ABOUT BONEO PRIMARY SCHOOL

RESPECT, EMPATHY AND DETERMINATION

Boneo Primary School is a vibrant, community school in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula. The 350 children who attend the school come from the local neighbourhood catchment that covers Boneo, Fingal, Cape Schanck and St Andrews Beach.

Our school has a strong focus on educating the whole child.  We nurture and care for our students providing programs that celebrate our beautiful environment, programs that support the health and wellbeing of each child and their diverse needs and programs that ensure our students are engaged and supported in all academic areas.

PHILOSOPHY

To provide an engaging and exciting learning environment. We will ensure all students learn to high levels, we will work in a collaborative and collective way and we will focus on results and use results to inform and improve our professional practice and respond to students who need intervention or enrichment. We are committed to a holistic approach to the growth and development of each child.

BONEO PRIMARY SCHOOL MISSION STATEMENT

Boneo Primary School provides a positive, personalised and nurturing learning environment that motivates students to reach their maximum potential as lifelong learners.

VISION

Boneo Primary School provides a positive, personalised and nurturing environment that motivates students to reach their maximum potential as lifelong learners. Our three values are: Respect, Empathy and Determination.

“I am a passionate educator with extensive leadership experience in both government and independent educational contexts. I am driven to ignite the spark of genius, setting high expectations and developing authentic relationships in a learning community. The students are at the heart of every decision I make, and I truly believe in the incredible capacity of all young people. I am committed to finding what makes each student unique and then ensuring that our school can facilitate what they need to thrive.

I am very proud to be the Principal of Boneo Primary School, having lived locally for over 30 years. The philosophy for learning that permeates our school, values children as active participants in their own education. We develop capable learners who understand where they are at in their learning, and set goals for ‘where to next’.

We foster active, reflective students who respond effectively and earn the respect of others through their actions. Our learning culture nurtures curiosity, creativity and critical thinking, encouraging problem finding and solving in order to understand our world. Each student’s wellbeing, sense of belonging and academic growth matters and is nurtured by our passionate staff.

We strongly believe that our ultimate advantage is the individual care and attention we give our students.”

Mandy Whitworth, Principal

MEET THE BONEO TEAM

MANDY WHITWORTH

Principal

MARIJA PANDZA

Assistant Principal

TOM POLLETT

Teacher – Learning Specialist

CHLOE UMBERS

Teacher – Learning Specialist

AMANDA SWAYNE

Business Manager

KATE ATKINSON

Office Manager

SUE KRAUS

Administration/First Aid

SUSIE McGREGOR

Teacher – Prep

OLIVIA RAVEN

Teacher – Prep

BETH WHARTON

Teacher – Year 1

YIKHOL WEBBER

Teacher  – Year 1

ROWENA SYKES

Teacher – Year 1

JULIA BARNETT

Teacher – Year 1

GRACE DOBSON

Teacher – Year 2

CHLOE DAWSON

Teacher – Year 2

BROGAN RAE

Teacher – Year 2

LAUREN SMOLCIC

Teacher – Year 3

LIZ DEMAJ

Teacher – Year 3

STACEY BROWN

Teacher – Year 4

JENNIFER SCOTT

Teacher – Year 4

 FIONA CAMPANELLA

Teacher – Year 4/Learning Enhancement

PATRICK SUMNER

Teacher – Year 5

MEGAN YOUNG

Teacher – Year 5

TAYLAH RICHARDSON

Teacher – Year 5

LIZ DEWAR

Teacher – Year 6

KATIE GUNN

Teacher – Year 6

PAIGE RAVEN

Teacher – Year 6

NICKY SCHWABEGGER

Teacher/Learning Enhancement

PAT DALTON

Teacher – Visual Arts

DAVID GREENING

Teacher – Physical Education

ANTONIA SCANDIZZO

Teacher – STEM

ELIZABETH SISON

Teacher – Music/Performing Arts

KIERAN NOLAN

STEM Wizard

ZOE NEWMAN

Education Support

PAULA CHARLES

Education Support

KATE FALKENBERG

Education Support

SEAN HEWITT

Education Support

MEGAN LOWERSON

Education Support

PAULINE O’BRIEN

Education Support

MANDI THOMAS

Education Support

TIM ROBERTSON

Maintenance

LILY SLOAN

Education Support

CHLOE FAHEY

Education Support

TEAM PROFILES

MANDY WHITWORTH

Principal

I am a passionate educator with extensive leadership experience in both government and independent educational contexts. I am driven to ignite the spark of genius, setting high expectations and developing authentic relationships in a learning community. The students are at the heart of every decision I make, and I truly believe in the incredible capacity of all young people. I am committed to finding what makes each student unique and then ensuring that our school can facilitate what they need to thrive.

I am very proud to be the Principal of Boneo Primary School, having lived locally for over 30 years. The philosophy for learning that permeates our school, values children as active participants in their own education. We develop capable learners who understand where they are at in their learning, and set goals for ‘where to next’.

