Our Staff 2017 - Mansfield Steiner School, Victoria

Our Staff 2017


Fran Cummins – Principal

Fran has a long association with the School having begun in a teaching role at Mansfield Steiner School, teaching Class 1/2 and Class 5/6 when it was Maindample Steiner School. She moved with the school to Mansfield in May 1996. Prior to gaining employment with Mansfield Steiner School she had extensive experience teaching in mainstream and special education schools, including the Mansfield Autistic Centre. Both of Fran’s children attended Mansfield Steiner School. In 2015 Fran taught Class 5&6 and also held the position of Principal. Currently she holds the position of full time Principal of the school. 

Jacinta Walker – Class 5 Teacher & Deputy Principal

Jacinta began working at the school in 2016. Prior to that she was teaching at Collingwood College as a Leading Teacher and Acting Assistant Principal.  She has also taught at East Bentleigh Primary School where she took a Steiner class through from Class 1 to Class 6.  Jacinta has taught as a general classroom teacher, a music specialist, a maths specialist and is qualified to teach as both a primary and secondary teacher.


Andrew Karzons – Operations Manager

Andrew joined the school in 2016 and prior to this was working in a National Operations Management role.  Andrew is responsible for day to day management of the school administration functions in particular financial management, risk management, board reporting and policy development. Andrew is also responsible for the physical campus with regards to overseeing the ongoing maintenance, cleaning and management of capital projects.

Early Childhood

Paul Britton –  Kinder (Morning Star) Teacher and Class Aid

Paul joined the School in 2015 as a Class Aid and Morning Star Kindergarten Assistant. Currently Paul is the Morning Star Kindergarten Teacher and continues in his role as a Class Aid. Paul has two children that attend the School.

Jane Nealon – Playgroup Facilitator and Kinder/Morning Star Assistant

Jane joined the School in 2015 as our Playgroup Facilitator. In 2016 she continues in this role and assists in the Morning Star Kindergarten. Jane has a son that attends the school.

Taryn Baker – Mentor Early Childhood

Taryn joined the school in 2001 as the Kindergarten Teacher. Taryn took maternity leave in 2011 but continued to support the Kindergarten with part time/full time work in 2014/ 2015. In 2016 Taryn continues in a supportive mentoring role for Morning Star staff. Taryn has a son that attends the School.

Ariel Stava – Prep Teacher (Rosa Mundi)

Ariel began teaching at Mansfield Steiner School in 2014 and is the Rosa Mundi Prep teacher. Ariel studied Teaching and the Arts at Federation University, completing her double Bachelor in 2002. Since starting at Mansfield Steiner School Ariel has completed a Certificate in Early Childhood Education at Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar and has commenced a Certificate in Steiner Education. Prior to teaching at Mansfield Steiner School, Ariel taught extensively in schools in Victoria and Western Australia.


Linda Sampson – Class 1 Teacher

Linda has 16 years teaching experience in both Primary and Secondary levels. She has a Bachelor of Primary Education, completed the Rudolf Steiner Teacher Training Course and a Diploma in Modern Language Indonesian.

Glenn Hood – Class 2 Teacher

Glenn Hood began teaching at the School in 2016. He currently teaches Class 2. Glenn spent the previous 5 years working at Geelong Grammar School – Timbertop. Prior to this he taught at St Kevin’s College and worked in the social welfare and outdoor education sectors. His tertiary qualifications include; Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Social Work, Graduate Diploma of Education and Certificate 4 in Outdoor Education.

Lou Pullar – Class 3 Teacher

Lou began teaching at the School in 2013. She began teaching Class 3/4, then Class 1/2 and currently teaches Class One. Lou has two daughters that attend the School.

Clare Bennetts – Class 4 Teacher

Clare began teaching at the School in 2015 as the Class 3&4 Teacher. Clare is a former student of the school and has a degree in Agricultural Science and a Diploma of Education. Clare has worked for the Department of Agriculture, taught in an Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory and coordinated the Agriculture Program at Geelong Grammar School – Timbertop.

Michael Brittain – Class 6 Teacher

Michael joined the school in 2016 as the Class 5/6 teacher and taught French to classes 5-8.  He is currently teaching Class 6. Michael completed his Primary School observations and teaching rounds at the Steiner school in 2015. He has experience working at Timbertop in CRT and as a duty staff. Michael has a degree in Business Management, a Minor in French and is currently enrolled at Warrenwood for Steiner Teacher training.


