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

NADINE PYE

Assistant Principal

GARY COOPER

Assistant Principal

STELLA WHITE

Business Manager

AMANDA SWAYN

Office Manager

ANITA PRESTI

Teacher – Prep

Learning Specialist

MICHAELA DOWNWARD

Teacher – PREP

BETH WHARTON

Teacher – Year 1

NICKY SCHWABEGGER

Teacher – Year 1

JULIA BARNETT 

Teacher – Year 1

ROWENA SYKES

Teacher – Year 1

MADISON RITCHIE

Teacher – Year 2

LIZ DEWAR

Teacher – Year 2

DAVID GREENING

Teacher – Year 3

SUSIE MCGREGOR

Teacher – Year 3

RYAN MILLER

Teacher – Year 3

OLIVIA RAVEN

Teacher – Year 4

JEN SCOTT

Teacher – Year 4

RYAN JELLIE

Teacher – Year 4

SARAH DALGLEISH

Teacher – Year 5

TOM POLLETT

Teacher – Year 6

Learning Specialist

MEGAN YOUNG

Teacher – Year 6

FIONA CAMPANELLA

Teacher – Learning Enhancement

GARY COOPER

Teacher – Physical Education

PAT DALTON

Teacher – Visual Arts

ELIZABETH SISON

Teacher – Performing Arts

STACEY TREZISE

Teacher – Inquiry

AKASH RAMASWAMY

Real Time Learning – Adopted Engineer

STEPHANIE BRIEN

Education Support

PAULA CHARLES

Education Support

JAN FLETCHER

Education Support

MINNA HEISKARI

Education Support

SHEILA KNAGGS

Education Support

SUE KRAUS

Education Support

MEGAN LOWERSON

Education Support

MANDI THOMAS

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.

NADINE PYE

Assistant Principal

Teaching is my passion. I never wanted to do anything else. As a child, I would often be found playing schools or helping a friend to learn something new. I am proud to say that this is my 20th year working at Boneo Primary School, and whilst we have gone through many changes, what has remained the same is the incredible sense of community. I commenced working here as a third year Graduate Teacher and have been fortunate enough to progress my career through to leadership, where I feel privileged each and every day to have the opportunity to support, guide and learn from a wonderful group of students, staff, parents and community members. 

I have lived on the Mornington Peninsula most of my life. I have three children, aged 17, 14 and 11 all who have attended Boneo Primary School. We are a very busy family, but in our spare time we love to go camping, to the theatre or enjoy a game of local or AFL footy. 

I believe all children can learn and outperform their potential with enough time and support. Through a strong collaborative culture we are well equipped to assist all students to achieve great things. I am excited to explore new programs and approaches in education and truly believe that school should be exciting, engaging and spark curiosity in our children, promoting a love of learning that will continue once they have left us and headed off in to the world. 

GARY COOPER

Assistant Principal & Physical Education

Boneo Primary School and the local community are made from the most amazing collection of individuals that one could find anywhere. I feel fortunate to have been part of this unique community since the early eighties.

Certainly the school has changed (physically) since those days, however the sense of belonging and community pride has not. The Boneo community is passionate, caring and committed to the school and everything local. Keep it going!

I have a Diploma of Teaching (Victoria College), majoring in Physical Education and Science, and a Graduate Diploma in Physical Education through Deakin University.

For the past ten years, l have been Assistant Principal at Boneo Primary School. All children can learn and it is up to all teachers to stimulate, nurture and find the correct key to unlock each and every child’s potential. All children need to be inspired, find role models and believe in themselves!

STELLA WHITE

BUSINESS MANAGER

I am extremely grateful to be a part of Boneo Primary School and love my position as Business Manager within the school. I was previously employed at Tootgarook Primary School, and before that Dromana College. I have extensive experience in financial and business management and love that l am now able to utilise that knowledge in a school environment.

I have lived locally for 45 years and my three children have all attended local schools. My husband and l have been involved in local sport as coaches and committee members for many years, and are still actively involved with Rosebud FNC, with our adult children still playing football and netball there.

I love being connected with children and being able to provide them with an environment where they can live safe, happy and healthy lives.

Please call in to see me if l can assist you in any way. I look forward to meeting you all.

AMANDA SWAYN

Office 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.

ANITA PRESTI

Teacher – Prep & Learning Specialist

My pathway to teaching was a little longer and less direct than others, so I will try to briefly outline how I came to end up at Boneo Primary School.

When I finished VCE at Mornington High School I wasn’t sure what career I wanted to pursue. I attended Melbourne University and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Mathematics and English, and this led to a great job working for Monash University as an administrator. After a few years in this job, I decided to follow my passion for dance. I set up my own dancing schools in Dromana and Red Hill. I obtained an Associate Diploma in teaching dance and built up a business teaching all forms of dance; from Tap and Jazz to Hip hop and ballet.

