Meet The Teachers

The wonderful bunch here at Bimbadeen would love to say hello!

Meet Our Teachers

At the top of the list when measuring the quality of a school has to be the quality of the teaching staff. We are beyond fortunate to have a team of teachers truly dedicated to positive outcomes for all children.

Meet our teachers below!

Leadership & Administration

Leigh Johansen

Leigh Johansen

Principal

johansen.leigh.lb@edumail.vic.gov.au

I love leading this school because of the outstanding staff team who have children at the heart of every decision they make. We have wonderful children and families at Bimbadeen who are great to work with.  In my spare time I love to spend time with my family and ride my bike.

Garry Fowler

Garry Fowler

Assistant Principal

fowler.garry.e@edumail.vic.gov.au

I enjoy the varied role of an Assistant Principal in a large school. The home school partnership is vital for school success and should always be based around positive relationships. On the weekends I enjoy surfing down at Ocean Grove.

Bren Michael

Bren Michael

Business Manager

michael.brenda.e@edumail.vic.gov.au

Hi! I’m Bren, and have been the Business Manager at Bimbadeen for over 6 years.  I previously worked at Wandin Yallock for 24years where I also worked with our Principal Leigh – so it was like coming home. I love my work and have continuous contact with children, parents and teachers.  Always remember my door is open if you have any financial concerns with payments to the school.

Adele Gates

Adele Gates

Admin Assistant

gates.adele.s@edumail.vic.gov.au

I work in the Office at Bimbadeen. I love getting to know the children and families that come to Bimbadeen and being able to help with anything they need.We strive to help our families feel welcome and supported as part of the Bimbadeen Community.
When I’m not at school I enjoy spending time with my own family.

Emma Chandler

Emma Chandler

Admin Assistant

chandler.emma.j@edumail.vic.gov.au

My name is Emma and I love working in the school office. It’s great getting to know all our wonderful students and their families, and being able to help with any needs or concerns they may have. Both my sons came to this school and enjoyed their time here just as much as I do! I love spending time with my family and going on holidays somewhere sunny and warm.

Foundation Teachers

Malcolm Rosendale

Malcolm Rosendale

Foundation Teacher

rosendale.malcolm.e@edumail.vic.gov.au

Working at Bimbadeen with the Founders is such a rewarding experience.  I enjoy working with some amazing teachers and many wonderful children. The progress a child makes in their first year of school is incredible and every year I am amazed at what they can achieve after such a short time.  In my time away from work I enjoy sports and spending time with my family.

Kate Wood

Kate Wood

Foundation Teacher

wood.kate.s@edumail.vic.gov.au

It is a privilege to work with such a great school community at Bimbadeen. I love watching the new founders mature and develop into independent learners, while learning to read and write. It is wonderful to see the progress achieved throughout the year in a stimulating and exciting environment. When I am not at school, I enjoy long walks with my dog Stella and travelling to new destinations.

Beth Dean

Beth Dean

Foundation Teacher (Team Leader)

dean.elizabeth.e1@edumail.vic.gov.au

The first years at school are the some of the most important in a child’s education and that’s why I feel passionate about teaching in Foundation. I love to see my students’ confidence soar as they achieve their learning goals or fall in love with reading. On my weekends I enjoy catching up with my friends  for a coffee or reading a good book.

Grade 1/2 Teachers

Liz Nicholson

Liz Nicholson

Grade 1/2 Teacher (Team Leader)

nicholson.elizabeth.m@edumail.vic.gov.au

I am a 1/2 teacher at BHPS. I love working in our team to develop enriching learning experiences for our students. Ensuring the classroom is a fun place to be and nurturing the students through our school values is a priority for me. In my spare time I enjoy reading and travelling.

Alannah Aiken

Alannah Aiken

Grade 1/2 Teacher

Aiken.Alannah.A@edumail.vic.gov.au

What I love most about Bimbadeen Heights is how friendly, welcoming and helpful all of the students and staff have been. I am really enjoying getting to know grade 1/2A and I am excited about the year ahead. I love to go camping, taking my dog Murray for walks and reading. I have always had a passion for water sports such as water-skiing and wake-boarding.

Jacqui Duncan

Jacqui Duncan

Grade 1/2 Teacher (Team Leader)

duncan.jacquelyn.j@edumail.vic.gov.au

I am a Year 1/2 teacher at Bimbadeen Heights. I love working with the children and watching them grow and learn throughout the year. When not at school I enjoy spending time with my family, travelling and walking and running with my dog.

