Our Teachers

Secondary School 

Suzanne Van Wyk | Secondary School Co-ordinator

In 2019 Suzanne Van Wyk has joined the Mansfield Steiner School faculty as our first Year 10 Guardian and Secondary School Co-ordinator. With a love for hiking and the outdoors, Suzanne also brings a wealth of knowledge from her experience working as a soldier, lifeguard, nanny, outdoor educator and teacher previously teaching at SPC Alice Springs and Cathedral College in Wangaratta.

Rudolf Steiner emphasises that adolescents – the development phase where students are able to question the world and analyse their own place within it, is a time where it is important to have teachers and adults who can both provide a dialogue around these questions, as well as be an upstanding and exemplary community member in their lives. A unique working life has provided me the opportunity to participate in the world broadly. Joining the Mansfield Steiner community feels like coming home.

Amy Jewson | Secondary School Maths and PE

Amy has taught in many independent schools including GGS Timbertop. Amy teaches Secondary Maths and PE. Mansfield Steiner: A place that encourages patient problem solving.

 ” Maths gives us hope, that through perseverance and assistance, every problem has a solution “

Seamus Kavanagh | ICT/Class 5 Teacher/ Year 7 Guardian/ Choir

In the past year Seamus has been the Swiss Army Knife of our school – meaning he has had many functions. He was born in NZ and has enjoyed  the many challenges of his varied role. This year he is Year 7 Guardian, Secondary ICT teacher and Class 4 teacher on a Monday. His Year 7s bake a loaf of bread to share for morning tea every day.

Kate Hood | Secondary Science and Positive Education teacher

Kate has spent many years teaching science and Positive Education at GGS Timbertop. Kate is a Class 7/8 guardian and works with students from both Primary and Secondary improving  well-being and self-confidence.

Sue Plumb | Secondary Art and Design I.B. Coordinator

” As a practicing artist/designer, I know first-hand how these activities enrich a life. Waldorf education recognises the importance of the arts as an integral part of the development of the whole person. Although we may not all aspire to become artists, the value and development of creative thought, whether it be literary, musical, dramatic or aesthetic cannot fail to expand our appreciation and understanding of the world around us. This is what I understand holistic education to mean and this is what I aim for in my teaching.”

Primary School 

Jacinta Walker | Class 1 Teacher, Deputy Principal

Jacinta came to Mansfield Steiner from a senior position at Collingwood College . Along the way she has discovered a passion for farming and rural life.

When I first came to Mansfield Steiner School I thought it was the most beautiful school I’d ever seen – and I still think how lucky I am to work in such lovely surroundings.

I’ve just finished a maths unit, Calculus and Linear Algebra, as part of a post grad diploma in maths – what I like to do in my spare time.

Glenn Hood | Class 4 Teacher

Glenn taught at Art, English and Outdoor Education at GGS Timbertop for five years. He enjoys the variety of the Steiner Curriculum and the long term relationship with the children.

“There are no excuses and no outs – you work with what you have and you make it work.”

Michael Brittain | Class 2 Teacher

Michael grew up in Los Angeles. He came to Australia on a project which promoted environmental education, met his future wife and came to Steiner Education by accident. This form of education suits his passion for history and enjoys moving through the epochs in class teaching.

Lou Pullar | Class 5 Teacher

Lou and her family spent six months sailing up the east coast of Australia. Along the way they met two Steiner graduates who were also sailing. Lou liked that they could think outside the square and that they had very different ideas about how to live life. They were free thinkers and lived beautifully.
Lou and her family moved to Mansfield for the school.

Linda Sampson | Class 3 Teacher

Linda is an experienced Class Teacher. She has also studied Indonesian and lived in Bali. 

” It is a privilege to teach and travel with the children during their journey through their primary years. I never get tired of the beauty of the school and the surrounding area.”

Clare Bennetts | Class 6 Teacher,

Clare was one of the first students at Maindample Steiner School. She loves bringing practical elements to her class and her passion for the environment is reflected in her teaching. Her great-great-grandmother met Rudolf Steiner after losing three sons in the war.

Early Childhood

Taryn Baker | EC Teacher

Taryn has been involved in Early Childhood Education at the school for many years. She believes strongly in an unhurried childhood for all children and works hard to create a beautiful and magical environment for the kinder children.

Sandi Valerio | EC educator

 After being a part of other Steiner schools with my family of four children. Mansfield felt like coming home to us. The school has an essence like no other I have known. Warm, welcoming, relaxed and above all friendly.