I had two beautiful children during this time and when the youngest started school, I knew Primary Teaching was my next passion. I decided to return to studies completing my Diploma of Primary Teaching at Monash University.

This finally led me to Boneo Primary School, where I have had the pleasure of teaching for the last 10 years. So while it took me a while to discover my passion, it was a great learning journey and demonstrates my philosophy in life and teaching. That is, ‘You never stop learning and you can always do more to improve’.

It is a privilege to help children achieve their goals in life and education. Every day I encourage students to feel grateful and to embrace the Boneo values of Respect, Empathy and Determination.

MICHAELA DOWNWARD

Teacher – Prep

I have wanted to be a teacher since l was 5 years old. I adore children and love watching them grow. As a teacher, l spent  a year at another school, before applying for my dream job at Boneo. I live in McCrae and wanted to be a bigger part of my community. I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula and love everything about it. I also wanted to be closer to the things that l value most; my family and friends.

Before l became a teacher, I was a seamstress, a photographer and a qualified makeup artist. I had so many incredible life experiences in these professions, but most of all, I was able to explore my imagination. I absolutely love the opportunity to be creative. I live and breathe it in my classroom, and try to encourage the children to do the same. A child’s imagination is an incredible place, and l try to nurture that during their time at school. In addition to this, l believe in a holistic approach to teaching, making sure l cater for the whole child. I am very passionate about student health and wellbeing, and try to be aware of my students social, emotional and academic needs at all times. I am passionate about providing a safe and supportive environment for the children in my classroom. It is impossible for children to learn without this support, so l try to ensure that they enjoy coming to school and create a love of learning. Building a strong relationship with my children is my number one priority.

If you have ever stepped into my classroom or spoken to me about the students in my class, you will notice that l put my heart and soul into everything l do. I have high expectations of myself and try to role model this for the students that l teach. I love being a part of the Boneo team and community, and can not wait to continue my teaching career at Boneo.

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.

NICKY SCHWABEGGER

Teacher – Year 1

More information coming soon.

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!

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.

MADISON RITCHIE

Teacher – Year 2

I have always admired my teachers growing up. After finishing Year 12, I took time to travel before moving to Ballarat to study a Bachelor of Health and Physical Education, with Outdoor Education as a third teaching method. I loved every minute of my four years there.

After completing my degree, I travelled some more before applying for a short term position teaching Physical Education at Boneo. It was an amazing opportunity that led to a classroom teaching role. This is my second year teaching in a Year 2 classroom and I feel very grateful to be here.

The staff are an amazing support, who I am always learning from, and I love sharing my own passion for learning and sports with the children. 

LIZ DEWAR

Teacher – Year 2

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.

DAVID GREENING

Teacher – Year 3

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.

RYAN MILLER

Teacher – Year 3

I grew up with grandparents and parents who were teachers, but surprisingly, teaching was never a career path that I thought of. Even though I was a landscaper for most of my 20s I couldn’t escape ‘teaching’ –  buying my first house with a ‘teacher’ mate and then meeting my future wife who, you guessed it, was a teacher. During this time, I became more and more aware of the passion, love, enjoyment and fulfillment these ‘teachers’ around me got from their careers. So, when I decided I needed a career change – teaching it was.

It became apparent very quickly that something that I had dismissed for so long, would become a huge part of my life and a huge part of who I am as a person. Throughout my study, so many of the concepts and ideas about education resonated with me and basically from my very first class I knew that this is what I would do for the rest of my life.

From there the rest has been all about Boneo. From the first day I walked in here and was met by amazing colleagues, students and parents I have felt at home. The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” resonates strongly with me, and I feel like that is what education at Boneo is all about.

As a teacher, relationships are everything to me and I pride myself on knowing each and every child at our school. Born of these relationships are the learning opportunities I endeavour to provide for my students every day. I believe in offering challenging, relevant and engaging learning opportunities to all students and utilise the different passions and strengths of the students to create alternative learning opportunities that suit their needs.

Seeing the enjoyment and learning students get from projects like Hands on Learning, Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden, Kids Teaching Kids and Internet of Things Kitchen Garden (Monash University STEM Initiative) is a career highlight for me as well as being involved in bringing our community together through Working Bees and the rollout of Compass.  I love being part of Boneo, and feel very lucky that my three girls get to experience everything that the school has to offer. 

SUSIE MCGREGOR

Teacher – Year 3

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 – Year 4

As a new 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 last year which provided me with an immense amount of learning experiences helping to shape me as the teacher I am today. I completed my final placement rounds last year 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 and I feel so privileged to have received this opportunity.

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.

JEN SCOTT

Teacher – Year 4

I love being an educator and feel so grateful to be part of the Boneo Primary School Community.