Emily Russell

Emily Russell

Grade 1/2 Teacher

russell.emily.emr@edumail.vic.gov.au

I love my job and I strive to create a warm and welcoming classroom where my students are excited to learn. We sing, dance and have lots of fun as I firmly believe in the philosophy that ‘laughing kids learn’. When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy spending time on my farm with all my animals and riding my horse.

Annie Rountree

Annie Rountree

Grade 1/2 Teacher & Learning Specialist

rountree.anne.c@edumail.vic.gov.au

I have lived in New Zealand and England, been a secretary, a community worker; I am a mother and for the past 13 years, have been a teacher. I love reading, travel and gardening. I care about the environment and social justice. I believe educating our children well and teaching them how to think and learn is the best way to create a better world for all. I love my work helping children to develop confidence, to grow and learn. I enjoy seeing children’s curiosity and them being excited about the things they are learning. It’s a great job!

Grade 3/4 Teachers

Hayley Cook

Hayley Cook

Grade 3/4 Teacher

cook.hayley.m@edumail.vic.gov.au

I love working at Bimbadeen in my role as a Year 3/4 teacher. I think we have a great school that promotes high quality teaching and learning. The wellbeing of our students is extremely important to all staff here. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with family and friends and relaxing by the beach.

Tania Maniscalchi

Tania Maniscalchi

Year 3/4 Teacher

maniscalchi.tania.l@edumail.vic.gov.au

I love working in Year 3/4 with such an amazing team and awesome students! We had a great time on camp this year at Marysville and lots of fun learning new things. I’m excited about our School Wide Positive Behaviour Program. In my own time I love going to the beach with my husband and three daughters.

Michaela Gray

Michaela Gray

Grade 3/4 Teacher

gray.michaela.l@edumail.vic.gov.au

I have enjoyed working at Bimbadeen for the past 19 years. I have loved working in many different teams with amazing teachers. Mathematics is a particularly favourite subject of mine to teach. I spend my weekends with my family enjoying the outdoors.

Michelle Franks

Michelle Franks

Grade 3/4 Teacher

franks.michelle.m@edumail.vic.gov.au

I love working at Bimbadeen Heights Primary. We have a great staff and parent community who support each other and the children. I have taught in the upper school for many years and love the creativity of the students. Outside of school I enjoy reading, listening to music and spending time with my daughters.

Sharon Egan

Sharon Egan

Grade 3/4 Teacher (Team Leader)

dellavedova.sharon.j@edumail.vic.gov.au

I love working in Year 3/4 at Bimbadeen Heights Primary School.  Our supportive staff and wonderful children make coming to school each day a joy.  Helping children to become life long learners is what inspires me as a teacher and underpins everything we do in our classroom.  Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading and pottering in my garden.

Bree King

Bree King

Grade 3/4 Teacher (Team Leader)

king.bree.b@edumail.vic.gov.au

I am a Year 3/4 teacher at Bimbadeen Heights Primary school and enjoy the involvement we have here with the community. I love learning and want to help students to love it too. To see a child be completely enthralled in a concept – curiosity spills over, their excitement becomes contagious, and a lifelong learner is born. When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy being out and about with my family and friends.

Grade 5 Teachers

Stacy Brooks

Stacy Brooks

Grade 5 Teacher (Team Leader)

brookes.stacy.k@edumail.vic.gov.au

I love working with the wonderful staff and children at Bimbadeen Primary School. The supportive relationships between staff and parents that we foster helps the children learn, grow and be their best. It is wonderful to see the maturity and growth in the Year 5 students throughout a year. They are involved in Production, Camp, excursions, iPad programs and more. Outside of school I enjoy running my dogs and watching my children play sport.

Virginia Gardner

Virginia Gardner

Grade 5 Teacher

gardner.virginia.v@edumail.vic.gov.au

I love working with the experienced staff and wonderful children at Bimbadeen Heights.  There are so many extra curricular activities offered like production, aerobics,  radio show and camp, just to name a few! It is lovely to see our children develop and learn from these experiences.
Outside of school I enjoy teaching fitness classes, spending time with my family and shopping.

Laura Simkin

Laura Simkin

Grade 5 Teacher

simkin.laura.a@edumail.vic.gov.au

Hello! I have been at BHPS since 2005 and enjoy the friendly and helpful nature of students here. This year I am looking forward to an exciting learning adventure with the delightful children in Year 5. I really enjoy helping my students through their learning journey and seeing them beam with pride when they achieve a new goal. Outside of school I love baking and decorating cakes and watching my children play sport.

Tracey Johansen

Tracey Johansen

Grade 5 Teacher

johansen.tracey.l@edumail.com.au

I enjoy working with the fantastic staff and children at Bimbadeen. I love teaching and learning and helping children do their best. In Year 5 some highlights are our excursions, sport and circus production. Outside of school I enjoy walking my dogs, reading and being with friends and family.

