Your perfect teaching team.
Mandy Packer - Centre Manager
Diploma of Early Childhood Education, Fully Registered
Nau mai haere mai and welcome.
My name is Mandy Packer and I am really excited to be a part of this journey of growth and learning with your whānau.
I have been teaching since 1999, graduating with a Diploma of ECE from NZTC in 2004 I also have had 5 beautiful children along the way which has allowed me to develop and dig deeper into my teaching, creating a philosophy that values individuality, diversity and holds importance on respectful relationships.
Every child is unique in their own way and each brings a diverse set of world views to play and I believe in moving with the child and trusting that they are capable.
I am committed to creating a home away from home that is inviting, full of opportunities for fun, learning, trust, confidence and exploration.
Bandana Rao - Administration Manager/Teacher
Bachelor of Education (High School), Fully Registered
Kia Ora Whānau and families
My name is Bandana Rao and I am really blessed to be a part of the learning process of your child.
I started my teaching career in 2001 after graduating with a Bachelor of Education in Secondary Teaching from University of the South Pacific in Fiji. Since then, I have taught at various secondary schools in Fiji, before deciding to migrate to this beautiful country with my family in 2009 where I have had gained my full teacher registration as well. For a year, I have done some secondary school relieving however, in 2010 I was given an opportunity to join the early childhood sector where I really enjoyed working with the younger children. I love nature, reading, music and spending time with my family.
I believe that childhood is a vital stage of life for an individual therefore it needs to be nurtured beautifully and respectfully keeping in mind that each child is unique in their own way as they learn at their own pace and time. I also believe in creating a calm and peaceful environment, and allowing children to explore freely and letting them just be for who they are.
Melissa Banks - Head Teacher
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary), Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning (ECE), Provisionally Registered
Kia ora whānau! My name is Melissa and I am delighted to have the opportunity to get to know you and your family while providing care and education for your child.
I have been teaching since graduating in 2003 with a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in Primary Teaching from Christchurch College of Education. Since then I have travelled, taught, dabbled in photography, and become a mother. I gained a huge amount of life experience before deciding to retrain in Early Childhood Education in 2015 with a Graduate Diploma in ECE from Massey University, and I couldn't be more pleased with my decision.
I am dedicated to providing educational experiences and care for your child based on a philosophy of respect and an understanding that your child is a capable and independent learner who will lead their learning while I support, guide and extend them. I strongly believe in engaging children in developmentally appropriate practice, respecting children in their individualism as they develop at their own pace, and understanding that childhood is a valuable and valid time in life and should be treated with respect and nurtured.
Ashleigh Duffield - Teacher
Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (ECE), Provisionally Registered
Kia ora whānau/families,
My name is Ashleigh and I am part of the wonderful teaching team who are lucky enough to be providing education and care for your child at Papanui Preschool.
I grew up in a small town on the West Coast, and moved to Christchurch to study once I had finished high school. I graduated from Canterbury University in 2014 with a Bachelors Degree in Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood), and I have been teaching in early childhood centres since this time.
While providing care and education for your child, I endeavour to create an environment where your child is surrounded by support, and is allowed time and space to freely explore and be themselves. I strongly believe in providing a home away from home for children, where relationships and partnerships are of high importance.
I am excited to get to know you and your child, while we work together to support them in their childhood, and learning journey.
Sally McAlister - Teacher
Bachelor of Education (ECE), Fully Registered
My name is Sally and I feel very fortunate to be a part of your child’s learning and development, striving to give them the best start in their early years here at Papanui Preschool. I pride myself on my professionalism, advocating for, loving and caring for children so that they feel safe and secure.
I have been teaching since 2004, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood in 2012. I have one son (my best friend), and also three step daughters.
Children need to feel loved, valued and respected in every way possible and I will strive to support and encourage your children to be themselves, allowing them to learn in their own way in a respectful environment. I will support them on their journey to self regulation, self help, and feeling grounded and settled, preparing a foundation for whatever path they take in life. I look forward to making a difference and being here for the children in our care and also our families/whānau, to support you all on a daily basis here at Papanui Preschool.
Larissa Fox - Teacher
Diploma in Education (ECE), Provisionally Registered
Kia ora whānau
My name is Larissa and I am very lucky to have the opportunity to be part of the teaching team at Papanui Preschool. I am looking forward to getting to know you all while providing quality care and education for your children.
I moved to Christchurch in 2005 to study early childhood education. I graduated in 2016 with a Diploma in Education ECE, after having my two children.
While providing quality care and education for your children, I will endeavour to provide a respectful environment where the children learn at their own pace alongside their peers and teachers. I believe that all children are capable of growing into competent and confident learners, through respectful practices and allowing children to be their own unique selves.
I look forward to working with you all to provide the best for your children.