"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."
William Arthur Ward, author of Fountains of Faith
Our teachers play a very crucial role in our emergent curriculum framework, as the successful implementation of the curriculum greatly depends on the calibre of the teachers. They need to be observant, creative and flexible, and to focus on developing each child.
Our committed educators from around the world.
Tracey Emms
UK
Magda Zuber
UK
Kathy Wong
Malaysia

Tracey Emms

Tracey serves as Bebegarten’s Deputy Head of Curriculum and is an integral part of Bebegarten’s team having been with us since our opening Academic Year.

She has worked with children from a variety of social, cultural and economic backgrounds globally in over 30 years as a Teacher, Practitioner and Manager. Such settings include: schools, hospitals, a women’s refuge and outreach programmes for children with special educational needs.

With a Diploma in Early Years, National Nursery Examination Board, UK, Registered teacher status in Hong Kong and a wealth of teaching and management experience within Early Years Education; Tracey brings together all of this knowledge into her management practices to better our community.

Prior to joining Bebegarten she worked at an International through-school in Cairo as a team leader and brings a widespread range of experiences to Bebegarten’s community of learners on a daily basis.

Magda Zuber

Magda joins Bebegarten with an exceptional track record in Early Years Management and Education - an award winning practitioner in her most recent role as Senior Nursery Manager for a Private Nursery in the UK - she will be undertaking the role of Under 3’s Coordinator at Bebegarten.

Having worked in Early Years Education for the past 8 years, Magda prides herself on being a proactive and hands-on manager but her passions truly come alive within the classroom and in developing relationships with parents and caregivers. Holding Early Years Professional Status from the University of Winchester, UK, Magda’s existing experience in working within and implementing International curriculum frameworks includes; EYFS, Reggio Emilia, Montessori, the Scandinavian Udeskole and Forest School approaches.

Magda is delighted to be joining Bebegarten and embarking on extending her professional career to Hong Kong, having loved the city for its diversity during previous trips to Southeast Asia.

Kathy Wong

Kathy is our Mandarin Programme Coordinator and was born and raised in Malaysia. She graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University with a B.A. Hons in Teaching Mandarin as a Second Language and obtained her National PSC Mandarin Proficiency Certification in China.

She has been a key component in developing Bebegarten’s Mandarin programme for the past 3 years and previously she was working at an international school in Kuala Lumpur for 3 years. Through her own immersion in Chinese culture throughout her life, Kathy is inspired to communicate stimulating and varied experiences within her classroom and is delighted to be working in an education environment that allows children to explore and discover language creatively.
Alex Lau
UK
Ashley O’Connor Cox
Ireland
Bianca Sung
Canada

Alex Lau

Alex was born and raised in the UK and joins Bebegarten with a tangible passion for Drama and Arts Education; holding a B.A. Hons in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, UK.

Moving to Hong Kong in 2016 to explore the country of his family’s roots, Alex takes great pride in sharing his own experiences as actor, facilitator, director and storyteller with children of all ages. In the UK and Hong Kong, Alex’s work with varied participants shares a common goal; to create immersive, memorable and highly enjoyable collaborative performance work.

Bebegarten represents an opportunity for Alex to put all his experiences within Arts education into daily practice with our children and extend our programming in Drama and Performance alongside our team of thriving, creative Artists in Residence.

Ashley O’Connor Cox

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Ashley is making the journey to Hong Kong in her second role in International Education; previously working as Manager and Head teacher of an International Kindergarten and Daycare in Munich, Germany for the past 7 years.

Training within St. Nicholas Montessori College, Ireland for her B.A. Hons in Education before embarking on a distance Master’s degree in Education, Leadership and Management, Open University; Ashley is knowledgeable as a teacher and manager within International contexts. Her and her team have implemented a variety of curriculum practices into their teaching including EYFS, Reggio Emilia, Montessori and German Kindergarten methods.

Joining Bebegarten represents an opportunity for Ashley to implement her cross-curricular knowledge in an environment that inspired her during her recent visits with us.

Bianca Sung

Born in Hong Kong but spending the majority of her formative years in Canada from 2 - 18 years old, Bianca’s first-hand experiences of living life as a third-culture-child and within International education contexts strengthened her resolve to provide inspiring Early Years platforms for all children and parents alike.

Holding a Diploma in Early Years Education, Seneca College, Canada, and as a registered Kindergarten teacher in Hong Kong, Bianca has been working with Early Years learners for 5 years and most recently as a Teacher & Supervisor in an International Playgroup in Hong Kong since 2014.

Experienced working within a play-based and creative culture; Bianca’s knowledge of ensuring children are on the right pathways for success within future schooling shines through in her interactions with children and parents alike.