Grade 6 Teachers

Matt Laws

Matt Laws

Grade 6 Leading Teacher

laws.matthew.m@edumail.vic.gov.au

I am a Year 6 teacher and ICT coordinator. I love working at Bimbadeen. We have a strong focus on working in teams to provide an ‘all round’ education for our students. When I’m not at school I enjoy travelling, keeping fit and reading.

Jemima Gange

Jemima Gange

Grade 6 Teacher

gange.jemima.e@edumail.vic.gov.au

I am a Year 6 Teacher at Bimbadeen Heights Primary School. I am very much looking forward to seeing my students mature during the course of the year and I hope to prepare them well for their future endeavour, high school. In my spare time I love playing netball, going on holidays with my husband and two daughters and walking our dogs along the beach.

Melinda Ruscitti

Melinda Ruscitti

Grade 6 Teacher (Team Leader)

ruscitti.melinda.m@edumail.vic.gov.au

It is a delight to teach at Bimbadeen. I love teaching Year 6 as I enjoy helping our students grow, mature and develop into wonderful people who are ready to take on the next challenge in their lives. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, baking and watching Geelong battle it out on the weekends.

Specialist Teachers

Melissa Simpson

Melissa Simpson

Art Teacher

simpson.melissa.k@edumail.vic.gov.au

After being a classroom teacher at Bimbadeen, I am looking forward to teaching Art. I majored in Visual Arts at university and Art is a subject I have always been passionate about. We will enjoy creating many wonderful artworks in our new art room. When I am not at school, I love going to the footy to cheer for Collingwood.

Lynne Burt

Lynne Burt

Music Teacher

burt.lynne.e@edumail.com.au

The Music Room is the most wonderful place in the school.  It’s a place for children to learn to read and write music.  They listen, move, persist, think, create, co-operate, learn from one another, stretch their imaginations, and develop as musicians and as people.  There’s nothing like the satisfaction of singing or playing something and “getting it right” together.  I love to celebrate with students as they tentatively try something and succeed way beyond their own expectations.  Bimbadeen students are amazing at having a go and creating delightful compositions and improvisations.  Outside school I love to read, make beaded jewellery and spend time with my family and friends.

Karin Sansom

Karin Sansom

Library Technician

sansom.karin.e@edumail.vic.gov.au

Bimbadeen holds a very special place in my heart having been associated with the school for over 25 years. The passion, professionalism and camaraderie amongst teachers and parents is exceptional.

In my home life I am a life member of both a local cricket and netball club. On weekends you will usually find me scoring cricket games where I get to watch my husband and two of my three sons play. As my knees can no longer carry me around the netball court I enjoy Aquarobics classes throughout the week and will often be seen walking our golden retriever around Lilydale Lake on Sunday mornings.

Kate Schie

Kate Schie

Physical Education Teacher

schie.kate.k@edumail.vic.gov.au

I am passionate about encouraging children to be active and develop the skills to be lifelong active people. Seeing students reach their goals and surpass their expectations is so rewarding. Outside of school, I am a keen cricket player and hiker. I also enjoy playing ukulele and attempting to ride my unicycle.

Sarah Cherry

Sarah Cherry

LOTE Chinese Teacher

Cherry.Sarah.H@edumail.vic.gov.au

It has been wonderful rejoining the Bimbadeen team this year after maternity leave. I have been very touched by the warm welcome back I have received from both students and parents who remember me and it is amazing to see how the Founders – Year 2’s that I remember have grown into big Year 4, 5 and 6 students! I’m looking forward to having lots of fun in our Chinese lessons this year!

At home I love to spend time with my two little girls and write songs in Chinese to help make learning fun.

Cath Buckland

Cath Buckland

Student Well-being & Literacy Intervention Leading Teacher

buckland.catherine.p@edumail.vic.gov.au

Working with students and families in my literacy support and wellbeing role, is very satisfying.  I love the sense of community and belonging at Bimbadeen and seeing over time, former students returning with their own children. My grandchildren are also ‘Bimbadeen Kids’. Reading, gardening and enjoying time with my family is what I most like to do out of school.

Kate Troschke

Kate Troschke

Music Teacher / classroom support

troschke.kate.g@edumail.vic.gov.au

I have enjoyed the challenge of teaching Year 6 Music for the past year. A highlight for me was working with all 87 students learning the ukulele. I look forward to my new role with the 3/4 team focusing on numeracy.
When I’m not at Bimbadeen, I love spending time with family and friends and my two little girls.  

