Executive Director and Founder
Norma is the Founding Principal of New Horizons Preschool.
Norma has over 25 years’ experience working in the Early Childhood Education and Care sector in Tasmania, and collaborating with children and families. She has a Master of Teaching from the University of Tasmania.
Norma established New Horizons Preschool in 2004 as a small home-based service operating 3 mornings per week. In 2006 she opened the Lenah Valley campus to create a preschool setting centred on a strong ‘image of child’, relationships, collaborative approaches, active participation, and The Hundred Languages of children.
Norma was part of the Australian contingent on the Reggio Emilia International Study Tour in 2016, where she drew further inspiration to open the Battery Point Campus in 2017, ultimately achieving her vision to create an innovative and progressive preschool inspired by the Reggio Emilia Educational Project. Establishment of the Battery Point campus, with its unique and intentionally designed Atelier studios, introduced a new and unprecedented concept to Tasmanian early years education.
Norma is a passionate advocate for early childhood education and for children’s participatory rights in both schools and the wider community. She has a keen interest in engaging and collaborating with others to continue influencing and inspiring children’s learning and wellbeing within Tasmania. Norma’s mission is to re-imagine the rich possibilities for early years education to create dynamic, inspirational and inclusive learning spaces which support a rich culture of participation, where all children are supported and empowered along their individual journeys of life long learning.
At the end of the 2021 school year, Norma had the pleasure of announcing that Lou Kirkwood would take on her leadership role as Principal, with overall responsibility for the daily operation of New Horizons; and continuing to provide leadership in relation to the Preschool’s philosophy, teaching and learning.
At the end of the 2022 school year, Norma announced to her staff team that she would further pair back her administrative function within the Preschool’s organisation and operations. In February 2023, she was delighted to announce that Kristy Sumpton would take on the responsibilities of Family Liaison Officer, to support all families within our broader preschool community with enrolment and administrative enquiries, as well as tours of our Preschools.
Principal & Educational Leader
Lou has over 25 years’ experience working in Early Education in Tasmania and overseas. She has a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Education and a Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Tasmania. In 2011 Lou was a delegate on the International Study Tour to Reggio Emilia and she was awarded one of five REAIE Professional Development Scholarships in 2016.
Lou has several published articles and co-authored a book chapter on Early Childhood Education, The Reggio Emilia Approach and Inquiry Projects. She has co-authored and conducted professional learning sessions for New Horizons Preschool, along with other professional learning events for Reggio Emilia Information Exchange, Australia.
Lou is continually influenced and challenged by the Reggio Emilia Educational Project. She is passionate about democratic classrooms, the pedagogy of listening and inquiry approaches. Lou is inspired by democratic models of education and is an advocate for collaborative dialogue with staff, children, families and the community. She is committed to inclusive education, where all children are respected, have participatory rights and are considered competent.
Family Liaison Officer
Kristy has been working in Early Childhood Education for over 10 years, joining New Horizons Preschool in 2016. She has worked within a variety of settings and with different ages of children, ranging from birth to five years. She holds a Certificate III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care.
Having worked with other educational frameworks, Kristy is an advocate for and passionate about the Reggio Emilia Educational Project.
She is enthusiastic about co-researching alongside staff and children. She is passionate about developing relationships with the children and families to enable a collaborative and nurturing learning environment.
Kristy enjoys exploring new places with her husband and two children and spending time with family and friends.
Pedagogical Coordinating Team
Advanced Skills Teacher
Leah is a qualified primary school teacher with 10 years of experience across a variety of learning environments including preschool, primary school and secondary college. Leah has recently completed her Graduate Certificate specifically in Early Childhood Education and Care. Leah loves the authenticity, honesty and inquisitive nature of children and enjoys working alongside them to express their learning through The Hundred Languages.
Leah is passionate about fostering a warm and welcoming environment, where children feel included, cared for and encouraged to forever be curious about the world around them.
Early Childhood Teacher – Battery Point Campus
Chelsea joined the New Horizons team in early 2017, she completed a Bachelor of Primary Teaching, Sport and Outdoor Recreation at Monash University. In 2017 Chelsea completed her Graduate Certificate in Early Years Education and Care with Griffith University. Chelsea has over 16 years’ experience and has held numerous roles within Early Childhood Education.
Chelsea has been inspired and provoked by the many challenges that the Reggio Emilia Educational Project offers to educators. She is passionate about fostering children’s abilities to become active and participatory citizens, both now and for the future. Chelsea places great significance on the theory of The Hundred Languages and is committed to providing a range of experiences and opportunities for children to express their voices and theories in a multiplicity of ways.
Early Childhood Teacher – Lenah Valley Campus
Jo has been part of the dedicated team of educators at New Horizons Preschool for the past 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Art Education and a Bachelor of Design from the UNSW College of Fine Arts. Jo has also completed a Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care with Griffith University.
Jo has worked in multiple roles as an Early Childhood Educator, Secondary School Visual Art Teacher, Graphic and Object Designer and Atelierista. She is committed to supporting children and providing opportunities for them to express their ideas and explore a variety of art media.