We foster active, reflective students who respond effectively and earn the respect of others through their actions. Our learning culture nurtures curiosity, creativity and critical thinking, encouraging problem finding and solving in order to understand our world. Each student’s wellbeing, sense of belonging and academic growth matters and is nurtured by our passionate staff.

We strongly believe that our ultimate advantage is the individual care and attention we give our students.

MARIJA PANDZA

Assistant Principal

I have always wanted to be an educator, and bring with me many years of leadership experience in both Curriculum and Student Wellbeing. I view education as a lifelong process and am dedicated to providing all students with a highly effective curriculum where their needs are at the centre. I am committed to ensuring that students have an opportunity to participate in an enriching, engaging and nurturing learning environment that will enable them to flourish.

I love to see students involved and active in their learning and always encourage student voice. I want students to feel empowered to take ownership of their learning. I look forward to strengthening their problem-solving skills and make real-world connections to their learning. 

Outside of school, I love spending time with family, going camping, watching soccer or losing myself in a book. I love trying new recipes and am keen to set up a vegetable garden at home. My husband and I have also recently taken up cycling which has been a lot of fun.

I am genuinely excited about becoming a member of the Boneo PS community, and believe the relationships between families and the school are vital to the success of our students.

CHLOE UMBERS

Learning Specialist

I am an educator with a passion for teaching children in the early years of schooling. My rural upbringing in Western Australia has my philosophy firmly grounded in learning through exploration – harnessing a child’s natural sense of curiosity builds lifelong learners.

I have been fortunate to lead teaching and learning in an international context where I recently lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates. It was a joy to learn from a range of people and cultures, shifting my perspective to think bigger.

I am thrilled to be working with the outstanding team at Boneo Primary School once more, and look forward to the exciting moments ahead.

TOM POLLETT

Teacher – Year 5 & Learning Specialist

My name is Tom Pollett, and I’m a passionate educator who believes in the holistic development of each and every student. It is my strong belief that every child possesses the capacity to learn and achieve. My goal is to develop an environment where all students see themselves as capable, reflective learners, who have the tools and knowledge necessary to drive their own learning.  

One of the most fulfilling aspects of my career is collaborating with my colleagues to develop highly effective and engaging teaching and learning practices. Whether it’s through personalized instruction or fostering a nurturing classroom environment, I am dedicated to empowering both students and teachers alike.

Outside of the classroom, you’ll often find me immersed in the great outdoors with my wife and three children, camping, surfing and fishing.

AMANDA SWAYN

Business Manager

I have been connected to Boneo Primary School for over 16 years, both as a parent and as a member of staff.

When the time came for us to choose a school for our children to attend, we were incredibly impressed by the small, rustic school among the farms. What was really evident from our first school tour was the strong sense of ‘community’. The school has grown and changed immensely in appearance over this time, but the heart of the school has remained unchanged. Boneo Primary School is truly unique in the way it connects our families, staff and extended community.

It has been 10 years since l started working at the school and throughout this time l have worked in many different roles. Providing support to students within the classroom and  through intervention programs, coordinating events and fundraising initiatives and office administration.

I truly love my role as Office Manager, and enjoy sharing my work day with our wonderful Boneo community.

SUE KRAUS

Education Support

I have been a part of the Boneo School community for the past 20 years, as a parent first and then as an employee. For the past 5 years I have been in the school sick bay and known as ‘Sickbay Sue’. I love chatting to all of the students and getting to know a little more about them.

I am planning on starting a ‘Frequent Flyers Reward Program’ for some of my regular little customers!

 

KATE ATKINSON

Office Manager

I am excited to be taking up this position as Office Manager at Boneo Primary School. Having been a secondary school Health and Physical Education teacher for over 17 years I decided it was time to step away from teaching and try something new. I love the interactions with students and working within a dynamic team and I feel that this position will tick all those boxes. 

I have always loved the community feel that Boneo has, and it is one of the main reasons we chose Boneo for our two sons. Our eldest son loves Boneo and our youngest son has started prep at Boneo Primary school this year, and loving it!

I can’t wait to get to know everyone and support staff, students, and parents of the Boneo Primary School community.  

SUSIE MCGREGOR

Teacher – Prep

I have been privileged to teach at Boneo for the last eighteen years. Both of my children attended Boneo, the youngest finishing Year 6 in 2019. I thoroughly enjoy my role, having the opportunity to inspire children to achieve their academic best and develop the values of Respect, Empathy and Determination.

I love children’s literature and hope to instill a love of reading in all children. Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to help run the kitchen component of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program which is lots of fun, harvesting produce and creating culinary masterpieces!

Boneo has a vibrant culture made possible by the combination of lovely students, supportive parents and dedicated staff.

OLIVIA RAVEN

Teacher – Prep

As a member of the Boneo teaching team, I feel incredibly fortunate and honoured to have the opportunity to work at such an amazing school. I have a passion for teaching and learning and I especially love to help students find their own passion in life and reach their individual goals.

