EMILY CONROY - Principal
It is my pleasure to introduce myself as the new Principal of St John’s starting in 2022. I look forward to meeting existing families and welcoming new families to the community. Like you I was drawn to the St John’s community because of all the wonderful things that are happening in the school and match what I believe and am most passionate about in education.
I have worked in Catholic Education for over 20 years and have held various leadership roles since 2007. I see my role as Principal of St John’s as being an opportunity to foster strong school, family and Parish connectedness in living our school vision to ‘Walk Together in Light’ through faith, family engagement and social awareness. I believe students need to be at the core of all decisions. We need to know and understand them as a person and a learner to drive what we do as teachers, leaders and as a school. Listening, observing and interacting with students gives us the direction and data that we need to engage and grow them. It is our job to know and understand what each child is entitled to and be able to differentiate so that all students achieve growth academically as well as socially, emotionally and spiritually.
I look forward to learning and embracing St John’s story and it’s connectedness to the Faith, Bunjil and the Sisters of St Joseph. I also look forward to learning about your family’s stories and celebrating how together we form a vibrant Catholic community.
In my time away from work I love to spend time with my family, particularly my nieces and nephews. I love going out for brunch, bush walks and watching sport particularly my beloved Tigers! After the last 2 years I am looking forward to 2022 being the year we can begin living again with a fresh start and appreciation for the all things we value most.
LAUREN DAVIS - Acting Principal Term 4 2021
Hello St. John’s community! I’m Lauren and I am very grateful to be part of the St. John’s family. I describe myself as highly passionate and enthusiastic… some may say, I have a zest for life but I think that’s just what happens when you get to live your passion everyday. We all deserve an environment where we are motivated through autonomy, purpose and the pursuit of mastery. 2021 will be my fifth year with our school and to be involved with and help drive such an innovative style of education makes me beyond excited for the opportunities this new year at St. John’s will offer us!
I love to learn and have a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership. My constant quest and interest in education has encouraged me to challenge the status quo, helping to reimagine schools to reflect the value of children. Nothing makes me happier than living out our Horizon with our children at the heart; using my time to talk to and reflect with our educators and children about their personal learning (usually within skills/knowledge, as well as disposition/character development). When I’m at home, I love to read, go for long walks with my family and play at the park. You will often find us down the coast during holidays, exploring the beach and being with nature. My little Billy has only reinforced my interest in the wonder of discovery, and I cannot wait to learn more this year.
DANIELA DELUCA - Pedagogical Coach of Literacy
My name is Daniela and I am excited to once again join the wonderful community of St John’s in 2021, in my role as Pedagogical Coach of Literacy.
I was born in Portugal, and lived for several years in Footscray when I first moved to Australia from four years of age. I have many fond memories of this wonderful suburb, and feel blessed to be once again part of this community.
My family is my world, and I am at my happiest when exploring new places and creating memories with my children, Vivienne and Julian and my husband, Adrian. We are self-confessed foodies and love to try new cafes and restaurants or cook up a storm at home for family and friends. I’ve even mastered baking sourdough bread (thank you 2020)!!
I am passionate about learning, exploring, being in nature and love to hear people’s stories. Working in Education allows me to draw on these passions. I love working at a school that lives out its Horizon, placing children at the heart, and walking in the light
HALEY O'MEARA - Atelierista/Engaging with Place Educator/Farm
Wominjeka – my name is Haley O’Meara, I am looking forward to returning to St Johns in 2021, I feel very lucky to work in such a wonderful community. This year I will be working with our 5-8 year olds in the role of Atelierista. The children & I will explore the hundred languages of learning & expression through ongoing projects including painting, sculpture, photography and drawing to name a few.
I will also be working with all years in the Farm where we will be designing, planting and maintaining our beautiful space while exploring indigenous perspectives and engaging with place.
My husband Ryan is a firefighter with the MFB & we have 3 daughters Grace 13, Piper 11 & Lily 9 & a Cavoodle named Alfie so our family life is busy!
We enjoy spending time with friends & family, exploring the Macedon Ranges where we live, gardening, travelling & going to the theatre.
LIEN BARNABAS - Educator
Hello, St John’s community. My name is Lien and I will be part of the Year One Hub in 2021.
