo enjoys spending time with her husband and son, reading, playing tennis and spoiling her beautiful cat Altas.
Rachel is the educator in the 3 year old Koala group, and the Preschool first aid supervisor. She has been working at the Preschool since 2015. In addition to her role at Preschool, Rachel is a mother of six children, a Registered Nurse, and holds postgraduate qualifications in Theology, and International Health.
Rachel loves being able to share God's love with the children and families at Preschool. Her family is involved at two local churches, and she is fortunate to live in a close community of friends and neighbours. In her spare time, she enjoys catching up with friends, caring for her big family, and lots of hot cups of tea!
Tess Leigh is the educator in the 3-year-old Platypus Group. 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 well-being and particularly enjoys providing rich learning environments. She joined the team in 2022 and is excited to be able to journey with families and children at Newhope Preschool.
Gill is our lunch cover educator, administrator, and enrolment officer. Gill has worked with the Department of Education, early learning centers, and preschools in private, community-based, and Independent school settings before joining the team in 2020.
Gill holds a Bachelor of Early Childhood teaching and a Bachelor of Applied Science. She speaks 3 languages and utilises these to drive equity and high expectation in children's learning. In her spare time, you will find her on one of the many walks around regional Melbourne.
Yang yang is our lunch cover educator(Thursday, Friday). Yang holds a Certificate III in early childhood education and speaks 2 languages. She is a preschool assistant at NewHope Baptist church and also teaches Mandarin in a Chinese weekend school.
She believes that trusting and secure relationships with children and their families together with a safe and warm environment help children learn and develop. She joined the team in 2023.