Meet the Teachers | Piccolo Preschool New Plymouth


Sara Greensill-Van Prehn

Teacher, Director & Owner


Tena koutou, katoa

Ko Taranaki toku maunga
Ko Wairau te awa
Ko tokomaru te waka
No Omata ahau
Ko Sara Greensill-van Prehn toku ingoa

Sara Greensill-van Prehn has spent the past 24 years in the early childhood sector in a number of capacities. Sara has taught, set up home-based in Auckland, worked for the Ministry of Education as a contractor and employee before returning to her hometown of Taranaki. Since her return, she has been involved in and currently is a Lecturer for the University of Canterbury.

Sara originally undertook her Diploma of Teaching (ECE) at the Auckland College of Education and completed her Bachelor of Education from the University of Auckland. Just before her son was born, she completed her Masters in Education.

Sara has a passion for children’s environments and for implementing a programme that supports the needs of the various ages of the children that attend, as well as providing an environment that is conducive to learning through calm, deliberate and conscious teaching. Sara believes that this is all possible through the influence of the Reggio Emilia philosophy.

Sara enjoys cooking, sports and the beach and enjoys all of these more with the help of her son.

Melissa Crow

Manager, Senior Teacher

Tena Koe

Ko Taranaki te maunga
Ko Waitara te awa
Ko tokomaru te waka
Ko Te Atiawa te iwi
No Oakura ahau
Ko Melissa Crow toku ingoa

Melissa has a Diploma of Teaching (ECE) with over 20 years of experience in teaching, leading teams and management in early childhood education.

Melissa believes that all children are capable and competent learners, and this is reflected in all aspects of her interactions with children and the environment within which they learn.

Melissa has a passion for the outdoors and enjoys growing and cultivating her own food and exploring new and wonderful places with her daughter.

Aimee Wisnewski

Currently on maternity leave


Tena koutou, katoa

Ko Taranaki te maunga 
Ko Puniwhakau te awa 
Ko Tokomaru te waka 
Ko Ngati Mutunga te iwi 
No New Plymouth ahau 
Ko Aimee Wisnewski toku ingoa

Aimee brings to Piccolo a vast number of qualities that she shares with the teaching team and tamariki.  These include  innovativion, nurturing, positivity, inspiriation, engagement, creativity, fun, dedication and trustworthiness.

Aimme has been teaching in kindergartens around New Plymouth for over 15 years.  She is an enthusiastic, innovative and passionate teacher whom embraces children's strengths, aspirations, needs and interests. Aimee strongly believes that children learn best in an environment where they feel safe, secure, nurtured and valued, and believes that all children are strong, competent and capable individuals whom are full of wonder and curiosity to learn. All children have a natural drive that makes them want to understand and know about the world around them and how this world relates to them. 
Aimee and her husband have two spirited, gorgeous young girls who either keep them young or make them feel very old! Aimee comes from a big family so our weekends are very much their special family time together.

Aimee looks forward to meeting you all and learning with and alongside your children.

Rosie Lindsay


Kia Ora,

Ko Taranaki te maunga
Ko Patea te awa
Ko Redeemer Church te iwi
No Stratford ahau
Ko Rosie toku ingoa

Rosie graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) and a Diploma of Teaching in Primary. Rosie has returned home to Taranaki with her husband to share her immense skills and passion for children.

Rosie has a passion for working with children, especially their development of:
• Social skills
• Independence
• Challenging themselves
• Inquiry
• Child led learning
• Supporting children to be active participants in their own learning

Rosie has a wide range of interests including arts and craft, and food and cooking of which she is very skilled at. Creativity comes very naturally to Rosie and she always shares her great ideas!

Shelley Prestney



Tena koutou, katoa

Ko Taranaki te maunga
Ko Waiwakaio te awa
No New Plymouth ahau
Ko Shelley Prestney toku ingoa

Shelley Prestney completed her studies at the University of Canterbury and joined the Piccolo team as a new graduate. Prior to studying early childhood education, Shelley travelled and spent many years living and teaching English in Turkey, Indonesia and Thailand. 

Shelley has a passion for music and dance. She establishes very respectful and trusting relationships with children. 

Shelley enjoys riding her motorbike and being in the outdoors. She believes that we are spoilt with choice in Taranaki with the things we can do – the mountain and sea.. Shelley looks forward to working with you and your children. 

Emily Terrill



Tena koutou, katoa

Emily Terrill has recently joined our team after enjoying several years to raise her boys Nathan and Brendan.