I am a passionate learner and educator, I strive to continue to learn and grow in the ever-evolving world of education. At St John’s, the children are at the centre of everything we do. I am proud and feel fortunate to work alongside other educators that strive to meet the individual needs of each child. My role in the learning hub is to provide children with the skills to be learners and to create opportunities for them to explore and discover the many possibilities in the world around them.
In my spare time, I love being with family and friends. 2020 has taught us to slow down and appreciate what we have. Our new joy in life is going on walks and to enjoy the beauty in our neighborhood.
MITCH HAYES - Learning Diversity Leader/Educator
Hello! My name’s Mitch, and I am the Prep-6 Learning Diversity Leader for 2021. I am St John’s unrivalled Pokemon specialist, a devout Collingwood supporter, and a Nintendo Switch enthusiast. I have a passion for fitness and health, and can be commonly sighted waking up at the inhumane hour of 4:30am, heading to the gym each morning.
Pictured above is my incredible family: my mum Kyme and my dad Rob, my older brother Rohan, his beautiful daughter Aisla, and my younger sister Rochelle. I feel incredibly blessed to be part of a family where humour, individuality and love thrives.
I am extremely privileged in my role, as working with diverse learners is a great passion and love of mine. I have been fortunate enough to be part of St John’s for five years, and in those years I have consistently grown to thoroughly enjoy the character, culture and vibe of our wonderful community. It is with enormous pleasure that I welcome you into a community where we celebrate and acknowledge the uniqueness and flair of every walk of life.
JACKIE SCHOBER - Innovation Educator
Hello! My name is Jackie and I feel so lucky to have been a part of the beautiful St John’s family for four years now. I have had the opportunity to spend time in many year levels at St Johns, which has been incredibly rewarding and enabled me to build relationships with students and families across the school. In 2021, I will be filling in for lovely Bess while she is on maternity leave, and also continuing my role as the school’s ICT leader, facilitating the needs of students and staff as we all strive to learn and thrive in a technologically changing world.
In my spare time, I love to be with my family: my husband Mick, and our two children, Laila and Dash. We love live music, travelling and watching and playing sport. We all love our cheeky dog Willie, who is naughty but just so adorable! He keeps us very busy!
CHEVON ADAMIDIS - Learning Diversity Pedagogical Coach - currently on maternity leave
My name is Chevon and I have had the privilege of being a part of the St. John’s family for the past five years! I have loved being a part of the school’s journey and am proud to work in a setting that continually places ‘children at the centre’. In 2021, I will be welcoming my first baby and will be taking some time off to adjust to this new chapter in my life. I look forward to returning to our beautiful community in Term 3.
In 2021, I will be sharing the role of the Learning Diversity pedagogical coach with Mitch. I am passionate about ensuring that all learners experience success in their learning. I look forward to leading our educators in empowering our diverse learners to achieve growth and progress; and continuing to support families in advocating for the needs of their children!
MICHELE HAYES - Educator
Hi my name is Michele Hayes, and I am looking forward to another great year in 2021. I have been teaching for many years, almost too long to count now and every year I love it more. I love teaching and watching children develop and get ready for secondary school. I am looking forward to getting to know a new group of children and their families. I truly believe education is a partnership between school and families. In my spare time I love to travel, I have been to some amazing places, Croatia, Turkey, Peru, America and a few more. I have two grown sons that I’m very proud of, both of them have now moved out of home so it’s just my two dogs, Ruby & Joe to look after now. My youngest son Darcy is getting married in early 2021 which I’m very excited about.
NICKI WIERZBOWSKI - Co-Educator
EILEEN WINDUSS - Co-Educator
My name is Eileen Winduss I am part of the support team at St. John’s. I work part time and spend my working hours in the classroom, the library & the farm. I have worked across all of the year levels at St. John’s and look forward to the challenges that this year will bring. Working in our beautiful library gives me the opportunity to get to know all of the wonderful and unique children at St. John’s and to interact with them.
I am married and have 2 children, my son, Patrick, is the eldest at 23 and is a qualified Personal Trainer, my daughter, Emma, is 21 and works as a child care worker.
Our time spent as a family is football during the winter and cricket in the summer.
MARY CORBINO - Co-Educator
I have been part of St. John’s School & Parish for many years working as a Co-Educator. Not only have I had the pleasure of working for such a wonderful school but I too was a student at St John’s along with my two children and many of my family members. During my time at St. John’s I’ve worked with many wonderful past and present dedicated teachers who have all contributed in giving St. John’s such a wonderful atmosphere for our school community. My ambition is to assist and ensure that my job is complete when I see a happy smile on a child’s face.
