With a diversity of cultures and experiences and a range of Montessori and Early Childhood qualifications, our Educators gently guide children to discover their unique strengths at their individual pace. Inspired by Maria Montessori, our dedicated Educators are genuinely passionate about making a wonderful difference in the lives of children during their precious early years.
My name is Caitlyn and I am the Lead Educator in Nido. I have a Diploma qualification and twelve years experience in Early Education, including management and team leader positions. I absolutely love working alongside children and feel very lucky to be able to guide the learning and growth of our toddlers each day. My role in the Children's House allows me the valuable opportunity to explore unique and innovative ways to compliment our Montessori program, building each child's individual strengths and preparing them for school and life.
I feel very grateful to be working in our beautiful Children's House and collaborating with such lovely families and passionate Educators to provide loving care and quality education for our children.
Early Childhood Teacher
Taylor Wells - McFarlane
I am delighted to be the Early Childhood Teacher at Hope Island Montessori. I hold a Diploma level qualification and am currently studying a Bachelor of Education. My previous teaching experience includes early childhood, primary, secondary and additional needs education sectors.
I have a strong passion for creating a meaningful and holistic educational program that compliments the Montessori program, wholly supporting children as they prepare for their journey into school. Emotional regulation techniques, clear communication, pro-social skills, fine and gross motor movements, sustainable practices, respect for and understanding of diversity and school readiness are all important elements of our unique Kindergarten program.
Here in the Children's House, my heart feels at home. It’s lovely to have found a community with an ethos that aligns with mine – a place that also values holistic education for its meaningful outcomes and endless possibilities.
Children's House Directress
My name is Leigh Hassell, I am a qualified Director with an Advanced Diploma of Children’s Services. It is a pleasure to offer 18 years of directorship experience to the Hope Island Montessori Community.
The Montessori philosophy beautifully supports my passion for providing the highest quality care and education for children, as well as my commitment to life-long learning based on my belief that all children are to be treated as individuals and should be able to learn and grow without bias or discrimination.
Here at Hope Island Montessori, my goal is to continually seek out ways to offer the best possible support to families and Educators to ensure a sincere and caring environment that nurtures the whole child.
Lead Educator - Casa
My name is Jane Lee. I was born and raised in South Africa and after immigrating to England in my late twenties, I decided to pursue my passion for the Montessori Method of teaching. I enrolled at the Maria Montessori Training organisation in London and received my AMI 3-6 Diploma qualification.
Over the past 15 years I have gained a great deal of experience in various Montessori schools on the Gold Coast. Both of my sons attended Hope Island Montessori and are all but too pleased that their mother is going to be back in a Montessori environment as they know that’s where I am happiest.
I love working with the beautiful children of Hope Island Montessori and putting into practice this wonderful method of education. I aim to guide each and every child in his/her activities academically, spiritually, emotionally and physically in this beautifully prepared Montessori environment whereby he/she will be challenged to reach his/her full potential.
Lead Educator - Nido
My name is Ronali and I was born and raised in Sri Lanka. I was raised as a Montessori child from age 2 and began my professional Montessori journey in 1996.
In 1999 my husband and I migrated to Australia and I was fortunate to be a part of the very first batch of the 0–3 Association Montessori Internationale Teacher Training conducted in the Southern Hemisphere. I was also fortunate to be the pioneer in setting up of the infant community at the Isle of Capri Montessori, the very first infant community on the Gold Coast. In 2002 I completed my 3-6 Association Montessori Internationale Course and I began work at Harmony Montessori School in Caboolture whilst setting up and directing a 3–6 environment and running the very first infant community for the school. After establishing a home Montessori School in Morayfield, I went on to create the Oceania Montessori Community School. This environment was recognised by AMTEF as an Observation Centre for its teacher-training.
I have taken part in numerous Montessori and early childhood workshops and training courses throughout the years to keep myself updated both locally and internationally. I am excited for the opportunity to share the knowledge and experience that I have accumulate over the years and to make the early years journey of your children blossom into something that will impact their lives in the most positive way through the philosophy of Dr Maria Montessori.
Caitlyn van Baak
Educator - Nido
Children's House Owner
As a Mother to six wonderful children who have thrived through Montessori, I have a genuine passion and commitment towards offering other families the same valuable opportunity.
Every day, I strive to create an exceptional experience for our beautiful children in their most precious early years. I truly believe there is nothing more important than helping laying the foundations for children to grow into capable, confident and kind people. I am privileged to be supported by a wonderful team of Educators who share my vision to offer the very best in quality Montessori early learning and loving care within a truly beautiful environment.
I greatly enjoy working closely with our Educators and families to witness the direct benefits of Montessori education in our children and to help maintain the high standards I would expect as a parent myself, first and foremost.