I completed my Bachelor of Education at Monash in 2019 which provided me with many learning experiences helping to shape me as the teacher I am today. I completed my final placement rounds at Boneo Primary and was welcomed into the community with a great amount of warmth and kindness from day one. I just knew from the very beginning that I would love to work at Boneo in the future.

I enjoy inspiring my students through creative, authentic and meaningful learning activities in an environment where they feel safe, supported and important.

I love spending my spare time with my family and friends and especially enjoy exploring the Mornington Peninsula and feel very blessed to call this amazing place home.

BETH WHARTON

Teacher – Year 1

Growing up I always wanted to become a teacher and never deviated from this.  Over the years I have worked within the catholic and government systems.  I have three children aged between 10 and 16 years old.  They keep me busy participating in various sporting teams and attending schools within the local area. 

In 2019, I was fortunate enough to join Boneo Primary School. Since beginning here, I have been welcomed, supported and feel so fortunate to be part of such an amazing school community.  The community sense, partnership and inclusiveness is what makes Boneo Primary School a truly remarkable place to be part of. 

I am a dedicated teacher that aims to bring an open mind, a positive attitude, and high expectations to the classroom each day.  I aim to instill a love of learning in the children I teach and believe one of the most important things in life is to ‘learn something new every day’ regardless of age.

JULIA BARNETT

Teacher – Year 1

Teaching runs in my family. In 2002, I began studying a Bachelor of Education, Prep – Year 10, at the University of Ballarat. Having grown up in a warm climate, I had to quickly adjust to Ballarat’s cold temperatures and even snow in winter. I completed my studies in 2005 and then started teaching at Boneo Primary School in 2006.

People say ‘that time flies when you are having fun’, and I agree! I am very fortunate to be teaching at Boneo Primary School. It is a pleasure to work amongst dedicated teachers, motivated students and trusting parents.

My enthusiasm to be a teacher branches from a desire to help children be supported, feel a sense of belonging and to develop a love of learning. Here at Boneo, we encourage and nurture students to become independent, curious and equipped with life skills.

My daughter is a student at Boneo. She tells me that it is the best school on Earth!

GRACE DOBSON

Teacher – Year 2

My name is Grace Dobson and I am delighted to be joining the Boneo Primary community in 2023. I am so excited to be moving back to the Mornington Peninsula, after teaching in Melbourne for the past 2 years in the independent sector. I believe that children are strong, capable and resilient, rich with wonder and knowledge. Relationships are the foundation of my teaching. I am committed to ensuring every child and family feels valued, respected and connected as a community. I recognise that each child’s diverse backgrounds shape who they are and I am looking forward to getting to know each student and their strengths and interests. Cultural awareness is something that I am passionate about, including a greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being. I am thrilled to be coming back to the Mornington Peninsula to be closer to my family and to share my energy, passion and enthusiasm for education at Boneo Primary.

CHLOE DAWSON

Teacher – Year 2

After leaving school, I started training to be a nurse but quickly realised that I wanted to be a teacher. I enjoyed travelling overseas for a while and now I live locally and when I’m not working, I love spending time with friends, going to the gym, beach and travelling. 

I have always enjoyed engaging with children and encouraging them to learn and grow. Over the last 2 years I have worked with children in an early childhood setting and have passionately supported them to develop in a positive and safe learning environment. I am honoured to be joining the team at Boneo Primary School in 2024 and expanding my knowledge and skills in a primary school setting.

I look forward to building strong relationships with my students and getting to know each of them as individuals. By listening to and understanding them I will work to best support my students in gaining the most out of their schooling experience and make school a positive and inclusive place to be.

ROWENA SYKES

Teacher – Year 1

While teaching wasn’t my original career pathway, my initial studies to become a holistic psychologist led me to realise that I could fulfill my goal of helping children by pursuing a career in education.  I believe in my role as an educator, I continually strive to provide an environment that nourishes the children in my care, while assisting them to expand their knowledge in a classroom that encourages the inquisitive mind.

As a child, I always marvelled at the natural world and I enjoy utilising the beautiful grounds and surrounds that encompass Boneo Primary. Children’s literature is a real passion of mine. I get great joy sharing my favourite books and watching my students passion for literature grow. A favourite learning space is our peaceful outdoor classroom at the neighbouring Boneo Wetlands.

Proudly, this is my tenth year with Boneo Primary School, and the values that first attracted me to this fabulous community are those that continue to hold our school in high esteem. Now I am also a proud Boneo parent!

A sense of belonging, pride and courage, drive our learners and I aim to provide a classroom that caters to the whole child, supporting them to achieve to their highest potential. I have a background in social sciences and believe that successful learners feel valued and supported in their quest for curiosity. I celebrate mistakes as a basis for growth and recognise that resilience in learning and persistence in adversity has sparked some of history’s greatest discoveries.

