Header Open Day October November


Emma Medell 

School Principal & Pre-school Directress 

Emma’s interest in Montessori education for young children began when she left school.  In 1987 Emma travelled to London to study the AMI 3-6 year Montessori Diploma at the Maria Montessori Teacher Training College.  On her return to Cape Town Emma took up the position of Principal & Pre-school Directress at Beehive Montessori for 8 years.  She then followed her thirst for knowledge back to London to study further, this time learning about the child under three years (AMI Assistants to Infancy Diploma). 

With all this information  and baby Skye who needed a Montessori Infant Group it seemed the natural step to start up a small school, which grew up to be Chameleons Montessori School.  Skye is now 15 years of age. Emma has been the Principal of Chameleons Montessori since it’s fruition in 2003.

Claire Goffe-Wood 

Toddler Directress & School Administrator

Claire first became interested in working with children when she spent many hours observing in Emma’s Pre-school class at Beehive Montessori.  In 1990 Claire initiated the After Care Programme at Beehive Montessori – working with the Preschool children in the afternoons.  Claire lived to London in between 1993 & 1999, where she gave birth to her two children Kyle (16yrs) and Hannah Jo (17yrs). 

In England, Claire worked as a Systems Executive at a Mobile Phone company and as a Business administrator at a Security Company.  On returning to Cape Town in 1999, Claire re-ignited her passion for working with children and joined forces with her sister Emma to start what was later to become Chameleons Montessori.  Claire has undertaken the AMI Assistants to Infancy Introductory Course , the Auburn House Basic Montessori Course and In-House Toddler Training. 

Claire loves working with the younger children.  Her patience and consistency foster a loving, calm Montessori Toddlers environment. 

Janielle Joyner

School Secretary

Janielle’s wealth of experience in Sales, Marketing and Admin make her a wizz in the school office!  Since she joined us in 2012, Janielle’s ability to organise, source and implement has added immense organisational harmony throughout the school.  Janielle’s office is the communication hub-hub of chameleons. 

Janielle lives in Durbanville with her husband, Alistaire and children Allan (18 yrs) and Kayleigh (21yrs).

Hanna Engelbrecht

Pre-school Directress

Hanna is the Directress of our Fuchsia Class.  Hanna’s career in pre-school education started in 2005 when she worked as a class assistant at Beehive Montessori in Bellville.  At this time Hanna studied the Montessori Method at the Early Learning Foundation.  After completing her studies, Hanna worked as the Directress for the bilingual class.  In 2015, Hanna joined the Chameleons Team. 

Hanna’s gentle disposition and reverence for our planet are her strengths in the class.  The children respond well to Hanna’s compassionate touch.

Josef Ipinge  

School Gardener & Cleaner 

Josef has been gardening for chameleons since 2007.  His keen eye for a tidy garden has always been his strength.  He works methodically at maintaining the school grounds. 

The children all love to work alongside Josef - his gentle disposition is perfect for the school environment.

Poppy Morabe 

Toddlers Class Assistant

Poppy has been working in our Toddlers Class since 2000!  She has undertaken the AMI Assistants to Infancy Introductory Course, the Auburn House Basic Montessori Course and In-House Toddler Training from our Principal Emma Medell.  Poppy’s lovely calm disposition is perfect for working with young children. 

In Poppy’s own words, “ I remain calm all the time and this makes the children feel comfortable in my presence.  I have learned how to settle newcomers into the group and make them feel at home”.  Poppy’s wonderful combination of training, experience and disposition are an absolute blessing in our Toddlers Class.  She also has a wonderful singing voice!  

Poppy lives in Kraaifontein with her partner Able and her two sons, Theo (11 yrs) & Moloki (18 yrs). 

Betty Moneemang

Pre-school Class Assistant

Betty joined the Chameleons Team in 2003.  From the beginning it was obvious that Betty had an affinity for working with children.  Over the years in the Pre-school, Betty has become a confident and gentle assistant to the children and Directress.  Betty’s consistent and kind nature endear her to all the children.  

Betty has had many years of in house training on the Montessori approach.  There is always a harmonious hum when Betty is in the class.

Sally Mkukura

Pre-school Class Assistant

After completing her A levels in Zimbabwe, Sally came to Chameleons in 2009, her first job!  The children respond well to Sally’s youthful energy.  As the youngest member of our staff, she has a natural empathy for the children, allowing her to comfortably connect with them in a meaningful way.

Sally has assimilated much of the Montessori Method through her in-house training with our Principal.

Lettie Mogapi


Lettie has worked in both the Toddler and Pre-school environments since 2008.  She is the school housekeeper, who diligently attends to keeping the school clean and orderly.  Lettie also loves working together with the children.

Her flexibility allows her to move between the classrooms offering her gentle assistance with a smile - where needed.