When spending time with my family, together we enjoy cooking, eating, socialising, going for long walks and having a dance at any chance we get.
I’m looking forward to another great and successful year.
BESS NAUGHTIN – Innovation Educator & Atelierista - currently on maternity leave
Hello! I’m Bess, lover of digital and design technologies! I love using technology to inspire curious minds, ignite imaginations and make the impossible possible. I teach Innovation, which has a STEAM focus (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics), and I also work in our Atelier. The Reggio Emilia philosophy has inspired my teaching for over ten years now but my role as Atelierista allows me to immerse myself in the philosophy like never before. Working in our Atelier and Innovation Hub is such a privilege for me!
I’ll be on maternity leave for the first half of 2021 but you might see me at the gate as I drop off and pick up my eldest son, who is now a St John’s kid!
PAM MANSER - Reading Discovery Educator
Hi, I’m Pam … the Reading Discovery Educator at St John’s. I love reading and feel privileged to help our students become better readers.
I’m looking forward to working with my new students. I’m also looking forward to working with Hub Educators and Co-Educators. I believe that working together, sharing knowledge and ideas is a great way to help our students.
On the weekend, I like to find time to go walking, do some gardening or to try to catch a fish or two!!!
BRIDGET O'CONNOR - Educator
A big hello to the beautiful St John’s community! My name is Bridget and I am so thrilled to be joining the St John’s team in 2021! I am from Townsville in North Queensland and in January 2021 I am moving to wonderful Melbourne. For the past two years I have been teaching Prep and I am passionate about creating hands-on, student centred learning experiences that build confidence, resilience and curiosity. I also love to create a classroom environment where we have lots of laughs and love to sing and dance! My favourite thing about teaching is building relationships with my students and their families and seeing firsthand the growth and development that a student can make over the year.
Before becoming a teacher I completed a Bachelor of Laws through James Cook University. Following this I went on to study my Masters in Education at Central Queensland University and I could not be more happy with my career choice. It is such a privilege to be a teacher and I am so excited to step into the 3/4 hub with Angela and Jenna. When I am not at school I love spending time with my family and friends, exercising, reading and I can’t wait for all of the exploring I will get to do in Melbourne! Big changes can be nerve wracking but I am so excited to step out of my comfort zone, develop as a teacher and meet all of the wonderful new people at St John’s.
THUSHARI SENARATH - Co-Educator
It is with great pleasure that I would like to introduce myself to the family of St. John’s. I am privileged to work at St. John’s, as a Co-Educator. Diran and I are blessed with two beautiful daughters Taneesha and Kiara. As a family we always look forward to going back to Sri Lanka to spend time with our extended family who hold a very special place in our hearts. What I enjoy most is going for walks, reading, cooking and shopping. I look forward to continuing with my passion of working with children and contributing to the St. John’s community in 2021.
JARRYD BRADFORD - Pedagogical Coach - Learning and Teaching
Hello! I am fortunate enough to be continuing my journey at St John’s in 2021. A beautiful place of learning that enables me to live through my own values of growth and love everyday. As an educator, I aim to empower children for a future that requires them to be creative thinkers, collaborative, empathetic and mindful, and optimistic of the world around them. I value pedagogies that put the learner in the driver’s seat and enable teachers to facilitate innovative and future-focused practices.
In 2021, I will be on a new journey of discovery as I take on the role of Learning and Teaching Coach. This means working closely with educators across the school and children in our Grade 5 and 6 Community. Outside of school, you will most likely find me at the local cafe with friends, reading a good book, or breaking a sweat at the gym.
MARIA NATOLI - Performing Arts & Atelierista
Hi, my name is Maria and I’m really excited to be working with the community here at St. John’s again in 2021 as a specialist teacher. I have worked as a specialist music educator for many years, and I am extremely passionate about children having the opportunity to experience the arts in a variety of ways. I look forward to expanding my scope of teaching to incorporate drama this year as well as sharing my passion for making and creating in the role of Atelierista.
Having an artistic practice is very important to me, so when I’m not at St. John’s you’ll find me working hard at my jewellery bench, creating unique and interesting pieces out of gold and silver!
