Meet our staff

  • Ruth Chapman-Olla

    Fantail & Kindy Room - Studying Education Psychology

    Hello, I’m Ruth In our smaller boutique environment, we embrace the opportunity to create strong relationships with children and their families. As a mother of two who have attended the centre I value the strong sense of belonging this creates. I have enjoyed living in Queenstown since 2010 making the most of the outdoors enjoying running, cycling and snowboarding when I can. I admire the amazing teaching team that I get to work alongside learning great things from one another and growing together.
  • Amy Grieshaber

    Fantail room - Health and Social Care (BTEC) (UK)

    Hello I’m Amy What I love most about teaching at ZigZagZoo is the family feel of the close-knit environment where we are able to build strong relationships with tamariki and their whanau. I came to Queenstown in June 2015 when I began my journey here at ZigZagZoo Henry Street. During my time here I have developed my knowledge and understanding of the RIE philosophy. Through this I have become passionate about giving children time and space to grow and develop at their own pace. I believe it is essential to facilitate an environment where the children are safe, empowered, content and nurtured.
  • Sharifah Rabita (Liz)

    Teacher in Kindy Room - Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary)

    Kia Ora, I’m Liz I enjoy teaching at ZigZagZoo because every day is different, and allows me to be creative every day. I love supporting children to discover their own questions. I believe all children are unique and have something special that they bring to their own learning. I am from Penang, Malaysia and lived in Australia for ten years before moving to New Zealand. I am a passionate, avid traveller and see myself as a citizen of the world. I believe I can learn so much more from other people, cultures and countries. These experiences help me to strive to become a better person every day. This is an exciting chapter in my journey to move to Queenstown and working as a Kindergartner Teacher in Zig Zag Zoo. I am looking forward working with the teaching team, children and the whanau.
  • Chunchun Wang (Cathy)

    Fantail room teacher - Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

    Kia ora, my name is Chunchun (Cathy) Wang. I enjoy working here at ZigZagZoo as it is like a big family where everyone is respected. I love that all our teaching and learning are based on trusting reciprocal relationships with children and their whanau. I can speak both Mandarin and English. It is my passion of learning and growing together with children that brought me, my husband and my son here all the way from China in 2016 to pursue my dream of becoming an early childhood teacher in such respectful and inclusive environment. I have enjoyed the whole journey of studying, practicing and growing into a New Zealand qualified teacher. My teaching philosophy is based around respectful practice. I believe that trusting reciprocal relationships with children and their parents is the foundation to everything. I am bubbly, friendly and passionate about communicating with people, because all those sparkly interactions and positive responses make me motivated and striving to do my best. I enjoy watching movies and spending time with my family and friends. I love the colour red, music, interacting with children and witnessing their learning. It has always been an explosion of learning both for the kids and myself and I am so happy to be here, experiencing it with all of you!
  • Sarah Bland

    Kindy Room - Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

    Kia ora! My name is Sarah. If you spot me out and about you might find a snowboard attached to my feet, or wearing a big grin in a kayak, or with sparkling eyes and a camera in an area of natural beauty. I love hiking, camping, mountain biking, graphic design and baking. I also love hearing stories of adventures, so please share yours with me! Through my professional career I have worked with children in New Zealand and also in Europe for more than 15 years. I started as a social worker, worked in primary school with special education, and have thoroughly thrived in the preschool setting. It is SUCH a privilege to get to know each child, and what makes their hearts tick. Primarily, if we can instill a sense of emotional stability and sense of purpose in each child, they will be set up to navigate the highs and lows that life will bring. I’m really looking forward to sharing life with you and your family. Thanks for letting me join you!
  • Lovitha Karunakaran

    Centre Assistant Manager/Fantail Room Team Leader - Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Years) and Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary)

    Kia Ora, My name is Lovitha. I am a NZ fully registered and qualified Early Child Teacher. I started working in the Kindy Room in 2013, then moved on to the Infant Room in 2014. I took a break from teaching in 2016 to complete my Postgraduate Diploma in Education endorsed in Early Years Education through Massey University. I've started working here again since June 2017. I moved to Queenstown, New Zealand from Malaysia with my family in 2005 and it has been my home ever since. I enjoy working with young children and building a great foundation of learning with them. My goal is to provide children with challenges in a safe and caring environment where they are able to learn at their own pace. I am looking forward to being part of your child's learning journey here at Zig Zag Zoo!