Jo is passionate about the language of creative arts, creating pathways for educators and children to connect, whilst fostering artistic and imaginative thinking. She is committed to honouring The Hundred Languages and she feels privileged to be able to collaborate with and learn from her fellow researchers, designers and artists; the children.
Early Childhood Teacher – Battery Point Campus
[Maternity Leave 2024]
Meg joined the New Horizons team in mid 2019, she has completed a Bachelor of Primary Teaching as well as a Graduate Certificate in Early Years Education and Care.
Before her career in teaching Meg completed a Diploma of Outdoor Education. She is passionate about exploring the outdoor environment and understands the many benefits of the outdoors and nature play for children.
Meg believes that each child is competent and full of knowledge, bringing different theories and understanding to a classroom context. Meg recognises children as capable citizens, each of whom communicate their own extraordinary understanding of the world through the Hundred Languages.
Meg has recently returned from Maternity leave and has one son Lenny, who she loves taking adventuring in nature. Meg also enjoys ceramics in her spare time.
Early Childhood Teacher – Battery Point Campus
Meredith has over 17 years’ experience working in Early Education and Care and joined New Horizons Preschool in 2015. She has a Bachelor of Arts, Masters of Teaching and Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care.
The Reggio Emilia Educational Project has inspired Meredith to work alongside children as citizens of the present and active protagonists of their learning. She is committed to empowering children to engage in learning through inquiry-based pedagogies, learning on country and reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
In her spare time, Meredith enjoys spending time in nature, yoga and being with family and friends.
Early Childhood Teacher – Battery Point Campus
Rhiannon has worked with children, families and the community in several different professional capacities during her career. She is in the final stages of her Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood), and has completed her Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, Dip Business and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
Rhiannon is passionate about bush kindergarten programs, touring several Forest Schools in Germany in 2018, and has a strong commitment towards learning on country and reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Rhiannon began working at New Horizons in 2021. She is a passionate co-researcher and learner alongside the children.
In her spare time, Rhiannon enjoys bike riding, bushwalking and gardening.
Ange joined the New Horizons team towards the end of 2022, working in the Paizo team. She has nearly four years experience working in an early childhood setting and has completed her Certificate III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education. Ange has worked with different age groups ranging from three months to five years.
Ange is looking forward to learning more about the Reggio Emilia educational approach and building meaningful and respectful relationships with children and families.
She is passionate about supporting children to be able to express themselves and explore their world around them.
Anna has had over 20 years’ experience as an Early Childhood educator in Melbourne and Hobart. She completed her Diploma in Centre based Care and Outside of School Hours Care in 1998, through TAFE Tasmania.
She joined New Horizons Preschool (Lenah Valley) as an educator in 2009, leaving in 2014 to run her family business. In 2017 Anna re-joined the New Horizons family.
Anna believes that every child is unique, and everyone’s educational journey is different. Through developing a strong sense of belonging, enhancing self-esteem and building self-confidence, each child begins to realise their potential. Anna considers that every child’s sense of curiosity and creativity is essential for them to thrive as individual learners. As educators, our role is to respect, support and embrace each child’s journey.
Anna is passionate about working alongside other educators to further enhance and build strong positive relationships and interactions between children, staff and families.
Annie has been a part of the New Horizons team since 2020. She has undertaken her first year of Primary Education and deferred to pursue her other passion, Graphic Design. Annie’s growth and experiences over the last few years have brought her interest back towards early childhood education and the Reggio Emilia Educational Approach. Annie is currently undertaking her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and is eager to further her studies in education.
Growing up in rural Tasmania, Annie has developed an eager desire to lead a creative and thoughtful life. Through respect, listening and support, Annie believes that children can be given the environment needed to gain further understanding of their true selves and their capabilities.
Elissa is primarily an artist and educator, and has been working in early education for the past few years as well as having over a decade of studio and exhibition practice. They hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Certificate III in Early Childhood Care and Education, and are currently undertaking postgraduate studies in Writing and Literature.
Elissa is excited to have joined the New Horizons team in 2022 as the Reggio Emilia philosophy connects to their core values as an educator, parent, artist, and community member. In particular the image of the child as an active agent in their world, and the predisposition towards collaboration and educational research.
As a relationship driven person, Elissa is passionate about relational dynamics and emotional development in children. Other passions include performance, movement, and storytelling through creative practice. Elissa cares deeply about creating transformative political change, particularly in relation to climate and social wellbeing. They believe listening to children is critical to this process.
[Maternity Leave 2023/24]
Ellie joined New Horizons Preschool in 2018. She has a Certificate III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care, and has over 15 years’ experience working with young children.
Ellie continues to be inspired with the values and principles of the Reggio Emilia Educational Approach, and incorporating these into her pedagogical thinking and practice.
Ellie possesses a caring nature and an innate ability to connect with families and children. She is passionate about working alongside the children and advocating for their voices to be valued and heard within the wider community.