AMANDA SCHUBERT - Co-Educator
My name is Amanda, and I am lucky enough to be joining St John’s prep hub for Term 4 2021. Presently, I work in a small school with 32 children, so St John’s will be a change for me. I enjoy working in schools and helping people. A bit more about me, I would say I am a happy caring person who enjoys walking, reading, and cooking, especially birthday cakes. I was born in South Australia and moved to Nhill 13 years ago. My husband Paul and I have 5 children and our first grandchild is due in October. I look forward to meeting everyone and being a part of the St John’s community.
Let’s have a wonderful Term 4!
JORDAN FRY - Educator
Hi! My name is Jordan and I am a very proud member of St John’s beautiful community!
I am very excited to be working alongside Lisa and Patrick in the Prep Hub in 2021! I have a background in both Early Childhood and Primary education, so I look forward to the new experience.
I believe that children should be at the centre of their learning, and have the freedom to explore and discover their individual passions and interests through the 100 Languages of Learning. Forming genuine and meaningful relationships with students and families is vital in supporting students and in fostering a love for learning.
In my spare time you can find me with my fur babies: Bella the dog and Hank the cat, or spending time with my parents on their farm in Geelong.
LISA THORNEYCROFT - Educator
Hello! My name is Lisa Thorneycroft and I am so excited to continue to be a part of the St John’s community. I can’t wait to work with Jordan and Patrick with all the first year of school children. I love the excitement and curiosity first year children bring to school each day!
I have been super lucky over the years to work with children across many levels and have enjoyed all the different experiences! I love that as an educator you never stop learning yourself and that the children teach me as much as I teach them.
Outside of school, I live with my husband Ben and our four children Calin, Zoe, twins Max and Noah, and our chocolate Labrador, Coach. We are a very sporty family and if we are not participating in a range of sports, you will often find us supporting our teams at the footy, soccer or rugby!
PATRICK O'LOUGHLIN - Educator
My name is Patrick and I am so excited to start teaching in the Prep Hub alongside Lisa and Jordan. Last year, I was teaching overseas in London and traveling Europe. I learnt so much while I was in the UK and I can’t wait to share it all with the St John’s community.
I have also spent a few years working in Early Childhood and have developed a real passion for teaching in the early years. I am really looking forward to working in the fantastic 5/6 year old space to see what we can discover and explore.
When I’m not at school, I love playing soccer and footy, listening to music and traveling.
If you see me on the yard, I’d love to kick the soccer ball with you!
LEONIE KIRK - Admin Officer
Hi, I’m Leonie and I work in the office at St John’s from Monday to Thursday. I feel very privileged to be in a position of support for our very talented, passionate educators and leaders at St John’s. I love helping our gorgeous children each and every day. My spare time is spent with my three boys:- my husband, Mark, my son, Angus and our Staffy, Bruce. We rescued Bruce earlier this year and he is adored by us all and rules the house!
ERIN SCHEMBRI - Educator
Hi I’m Erin. 2021 will be my second year of teaching and I feel extremely privileged to be continuing my teaching journey at St John’s Footscray, working with Lien as a part of the 6/7 year old group. I have a passion for creating learning environments that are engaging and immersive for our children. Sustainability is also a passion of mine, so I like to garden with my class and play with natural materials to create warm spaces.
When I’m not at St John’s, I’m exploring every corner of the beautiful parks and lakes that surround Melbourne with my husband and sons Hunter and Gene. Besides exploring, we love to dance, swim, role play (usually as baddies or Kung Fu Masters) and whip up batches of banana pancakes.
MOLLY ARGUS - Educator
Hi I’m Molly. I am super excited to continue being part of the St John’s community in 2021! In 2021 I will be working alongside Dana and Mary in the Year Two Hub. 2020 was a great year of adaptations, growth and reflection and I cannot wait for more excitement around Discovery, Projects and Learning in 2021! I believe in the importance of ensuring learning is personalised for the child and continuing to foster children at the heart. Children have the right to feel they are in a safe space, where they can take risks.
I have grown up and live in the local area and am a lover of all things chocolate, plants, sloths and flowers.I enjoy spending time with family and friends, being art and crafty and taking lots of photos of my beautiful greyhound Pablo.
ASHLEE OWEN - Student Wellbeing Coach and Number Intervention Educator
Hi St. John’s!
My name is Ashlee and I feel so privileged to have been a part of the St. John’s community for the last 12 years. I grew up in West Footscray and feel so connected to the people and places of the area.
