Meet our staff

  • Lovitha Karunakaran

    Centre Manager - 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!
  • Sharifah Rabita (Liz)

    Kindy Team Leader - 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.
  • Barbara Samson

    Infant & Toddlers Team Leader - Bachelor of Science in Family Life and Child Development, Philippines

    Kia Ora! My name is Barbara. I have been teaching in the Preschool department in an international school in the Philippines for more than 9 years before I arrived in Queenstown, New Zealand in 2016. I started working here in Zig Zag Zoo in 2018 and it has been a different but wonderful experience for me. I am still learning, and I know that I still have a lot to learn but with the great teaching team that we have in this centre, learning is constantly happening, and I enjoy every bit of the learning journey. I love being with children, providing them with a secure and safe environment, guiding them in every way and attending to their primary care needs but helping them build a strong character foundation is what I have always valued the most. Knowing that I play an integral part in how they develop into respectful and responsible individuals is an honour for me. This has always been my priority in this profession. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your Zig Zag Zoo family!
  • Mehek M

    Student Teacher - Currently studying Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood) through NZTC

    Kia Ora! My name is Mehek and I am a kindy teacher at Zig Zag Zoo. I like working there due to its multicultural environment. I am currently pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Teaching. I have been working with children for the past two years. It has always been of great interest to me caring, loving and working with children. I consider myself as a hardworking and self-motivated individual. I identify myself as an empathetic and caring teacher who wants all children to be successful learners. My goal in life is to get qualified, get heaps of experience as an early childhood teacher and be in a position where I’m able to make real positive changes to children, parents and community. I feel that my passion to do this and love for children will enable me to achieve this goal.
  • Leesa Davis

    Kindy Teacher - Certificate (Level 3) in Early Childhood Education and Care

    Haere Mai! My name is Leesa and I am a teacher in the Kindy room at Zig Zag Zoo Henry Street! In my spare time, I enjoy snowboarding and any extreme sport that involves getting my adrenaline pumping! I commenced my journey in the beautiful Queenstown in 2018 when I decided it was time to leave my sunny hometown of Sydney to move to New Zealand and begin a new adventure on my own. I have been working in the childcare profession for the last 4 years in Australia and have not looked back since! Working with children truly is the most rewarding job in the world and I couldn’t think of anything better I would want to do. One of the reasons I love working in the Kindy room is because we are constantly learning about the Māori culture/language and are incorporating it into our everyday practice including activities and games with the tamariki. I believe we are united together as a centre because we share this common theme between each other. Please come in to say hello and to meet our close knit team. I look forward to meeting any upcoming or potential whanau.
  • Prue Mehonoshen

    Infant Teacher

    Kia Ora Everyone! My name is Prue and I have had the pleasure of being a part of the infant room here at Zig Zag Zoo since September 2018. I am Australian and have been living in Queenstown for just over a year. I came to Zig Zag Zoo not previously having any centre experience, however knowing I had a strong passion to work with the little ones. They bring me so much happiness and I truly believe that every child that comes in the centre has the right to be loved, cared for, treated with respect and has an immense potential to learn. I enjoy the relationships we build with the families being such a small centre and I thoroughly enjoy the bond built with the infants through primary caregiving practices. Watching the children grow and build their own individual personalities is something I treasure. At such an important time of their lives, I hope that I can have a positive impact on their learning and help them feel like they belong here. Thank you for trusting us to teach your little ones!
  • Koshila

    Teacher Aide

    Kia Ora I’m Koshila and I am originally from Malaysia, where I studied Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Teaching. I began my teaching career in the Malaysian Vernacular Primary Schools. In 2015, my husband and I moved to the most beautiful place on earth - New Zealand. I worked as a caregiver in a few childcares in Invercargill and also worked in After School Day Care. In 2018, we were blessed with a baby girl. We spend most of our time with our daughter and enjoy seeing her growing and learning new things every day. Being a mother gives me the opportunity to see a child from a mother’s perspective. I believe this helps me to understand each child’s uniqueness. My philosophy is based on the holistic approach of Te Whariki which recognise and supports the enhancement of each tamariki’s mana. I believe every tamariki are born with a special talent and this talent can be developed when they are given opportunity to explore new things. Currently, I am on the process of getting my NZ teacher’s registration.