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.

Bridget Butterworth | Centre Manager

Bridget is a qualified early childhood teacher and also has a Social Sciences degree with a major in Psychology.  She has worked in the early childhood industry for a number of years both as a teacher and as a manager.

Bridget strives to develop warm and respectful relationships with the teachers, the children and their whanau.  She recognises the value to the children’s learning that can be gained from a strong sense of belonging and the importance of developing relationships to support that.

Bridget strongly believes in the value of play and providing a thoughtful and stimulating environment   to ensure the needs of the whole child are met and extended on.

Bridget is excited to be part of the team at Little Sparrows.

Michaela Honiss | Supervisor

Michaela is a qualified early childhood teacher who 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 decided to study a postgraduate of Early Childhood. Michaela is now the supervisor here at Little Sparrows Hamilton, and she wouldn’t be anywhere else. Michaela holds the relationships with the children and their families close to her heart and looks forward to coming to work every day to see the children. We are very lucky to have Michaela as a part of our team here at Little Sparrows and look forward to the future ahead with her.

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.

Stephanie Wilson | Teacher

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.

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.

Leva Matagi | Student Teacher

Leva is a dedicated passionate teacher and we are so lucky to have as part of the team while she is studying at Wintec this year. Leva has a warm loving personality which allows her to form strong caring relationships with all of our learners here at Little Sparrows. Leva has an amazing musical talent and we have been fortunate enough to learn some Samoan waiata and traditions. Leva is an asset to the Little Sparrows team, and we are so lucky to have her as part of our community.