BROGAN REA

Teacher – Year 2

Being a recent addition to the Boneo teaching team, I feel incredibly honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to such a wonderful school. I have recently completed my Bachelor of Education at Deakin University where I had the opportunity to develop my teaching philosophy and passion for creating a positive learning environment for all students. I aspire to create an inclusive learning space where each student is encouraged to discover, explore, and thrive. My goal is to make a positive impact in young people’s lives through embracing their unique strengths, interests and learning styles.

 

After completing my final placement at Boneo Primary School, it became clear to me that I would thoroughly enjoy continuing my teaching journey at this school. Active community involvement holds a great significance for me, as I not only aim to contribute to the academic development of my students, but also become an integral part of promoting a supportive and thriving educational community.

 

Having grown up on the Mornington Peninsula, I usually spend my time outdoors with family and friends. I have recently rescued a dog named Archie and spend a lot of my time taking him for big walks and trips to the beach.

LAUREN SMOLCIC

Teacher – Year 3

I am thrilled to be joining the teaching team at Boneo Primary School in 2022 and feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work at such a wonderful school.

I completed my Master of Teaching in Primary and Secondary Education at Monash University and have developed a passion for creating an inclusive environment where all my students feel welcomed, safe and respected.

I am very excited to inspire my class to achieve their full potential through challenging, engaging and holistic learning experiences that value diversity and curiosity.

Having grown up on the Mornington Peninsula I love spending my spare time adventuring outdoors. My interests include pottery, cooking and sustainability alongside travelling and enjoying time with my friends and family.

LIZ DEMAJ

Teacher – Year 3

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a teacher. I did my work experience in year 10 at the primary school I had attended, so my teaching journey started early. Life sent me in a different direction after I completed my degree and I worked in the corporate world for 10 years but in 2003 I started my teaching career and I haven’t looked back.

I have taught in very large schools north of Melbourne and as a regional leader in the Goulburn Valley area. Most recently my interest has been in the Science of Reading and how this strong research can be transferred to teaching and learning.

My partner and I have recently moved to the Peninsula and are currently extending and renovating our home. We love the lifestyle that living by the beach brings and embrace family and friends who often come to visit. Since our 5 children are now independent we consider our two dogs, our baby’s. I have a love for dogs and hope to rescue a few when I can be home to give them my full attention.

I am really looking forward to starting my next teaching journey at Boneo PS and hope that I can nurture many children’s social, emotional and academic growth for years to come.

STACEY BROWN

Teacher – Year 4

My teaching journey has been long and exciting. I have been fortunate to work in some amazing schools, building my knowledge and expertise. I have a strong passion for allowing students to find their voice, relevance and enjoyment in learning, building connections with issues important to them and showing them that they are valued within the school.

My journey at Boneo began a year ago, teaching STEM and Year 5. It has been a beautiful year and I am extremely grateful. As soon as I stepped foot within the school grounds,  both myself and my my children, who also attend the school, became part of the Boneo family. I have loved getting to know each student as one of their specialist teachers and I am looking forward to seeing their growth as their learning connects more with curiosity and creativity.

JENNIFER SCOTT

Teacher – Year 4

I feel grateful to be part of the team at Boneo and have loved being a teacher for many years. It is delightful to work with an amazing team of teachers, education support staff, wonderful students, and supportive families. Before this time, I had a range of different jobs including a florist, project manager, music tutor and accountant. 

As an educator, I believe that it is vital to help every child realise their own unique strengths and celebrate the diversity of people in their lives and beyond.  It is my passion to foster a sense of belonging in every student and help develop a sense of responsibility that they have to themselves and others. 

Outside of school I love to spend time with my family, growing my own food, playing music, being in the great outdoors and swimming in Port Philip Bay. 

FIONA CAMPANELLA

Teacher – Year 4/Learning Enhancement

I have been very fortunate to be part of the Boneo community for over 20 years. Over the years I have worked as a classroom teacher with students from Prep to Year 4, taught Environmental Science to all year levels and have worked with Year 1 and 2 students – helping them improve their reading and writing through literacy intervention, which is the role I am currently in. I’m privileged to have this rewarding position, where I get to be part of the students’ progress towards becoming proficient readers. I have always loved books and I hope I can also foster a love of reading in my students – no matter what role I have.

Curiosity about the world is something else I model and I hope this rubs off on my students. I have travelled to many countries, including Ghana in West Africa, where I did voluntary work in a refugee camp – teaching Year 1 students and training local teachers. Before becoming a teacher, I did a Bachelor of Applied Science – Parks and Wildlife. I worked in that field for about 2 years before returning to university to study education. I am still very passionate about the natural environment and love to share this with the students. A few years ago I also completed post graduate studies in early childhood which gave me a new perspective on how young children learn. My son is a student at Boneo which has given me further insight into students’ experiences at school. The connections I have made with families, colleagues and particularly the children, continue to make Boneo a very special place to work.

