Trust Members

Trust Members

ElaineElaine Low (Chairperson)
Elaine trained as a Primary Teacher over 20 years ago. She completed her Early Childhood Training and operated a centre in Akaroa for 5 years – the ‘Ngaio Akaroa Preschool’. When numbers dropped she closed the centre and opened Airdmhor Montessori in Christchurch. She completed her Early Childhood Diploma and the M.W.E.I Montessori Primary Diploma. Elaine has upgraded to the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning. She is a trustee of the Aperfield Montessori Trust.

Suzanne Drury-Turnbull
Diploma of Teaching ECE
Aperfield Diploma of Teaching in ECE
Currently supervisor at Rainbow Preschool and Nursery.
Previously proprietor of Montessori Horizons Preschool Riwaka.

DeborahDeborah Gath
Bachelor of Teaching & Learning (Christchurch College of Education)
Tutor & examiner Aperfield Montessori Diploma (Christchurch)
Diploma of Teaching Early Childhood Education
Registered Teacher
Aperfield Montessori Diploma ECE
Certifcate of Childcare & Registered Nurse (Psychopaedic)
Trustee of the Aperfield Trust

ElaineChristine Kirkeby opened Learning Curves Montessori – Redwood, Christchurch in 1995 after discovering Montessori for her children. She then opened Learning Curves St Albans two years later and owned and operated the two centres for ten years. Christine sold Garden Grove Montessori in Timaru, November 2013, commuting each week from Christchurch for three years Christine worked for the Education Review Office for six years and in January 2014 joined the Early Childhood team as a senior advisor at the Ministry of Education in Christchurch. She will finish her Aperfield Montessori Diploma in 2014, has a Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) a Post Graduate Diploma in Evaluation and a Masters in Education. Christine joined the Aperfield Trust in December 2013.

Bianca de Silva (Trustee)


 alt=Mary Stephen (Executive Officer)
Mary’s role involves maintaining the smooth running of all aspects of the day to day business of the Trust, including liaison with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and the Ministry of Education (MOE). She was a member of the inaugural Aperfield Montessori Diploma class which first ran as an Advanced Studies for Teachers (AST) course at the Christchurch College of Education in July 1991,  graduating in the Aperfield Montessori Diploma. She also has another part time job tutoring students with specific learning disabilities. Her Montessori studies have complemented her teaching of students who require learning support.

Kristi DalyKristi Daly (Educational Co-ordinator)
Kristi has 17 years teaching and management experience in Early Childhood Education. After completing a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (ECE) and a Diploma in Management (ECE), Kristi went on to complete her Montessori Diploma with The Aperfield Montessori Trust in 2006. Kristi supervised a small Montessori preschool in Christchurch for several years before becoming the General Manager for the same company. Kristi has two children and lives in Christchurch. Her role as the Educational Coordinator is to support both the tutors and students while working closely with the Executive Officer in maintaining the course at its NZQA approved level.

PetraPetra Marks (Administrator for Distance Learning Students)                Petra is the first contact to enrol and re-enrol in the Aperfield Montessori Diploma, the individual Montessori courses and Ministerial Module. She dispatches the course materials to all of the distance students who have successfully been selected to study the Aperfield programme.  Her Montessori affiliation came through her now grown-up daughter who attended Montessori schools in Germany and Christchurch. Working for the Aperfield Montessori Trust since 2000, Petra is the link between students and their allocated tutors and supports Kristi and Mary in working for the Trust. Petra also liaises with our tutors, allocates them students and processes the tutor claims each term.

Paul Rinsma (Treasurer)

Friends of the Trust

VidaNorah Fryer QSM ECE Consultant and Lecturer
Norah was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal on 31 December 2013 for her services to early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Formerly she lectured at Rangi Ruru ECE College (Infant & Toddler Mental Health course).
Diploma in Teaching (ECE), Diploma in Social Sciences, NZ Childcare Certificate, Certificate of Early Childhood Education (Massey),St Nicholas Montessori Course.
Norah is the Aperfield Montessori Trust’s professional development coordinator for tutors, moderator of tutor marking and early childhood education consultant for the Trust. Norah has particular expertise in programme development and was instrumental in initiating and co-writing the addition of the Ministerial Module course to our Montessori diploma. Her expertise in this field means that the course clearly reflects the current requirements in early childhood education.

Lois McConnellLois McConnell
Montessori Diploma London; Bachelor of Education Montessori Early Childhood Teaching – Auckland University of Technology
Registered nurse
Past distance tutor for Aperfield Montessori Trust for 20 years approx.
Workshop tutor for Aperfield Montessori Trust
Principal at Capital Montessori Preschool, Wellington.

 alt=Beverley Rose
B.Sc. Christchurch
LTCL Trinity College London
Diploma of Montessori Nursery London
Past Tutor Aperfield Montessori Trust diploma.
Examiner of practical and written exams.
Previously head teacher at a Christchurch .preschool

VidaVida Schurr Vida obtained a Diploma of Teaching (ECE) through New Zealand College of Early Childhood Education before managing an early childhood centre in Wellington. She returned to Christchurch to study for her Bachelor of Teaching and Learning from the Christchurch College of Education and was a lecturer at the New Zealand College of Early Childhood Education. After teaching overseas in Sweden, Vida returned to New Zealand to start a family and has since completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning through the University of Canterbury. Vida is the past Educational Coordinator for the Trust from 2009 to 2011.

KarynDr Karyn Davis has a background in science, having worked in medical research for several years before completing a PhD in genetics in 1996. Since then she has worked in the field of freshwater fisheries management until returning to New Zealand in 1999 where she lives on a farm on Banks Peninsula with her husband and two children. Her interest in Montessori Education began when her children started at a Montessori preschool in Christchurch. She completed the Aperfield Montessori Diploma in Early Childhood Education in 2005. Karyn previously served as Chairperson of the Trust from November 2005 until November 2008. Karyn was re-elected to the Trust in December 2011.