My motivation to be a teacher stems from a desire to help young people become independent, empowered with life skills and an active member of their community. Here at Boneo, I like to think that we can help students feel like they are understood and accepted, that they feel connected to each other (and country) , and that they belong.

My priority is to support students in having a sense of wellbeing; to help them find their personal passions, achieve their goals and feel successful. Therefore, I like to give students the opportunity to learn inside and outside the classroom, at the wetlands and in the SAKG garden. 

RYAN JELLIE

Teacher – Year 5

I never sought to be a teacher.  My careers guidance officer at Rosebud Secondary College suggested that I would make a good primary teacher, I trusted her, so I studied teaching at Deakin University, Warrnambool. My teaching story isn’t one of following a dream or believing that I was going to change the world, but 12 years into my career, I just can’t see myself doing anything else.

My time as a Boneo student finished in 1996 and my teaching career at Boneo started in 2008. I have been fortunate to have witnessed and be a part of some amazing changes over the years at our little school and local community.  My favourite play area as a past student at Boneo, ‘sleepy hollow swamp,’ is now a shed and classrooms.  The massive sandpit that the teacher’s used to run treasure hunts in, by hiding coins that we would find for weeks after, is now a basketball court.  These memories and many more that I have from my time at Boneo as a student, continue to drive me today.

Building relationships, finding a simpler way and remembering what it was like to be a young student, underpin everything I strive to be as a teacher.  We have some amazing people who work at Boneo Primary School and I love being able to share my day to day adventures in education with them.  Over the last few years, working closely with Liz Dewar to transform how we teach our Mathematics at Boneo has been a professional highlight of mine.  I really hope that ‘the meteor crash site’ and ‘dinosaur fossils we found’ leave a lasting memory on our current students, like ‘sleepy hollow swamp’ did for me.

SARAH DALGLEISH

Teacher – Year 5

Although teaching was not my first career, my love of learning began very early on; playing in my mother’s classroom while she planned lessons for her students. After completing my own schooling I went on to study and work in the field of Psychology. From this I developed a strong curiosity for the way the mind works and how we learn. In hindsight, it was quite a natural progression to move to teaching.

I began by teaching English as a second language during a working holiday in Vietnam. I fell in love with both the country and my job, and ended up teaching in both Ho Chi Minh City and a small island called Phu Quoc. On return to Melbourne I craved more, so I completed a Masters in Teaching. As a primary teacher I have embraced the opportunity to utilise my background in mental health and wellbeing while sharing a passion for learning with my students.

I have enjoyed working at schools both in Melbourne and on the Mornington Peninsula, however I feel particularly fortunate to now be teaching at Boneo Primary School. The kindness and warmth that I have received since arriving here is unparalleled. Thank you Boneo.

TOM POLLETT

Teacher – Year 6 & Learning Specialist

I have been a passionate and enthusiastic educator for the past 8 years and have experience in both the independent and government sectors. I have two gorgeous kids, a 4 year-old, Felix, and a 2 year-old Cora who keep my weekends full of life and excitement. They are lucky enough to have two teachers for parents, as my wife also teaches on the Mornington Peninsula.

I believe in a holistic approach to teaching, where I aim to help students develop the social, emotional and academic aspects of themselves, and guide them to becoming well-rounded, kind hearted young people. I strongly believe in 21st century learning practices that aim to foster creativity and collaboration and develop communication and critical thinking skills to prepare students for the world they will face. I enjoy bringing energy, and excitement to my classroom while promoting high expectations to create a caring, inclusive and respectful environment. My aim is for students to feel challenged, supported and successful in every area of learning, so that all my students achieve their academic and personal goals.

I’ve been involved in many different schools throughout my days at university and as a professional and what sets Boneo apart is its overwhelming sense of community. I have been fortunate enough to have worked alongside many members of the community and been involved in school events that simply could not happen without the support and commitment of parents, friends and local businesses. I’m thrilled to be a part of it and look forward to making lasting contributions for many years to come.

MEGAN YOUNG

Teacher – Year 6 

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.

FIONA CAMPANELLA

Teacher – 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.

GARY COOPER

Assistant Principal & Physical Education

Boneo Primary School and the local community are made from the most amazing collection of individuals that one could find anywhere (on earth). I feel fortunate to have been part of this unique community since the early eighties.

Certainly the school has changed (physically) since those days, however the sense of belonging and community pride has not. The Boneo community is passionate, caring and committed to the school and everything local. Keep it going!

I have a Diploma of Teaching (Victoria College), majoring in Physical Education and Science, and a Graduate Diploma in Physical Education through Deakin University.

For the past ten years, l have been the Assistant Principal at Boneo Primary School. All children can learn and it is up to all teachers to stimulate, nurture and find the correct key to unlock each and every child’s potential. All children need to be inspired, find role models and believe in themselves!