School Support Staff – School Chaplain

John Vander-Velde

John Vander-Velde

School Chaplain

jvannassoc@hotmail.com

I am passionate about working at Bimbadeen Heights as School Chaplain. I love the moving tapestry of children from Foundation to Grade 6, and helping them with the issues they face.  Sometimes these are issues outside of school, sometimes issues at school and I help them build their social and emotional skills whilst fully respecting their diverse backgrounds and family circumstances.  I am there for them, encouraging, modelling and supporting to build resilience.  I work closely with the dedicated staff although I have been banned from telling them my ‘dad jokes’!   I also work closely with families and have access to a large support network that I can tap into to help parents with the challenges of life and bringing up children.

In my time away from Bimbadeen, my wife Val and I have been crisis care foster parents for many years.  I love to go surf fishing which provides much needed restoration, as well as go for coffee with Val whenever I can.

School Support Staff – Teacher Aides

Vicki Cuskelly

Vicki Cuskelly

Integration Aide

cuskelly.vicki.v@edumail.vic.gov.au

My role here is to support children with individual learning needs and help them to grow and develop positive relationships within our school community. Outside of school I love going to the football which also gives me a good talking point with the students every Monday morning.

Leslie Clarke

Leslie Clarke

Integration Aide

Clarke.Leslie.L@edumail.vic.gov.au

I work in Education Support. Thankyou Grade 3/4F for making me feel very welcome in class.

In my spare time, I love catching up with family and friends, bike riding, listening to live bands, playing badminton and table tennis, walking and going on day trips with my family.

I enjoy watching movies and I also love eating Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Indian, Italian, Korean and Japanese food.  I especially love eating spicy food and trying new cuisine.

Tracey Price-O'Reilly

Tracey Price-O'Reilly

Integration Aide

price-o’reilly.tracey.t@edumail.vic.gov.au

I enjoy working with and supporting children with additional needs and helping them build relationships with their peers. My personal interests include cooking and gardening which also allows me to share my skills and interact with my students in a positive and hands on learning approach.  

Mandy Riley

Mandy Riley

Integration Aide / THRASS

riley.mandy.m@edumail.vic.gov.au

I love being part of a team who are dedicated to assisting all children work towards their full potential.
Watching a student’s confidence and ability grow is always exciting.
Outside of school I enjoy doing craft, reading and travelling.

Elizabeth Downs

Elizabeth Downs

Integration Aide

Downs.Eliizabeth.E@edumail.vic.gov.au

I am an Integration Aide at Bimbadeen Heights Primary School. I absolutely love working with the children  – watching them learn and grow is such a privilege. I couldn’t have wished for a more rewarding job!
In my spare time I love exploring our beautuful country with my family & spending time with friends.

Joanne Palmer

Joanne Palmer

Integration Aide

Palmer.Joanne.L@edumail.vic.gov.au

I have been fortunate enough to join this welcoming and inclusive school.   I was born in England and came to Australia when I was 2, and  am now honouring a promise to my mother by becoming an Australian citizen. I have been a beauty therapist for over 20 years and wanted to embark on a challenging and rewarding career change.  I have 3  grown children and 3 grandchildren who take up all my spare time.  I do love spending time at the beach with my dogs whenever I can.

Helen Thomson

Helen Thomson

Integration Aide

thomson.helen.h@edumail.vic.gov.au

My role at school as an Integration Aide is to support students with individual needs, this allows me to build relationships with students in all different year levels throughout the school.
Outside of school I like to enjoy the great outdoors through hiking and camping with my family.  This allows me to talk about my experiences with the students.

Penny Long

Penny Long

Integration Aide

Long.Penelope.P@edumail.vic.gov.au

Since becoming part of the Bimbadeen team l have felt very welcomed and accepted by all of the staff and students. I feel very fortunate to have begun my integration aide career at a place like Bimbadeen.

In my past life, before children l was a full time artist exhibiting in Melbourne and Sydney. I produced large oil on canvas paintings which were part figurative, part abstract. One of the most amazing commissions l have had to do was a large painting of the Virgin Mary for Cistercian monks. It remains permanently in their chapel.

I enjoy swimming, yoga and walking in the forest. These have remained my sanity savers throughout parenthood. I am a mother to a beautiful 10 year old girl and 7 year old boy.

Stacey Eley

Stacey Eley

Integration Aide

eley.stacey.s@edumail.vic.gov.au

I love working with the wonderful staff and students at Bimbadeen Heights Primary. It is a wonderful and supportive community, that helps include all students and their families, especially the students I work with. Outside of school I am involved in my sons football club and my daughters netball club.


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