Tuakana Teachers

Belinda Dagatan | Tuakana Head Teacher

priya chand

Tuakana Head Teacher

Bachelor of Ecucation (Early Childhood Teaching)

Greetings to all! My name is Priya Chand and I hail from the beautiful islands of Fiji. I am a qualified and a fully registed teacher and I enjoy working collaboratively with parents, families, and teachers towards the goal of ensuring that our children are nurtured in a warm, loving, and caring environment which will give them a sense of belonging. I feel very privileged to be able to support the future generation, teaching them not only academically but holistically and help them make discoveries and have a love for learning and acquiring new information. I am looking forward to welcoming you all to our Tipu Montessori family.



Belinda Pillay | Tuakana Teacher

Kalpana Rao

Tuakana Teacher

Montessori Diploma in teaching (3-6 years) 

Grad Dip in teaching (ECE)

“The greatest development is achieved during the first years of life, and therefore it is then that the greatest care should be taken. If this is done, then the child does not become a burden; he will reveal himself as the greatest marvel of nature”. 

-Maria Montessori

Namaste, Kia ora and greetings to you. My name is Kalpana. I am originally from Bengaluru, India. 

My interest in the play way method of education brought me to New Zealand in 2009. After I completed my study and attained full registration, I decided to continue living and working in New Zealand; which I now consider to be my second home.

I enjoy working in Montessori environments in Aotearoa, New Zealand because of the fine balance between structured learning and learning through play. I am very passionate about the Montessori philosophy and thoroughly enjoy working with children. 

Reading, gardening and sewing are some of my favourite pastimes. 




Tuakana Teacher/Centre Manger

Bachelor of Education, Diploma in Montessori, Diploma in Early Childhood Education

Hello/Kia ora

I am Malika De Silva, Centre Manager/Owner of Tipu Montessori. I am fortunate to be among a team of dedicated and passionate teaching professionals and to serve a community that appreciates and values the education we provide.

In my long career as a Montessori teacher I have had the privilege of teaching both toddlers and pre-schoolers. I also taught at Primary level as a Resource teacher and had the opportunity to manage a Montessori Centre in the past. I am originally from Sri Lanka and my husband’s career took us to Jamaica in the West Indies where I began my professional journey. We have a grown up son who began his early education as a Montessori toddler.

As educators our duty is to respect children’s individual strengths and provide them the freedom of choice in their work/play. Our responsibility is to support and promote their love of learning. I believe that the greatest gift an educator can receive from a child is his/her trust.

At Tipu Montessori we place great importance at building relationships with parents and whanau.