ELIZABETH SISON

Teacher – 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 art. After several years l decided to attend the Opera School at the Queensland Conservatorium, and 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 and TV, l joined a capella group, ‘Blindmans Holiday’. With this group, l performed in schools and music festivals all over Australia; from remote Indigenous communities in far north Queensland to private schools in Sydney. After years living out of a suitcase, l settled down in Melbourne and gained my Postgraduate Diplomas in Cultural 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 come only from the young. I completed my Graduate Diploma of Education at Monash in 2013.

After beginning teaching in Melbourne, 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. That was Boneo Primary! My goal in teaching is to guide our students to think critically and creatively, regardless of what areas of interest they pursue during and after school. 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!

PAT 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.

STACEY TREZISE

Teacher – Inquiry

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.

AKASH RAMASWAMY

Real Time Learning – Adopt an Engineer Program

More information coming soon

 

STEPHANIE BRIEN

Education Support

I am lucky to live on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula with my Husband and two sons, Cooper and William. I have been working at Boneo as part of the amazing Education Support team for the past 12 months.

I am only just starting my journey in Primary Education, having spent the last 12 years working in the Automotive Industry. I realized that I needed to find something different, where I could put my desire to help children succeed to good use. With some persuasion from my husband and a good friend, I set out to study to become an Integration Aide.

I am honoured to work alongside the most talented and supportive Education Support team. I have gained so much knowledge since starting my work at Boneo. I have been inspired to study my Bachelor of Primary Education online, as I realise that Primary Education and helping students reach their full potential is where I want to be. I believe that with my friendly nature, mixed with being a big kid at heart, that I am able to help children feel safe and excited to learn and develop.

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.

JAN FLETCHER

Education Support

I have been lucky to have worked at Boneo Primary for the past 7 years as part of the Education Support team, which I have truly loved. I have always had a love of working with children, of all ages and abilities. I started my journey as a Kindergarten teacher, but after moving to the Peninsula I found it very difficult to find a position, which led me to a total change of career. It wasn’t until I had my own children and became very involved in the school they attended that my love of working with children was re-ignited. My passion has become providing children of all abilities the opportunity to work at their personal best within the school environment, and I love helping the students I work with to achieve this.

I have facilitated the ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) program at Boneo Primary with a number of different students over the years and feel privileged to execute this program with them, achieving their goals, seeing them progress and helping them overcome their learning challenges. Having this program available at Boneo Primary is a truly wonderful advantage for all children with extra learning needs at our school.  My personal job satisfaction comes from my students achieving even the smallest of challenges and truly feeling proud of themselves.

MINNA HEISKARI

Education Suppport

I am originally from Finland close to the Arctic Circle. As a Finn I learnt from a very early age the importance of education and well being. I have worked at Boneo Primary School since 2011 as a qualified Integration Aide. I have also completed both a Diploma and a Bachelor Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management.  Working with children has been extremely rewarding and I am a proud member of a highly professional and exceptionally supportive school.

Before my family immigrated to Australia I had lived and worked in different countries and cultures in Europe, such as, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. When my family of six arrived to the beautiful Mornington Peninsula we chose Boneo Primary School for its friendly staff, spacious playground and wide variety of diverse learning opportunities.

I love the Australian life style especially outdoor activities such as bush walking and camping, but most of all I spend lots of my leisure time walking my handsome Siberian husky Wolfie and a little less mentioned pointer-mix Lexie. I also love watching movies and reading.

SHEILA KNAGGS

Education Support

I was born in Liverpool, England and spent my childhood years growing up on the Isle of Man. At the age of fifteen, I emigrated to Australia with my family. I feel completely blessed now to live and work on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, with my husband and our four children.

I began my career in the travel industry, travelling Australia as a hostess with AAT Kings and Australian Pacific Coach Tours. I lived in Alice Springs for two years, which is where I met my husband. It was great to combine my love of people with my love of travelling. Of course, I couldn’t stay on the road forever, so in 2008 I completed my ‘Certificate of Education, Teacher and Integration Aide’ course at Monash University and have worked at Boneo Primary School ever since.

During this time, I have completed many courses and have learnt many things, but in the end, my intuition is what I am guided by most. Creating respectful and trusting relationships is hugely important to me, so when supporting our children, I always work holistically, with an open mind and a kind heart.

When I’m not working, I love to write poetry and have recently been writing some children’s stories which one day I hope to have published.  

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!

 

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.

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. 

 

JOIN THE BONEO PRIMARY SCHOOL FAMILY

ADDRESS 582 Boneo Rd Boneo Victoria , 3939, Australia

PHONE +61 59886253

EMAIL boneo.ps@education.vic.gov.au

ADDRESS 582 Boneo Rd Boneo Victoria , 3939, Australia
PHONE +61 59886253
EMAIL boneo.ps@education.vic.gov.au

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