Peter Henderson – Class 7/8 Teacher

Peter joined the school in 2017 as Year 7/8 class teacher. He has a long association with the Steiner system, having gone through kinder to Year 12 at the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner school. Over his 11 years in the teaching profession he has taught in a variety of schools. Most recently he spent five years at Glenaeon Steiner School in Sydney as a class guardian and class coordinator for years 7 and 8. Previously he spent five years teaching English at a secondary comprehensive school (state school) in London. Peter is a specialist English, History and Drama teacher but has taught most secondary subjects.

Peter Berenyi – Literacy/Numeracy teacher

Employed in the State system for 24 years from Burwood Teachers’ College 1969-70 to Mansfield Primary 1992. Special Education full time study leave 1975 led to working in Pentridge Prison, Richmond Special Education Unit, Turana (Juvenile Justine) and Ascot Vale Special School from 1976-1989.  1993 – 2001 worked as house parent and day programme activities staff member with Mansfield Autistic Centre (mainly adult clients)  2002 – present literacy/numeracy coordinator and sometimes classroom teacher at Mansfield Steiner School.  Completed Threefold Therapy Course at Melbourne Steiner School (Warranwood) and implemented program at MRSSK. From 2009-2012 ran an off campus youth engagement programme for Mansfield Secondary College.  Ran a home tutoring programme for Mansfield Shire Council for many years during the 2000-2010 decade.

Richard Smith – Chemistry/Physics and Latin Teacher

Richard began teaching Science at the School with its first Yr 7 group in 2008. He has taught Year 7/8 since then. In 2016 he also began teaching Latin. Richard gained a PhD in Chemistry in 1984 from Monash University, where he also did his teacher training. His first teaching appointment was at Scotch College in Melbourne where he taught for 7 years. In 1990 Richard began working at Timbertop. He currently teaches Year 7/8 Science and Latin at the School in a part time role.

Howard Chaston – Music Coordinator and Strings Teacher

Howard has been teaching music at the School since 2006. He completed his Steiner teacher training at Warrenwood in 2013. He teaches violin, cello and guitar and conducts the School Orchestra.

Jen O’Donnell – French and Music teacher

Jen began teaching at the school in 2007. She has extensive teaching experience and has taught across all year levels in French and Music. She studied at the Melbourne Conservatorium, specialising in piano, and also teaches violin, cello, guitar, singing, recorder, piano accordion and African drumming. Jen also holds an Arts Degree in French and English and has taught all three of her subjects up to VCE. Jen’s children currently attend the School.

Claire Little – Music Teacher

2017 is Claire’s second year teaching music at the school. Her areas of specialisation are recorder, singing, small ensembles and conducting the Junior Performance Orchestra. Claire has a Bachelor of Music and Graduate Diploma in Education from The University of Melbourne. She moved to the region in 2006 to work as the Music Coordinator at Geelong Grammar School’s Timbertop Campus and held this role for four years. Since 2009 Claire has taught music in a number of schools in the North East region and this year shares her time between MRSSK and Melbourne Grammar School, where she is the clarinet teacher. She is an active performer and sings with the Choir of Christ Church South Yarra, plays in ‘Consortium’, a Melbourne-based Recorder Consort and performs free-lance in a number of groups on clarinet.

Maureen McKay – Craft & Class Aid

Kaz Wilson – School Aid

Ishe Boge – Bus Monitor/Casual Relief Assistant (Early Childhood)

Ishe was a founding member of the Dandenong Ranges Steiner School and has had a long association with the School. Her current roles include School Bus Monitor and Casual Relief Assistant (Early Childhood).

Rebecca McMillian – Librarian and Art Teacher

Whilst employed at Mansfield Steiner School Rebecca has worked in a variety of part time roles including Casual Relief teacher, Kindergarten and Class Aid. In 2016 Rebecca works part time role of Librarian and Art teacher.

Sally Singleton – School Secretary

Sally started working at the school facilitating playgroups in 2000, whilst working one day a week the school office. Following the completion of a Diploma in Early Childhood she also became the Little Kinder teacher which she did for four years before taking on full time work in the office in 2009.

Pat Dowling – Garden & Grounds Coordinator

Rolf Attley – Maintenance Officer