With a committed experienced team, NewHope Baptist Preschool staff offer children a safe, warm and enriching space to explore and learn.
Melissa is the Director of NewHope Baptist Preschool and the Teacher of the 4-year-old Possum Group. Prior to commencing teaching at the Preschool in 2015, Melissa served as President. Melissa has lectured and assessed in Early Childhood and ran many parenting workshops.
Melissa has had 28 years experience in Early Childhood education. She is currently a coach to preservice teachers and a casual academic at Deakin University. She has enjoyed working in Early Learning centres, Preschools and local council while lecturing and assessing in the early childhood sector for the past 13 years. Melissa did her Masters degree in Arts and Social Education and has a passion for encouraging prosocial and co-operative behaviour. She has also completed a Graduate Diploma of Divinity (MST).
One of Melissa's greatest desires is to encourage children in their social interactions and in their decison making. She is passionate about observing children and scaffolding their learning. Melissa is an active listener to the ideas and suggestions of the children enabling an individual learning program.
Catherine Schythe Pereira
Catherine is the teacher of the 4-year-old Kangaroo Group. She began teaching in 2011 and prior to this she worked in various early childhood settings. She is passionate about children's holistic development and motor skills development.
Catherine also has a Graduate Diploma of Arts (Writing). She has two children, loves reading, going to church, animals and spending time in nature.
Miranda is the Teacher of the 3-year-old Platypus & Koala groups.
She began her teaching at NewHope in January 2015. Miranda speaks four languages and is a gifted violin and piano player. She hold 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.
Miranda is also the Administration and the Enrolment Officer of the Preschool.
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.
Gillian is the educator in the 4 year old Kangaroo group and 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.
Rachel is the educator in the 3 year old Platypus 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.
Tess Leigh is the educator of the 3 year old Koala 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.