Our Team

Northland Community Preschool's caring teaching team is what makes our preschool such a great place to play, learn and grow!  We have high teacher to child ratios. All of our teachers are fully trained and qualified and are dedicated to giving your child's education the best start possible while ensuring they are always having fun.

Maeve O'Neill (Supervisor):

Maeve is originally from Cork in Ireland and moved to New Zealand in 2012. She loves working with children and left a career in Chemistry to follow her passion and earn a degree in Early Childhood Studies. Outside of work, she enjoys taking her two dogs for walks on the beach with her partner, and loves the outdoor life that Wellington has to offer. She started in the role of Supervisor in 2021 and looks forward to working with the children at Northland Community Preschool and their whānau.

Bridget Napier (Teacher):
Bridget has been involved in Early Childhood Education for 21 years and has been teaching in the suburbs around central Wellington for the last 14 years. She lives in Aotea with her husband and two boys who attend Sacred Heart Cathedral School in Thorndon. She believes in working in strong partnership with children and their families to create rich learning opportunities for children to grow as confident explorers during their early childhood experiences and on into their future journeys.

Andrea Cochrane (Teacher):

Andrea holds a Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood) from Victoria University of Wellington.  She lives in Thorndon with her family and has a son at Wadestown School.  Working with children has given her an insight into how capable they are and how important relationships with their teachers/kaiako and other children are to their learning. She enjoys following each child’s interests and working alongside them as they discover more about the people, places and things in their lives.

Jane McKinlay (Teacher):

Jane hails from Dunedin, but now calls Wellington home. She lives with her partner and his children within walking distance of NCP, which she loves because she’s committed to being a good kaitiaki for the planet. She loves to sing and is a member of several choirs, and believes supporting cafes is an essential weekend activity! Jane trained as a primary school teacher and taught at schools for 17 years with a particular focus on Te Ao Māori and environmental education. She loves watching the tamariki at NCP explore, create and make sense of their worlds.

Sonja Steinmetz (Teacher):

Born in Singapore, Sonja came to New Zealand (via Germany, Bristol and New York) in 2015 to study a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education at Auckland University, and never left! She has loved getting to know Wellington and enjoys travelling throughout NZ. Sonja lives in Berhampore with her husband, young daughter and three cats. She is passionate about children having creative ways to express themselves as well as being able to take appropriate risks and develop their sense of independence.

Jennifer Hutchison (Teacher):

Jenn moved with her family to New Zealand from Edinburgh, Scotland when she was 12 years old and has lived here ever since. She lives with her husband, young daughter and dog in Makara. Jenn has been working in early childhood education for 8 years in various centres around Wellington. She is passionate about helping young children learn and grow, and she places whanaungatanga and ako at the heart of her teaching practice. Jenn loves supporting children to grow into ahurei (unique) individuals who are confident in themselves and passionate about learning and exploring the world around them.  

Carolyn Southcombe (Financial Administrator; Relief Teacher):
Carolyn has been involved in Early Childhood Education for 25 years as both teacher and administrator.  She has been at Northland Community Preschool in varying roles since 2009, and was Supervisor until 2021. Carolyn values the learning that occurs through children's play and the importance of relationships between children, whanau and the preschool community.

Management Committee:
The preschool is a parent co-operative owned by the parents who work in partnership with staff. Major decisions about the running of the preschool are made at either management committee meetings, staff meetings or at general meetings. We value and rely on parental input and all parents are welcome at our monthly meetings.