PATRICK SUMNER

Teacher – Year 5

Originally, l had an interest in studying physiotherapy due to my interest in the body and sport in general. My involvement in community made me realise I also have a passion for developing those around me to achieve their potential.  I then combined these two interests and enrolled in a Bachelor of Education (Honours) Primary and Secondary Health and Physical Education.

I am looking forward to using this knowledge to support the development of the students at Boneo Primary School to become well-informed members of the community.

I have a strong interest in sport and am lucky enough to have the opportunity to both coach and play AFL at the Frankston Dolphins Football Club. I also enjoy traveling and learning about different cultures around the world.

I have been a part of various primary schools on the Peninsula where I have gained experience at upper primary level.

I am looking forward to meeting and working with you all.

MEGAN YOUNG

Teacher – Year 5

I was so excited to step into a teaching role at Boneo Primary in 2019, having grown up on the Mornington Peninsula and knowing the reputation that Boneo has as a school.

Unlike most children, l never wanted to be an astronaut or a police officer. Being a teacher was where it was at for me, and it has been since l was 4 years old. I am so proud that l now get to live out this childhood dream in the town l grew up in, teaching the children of friends and family.

I have spent a large amount of my life travelling and working overseas, working as a Physical Education Instructor at an international sports facility in New York. My passion for teaching is closely paralleled by my love for sports, in which l have played netball, athletics and swam for many local and elite clubs across Melbourne.

I absolutely adore young people and have coached, tutored or been involved with children for as long as l can remember. I cannot wait to continue pursuing excellence at Boneo, and aid in setting your children up to achieve their dreams and be completely successful in their futures.

TAYLAH RICHARDSON

Teacher – Year 5

I feel very privileged to be joining such a wonderful community as the Boneo Primary School teaching team in 2024. My teaching philosophy centres around the recognition that every student is unique, with their own strengths and weaknesses. I strive to create a classroom that celebrates diversity and encourages collaboration, ensuring that each student feels valued and respected. 

I completed my Bachelors of Primary and Secondary Physical Education (Honours) at Monash University, and since then have taught all over the world. I moved to Madrid, Spain back in 2021 to teach English, had the best time and made many wonderful friends. After meeting my partner in Madrid, we moved to England and I continued my teaching journey. I am now back home and feel that these experiences have equipped me with a range of skills to assist students of varying needs and to pass on knowledge from all the experiences I have had. 

Alongside teaching, I am also passionate about keeping active and being outdoors. I am always eager for a challenge and love finding a new hobby to try! I am really looking forward to continuing my teaching career at Boneo Primary School and am excited to meet you all. 

LIZ DEWAR

Teacher – Year 6

When I was little, I wanted to be an archaeologist. I was fascinated with mythology and ancient history, and hoped there might be a job in it somewhere for me. So I started an Arts degree at Melbourne University, and took all the right subjects- Classics, History, Roman Politics, and even Modern Greek Language. I loved what I was studying, but it turned out that there wasn’t much of a calling for Archaeologists in Melbourne in the early 2000s.

So I started an Education degree, and discovered that I loved it. Even better than that, I discovered I was pretty good at it too!

I continued studying at Melbourne Uni during the early days of my teaching career, and completed a Masters in Mathematics Education under the supervision of the late, great David Clarke- my Maths hero. The man who taught me everything I know about teaching maths, and for whom I will be eternally grateful for sharing his immense knowledge of kids and how they learn.

Fast forward a few years, and I’ve been putting that knowledge into action, working closely with Ryan Jellie to dream up and design dinosaur fossil dig sites and meteor landings, all in the name of creating engaging opportunities for kids to learn maths.

KATIE GUNN

Teacher – Year 6

My teaching journey began at a very young age. My mother tells me stories that when my friends would come over, we would dress up our dolls and play ‘teachers’ and ‘classrooms’. She says that when my little brother and sister were having trouble learning new things, that I would sit down with them and think of interesting new ways of teaching them the concepts. As I became older, I discovered a real passion in wanting to help students that didn’t always learn new things easily, the disadvantaged or those that didn’t quite fit into ‘mainstream’ schooling.

Consequently, I began studying my Diploma of Children’s services, followed by my Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, spending many years in early childhood settings and kindergartens across the Mornington Peninsula and the City of Casey. Throughout those years, I also spent time volunteering at youth services, working at schools with children with additional needs and going on camps with young adults with additional needs.

Boneo Primary School really appealed to me with its welcoming vibe and community spirit. Throughout my career, I have taught all year levels and have also spent time teaching whole school Technologies. In recent years, I took some time away from teaching to raise my young family, however, this year I’m back and I really look forward to exciting times ahead, meeting all the new families and seeing some familiar faces from years gone by.

PAIGE RAVEN

Teacher – Year 6

I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work at such an established school that reflects a strong, positive, and welcoming community. After the past 6 months of travelling around Australia with my partner, I am very happy to be back home on the Mornington Peninsula and cannot wait for the year ahead at Boneo Primary. 