Ellie is interested in fostering independence and resilience in children, through supportive and positive relationships.
Jess joined the New Horizons Team at the end of 2022. Growing up by the ocean, Jess has sought to embody the lessons of her own nature-based upbringing within her life.
Trained as a market gardener and permaculturist with a background in social sciences, Jess has come to discover that the connecting link between her many passions lies in early years education.
Jess is a practicing artist and has completed her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education, she is also undertaking a Masters of Counselling. Jess is thrilled to be at New Horizons where she can continue to help foster children’s discovery of their own unique wisdoms through creative play and nature.
Jess has recently joined the New Horizons team at Battery Point. She is looking forward to commencing her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and is keen to learn more about the Reggio Emilia educational approach.
Coming from a family background of horticulturists Jess is a lover of plants and wildlife, and is keen to share this love of plants, particularly Tasmanian native flora and fauna with the children.
Through the language of creative art, Jess is passionate about creating experiences that engage the children’s imagination through visual art and music. She aims to create strong relationships with the children that she works alongside and build a safe and comfortable environment for the children whilst meeting their individual needs.
Filareti recently moved to Australia from Greece where she studied in the Department of Educational Studies and Early Childhood Education at the University of Patras. She is the newest member of the New Horizons Team and she has three years’ experience working in Early Childhood Education settings in Greece, working alongside children ranging from two and a half to five years of age.
Filareti is drawn to The Arts, particularly music based practice and she is always interested in exploring these creative and expressive areas in more depth alongside children. She has a love for sharing this inspiration with both children and teachers.
Filareti considers herself to be a play-based, child-led educator, driven by the feeling of excitement when a child discovers something new about themselves or the environment that surrounds them.
Kika joined the New Horizons Team in 2018 and has been collaborating with staff and children at both our Battery Point and Lenah Valley campuses.
Kika is passionate about the Performing Arts and has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She values the central role which dance and movement offer children, enabling opportunities for expressing ideas and theories through physical languages.
Kika completed her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care in 2020 and has graduated from a Bachelor of Justice Studies at the University of Tasmania. Kika is now undertaking her Master of Teaching.
Kika is excited about the next stage of her educational journey and future in teaching.
Olivia joined the New Horizons Team at the end of 2018. She has over 12 years’ experience working in Early Childhood Education.
Olivia has a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education with the University of Tasmania. She is embracing learning more about the Reggio Emilia Educational Approach alongside the New Horizons Team.
Olivia is passionate about the pedagogy of listening and values strongly children’s voices, opinions and theories. She regards children as capable and competent learners, with reciprocal rights as active and participatory citizens.
Olivia values an appreciation for natural environments and believes in children’s right to connect, play and to access risk and challenge within nature. Olivia enjoys working alongside the staff, families and children to build resilience, independence and positive relationships.
Pearl joined the New Horizons team in 2022, and is currently undertaking a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, alongside a Bachelor of Psychological Science. She is looking forward to combining her work and study into a career in Educational Psychology.
Pearl is excited to build respectful relationships with the children, taking an understanding of the children as capable, curious and full of knowledge from the Reggio Emilia approach.
Pearl is passionate about empowering the children to get involved in the wider community. Being a lover of Tasmania’s wild nature, she is keen to share that with the children she works alongside, through walks and exploration.
Rachel has been an Early Childhood educator at New Horizons Preschool for 10 years, joining the team in 2011. She has a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, with rich and varied experiences working with young children.
Rachel enjoys working alongside the creative staff and children at New Horizons. She is inspired by children’s honest and authentic perspectives on the world, their ability to marvel and wonder, and their joy of learning.
Rachel is passionate about creating positive, caring relationships with families and children and has a strong image of a competent child.
Sabina has a Diploma in Early Childhood Education, and came to New Horizons to complete her placement in 2021. She is now a part of the New Horizons team and is looking forward to commencing her journey with inquiry work and the Reggio Emilia Educational Approach.
Sabina worked in an Early Childhood Education setting in Nepal for 5 years before moving to Australia. She values working at New Horizons as it provides a sense of community and provides respectful environments for educators, children and families.
Theresa has been working in Early Childhood Education for eleven years, recently joining New Horizons Preschool in 2022. Theresa holds a Certificate III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care and has worked within a variety of settings and with different ages of children ranging from birth to five years.
Theresa is passionate about working with children and building valued, supportive and positive relationships with the children and their families. Theresa has an awareness of the Reggio Emilia approach and is passionate about extending her learning and understanding to enhance her knowledge.
Building Management and Maintenance
Description provided by the children:
Nick is a person who fixes stuff. He is always friendly and kind to other people. Nick is special because he is a very nice person and he is a builder for New Horizons. Nick builds stuff and he takes out the rubbish bin. When he is fixing things, he fixes them up again and again. If something is broken then he will go and fix it. When he has fixed it he can say ‘it should be okay for the children now.’
Nick is also the boss and he makes people happy by fixing things. He is always a nice person.