Meet Our Staff
At the heart of every school is its staff – a group of passionate individuals who collectively come together to give your child the very best start to their education journey.
OUR STAFF

“It takes a big heart to help shape little minds”

The St Bernadette’s Team

Leadership Team

Peter Steward - Principal

I am extremely proud to be the Principal of St Bernadette’s and have the opportunity with other staff members to shape the future of the children within our care. The single word that resonates with everyone at St Bernadette’s is the word “Community”. Our community is filled with wonderful students, supportive and welcoming parents and amazingly dedicated staff.  The students at St Bernadette’s are supported to engage in a broad range of learning experiences both within and beyond the classroom.

Jennifer Kennedy - Deputy Principal
St Bernadette’s has been my second home since 2001, with my five children starting their educational journey here. I began teaching at St Bernadette’s in 2011 as Performing Arts teacher, which quickly lead into Senior classroom teaching and leadership roles. I am now a very proud Deputy Principal who leads Learning and Teaching and Faith Education for our amazing teachers and students. Teaching students is my absolute pleasure. Building positive learning relationships has been the highlight of each day. As Learning and Teaching leader, my vision is focused on developing an innovative learning community centered on the full flourishing of every student. As Faith Education leader, my mission is to ensure our students have an environment that nurtures faith formation with values that empower them to be responsible and compassionate global citizens.  

I am absolutely motivated to make St Bernadette’s the top performing primary school in Melbourne.

Beyond school, my life is all about family and friends, paddleboarding, running, theatre and study.

Tracey Lewis - Prep Teacher

I thoroughly enjoy my roles as a Prep teacher and Math leader. I feel genuinely blessed to be in a role where I get to inspire, motivate and watch our students grow and develop. It is a pleasure working alongside colleagues who hold the wellbeing of students with utmost importance. I am passionate about supporting the students and their families and encouraging our students to believe in and to strive to be the very best version of themselves. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading and going to the gym.

Alice Ryle - Prep

I am so excited to be a part of the St Bernadette’s Team. You can really feel the sense of community and it is such a priviledge to be a part of shaping these young minds. 

Maryanne Bennett - Grade 3/4

I have been an educator at St Bernadette’s since July 1998. The welcoming nature and strong sense of belonging that permeates throughout our school community is something that I value and enables me to form close working relationships with staff, students and parents. I am passionate about Mathematics and believe that each individual can succeed by fostering a positive mindset towards numeracy. Outside of school I enjoy gardening, puzzles, craft  and spending time with my husband and beautiful black labrador.

Alice Ryle - Prep

I have been a part of the St Bernadette’s community for over 25 years. I have had many roles and seen many children and families grow in our community (including my own children), and many who are returning with their children. Our school is an amazing community. It is challenging and rewarding working with such a dedicated bunch of colleagues and leaders who are all striving to make St. Bernadette’s not just a good school but the best school. I enjoy playing softball, walking on the beach, gardening, reading and simply being outdoors.

Katelyn Dickson - Grade 1/2

I am loving being part of such a supportive community at St Bernadette’s, whilst taking on new challenges as the Year 1/2 classroom teacher. St Bernadette’s allows me to take my passion and turn it into a career by connecting and creating great partnerships with my students, parents and fellow colleagues.

I believe that being part of a smaller community creates bigger connections. I feel welcomed from the first step in the door, by not only my own students, but students across the entire school. It is fantastic being part of a school that creates these positive learning environments for students to reach full potential and become learners for life.

Maria Harper - Grade 1 / 2 + REL Sacraments and Liturgy

I love how our school constantly tries to improve itself and offer the best education it can to all our students. I enjoy being part of the Leadership Team as I am a Religious Education and eLearning Leader and feel that I can use my skills for the betterment of our school. Grade 1/2 students are a delight to teach as their enthusiasm for learning is so evident. In my spare time, I enjoy photography, creating ICT projects for the children and gardening. I also enjoy being part of the Hungarian community on the weekends.

Katelyn Dickson - Grade 1/2

I am loving being part of such a supportive community at St Bernadette’s, whilst taking on new challenges as the Year 1/2 classroom teacher. St Bernadette’s allows me to take my passion and turn it into a career by connecting and creating great partnerships with my students, parents and fellow colleagues.

I believe that being part of a smaller community creates bigger connections. I feel welcomed from the first step in the door, by not only my own students, but students across the entire school. It is fantastic being part of a school that creates these positive learning environments for students to reach full potential and become learners for life.

Kelvin Ferdinanto - Grade 1 / 2

St Bernadette’s has been such a welcoming community. Getting to see the children foster relationships, adapt and grow has been an honour. 

Kate Roper - Grade 3 / 4 + Literacy Intervention

I am an extra lucky member of the St Bernadette’s community as I have the pleasure of being both a parent and a staff member. At the forefront of our decision for choosing St B’s for our children was the genuine community feel of our school and the emphasis placed on the wellbeing of each individual student.