Bianca is excited to have found an institution in Hong Kong that mirrors her own philosophy as an educator; providing a caring, open and communicative approach to these critical Early Years and supporting the uniqueness of every child.
Catriona Briggs
UK
Grace Merritt
UK
Hannah Dentten
UK

Catriona Briggs

Born and raised in the UK, Catriona is a passionate Early Years practitioner with a keen interest in charitable and community development.

Joining us from Imperial College London’s Early Years Education Centre, Catriona most recently served as a Senior Early Years Educator; the institution’s youngest senior practitioner to date. In both teaching and supervisory roles within England, Catriona is experienced at utilising the EYFS framework in creative and inspirational classroom environments.

Holding an Early Childhood Studies & Psychology B.A. Hons (Combined) degree, Liverpool Hope University, UK, Catriona was delighted to find an International education environment that resonated with her desires to offer an emergent and child-centred approach to Early Years Education.

Grace Merritt

Grace is a familiar face to not only our parents but to many of our children moving into Upper Nursery class. Having served Bebegarten wonderfully since 2014 in a variety of teaching posts and in leadership as our Under 3’s Coordinator, Grace will be moving into our Upper Nursery class to share not only her expertise and understanding of the Language of ChildrenTM framework but to stretch our classroom provision to even greater heights.

Holding a B.A. Hons Degree in Early Childhood Studies, Oxford Brooke’s University, UK and a PGCEi from Keele Univeristy, UK, Grace’s own experience of completing her primary and secondary education in international schools in Hong Kong infuses her with a desire to see all Bebegarten children move-on to wonderful future schooling whenever the time is right.

Hannah Dentten

Hannah was born and raised in England, UK before moving to Hong Kong in 2012 and holds a B.A. Hons in Textiles from Norwich School of Art and Design, Norwich, UK along with a Higher National Diploma in Fashion Design & Technology from London College of Fashion.

Experienced as a Visual Merchandiser, Interior Designer and varied artistic Project Manager - Hannah’s diversity in Art application will provide a wonderfully stimulating environment for our budding artists.

Having worked within Early Years settings in Hong Kong and as a children’s Art Studio Manager in recent years; Bebegarten represents an opportunity for Hannah to celebrate the artistic achievements of our children at Bebegarten in a manner that promotes empathy, worldly understanding and developmentally appropriate skillsets.

As a mother to her own two-year old Ava, Hannah is keen to ensure that all children engage in Process Art and real-world provocations to develop transferable skills from the Art Studio into everyday life.
Jenny Cunningham
New Zealand
Marco Iannelli
Italy
May Henderson
UK

Jenny Cunningham

Jenny was born and raised in New Zealand and has been working in Early Years Education for the past 12 years. Hong Kong marks a return to East Asia for Jenny, having briefly held a Nursery teaching post in China, and she is delighted to be continuing her extensive career travels with us here at Bebegarten.

With first-hand knowledge in applying EYFS, Te Whāriki and Reggio inspired curricular, Jenny’s international teaching has taken in China, Egypt and varied posts across New Zealand. Her diverse background began in administration before her passion towards working with others saw her retrain in community work and teaching, gaining a Bachelor of Teaching at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Jenny’s passion for teaching is strongly based on a supportive learning environment that enables children to become competent and confident learners; providing the foundation that will guide future life-long learning. She is excited to be joining Bebegarten and is encouraged by the influence of an emergent, diverse and child-centred curriculum in our setting.

Marco Iannelli

Marco serves as Bebegarten’s Artistic Director and is an Italian composer, musicologist, conductor and music educator - honoured with numerous international composition awards and his work can be heard around the world. Such career highlights include the role of Artistic Coordinator for the supporting events during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

In 2003, he co-founded a music school in Milan (Italy) that specialises in educating through an innovative methodology of teaching that has seen the school expand to include six institutions across Italy and Switzerland. In 2005 he co-founded and conducted the “Under 13 Orchestra”, the first Italian child orchestra that today has trained hundreds of young musicians and in 2010 was recognised as the “Best Italian Children Educational Project”.

Marco’s role at Bebegarten is defined and driven by his passion for creative Music and Arts education. His innovative teaching method stimulates children’s creativity through simple original compositions and practice of musical improvisation; boosting their enthusiasm, guiding students in discovering their potential talents through different art forms and sharing the idea that the Arts can enlighten everything in a child’s - and an adult’s - life.

May Henderson

May joined Bebegarten from an inclusive school in Thailand and serves as our Learning Support Coordinator, in house Speech and Language Therapist and an Early Years Class Teacher. Born and raised in the UK, May has amassed a wealth of classroom and casework experience with includes working with a wide range of children with speech, language and communication needs. 

Gaining an M.Sc. in Language Pathology, Newcastle University, UK and most recently a National Award for SEN Coordination, University of Northampton UK; May has experience in providing early intervention opportunity and strategy for children and families internationally and is driven by the passion to ensure that all children are supported to reach their potential in a positive educational environment.