This school is moving forward, and I felt that our family could help pioneer this way forward

Jane Nealon | Playgroup Leader and Kindergarten Assistant

Jane first came to the school with her two boys because of the Playgroup and is now the Leader. Jane is a qualified Occupational Therapist and will begin her Extra Lesson training next year.

Paul Britton | Classroom Assistance Music Early Childhood

Paul is an artist, musician and a classroom assistant. After working many years at Mansfield Autism Statewide Services, Paul is able to use his experience, skills and knowledge to support teachers working with children with ASD.

Kaz Wilson | Classroom/EC Support Lit/Numeracy Support Sustainability

Kaz is committed to saving the planet and inspiring the students with a love of nature. She is also committed to the school producing zero waste, by implementing a very detailed waste management system of worms, compost, chooks and mindfulness. Kaz is a qualified botanist and enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge with the students.

Ariel Stava| Rosa Mundi PrepTeacher

When Ariel was at University, she heard a guest speaker talk about Steiner Education. He  showed her a Main Lesson book. Ariel was impressed by its richness and care. She  moved to Mansfield to teach at the local primary school. She visited MRSSK on Open Day and felt that the school’s love of nature and beauty was reflected in its gardens, grounds and buildings. Five years later, after having a child, Ariel became the Prep Teacher.

” What I thought I knew as a teacher is tiny compared to what has come to light in my Steiner teaching. The child is a book, your  text book. It is all there in front of you. You just have to look within and at nature and all around.”

Music

Claire Little | Music/Drama Teacher

Claire is a Drama and Instrumental teacher at MRSSK. She moved to the area to teach at GGS Timbertop and liked  the area so much, that she stayed teaching at various local schools. Claire ran a PD for teachers on recorder playing and stayed on to teach recorder and violin to students.

Jen O’Donnell | French/ Language Co-ordinator, Music Teacher

Jen is a very experienced French teacher who has introduced the AIM language programme into the school, she also teaches music. She is a wonderful singer who is able to get a crowd singing an unfamiliar song, in a very short time.

“Mansfield Steiner School feels like home to our whole family.

When I started teaching here in 2007 the whole school community could fit into the courtyard for the Christmas play!”

Alannah Harper | Music Staff

Alannah teaches cello. She is a former student of Mansfield Steiner School and was  married under the Grandfather Tree in the school grounds last year.

Geoff Wright | Music Staff

Geoff is a drumming and guitar teacher. He has recently moved to Mansfield, after many years teaching drumming and guitar in various Melbourne schools.

Speciality Teachers

Peter Berenyi | Literature/Numeracy Support

Peter is a strong believer in diagnostic testing rather than standardised testing. He likes leading students into mathematical processes with puzzles and problems.

Lou Jenkins | Craft Teacher, PE teacher, Bothmer Gym , Class 5 Teacher

Lou has many roles at the school. She is  Class 5 teacher on a Monday. She teaches fine motor skills in Craft to all the Primary classes and gross motor skills to the upper classes in Bothmer Gym. Lou loves all things outdoors especially surfing, horse riding and camping.

“Teaching at Mansfield Steiner allows me to teach to the whole child”.

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Bec McMillan | Librarian

Bec is a great storyteller as well as a lover of books. She is able to make the library a very special place for all students.

Administration

Fran Cummins | Principal

Fran has been involved in the school for many years as a Class Teacher. Passionate about the lifelong benefits of Steiner Education and its emphasis on integrating the arts in every subject. She is excited about the introduction of the IB and the creation another option for Secondary Education in Mansfield, with the possibility that Mansfield could be a town dedicated to a diverse educational opportunity.

“At MRSSK we produce creative thinkers who will positively contribute to the making of a better world.”

Andrew Karzons| Operations Manger

Andrew moved from a National role in Melbourne to take on the role of Operations Manager. Andrew enjoys the variety in his position from managing school finances to rescuing  swarms of bees.

Pat Dowling | Gardener

Pat is such an avid gardener that his second name is Herbaceous. He ensures our grounds and gardens are always stunning, he also gardens with the Primary classes. Pat inspires the children to get their hands in the earth and teaches them how to create a healthy environment for all.

Sally Singleton | Administration

Sally is the usually the first point of contact at the school. She has held many positions over the years, as a parent, playgroup facilitator, first aid person, reception and assisting with College administration.

Ishe Boge | Bus Supervisor

Ishe welcomes the children off the bus in the mornings and ensures their safe departure on in the afternoons.