Outside of school I love spending time with my family, catching up with friends and trying to fit in some exercise!

Maryanne Bennett - Grade 3 / 4

I have been an educator at St Bernadette’s since July 1998. The welcoming nature and strong sense of belonging that permeates throughout our school community is something that I value and enables me to form close working relationships with staff, students and parents. I am passionate about Mathematics and believe that each individual can succeed by fostering a positive mindset towards numeracy. Outside of school I enjoy gardening, puzzles, craft  and spending time with my husband and beautiful black labrador.

Tayla Kearns - Grade 3 / 4 + PE Specialist

I am lucky that I get to be both a classroom and PE teacher. 
In class I get to support and nurture the students on a different level and really build strong relationships with the children. 

Outside of school,  I enjoy playing  in the Victorian Netball League and VFLW football for Hawthorn as well as socialising with friends.

Bec Robinson - Grade 3 / 4

Coming into a school that values community and ensuring students are being given opportunities to reach their full potential has made my start to teaching a dream. I believe this cohesion and community value is reflected with the positive nature of the school, with relationships between staff, students and parents being a strength of ours. Becoming the Student Wellbeing leader has been a privilege.

When I am not at school, you’ll see me playing football for my local club, hanging out with my family and friends, or relaxing at the beach.

Ann Smiley - Grade 5/6

I have been a classroom teacher at St. Bernadette’s since 2001, teaching in senior and middle units. As I love reading, I work hard to instill that love of reading and books in my students. I also know it’s vital for them to feel positive about their learning and believe in themselves and our school wide Resilience program supports this. I appreciate the wonderful support we receive from our parents as we form strong partnerships in developing young minds. It’s wonderful to reconnect with past students and hear about their successes.

At home on our Yarra Valley property, you’ll find me busy training my dressage horses or driving the truck with my horses to compete at state and national competitions.

Christine Andrews - Grade 5/6

I have been a part of the St B’s community for many years now in varying roles. It has brought me much fulfilment over the years and I treasure the opportunities and time I have had with so many students and families. 

Ben Williams - Grade 5/6

I turned my passion for young people and learning into my profession in 2009. I am married to Rachael, my precious wife, and am blessed to be the father of three wonderful children – 2 of which are at school age, so it was an obvious choice for us to bring Judah and Elijah to St Bernadette’s to start their education journey.

I am passionate about seeing my children grow to be compassionate and loving, and carry this philosophy into teaching students in my care. Nothing compares to teaching. Every day is new and both the children and I learn so much from each other. I enjoy following the progress of children across our school, joining with teachers, to look for opportunities to cater to the needs of children in our care. 

Specialist Programs – Nurturing Diverse Talents

Xiaoying Chen - LOTE (Chinese)
I feel absolutely lucky to begin my journey at St Bernadette’s Primary School as a Chinese language teacher in 2020. With this innovative approach called Teachers As Co-learners, I believe not only students, but our staff and interested community members will all be beneficial from this program. Teaching Chinese is my passion. I am incredibly happy to see the growth in students’ Chinese learning. I feel very impressed every time when students come to me and say one or a few Chinese words, with their confident smiley faces. I really appreciate working in this supportive and amazing community. Outside of school, I enjoy catching up with my friends, travelling and doing pilates.
Yvonne Lyon - Art Teacher

I have been a part of the St Bernadette’s community for over 25 years.
I have had many roles and seen many children and families grow in our community (including my own children), and many who are returning with their children. Our school is an amazing community. It is challenging and rewarding working with such a dedicated bunch of colleagues and leaders who are all striving to make St. Bernadette’s not just a good school but the best school. I enjoy playing softball, walking on the beach, gardening, reading and simply being outdoors.

 

Tayla Kearns - PE/Sport

I am passionate about instilling a lifelong passion for health and physical activity amongst my students. Within PE, students participate in a comprehensive skills based program that provides them with a sound base for participation in future sporting activities and the development of a healthy lifestyle.

Our school is stand alone for its community involvement which is always visible within the PE domain. We highly value PE, providing multiple opportunities such as Hoop-time, Interschool Sport and try out for Victorian Primary School teams for students to excel.

Steph Graham Nellor - STEAM Lab

I have been involved with St Bernadette’s for about 9 years, initially as a parent volunteer and more recently running our STEAM lab. I am absolutely passionate about inspiring a new generation of little scientists, and extraordinarily proud of our school for having the vision, insight and drive to deliver such programs. I have every confidence that St Bernadette’s students will be prepared for the vast opportunities their lives will offer and I am excited to see a school of kids embracing education the way they do; the future looks bright.

Outside of school I enjoy being outdoors, illustrating, art, books, travel and any new or creative experience I can get my hands on!

