Our Team


Lucy Cronje, Co-Principal and Grade R teacher: Originally from the U.K., Lucy obtained a BA (Hons) degree prior to training at the Montessori Centre International (MCI) in London.   She founded Ocean View Montessori School in 1993 and is co-principal of the school.   Lucy has a special interest in environmental education, curriculum development and visual art. She has completed the Montessori Centre South Africa (MCSA) Primary Teaching Course and has recently completed an MA degree  in Educational Leadership.

Rose Lowry Co-Principal and pre-primary teacher: Originally from Zimbabwe, Rose studied for a BA degree at Natal University before working in personnel administration.  She qualified as a Montessori teacher with MCI in 1993 and joined Ocean View in 1994 as co-principal of the school. Rose has completed the Montessori Centre South Africa (MCSA) Primary Teaching Course and has a special interest in environmental education and the psychomotor programme.

Toddler and Pre-primary group teachers

Umia Daya, toddler teacher: Umia qualified through MCI in 1995.  She joined Ocean View in January 1998 and has worked in all age groups since then.  Umia has been running the toddler group since 2000 and has been very involved in the development of the toddler curriculum.  Umia joined MCSA as a trainer in 2013 and she lectures and examines in all Montessori curriculum areas.

Yumna MooIa, pre-primary teacher: After travelling and working in London, Yumna completed her Montessori Diploma with MCSA and joined Ocean View in July 2016. As a mother of two young boys, she is fully aware of the importance of the early years of education and the fostering of independence, self-confidence and the development of EQ.

Natasha Watson, pre-primary assistant: After completing a BA in Creative Brand Communication, Natasha has returned to her first calling, that of working with little people in a Montessori setting. She brings her love of nature and art into all of her teaching activities and is currently completing her PGCE in foundation phase education.

Siziphiwe Lusiki, grade R assistant: After working as an au-pair in New York, Sizi returned to South Africa to study for and complete her Montessori Diploma, joining Ocean View in 2019.  She is our grade R assistant teacher and fully values the development of  general knowledge, social skills and independence as a foundation for all later learning.

Primary Staff

Claudine Gopal, Primary teacher: Joined Ocean View in January 2017.  Claudine completed her Montessori Training with MCSA in 2013 and has worked extensively as an au pair and Grade R teacher.  She has completed her B.Ed, foundation phase,  along with the MCSA Primary course.

Larissa Narainsamy, Primary teacher: Joined us in 2018. Larissa has a degree in Psychology and completed the MCSA Pre-primary course in 2014.  She has prior Montessori primary teaching experience and has completed the MCSA Primary course.  She is now busy with her Post Graduate Certificate of Education in foundation phase.

Support staff

Bonga Gumede: Joined Ocean View in 2008 and is responsible for gardening and maintenance. Bonga has completed courses in permaculture gardening and manages our community vegetable garden.  Bonga is also a trained chef and painter. His deep love for children is reflected in all of his interactions with them as he goes about his daily duties.

 IIkhayelihle Cleaning Services: Provide for all of the daily and deep cleaning requirements of the school.

Specialist part-time providers

Miguel Murrugan: As a KZN Chess team member, Miguel provides a stimulating chess programme for the primary school. Weekly lessons are also offered as an extra mural for 5 – 6 year olds.

Nkosikhona Mgungwana: Is a professional musician who values working with children and sharing his skills and passion for music, bringing out the very best in them all.  Apart from group music lessons,  he also  teaches guitar, vocals, piano & drums and is a keen performer.

Cara Roberts: Cara is a professional actor who works with Kickstart Theatre Company (you may have spied her as ‘Fern’ and ‘Gussy The Goose’ in Charlotte’s Web!). Last year she was the solo performer in ‘The King of Broken Things’. Cara has lots of experience with little ones, and her enthusiasm is contagious. Developing confidence in communication, expression, team work and performance are the focus of her fun-filled lessons.

Virginia Mungwe: Our very own Mrs M, Joined Ocean View in 2019 and delivers fun and energetic isiZulu lessons to the primary class.  Through stories, songs and cultural lessons she helps the children to develop an understanding of, and love for, the language.

Renaldo Jacks: As an experienced extra-mural sports coach and founder of ‘Football Factory’,  Renaldo is passionate about the importance of sport in early years development.  He runs our junior primary sports and fitness programme.

Loraine Hicks: Joined Ocean View in 2019 as the Primary swimming coach and share her love of sport and fitness with the children.  She helps the children gain confidence in the water and provides clear guidance on strokes.