Meet The Team

Nicole Honiss | Director

Nicole’s vision for Little Sparrows is to provide a well-resourced, supportive environment where each staff member, child, and their families, feel a genuine sense of belonging. Nicole strongly believes that every child deserves the best care and education possible. She endeavours to ensure that each child is given the opportunity to reach their full potential while having fun learning in a safe and stimulating environment.

Michaela Honiss | Centre Manager

Michaela is the Centre Manager here at Little Sparrows in Hamilton, and has been with us since our opening back in 2014. Michaela has originally studied Human Resource Management at the University of Waikato and worked part time at Little Sparrows throughout her study. When it came to the end of her study, the thought of finding a job elsewhere didn’t sit right with her, so she studied a postgraduate of Early Childhood. Michaela has worked her way up from Teacher, to Supervisor, and now to Centre Manager and wouldn’t be anywhere else. Michaela holds the relationships with the children and their families close to her heart and will always go above and beyond to meet the needs of every family and child at Little Sparrows.

Suzanne Botha | Supervisor

Suzanne began her teaching career back in 2015 and is a mother to two beautiful girls. She is originally from South Africa and made the move to New Zealand back in 2007. Suzanne is very passionate about her role as an early childhood teacher and believes that every child should feel supported, nurtured and encouraged throughout their learning journey. Suzanne believes in providing children with an optimal learning environment that encourages and recognises each child’s culture, values and beliefs, whilst ensuring she has strong relationships with the tamariki and their whanau. Suzanne is excited to be taking on the role of Supervisor, and is motivated to provide a warm and welcoming environment for our community. We are excited to have Suzanne on board with us and look forward to seeing her career develop here at Little Sparrows.

Ashlee Vant Leven | Teacher

Ashlee is a qualified early childhood teacher who’s love of the outdoors and nature transcends into her practise. She loves providing thought provoking opportunities that encourage curiosity and a love for learning. As Ashlee believes in lifelong learning, she is currently studying a post grad diploma in Early Intervention with intentions to use her knowledge to provide an inclusive environment at Little Sparrows.

Amy Gillies | Teacher

Amy began her journey with us while completing her degree in Early Childhood Education, and so brought to centre a very reflective practice, and is very passionate about providing a home away from home for the tamariki and their whanau. She does this through providing experiences that often have a natural and/or an open ended element (clay, natural resources like shells and driftwood, marbles, open ended dress ups, etc), which she often leaves to the children to discover for themselves, and play with as they please, as this builds on their imaginative and creative skills as well as empowering them to have their own ideas. She is also a mother herself, and so brings a nurturing and calm presence in centre. She and her children have been involved in both playcentre and Steiner (Waldorf) education and so also brings to her practice a very open minded and inclusive philosophy that enables the children to be their best while learning at their own pace, and in their own style. She is a lover of books, and a role model for the tamariki as a kaitiaki (caretaker) in caring for our Little Sparrows environment.

Sheryl O’Connor | Teacher

Sheryl began her journey with us at the beginning of 2019 and has been apart of the early childhood industry for 10 years. Sheryl was inspired to join the industry and become a teacher after having her daughter Lily. Sheryl cherished every special moment she had with her daughter, and was inspired to make a career out of it. Sheryl loves the relationships and bonds that she forms with the children and strongly believes that the tamariki teach her so much about herself and as a teacher. Sheryl strives to form bonds with every child in her care, and tailors her approach to every child’s different wants and needs as learners. Sheryl is an asset to our team and we love having her as part of our family.