Meet the Teacher

Home > Work in our Schools > Meet the Teacher

‘Meet the teacher’ is an ongoing series of short films capturing the reflections, motivations and advice of primary and secondary teachers at schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. For more information about the series or to nominate a teacher to be included, please contact publications@macs.vic.edu.au

Learning is a never-ending story

Thomas Punzalan, a teacher at St Lawrence of Brindisi Catholic Primary School, Weir Views, talks about being authentic with his students and how learning is a never-ending story.
 
Never too late to change

For Emma Cooper, the draw of teaching was enough to prompt a return to study and a change of career. Now teaching at St Andrew’s School, Clayton South, Emma thrives on combining her love of teaching with her love of performing arts.
 
What did you learn today?

Danielle Jongebloed from Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Sunbury, was faced with the choice of continuing a career in social work or moving to a new vocation in teaching. Fortunately, Danielle was able to bring the best from her previous career to support the learning needs of her students.
 
Those lightbulb moments

Alexis Seddon, a teacher at St Anne’s School, Sunbury, originally thought she would be working in psychology, but volunteering in a childcare centre changed her path. Alexis has some important advice for anyone interested in a career in teaching.
 
Work together in a team

Carmela Livoti, Italian language specialist teacher at Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School, Sunbury, loves to share her passion for languages by using an approach that is functional and fun.
 
Meeting the needs of all students

Lesley Fitzgerald from Caroline Chisholm Catholic College, Braybrook, brings a wealth of experience (along with five languages) to teaching. In addition to teaching Japanese, Lesley’s role as Learning Diversity Leader adds to her passion to cater to the learning needs of all students.
 
Right isn’t always right

Natalie Baker, Numeracy Leader at Christ the King Primary School, Braybrook, has a passion for mathematics, and making it engaging and meaningful for students. Her approach with teachers and students is to change their mindset to build confidence and experience success.
 
A love of learning

Michael Dawson, a teacher in his second year at Emmaus College, Vermont South, was inspired by his own teachers to enter the profession. Through teaching History and Religious Education, he hopes to inspire that love of learning in his own students.
 
Students are valued, heard and important

Andrea Contessotto, Learning Area Leader (Humanities) at Emmaus College, Vermont South, didn’t know she wanted to become a teacher until an opportunity at university shone a light on her career path. Andrea reflects on what it means to be a teacher, and to have a job that brings together energy and creativity for the benefit of her students.
 
Return to the sector

Simon Devlin is Deputy Principal at St Margaret Mary’s School, Spotswood. From his own education at a Catholic school through to his career at a government school before returning to Catholic education, Simon reflects on the values of his current school and his hopes for his students.
 
From industry to the classroom

Eleanor Crawford switched from life as a petroleum chemist to become a Prep teacher at St Margaret Mary’s School, Spotswood. Eleanor talks about the motivation for wanting a career change and how her young students continue to surprise her through their learning.
 
Surprised by resilience

Sasha Sant from St Peter’s School, Sunshine South West, began her teaching career during a global pandemic, but it’s the resilience of her students that continues to surprise her.
 
Building on tradition

Celeste D’Souza from St Paul’s School, Sunshine West, has a long tradition as a student in Catholic primary and secondary schools, as well as Australian Catholic University. Now, as a teacher in a Catholic primary school, she brings that tradition alive for her students.
 
Bringing new ideas

Aoife McGuinness has gone from being a regular replacement teacher at St Mary’s School, St Kilda East, to having her own Year 4 class at the school. Aoife speaks about open communication with students and families particularly during times of change, as well as the unique opportunities offered by a Catholic education.
 
Prepare for the unknown

Ian Scott, Year 5 teacher at St Mary’s School, St Kilda East, began his first year as a graduate teacher during a global pandemic. That introduction to teaching has emphasised the importance of flexibility and helping his students to find their own light.
 
Finding your passion

Imasha Hewavasam, a teacher at St Francis de Sales Catholic Primary School, Lynbrook, reflects on her journey to becoming a teacher, including how travel overseas helped to change her focus from secondary teaching to primary teaching.
 
Teaching adds up

Kellie Barnhoorn, a teacher at Stella Maris School, Beaumaris, is taking steps into leadership through her work as Maths Leader at the school. Kellie reflects on her journey to teaching and provides some advice to young people considering a career in education.
 
Different path to the classroom

Antoniette Stasi, an experienced teacher at St John’s School, Clifton Hill, brings her experience prior to teaching to her current role as a teacher and leader.
 
Making the most of your skills

Violet Holcombe, a teacher at St John’s School, Clifton Hill, had a diverse range of jobs before discovering that teaching was a way to make the most out of her skills.
 
You feel like you belong

Matt Crowe, teacher at St Roch’s School, Glen Iris, reflects on his experience teaching Year 5 students, and the opportunities for parents and families to be part of the learning journey.
 

Excited to learn

‘The best thing about my students is they’re so excited to learn’, said Stephanie Murnane, a
Prep teacher at St Patrick’s School, Mentone.

Second nature

Bridget Last, a Prep teacher at St Patrick’s School, Mentone, has had a long association with the school, having begun her own education at the same school.

Use your voice to make change
Social Justice Coordinator and teacher of English, History and Religion, Tania Ragusa is no stranger to Mercy College, Coburg. Graduating as dux in 2015, Tania returned to the college as a teacher in 2021.

40 years and counting

Leanne Wenckowski, Prep teacher at St Fidelis’ School, Moreland, recently celebrated 40 years since she began her teaching career at the same school.