Learning Diversity – Supporting Diverse Needs

Kate Roper - Literacy Intervention / Learning Diversity Leader

Teaching literacy is my absolute passion. As the Reading Intervention Teacher I am fortunate to be able to work with small groups of students everyday, supporting them to become more confident and proficient readers through the Levelled Literacy Intervention Program.

Unlike many schools, St Bernadette’s has had the vision to provide this program not just in Year One, but through to Year 2,3,4,5 and 6. It is my role to ensure that no child in the school slips through the gaps with their reading.

My role as Learning Diversity Leader is incredibly rewarding. I am privileged to have the opportunity to work closely with parents, teachers and support staff to monitor, cater and care for students requiring extra support academically, socially or emotionally.

Sue Robins - Learning Support/Library Technician
I am so lucky to be able to work surrounded by books and children.

For 18 years I have had the privilege of passing on my love of reading and literature to the students and families of our beautiful school. Our library is an amazing place providing exciting reading materials to both children and adults with our well stocked Parent’s library.

I also value my time working in the classrooms with the children. They make me smile every day.

When I’m not at school I love spending time with my family and reading of course.

Steph Chamberlain - Learning Support Officer
Leanne Rech - Learning Support Officer
Sue McMaster - Learning Support Officer

I am loving working at St Bernadette’s!  The beautiful setting, lovely community, dedicated staff and most of all the amazing students, make every day such a pleasure to be here.  As a Learning Support Officer, I work closely with the students, cheering them on and sharing in their learning experiences. I believe children need a positive, supportive and an encouraging environment to not just learn in, but to build their self-confidence and self-esteem. I have a beautiful family, with 3 children that are growing all too quickly and keep me extremely busy. I enjoy catching up with family and friends, entertaining, family vacations and walking our gorgeous Golden Retriever Monty.

Jo Murphy - Learning Support Officer
Karen Craig - Classroom Support Teacher
My position at St Bernadette’s this year is to provide release to leaders and Classroom support. I work two days a week supporting the Religious Education and eLearning Leader and Student Wellbeing Leader by teaching in their class whilst they carry out their leadership roles. It is wonderful to work with passionate and dedicated staff.

Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, going to the gym and AFL football.

Vicki Cameron - Learning Support Officer
Tracey Farrugia - Learning Support Officer

Administration – Welcoming our Community

Fiona Delcayre - Administration Officer

St Bernadette’s is such a welcoming, warm and friendly environment. The stunning outlook over the hills and the spaces for learning and play make it a truly wonderful work and learning environment.  Getting to see the kids advance and gain confidence every day is something truly special. 

Rosanna Chircop - Administration Officer
I have been at St Bernadette’s in varying capacities for 19 years, this has included Education support, Administration and as a parent volunteer.  All those years ago, I  chose St Bernadette’s for my children for its community feel and beautiful setting.  I still believe you just get a certain feeling as you walk around our lovely little school and while we do amazing things academically for our children, the most important thing is that your child feels safe, happy and cared for, as that is when the learning can really begin.
A Word

From Our Principal

“The learners are at the centre of all curriculum design within our learning community. One of the most important parts of our role is to provide an environment of learning where children feel supported and happy. The students develop their skills and knowledge and are inspired to develop a love for learning throughout their lives. St Bernadette’s strives to engage all students and community members to be 21st century learners through the effective use of the very latest contemporary learning approaches.  The learning experiences are designed to build self-esteem and improve social and emotional competencies, so that our students are better placed to develop a deep understanding of their unique potential. The school leaders at St Bernadette’s are passionate and dynamic educators who are continually striving with all staff to provide a comprehensive education for students that is second to none. As you look around this website, you will have the opportunity to click on links and meet some of these leaders who strive to make St Bernadette’s the vibrant and future focussed learning environment that it is renowned for.

– Peter Steward
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Testimonials

What Parents are Saying

“As a student myself at school, I was one to ‘fall through the cracks’. The teaching programs at St Bernadette’s show the elimination of that happening now with students due to the direct education methods.

It fills me with confidence, the individual attention each student gets so as not to be left behind.”

Karl

Parent

“I like how every child is assessed on their work and then put into level so no is left behind.”

Kristy

Parent

“We have been blown away with St Bernadette’s from the moment we stepped foot inside.  It doesn’t take long to realise that it is a school that truly prides itself on our children’s happiness and accommodating all of their needs.

We really love the small community feel and the very genuine student/teacher interactions.  Thank you very much, we would not hesitate in recommending St Bernadette’s to our friends and families.”

Steph

Parent

“I think the way that you and your team have adapted to this new phase of remote learning is commendable. The content is great, the delivery is excellent and my boys are both engaged and happy with each day’s
lessons.  From our end the transition seems almost seamless, although I know this is only due to the hard work, adaptability, professionalism and caring of the wonderful teacher group we have. Please pass on our
gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to all your team. Once again St. B’s is a shining example to the larger community.”

Ryan

Parent

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