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 | Center 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.

Stephanie Wilson | Supervisor

Stephanie had joined the Little Sparrows team in 2018. Originally completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Auckland, Stephanie worked for a few years with children who have additional needs before completing a graduate diploma in teaching at the University of Waikato. Although Stephanie has had a lot of experience working in the toddler age group, she has become an advocate for mixed-age centres and strives to always encourage and promote the tuakana-teina relationships for the children. Stephanie is passionate about extending all children’s learning through interest-based play and loves to facilitate long term projects that get children from all of the different age groups involved.

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.

Gloria Ting | Teacher

Gloria is a qualified experienced early childhood teacher who is also a talented musician. She shares her love of music throughout her teaching practice and understands that children are born into a world of sound and movement which allows children to freely express themselves. She believes this helps children to develop a sense of rhythm, creativity, participation and diversity, bringing everyone together by experiencing music from different cultures. She herself comes from a diverse cultural background and feels as though she can relate and connect to the tamariki growing up in a multicultural society and strongly advocates for biculturalism, weaving this into her teaching practice with daily interactions. Gloria has always wanted to be a teacher and as a child looked up to her own teachers which inspired her to join the education industry.