Kia ora, my name is Donna, and it is a great privilege to be given the opportunity to work in the Montessori unit. I have been teaching for the last 20 years, six of these years I have spent teaching at international schools around the world.

I am passionate about children making their own choices.

I read a lovely quote that sums up my philosophy:
“Instead of the teacher reaching up into the world of knowledge and bringing it down for the children to access, the teacher lifts the child up so they can access it themselves.”

I am a qualified chef, beekeeper, Garden to Table expert, and my home gardening demonstrates my commitment to sustainable living.

I have spent two years in Junior Montessori and I can honestly say this is ‘my jam’.

Donna Eckstein
Teacher 6-9

Hi, my name is Claire Gribbin. I am a qualified primary teacher and musician. Originally from Ireland, I have been living in New Zealand for 4 years. I have taught in the senior Montessori classroom for the last 3 years. Prior to that I worked as a relief teacher at a number of local Tauranga primary schools and at Mauao Performing Arts Centre where I teach a range of instruments including voice, violin and piano.

I love being a teacher and it has been rewarding to be involved in the profession in New Zealand. In particular, I have found that the child-focused, practical and holistic approach that underpins the Montessori approach to teaching and learning most refreshing. From the moment I set foot in the Montessori classrooms at Bellevue, I knew it was an environment where I would not only enjoy teaching but would gain as much from the experience as the children obviously do.

My interests are listening to live music, singing, playing violin/piano, keeping fit and travel.

Claire Gribbin
Teacher 9-12

Honorary Staff

2x Turtles
Red Eared Turtles

3x Fish