Emily completed her Diploma of Teaching in Early Childhood Education and continued on to complete her Bachelors degree in ECE.

Emily’s passion is around animals. She lives on a farmlet where she breeds dogs and is able to indulge in her passion for horses.

Emily has a passion for the environment and in particular using the environment as the third teacher.
Emily looks forward to sharing her knowledge with the tamariki and learning from them as well.

Holly McLeod



Tena koutou, katoa
Ko Taranaki te maunga
Ko Ngamutu te moana
No New Plymouth ahau
Ko Holly McLeod toku ingoa

Holly was born and raised in New Plymouth, she moved to Hamilton for her studies at Waikato University where she got her Bachelor of Teaching ECE, Masters degree in Disability and Inclusion Studies, and a Graduate Diploma in Theatre. 

Holly also has a broad range of knowledge when it comes to languages. She is fluent in English and New Zealand Sign Language but is passionate about learning more languages and has a beginners grasp on Te Reo Māori, Japanese, Italian, and Scottish Gaelic.

During Holly's spare time she enjoys crafts and reading. Holly is highly creative and always ready to explore, get messy, and have adventures.

Holly believes that each child has their own journey and is dedicated to discovering the best way to support them and their whānau as they learn and grow. Holly is excited to work alongside you and your children to ensure that they have a great start to their educational journey here at Piccolo Preschool.

Elisabeth (Liz) Hodges



Kia ora
Ko Liz toku ingoa.

I have a Diploma of Teaching (ECE) and have been teaching for eight years with the last four teaching 0–2 year olds.

I strongly believe that children learn best in an environment where they feel safe, secure, nurtured and valued, and believe that all children are strong, competent and capable individuals who are full of wonder and curiosity to learn. All children have a natural drive that makes them want to understand and know about the world around them and how this world relates to them.

I have a passion for music dance and art. I establish very respectful and trusting relationships with children and whanau.

My strengths would include being an honest, reliable, hardworking teacher and I feel I possess calmness whilst around children. I am consistently looking for ways to improve my teaching, through skills, knowledge, attitudes, and experiences. I can adapt easily to different age groups and philosophies. I appreciate that families have different values and beliefs.

I enjoy exploring our natural world, native walks, and the beach. In my extra time I enjoy spending time with my family and reading. I look forward to meeting you and your whānau.

Amy Simpson

Teacher Support


Kia ora e te whānau
Kua hui mai nei ki te ipu wharangi Piccolo kura
Ka nui te hari mo to koutou tautoko i nga tikanga
E pa ana ki tō tātou kura

Ko Taranaki te maunga
Ko Kurahoupō te waka
Ko Waitotoroa te awa
Ko Taranaki te iwi
Ko Ngāti houpoto te hāpu
Ko Pōtaka te marae

Ko Taylor tāku hoa tane
Ko Lucas rāua, Ko Meila aku tamariki
Ko Amy tōku ingoa

Greetings whānau. I am delighted to be apart of the team here at Piccolo Preschool and look forward to developing myself as a teacher as I progress through my ECE degree through NZTC. While on this journey I look to provide recipricol relationships with our tamarki and to encourage them to extend their own individual personalities and ideas.

Aroha nui koutou,
Tena koutou katoa

Nikky McClelland

Teacher Support
Currently on maternity leave


Tena koutou katoa

Ko Taranaki te maunga
Ko Waiwhakaiho te awa
No New Plymouth ahau
Ko Nikki McClelland toku ingoa

Kia ora, my name is Nikki and I have been blessed to be working at Piccolo Preschool for over a year now as a Teacher Support. 

I love creating bonds with the tamariki, making them feel safe and valued as the amazing little people they are. I am very kind, nurturing and a positive person and I have found my passion working with children.

My husband Troy and I have been together for 17 years and Chloe our beautiful four year old girl keeps us young at heart. I believe we should all let our inner child out more, and be inspired by our children as they see the world in such a magical way and we can learn so much from them.

Kathy Ward



Kia Ora

My name is Kathy Ward and I love cooking for our little ones at Piccolo.

I have a son and daughter plus two amazing grandsons.

Because of my 'advancing' years, I have a fair bit of life experience under my belt! I have been a dairy farmer, a firewood merchant and have experience in the catering/cafe world. My partner Stu and I live in Bell Block and we love to head away whenever we can.

I look forward to meeting you when you visit Piccolo - our 'home away from home'.