 

I completed my Bachelor of Education at ACU and since then have been working as a CRT in a variety of schools on the Peninsula, including Boneo. This has allowed me to develop my teaching practice in diverse learning environments and make strong connections with students, staff, and families. I enjoy working collaboratively with others and have a strong desire for quality student outcomes and wellbeing. I love spending my down time with friends and family exploring this beautiful place we get to call home.

 

My overall goal as an educator, is to create intrinsically motivated, ethical, global learners who are able to thrive in an environment in which they feel supported, safe, and happy. I am very much looking forward to getting to know my students and hope to inspire them to reach their individual goals and find their own passions in life. We are going to have a wonderful year and I can’t wait to meet you all.

PATRICK DALTON

Teacher – Visual Arts

My grandmother liked to remind me that I am a fourth generation teacher, following in the footsteps of my great grandfather, my grandmother and my dad. As a kid, it always seemed like an obvious career path and now here I am.

Before gaining my teaching qualifications at Monash University, I studied Visual Arts and Illustration. I later completed a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts – Painting at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. I love being able to share the skills I developed at university with the students at Boneo.

One of my favourite hobbies is basketball, although I am still learning how to play. I have been running around on a basketball court since Year 3.

During my time at Boneo I have worked with some amazing students, staff and parents, and I am forever grateful for their wisdom, support and humour. I believe students learn best in a safe environment where they are engaged in learning that goes from their heart to their head. At Boneo, we are supporting students to take ownership of their learning and be proud of their successes, big and small.

DAVID GREENING

Teacher – Physical Education

Growing up all I ever wanted to be was a professional sportsperson. I played a lot of sports outside of school, but chose to focus on a career in athletics or football once I reached my teenage years. During this period, training, competing and trying to make it as a professional, I spent the rest of my time studying hard for plan B at college and university, before graduating in 2003.

Following graduation, I worked in different industries while still playing football at a semi-professional level. This experience helped me to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills, which would later be invaluable in my teaching career. I also coached a junior team at my local club on weekends, which l loved and received some great feedback from parents, so l started pursuing opportunities to teach.

At the end of 2009 l was offered an amazing opportunity to study teaching for a year in Melbourne, Australia. Only upon arrival realising that Melbourne was not pronounced ‘Me-born’, that my name here is ‘Davo’ not David, and that peppers are called capsicum, football is soccer, courgettes are zucchinis, aubergines are eggplants and that Nunawading is not pronounced ‘Noona-wading’!

Just before graduating at the end of 2010, l applied for a position at Boneo Primary School and ten years on l am still here and feel part of the community. I love working with children and believe they respond really well to my positive, caring and nurturing nature. I like to think l have a good sense of humour which rubs off on the students.

I have had some amazing experiences so far in my teaching career, but a highlight would have to be my involvement with a number of sports carnivals. These are days l still remember from my childhood and l believe they promote health and wellbeing, self-esteem, a sense of belonging and they bring the school community together, which is just fantastic.

ANTONIA SCANDIZZO

Teacher – STEM

I am so eager to join the community at Boneo P.S as the STEM teacher this year. Boneo is my first school on the Peninsula after my family and I moved here in early 2022, and there is no where I would rather begin my teaching career.   

Growing up I admired my mum’s kind and gentle manner as a teacher. Much like her, relationship building is at the heart of my teaching practice for every child to be known and belong at school. I am so lucky to learn alongside the children in STEM, where every child brings unique strengths and experiences to the classroom. Mathematics is my specialist area of teaching, and I bring my personal strength of teaching problem-solving skills into STEM. My goal this year is to nurture a curious classroom environment that encourages all children to challenge themselves, learn to be comfortable with making mistakes, and discover the positive outcomes of trying new things.  

Outside of school I enjoy trips to the cinemas, cooking with my Italian Nonnas, and a cosy day at home with a good book or puzzle. I also spend much time outdoors going for walks and bike rides with my family and friends, but I have a weakness for anything chocolatey! 

I look forward to many STEM experiments and investigations this year.   

ELIZABETH SISON

Teacher – Music and Performing Arts 

 

I grew up in Queensland, spending my young years at the beach, in the bush and singing into a hairbrush in the lounge room. At 18, l moved to Melbourne and performed in pop and jazz bands while studying at art college. After several years l decided to attend the Opera School at the Queensland Conservatorium, and also spend time with my mum. 

Part way through my opera studies, l swapped to acting, moved to Sydney and completed a Bachelor Degree in Performance. After working in theatre, TV and with several bands, l joined an a capella group, ‘Blindmans Holiday’. With this group, l performed all over Australia; from remote Indigenous communities in far north Queensland to recital halls in Sydney and Melbourne. After years living out of a suitcase, l settled down in Melbourne and gained my Graduate and Postgraduate Diplomas in Anthropology at the University of Melbourne. Working in the field for some years, it became clear that the positive changes we need in our world would mostly come from the next generation. I completed my Graduate Diploma of Education at Monash in 2013.

