We recruit and retain the very best early childhood teachers; highly qualified, experienced individuals who feel a strong connection to our centre vision and are committed to providing our children with quality learning.

Our Montessori teachers are facilitators, mentors, coaches and guides. Through careful observation, they get to know a child’s learning style, personality and interests and guide them through the Montessori curriculum accordingly. Our teachers treat every child as unique and their learning journey specific to them, encouraging in them a love of learning. Montessori teachers encourage children to ask questions, think independently, explore, investigate and discover.

The Children’s Corner

All our teacher’s qualifications are displayed on the internal Centre Noticeboard, including their current first aid certificates.

Diane Cornelius

Centre Owner

Originally from Scotland, I came to Auckland in 2003 with my husband and I am very proud to call Auckland home. I have a B.A degree in Politics, Philosophy and Sociology and a Post-graduate Diploma in Personnel Management.

I have had the pleasure of being Centre Owner of The Children’s Corner Howick since January 2007 and the best part of my work is getting to know all our preschoolers and their families. I believe every child deserves the very best start in life and together with our talented teachers, this is what we aim to provide your child with…a quality Montessori foundation for lifelong learning.

I have 4 children (Neve, Orla, Darcy and Dempsey) and a husband who also works in early childhood so children really focus a lot in our lives! Together with our sheep, goat, dogs and cat we enjoy life on our lifestyle block.

Baz Cornelius

Centre Owner

Kia ora my name is Baz and I’m co-owner of The Children’s Corner Howick. I have 4 children and have been involved in early childhood education in New Zealand for almost 15 years working with all age groups. It always fills me with joy when I see children realise their potential as capable and competent learners.

Although I originally gained a degree in Chemistry then went on to work in the corporate world as a Finance Manager it is early childhood where I have finally found my passion. In 2021 I will be undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education which I’m really excited about.

My particular interests lie in conservation and the outdoors and I’m hoping to inspire and encourage our young learners in these valuable areas too.

Fiona Goodman

Centre Manager

Hi, my name is Fiona Goodman and I am Centre Manager at The Children’s Corner. I began my Montessori journey in the UK where I completed my training with St Nicholas in 1992. I then worked in various schools in Europe before coming to New Zealand in 1995.

I met my husband Murray and after getting married we had two children Jemma and Thomas. Both my children went to Montessori preschools and Tom was one of the foundation pupils here and spent his last year here before going to school.

We have a bach at Cooks Beach in the Coromandel where we like to spend time and enjoy waterskiing, wakeboarding and just relaxing at the beach. In my spare time, I like to read, spend time with friends and I love to shop!

Mariette Cawood

Montessori Teacher

My name is Mariette Cawood and I’m a provisionally registered teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.

I’m a passionate teacher and love the relationships we build together and being involved in the growth and development of each child at their own pace.

Originally I am from South Africa and have only been in New Zealand for a couple of months.

I have been happily married for 10 years now and have two beautiful children. Connor, my son is the eldest and then Caylin is my little girl.

In my spare time I love spending quality time with my family and that includes my 3 dogs. I enjoy netball and running.

I look forward in spending time getting to know you, the parents and your wonderful children.

Radhika Chawla

Montessori Teacher

Hi, my name is Radhika Chawla, and I was born and brought up in New Delhi, India. I grew up with my two other siblings, and I am the youngest among them. I graduated from the University of Delhi in 2003 with a Bachelor of Commerce and studied two years Diploma in Early Childhood Education.

I started my career in teaching in the year 2002. I taught for ten years as a Montessori Teacher with children of 3 to 6 years old in a school in New Delhi.

In 2013, I moved to New Zealand after marrying my husband, Bharat. We have two lovely kids, Pavani (9) and Himank (6).

In 2017, I worked as a long term reliever teacher at The Children’s Corner.

I am an enthusiastic teacher who loves kids and having a fun time with them. I am so excited to start this great journey with you and your children and working alongside with the great team of The Children’s Corner.