Ballito Bay Montessori Pre-School Staff

We are a very well established Montessori school in Salt Rock, (27 years), with a full complement of well qualified and highly experienced Montessori Directresses and it would be my pleasure to show you around our school. Our ‘home from home’ Montessori School has been providing excellent quality Pre-School education in Salt Rock / Ballito and surrounding area for the last twenty-seven years.


Our dedicated, professional and fully qualified staff is all exceptional Montessori Directresses with many years teaching experience (combined ± 60 years).

Caro Smith

(Principal Directress, Ballito Bay Montessori Pre- School)

I was born in what was then known as Rhodesia, (Zimbabwe) and spent my childhood in a small farming town called Marandellas. (Marondera)


I did my schooling at Godfrey Huggins Primary school and Marandellas High School where I passed GSE  ‘O’ and ‘M’ Levels.



From 1975 – 1977 I attended Teacher’s Training College in Bulawayo and qualified as a Primary School Teacher.


I got married in 1980 and in September 1981 we left Zimbabwe and relocated to South Africa.


During those first few years in South Africa we moved around quite a bit but eventually in 1986 we settled in Ballito and have been here ever since.


During our first years in South Africa, I worked in several Pre- Schools and eventually opened my own Edu – Care Centrein 1988.


In 1992 I studied Montessori’s Foundation Phase Teaching,  3-6 years, through the London Montessori Centre and received my International Montessori Teaching Diploma which qualified me as a Foundation phase Montessori Directress.

That same year I was able to find a suitable premises and I opened up my own Montessori School which I currently run and own; Ballito Bay Montessori Pre-School, at 28 Robbins Rd, Salt Rock, North Coast, Kwa Zulu Natal.


And . . . 27 years later . . . we are still going!


To me, teaching is a way of life!


From the time I can remember, I played “teacher, teacher” with my siblings and friends growing up, and so it seemed natural for me to move into this most privileged profession.


I love the Montessori approach asit affords me the opportunity to apply theMontessori’s philosophy, Values and Ideals holistically, ensuring that each child’s needs are met in every aspect; physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually, morally and consciously.


Some of my best moments in a day at school is observing the children, their joy of learning, their enthusiasm in tackling new tasks, their perseverance when finding some work to be challenging and the wonder they express in themselves when they are able to complete a task unaided!


“Education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual and is acquired, not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.”

(Maria Montessori)


We as Teacher’s carry the responsibility of our planets future in our hands, as is summed up in the following statement:

 “Within the child lies the fate of the future…”

(Maria Montessori)

Suraya Essack

I was born in Weenen in Kwa Zulu Natal. We moved to beautiful Durban when l was 7 years old. My family and l moved Clairwood and l finished my schooling at Clairwood High School. l got married and moved to La Mercy and that is when l got involved in teaching at the Busy Bee nursery school. I enjoyed the challenge of educating young minds. At this time I enrolled at an Early Childhood teaching centre. I studied for 4 years and got my certificate in Early Childhood Education. I then became involved with teaching at the La Mercy Busy Bee Pre-Primary school.


I enjoyed teaching and moved onto studying the Montessori method which l enjoyed tremendously. After completing my studies l was employed by Lucy Watson, owner of Ocean View Montessori School .This is where I  also did my teaching practice and received my International Montessori Teaching Diploma.


I had also worked at the Athelton Pre-School for a year.


In February 1996 l was employed by Caro Smith to be part of her staff. This is where l’ve been teaching for the past 23 years.We have formed a close bond and have become good friends.

Sharon Whitehead

My journey as a Montessori directress began with me completing a Diploma in Montessori education in 2006.


I started in my first teaching position at a well known Montessori pre-school in Durban North, and stayed there for 3 and a half years.


I then worked in admin positions for a few years, and had my daughter, until a position here at Ballito Bay Montessori Pre School became available.


I have been teaching here since April 2016 and love what I do every day!


I’m passionate about my family and friends and spending time with them, and always make the time to run and keep fit. 

Christene Slabbert Aftercare

I’m Christene Slabbert.  I’m 59 years old and I have 2 children and 2 grandchildren.


I always wanted to work with either children or elderly. I had my own business for a couple of years, until my path crossed with  Ballito bay Montessori in 2008.


I worked part time for a while until I was employed full time as After – care minder. Each and every child that comes to this special school has got a place in my heart♥

Bongiwe Nyawuza

I am Bongiwe Nyawuza and I am 34 years old. I am a mother of 4 children. I completed my Matric in 2004. After matric I went to Embury Institute to study Early Childhood Development. I then worked as a Domestic Worker.


In 2016 I was employed at Ballito Bay Montessori Pre- School as an Assistant teacher. My two younger sons have both been at this school.


I love working with children.

Fikile Nene

My name is Fikile Nene. I was born on 16th. June 1969. I went to school at Nkosibomvu school and completed my studies in 1988.


I have 4 sons. I started working as a Domestic worker until 2004. I then started working at Ballito Bay Montessori as a part time casual and then in 2010 I was employed full time. My grandson attended this school for two years.


I like to work with children. I enjoy it a lot as they keep me happy all the time.