After teaching in Melbourne for 2 years, my family and l decided to relocate to the gorgeous Mornington Peninsula. I was lucky enough to find a position in a beautiful little school full of community spirit and wonderful, caring students and staff. I have been teaching Music here at Boneo since 2018 and absolutely love it! My goal in teaching is to guide students to think critically and creatively in all areas of life. My studies and experiences have shown me that these skills help people live lives of fulfillment, value and self-determination. To me, teaching and receiving the trust of children and their families is a huge privilege. Thank-you Boneo community!

NICKY SCHWABEGGER

Teacher/Learning Enhancement

My path towards teaching began many years ago in my childhood bedroom where I would often construct my own little classroom. Lucky for me, I was always able to find at least one willing student amongst my four sisters.

Growing up in Flinders, I was fortunate enough to complete both my primary and secondary education here on the southern end of the Mornington Peninsula (Red Hill Primary and Rosebud Secondary College).

After studying Psychology and Sociology at Monash I then moved on to completing a Post graduate Diploma of Education. As luck would have it, my final pre-service teaching placement was spent here at Boneo. It didn’t take long for me to feel at home within the strong family and community culture of Boneo. Consequently, I have always felt very fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to realise my childhood dream of becoming a teacher here at Boneo. P.S.

In my time away from B.P.S, I love spending time with my four children, two stepchildren and my granddaughter.

KIERAN NOLAN

STEM Wizard

I’m Kieran Nolan, and I’m passionate about innovation, disruption, and lifelong learning. You can find me at kdnolan.com, or you can reach out to me via Nostr: npub1cyla8qgt9gv8y6ydv8s2prt89h8afc0sr2kaz64ryjmlpdrzxm4qwlh53q. I’m actively involved in various educational and technological initiatives, including serving as the Learning Programs Director for the Digital Playhouse Foundation, where I’m dedicated to digital literacy projects such as theschoolofbitcoin.com. I also run a community program on the Mornington Peninsula and host the #getoffzero podcast, which documents Bitcoin learning journeys. Notably, I’ve been teaching Bitcoin in schools since 2013, contributing to a transformative education approach. My career has been marked by this commitment to innovative teaching methods, from my time as an Educational Technologist at Wooranna Park Primary School, where I pioneered Victoria’s first CoderDojo and Australia’s first Immersive Education Club, to my role as “STEM Wizard” at Boneo Primary School. I’ve had the privilege of speaking at prestigious conferences worldwide and have been recognized in the education field, earning a place on the educator hotlist in both 2019 and 2020. My journey in education and technology has been featured in media outlets such as The George Lucas Foundation, Bitcoin.com, The Age, and Australian Teacher Magazine, and I’m dedicated to pushing the boundaries of learning and technology.

 

Kate Falkenberg

Education Support

I have been fortunate to grow up on the Mornington Peninsula, where I attended Boneo Primary as a student myself, and now am a parent with 3 children who also attend the school.
Starting my career my career in Early Childhood, I discovered my passion for supporting young people in an educational setting. Knowing this was the path I wanted to pursue I then continued my studies and completed my Certificate 1V in Education Support and was lucky to obtain a position in Education Support at Boneo Primary School.
As I work alongside the inspirational and dedicated team at Boneo I continue to broaden my professional knowledge and understanding, so I can best support those who need help.
I feel so privileged for being able to grow strong bonds, provide support and celebrate success with families and those within the school.

PAULA CHARLES

Education Support

At 18, I was accepted into a teaching degree at university, but I was uncertain about this career choice, so I decided not to go. It wasn’t until 2008 when my eldest daughter started Prep at Boneo, where I regularly volunteered in her classroom, that I realised I did want to work with, and support, children on their education journey. After having my second daughter, who is now in Year 5, and with the encouragement of teaching staff, I decided to go down the path of an Integration/Teacher Aide. This path suited my young family at the time, and I was lucky to be offered an Integration Aide position at Boneo in 2011.

I am very committed to my role and to developing and growing my own professional learning, allowing me to support children of all abilities and with different learning needs. I have completed certificates in Early Childhood, Applied Behaviour Analysis and recently, a Speech Therapy course. It is my desire to learn and the needs of the children, that motivates me to study, find strategies and learn about new programs which I can then implement. The student’s wellbeing is priority to me, connecting and building relationships with the students and their families is important, and being a part of the student’s progress and successes is just priceless!

I am grateful to have worked alongside many of the amazing Boneo teachers who have inspired me in different ways and  to have been a part of ES teams that are supportive, dedicated and work together to provide the best education support we can. So glad that I went down the education career path, overall, it has been extremely rewarding.

CHLOE FAHEY

Education Support

Hello! My name is Chloe and I am so excited to be joining Boneo Primary School!

I have grown up on the Mornington Peninsula and am very grateful to call this beautiful place home.