My husband and I have two little boys, Connor and Jake. We love spending time together as a family – caravanning, visiting the beach and spending lots of time in our backyard, playing and gardening. I love baking (sweet things), going for walks around the Maribyrnong River, reading, and taking time for myself to recharge and re-centre.
I have a Masters of Education in Wellbeing and am passionate about intentionally prioritising the wellbeing of our young people – wellbeing for living and learning! I believe that for kids to learn and experience success at school they need to feel safe, develop positive relationships with peers and educators, develop a toolkit for self regulation and experience regular positive emotion – FUN and JOY! I’m looking forward to another year of exciting things at St. John’s!
MELINDA MCNAUGHT – Bursar
Welcome! My name is Melinda and I work at St. John’s from Tuesday to Friday. I am a mum to twin boys and enjoy spending time with my family.
I am privileged to be part of such a wonderful staff and family community. I look forward to meeting and helping our families, new and old, in any way possible, and to make their journey within our community a pleasant one.
JENNA GLADMAN – Educator
My name is Jenna and I am so excited to be working in the 3/4 hub this year alongside Angela and Bridget. Last year I was working in the 1/2 Hub and love the discovery and innovation that is part of the discovery spaces in the junior area of the school. This year I am delighted to see the progression of discovering through projects.
Outside of teaching I love to read, catch up with my friends, cook and travel.
I’m very excited for the new year school to see and experience all the growth, creativity and discovery that is a part of St. Johns.
JAYKA BUGAY – Japanese Language Educator
Hi there! I’m a graduate Japanese language educator and working at St John’s is my second year of teaching here in Australia. I’m also working at Annunciation Primary School every Friday.
I taught as an English teacher in Japan for five years from 2010-2015 (humblebrag) and did the typical Aussie working holiday in the UK from 2015-2017. These experiences taught me how to get out of my shell, find my confidence and to find my love of learning. This inevitably led me to pursue my love of sharing experiences and knowledge with others by completing my Masters of Teaching at Victoria University.
I’m looking forward to upholding the St John’s philosophy of teaching to educate young people with hope, openness, curiosity and enthusiasm.
KERRI CROFT – Educator
For the past 40 years I have worked and learnt alongside children. I am committed to education and live by the belief that learning should be participatory, active, communal, collaborative and wholly dedicated to the construction of meaning in life. I have experience of many sides of education both state and private and I have also lectured at university level in early childhood. I have been inspired by the Educational Project in Reggio Emilia in Italy and have been fortunate to have the opportunity to deepen my understandings and knowledge of their research in early childhood education through my involvement in many study tours to the city itself. This inspiration led me to introduce a Reggio Emilia inspired program into the primary school at Collingwood College, where I worked for many years. I am eager to continue to contribute to the development and progress of a school that seeks to provide the child with opportunities to flourish as a whole person. I am excited to be part of a team of educators who envision a powerful, positive image of the children and celebrate them as uniquely creative individuals. I look forward to learning more at St. John’s and I am brimming with positive energy in anticipation of the next chapter in my career. I am also very lucky to be married to my best friend Nick and to have four wonderful daughters.
DANA MILLSTEED – Educator
Hello! I’m Dana. I am very excited to be continuing my journey as a teacher in the beautiful community of St John’s. In 2021 I will be working within the Year Two Hub learning area alongside Molly.
I am extremely passionate about providing children with the knowledge and opportunities to reach their full potential within all areas of learning. As well as this I aim to empower children in developing a positive mindset in regards to education and providing them with a safe and nurturing environment in which they can thrive.
Outside of school, you will most likely find me spending time with friends and family, or traveling back to my family home on the Murray River with my puppy Peach. I love to cook for others, this brings me great joy.
I am grateful to be able to continue working within the St John’s Community and looking to another great year!
ANDREW SHARPE – Physical Education Educator
Hi I’m Andrew. I teach Sport at St John’s as well as Engaging With Place with Hayley. I love working with all the different age groups, watching them explore, discover and create. I am passionate about creating fun, active and engaging learning experiences and I am especially looking forward to being able to share two passions of mine (sport and nature/sustainability) with children at St John’s.
When I am not at St John’s, I enjoy spending time in the outdoors with my two daughters, Sadie and Tora and my wife Katrina. We are an active family, usually going to the beach over summer as much as we can to surf and just have fun and bush walking and mountain biking in the colder times of the year. I also love gardening and spending time with family and friends.