A popular member of the Transition teaching team this past year, May is excited to continue providing the highest quality care to our children between 28 months to 3 years old.
Miriam Ma
US
Nichola Lewis
UK
Rachel Zhao
China

Miriam Ma

Miriam brings Bebegarten alive with a wealth of experience as a performer and practitioner of multiple disciplines. As a Bebegarten Artist in Residence, she inspires our children to fulfil their passions as budding music, singing and performing enthusiasts.

Having exposed children to classroom experiences in the Arts for 10 years both here in Hong Kong and in the USA, Miriam’s passion for inspiring a generation of creative, confident and self-assured children underpins her teaching practice.

Her experiences as a professional pianist and singer give her first-hand industry knowledge and you can often find her sharing those gifts with our Bebegarten children - ‘rocking out’ in the classroom or duetting with our Artistic Director Mr. Marco!

Nichola Lewis

Born and raised in the UK, Nichola is returning to Hong Kong for a second time with deep ties to the region; with two of her children now serving as International teachers themselves here.

Working at Discovery Bay International School for 11 years prior as a Nursery and then Reception teacher; Nichola will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our classroom and support our children in their next steps into Primary Schools here in Hong Kong and abroad. Her experience teaching pre-Primary and Primary One year’s extends to Hong Kong, The Philippines, England and Poland - joining us from the British International School of Cracow as their former Foundation Stage Coordinator.

Having completed her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, Exeter, UK, Nichola’s thesis focused on creative thinking within the cultural context of Hong Kong schooling. We are delighted to welcome her to our team as a practitioner who values high quality process driven education at the heart of her own class teaching.

Rachel Zhao

Born and raised in China, Rachel moved to Hong Kong in 2011 to continue her studies and direct her focus towards Early Years learners. Having previously gained a B.Sc. in Applied Psychology, Soochow University, China, it was her decision to pursue her M.Ed. in Educational and Developmental Psychology, Hong Kong Institute of Education, which aligned her focus towards the developmental and educational milestones of children from 6 months to 6 years old.

Having worked within the diverse nature of education settings in Hong Kong, Rachel was pleased to find a synergy between her beliefs as a practitioner and those of Bebegarten’s Bilingual and Immersive Mandarin learning styles when she joined in 2016. She successfully shares a love of learning through play and investigative classroom opportunities with our children and has taught across all of our age groups.

It is Rachel’s belief that language represents a crucial part of one’s own culture and in its sharing, all children - and adults alike - can share in global knowledge and experience.
Shaun Handford
UK
Sydney Lott
USA
Vanessa Mac Donald
South Africa

Shaun Handford

Born and raised in the UK, Shaun was inspired to work within the Early Years after becoming an Uncle in his teenage years and only wanting the best experiences for his Niece and Nephew. A focus on Early Years studies followed and culminated in a B.A. Hons degree during his time with the highly reputable Pre-School Learning Alliance, UK.

Whilst holding roles within the Pre-School Learning Alliance that included Participation & Engagement Officer, Outreach Officer and Early Years Class Teacher; Shaun was sharing valuable insight into child developmental milestones with parents and caregivers and promoting inclusive Early Years practice.

Having worked across the breadth of our entire Under 3’s programme this past year, Shaun is excited to be seeing many familiar faces for the coming year as he moves solely into our Transition classes to ensure a high level of consistency and quality are provided for children during their all-important pre-Nursery year.

Sydney Lott

Sydney was born and raised in California, USA and has worked internationally in Education for the past 4 years between Thailand and Hong Kong.

Graduating from the University of California, USA, with a B.A. Hons degree in Psychology and Education, she is currently concluding a distance study in Early Childhood Education with the same University in a commitment to her continued professional development.

With a desire to ensure that every child gains the confidence to be independent, self-sufficient and creative; Sydney and Bebegarten share a pledge to ensure that every child is set-up to succeed in their future through a playful, expressive and nurturing approach.

She is thrilled to be joining such a diverse team of practitioners and is excited to provide a joyful and stimulating classroom for our Under 3’s children.

Vanessa Mac Donald

Vanessa joins Bebegarten on the next step in her Early Years adventure into Hong Kong, having worked in an International Day Care Centre here during the past year - her first year here in Hong Kong. Her ties to Hong Kong do run deep, with her niece happily living here for many years.

Born and raised in South Africa, Vanessa is experienced in working with diverse groups of children and families having worked in Early Childhood for more than 30 years. Varied roles as teacher, Principal and Nanny to children from 3 months to their teen years has left Vanessa with a desire to promote the best possible Early Years start for children in her care.

Greatly inspired by Bebegarten’s ethos and environment, Vanessa joins the team with a determination to provide a caring and nurturing environment for our children during their time inside and outside the classroom.
Who influences our children’s achievement more
60%
Teacher
20%
Home
20%
Management / School
Source: The Professional Learning and Leadership Development Directorate including research by Robert Marzano
Our teachers are passionate, caring, experienced and highly qualified.
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