I have worked with children for five years in both kinder and primary school settings and absolutely love it. I am extremely passionate about children’s mental health and wellbeing and ensuring that each child reaches their fullest potential.

In my spare time, I love to read and spend time with friends and family. I am lucky enough to have a big back yard at home and have lots of pets like goats, geese, ducks and chickens which I absolutely love. I also love to travel and recently spent a month backpacking around Europe, exploring places like London, Italy, Greece and France.

I look forward to joining the Boneo community!

Sean Hewitt

Education Support

We are pleased to introduce Sean Hewitt to our school community. Sean will joining us from Monday as Education Support. Sean has prepared the following introduction;

 

Living on the Mornington Peninsula my whole life, I’ve been blessed and fortunate enough to be able to play football and cricket all through my younger years in which I still play both now. Throughout my sporting career I’ve been given leadership roles which helped me realise, even at a young age, that I genuinely like helping people where I can. I believe it’s extremely special to be able to be a part of someone’s personal development.

In 2022, I decided to complete my Cert IV in Youth Work at RMIT. A few months after completing this certificate I’ve been very fortunate to be offered a role at Boneo Primary School. I’m super excited to take on this new role where I will be able to work alongside the students and other staff members to help develop the students into being their own unique capable young person.

MEGAN LOWERSON

Education Support

I am absolutely honoured to be a part of the Boneo Education Support team. I was lucky enough to attend Boneo Primary as a student, as well as having my mum work at the school as an aide also.

My career path has been mostly working in hospitality. I had the passion to travel at a young age, which l did, exploring Italy, France, London, Germany and Santorini. Soon after returning, my journey started as a mum. I have two young children. Becoming a parent made me realise the importance of teaching and supporting children. It reignited my love of working with children and l made the decision to return to study.

Boneo’s great community spirit has never changed and l am blessed to be working with such amazing staff and students.

ZOE NEWMAN

Education Support

My name is Zoe, and I am excited to be a part of the Boneo Primary School community. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood and Primary Education, which I believe will equip me with the necessary knowledge and skills to help students succeed. I live in Mt Martha and love netball

Throughout the past five years, I have worked in various positions in the education industry. This has allowed me to gain a broad understanding of the different challenges that children may face and has made me more understanding of their individual needs.

Working with children has always been my passion, and I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to help them achieve their full potential. I am excited about the prospect of working in a primary school setting, where I can help students develop a strong foundation for their future education. 

 

MANDI THOMAS

Education Support

I have grown up on the Mornington Peninsula and have been lucky enough to travel extensively around Australia. I am once again privileged to call the Mornington Peninsula ‘home’.  My family and I lived on a tropical island in North Queensland, where I volunteered in the classroom at the local school and where I first found my love for helping students.

On returning to the Peninsula, and after completing my Certificate IV in Education Support, I was fortunate to secure a position as an Integration Aide at Boneo Primary School in 2017.  I thoroughly enjoy working with the children and making a difference in their days at school, and to be able to help and assist the teachers in the classroom.  I am trained in ABA and First Aid.  I feel honored to be a part of the incredible Education Support team at Boneo.

 

PAULINE O’BRIEN

Education Support

Melbourne born and bred, I happily spent all my summer holidays on the Mornington Peninsula which has given me a life-long love of the area and all that it has to offer. I travelled extensively in my 20s before starting a marketing career in the education and arts/culture sectors in Melbourne. I am a big fan of regional living and everything that goes with that, and after 20 years in Healesville, I moved down to the Peninsula to be closer to family and friends – and to join another great community.

I have been fortunate to have many wonderful educational opportunities throughout my life and I will shortly complete my Certificate 4 in School Based Education Support from Chisholm. I love working with children, building relationships with them, and supporting them as they learn and grow through the important primary school years.  I am looking forward to being a part of the Boneo Primary School team, as we work to get the best outcomes for the students, their families, and the broader community.

LILY SLOAN

Education Support

My name is Lily and I am thrilled to be starting my journey with Boneo Primary School. I have recently returned from travelling around Australia and I am currently in my second year of studying a Bachelor of Social Work. I am deeply passionate about children’s well-being and mental health. I believe in providing supportive learning environments that nurture children’s growth and development. 

In my spare time I enjoy staying active by running and swimming at the beach, I am lucky enough to live walking distance to the beach so one of my favourite things to do is have a beach swim every morning!  I am also an avid reader and I absolutely love adventures with my partner and our two fur babies, discovering new places around the peninsula and creating memories! I am excited to bring my dedication and enthusiasm to the team at Boneo Primary, working together to make a positive impact on the lives of children and families.

TIM ROBERTSON

Maintenance

Supporting the teachers, staff, students and parents to help keep Boneo safe and looking great is what my role is all about. After serving on the school council as a parent for the last few years I was excited for an opportunity to work more closely with the staff on a part time basis. My two children attend Boneo Primary, and we love being active outdoors and working in the vegie garden!

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