All staff at Jacaranda Preschool are experienced educators. They have a minimum qualification of Certificate III in Child Care, with Teachers holding a 4 year teaching degree. All staff are required to have current VIT Registration (Teachers) and Working with Children Checks, Anaphylaxis training, Emergency Asthma Management, First Aid and CPR training qualifications.
Professional development training and workshops keep all staff informed and abreast of current teaching theories and practices.
Ms JULIE MAURDEV
Teacher/Educational Leader Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) Graduate Diploma of Educational Studies. Julie is the Educational Leader and Educator for the 4 year old Yellow Group and 3 year old Possum Group at Kingsway Drive. Julie joined Jacaranda Preschool in 2007 and brings with her over 23 years experience in teaching Preschool age children. Julie was instrumental in organising the City of Whittlesea's first Bush Kinder Program at Jacaranda Preschool - Kingsway Drive. The program commenced in 2012 and has continued to grow and develop. In 2019, Yellow Group piloted a Bush Kinder Program at Huskisson Reserve. Julie also has great pride in leading Kingsway Drive to obtain the status of "Exceeding" the National Quality Standards in 2012 and again in 2017.
Ms KATE DIGNEY
Teacher/Educational Leader/ Nominated Supervisor Graduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood) Kate joined Jacaranda Preschool in 2013 and is an Educator of the 3 Year Old Koala Group at Nebel Street and the 4 Year Old Orange Group. Kate has a background in social work where she has worked as a Case Manager for people experiencing homelessness and people with disabilities. Kate has four daughters and loves spending time with them and being involved in their activities. After being inspired with Preschool through her own children’s experiences, Kate decided on a career change and completed her teaching degree in 2012. Kate’s favourite kinder experience is reading books, cooking, gardening and creating with the children.
Ms EMMA REIMERS
Teacher/Nominated Supervisor Graduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood) Emma first joined Jacaranda Preschool in 2005 as a part-time Educator and only left to seek full-time employment. Jacaranda Preschool were able to offer Emma a full-time position in 2012 and she was more than happy to return and was instrumental in securing the Nebel Street site in 2013 where she now resides as Educator of the 4 year old program team teaching the Purple Group with Anna. Emma’s favourite Kindergarten experience is watching the children’s independence grow during the year.
Mrs JOANNE ARGYROPOULOS
Teacher Bachelor of Education (Primary & Early Childhood) Joanne is currently on maternity leave and will return back to blue group team in 2021. Joanne joined Jacaranda Preschool in 2014 as a graduate teacher from Victoria University and has had the pleasure of working at both Kingsway Drive and Nebel Street sites. Joanne has spent the last 6 years at Jacaranda Preschool developing her passion and knowledge of Early Childhood Education and prides herself on developing meaningful partnerships with families and providing them with any support they require through our service. Joanne’s favourite thing about Education, is the development in confidence that is visible in every child throughout their Kindergarten journey.
Ms SOPHIA MUSTICA
Teacher Bachelor of Early Childhood Education. She joins Jacaranda preschool in term 4 of 2020. Sophia will be team teaching green group with Nadia and also will be teaching blue group. Sophia has been a kindergarten teacher for over 10 years with experience working a range of early childhood settings. Sophia has a passion for building strong relationships with children and families. Children are all amazing and learn and develop so much everyday. Sophia looks forward to coming into kinder everyday and teaching children in the most nature way children learn- through play. Sophia feels honoured to be a part of each childs' learning journey and cant wait to meet you all.
Mrs LAURA BOWEN
Teacher Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood). Laura will be on maternity leave for all of 2021. Laura has a Bachelor of Early Childhood and is passionate about the education of 4-5 year olds.
Ms SAMENEH SEIF
Teacher. Graduate Diploma of Educational Leadership and Management; Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education.
Sam has rejoined our Jacaranda Preschool community again (after two years of employment from 2013-2015). She was 4 years old when she decided to become a kinder teacher and although she worked in a few other sectors, there is no other area of work and study that seems more appealing to her other than Early Childhood Education.
She built the foundation for the career way before her formal education, by participating in different work experiences, volunteering positions, tutoring, working closely with a child psychology and children’s book publishers in the years prior to my tertiary education.Sam finds Early Childhood Teaching fascinating like a piece of music, colorful with hidden meanings like paintings, challenging like rock climbing. "I can say it with absolute certainty that children’s smiles, their passion for learning, their indescribable desire for connection and their magical power of forgiveness will inspire me to remain a teacher for many years to come."
Ms NADIA DE AMICIS
Teacher Bachelor of Arts/Early Childhood Education. Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education. Nadia started as a teaching student at Jacaranda, before teaching a group of 3yo’s and 4yo’s in 2008. She then moved to the City of Hume for a few years before having children and returning to Jacaranda on a part time basis in 2017. 2018 marked 10 years of teaching early childhood education where she has been able to share her passion in teaching with her co workers, children and the families that she has met throughout the years. Nadia will be team teaching Blue groups in 2021.
Ms ANNA PICCIANI
Teacher. Anna currently teaches at Jacaranda Nebel St, job sharing Purple Group with Emma. Anna comes with almost 30 years of kinder teaching experience and with Leanne, at Jacaranda Nebel st 20 years ago when it was Lalor Park Preschool. Anna has filled in many temporary and casual positions at both Jacaranda sites (Kingsway and Nebel St.). Anna is a highly regarded teacher in the local area and works as a relief teacher in many of the local preschools. Anna has two teenage children and speaks Macedonian.
Ms LEANNE NAUM
Educator Diploma of Children’s Services (Early Childhood Education & Care). Leanne is our longest serving employee and her experience, knowledge and commitment is highly regarded and respected by her co-educators. Leanne was originally employed at Lalor Park Preschool (now known as Jacaranda Preschool - Nebel Street) in 1994 and joined Jacaranda Preschool – Kingsway Drive (formerly Kingsway Drive Preschool) in 2002 when both Preschools amalgamated. In 2013, Leanne moved back home to Nebel Street and is the Educator for the 4 year old groups. Leanne loves watching the children develop their language skills over the year and is comforted in knowing that they will progress to Primary School without a language barrier. Leanne is a Grandma and is loving her new role as “Nanny”.
Ms ROSE PENNACCHIA
Educator Diploma of Children ’ s Services (Early Childhood Education & Care). Rose originally started relieving at Kingsway Drive Preschool in 1998 prior to the amalgamation and was employed as a co-educator in 2000. She is the 4 year old Educator for the Blue and Green Groups. Rose’s passion is outdoor play and participates in the Bush Kinder program through rain, hail and shine. Rose loves to watch the children develop their skills through nature and outdoor play.
Ms ANGELA TOLESKY
Educator Certificate III in Children’s Services. Angie joined Jacaranda Preschool in 2014 as an additional assistant for the 4 year old Yellow Group. Angie is the Educator of the 3 year old Koala group, and shares the educator role with Leanne in the Orange group and with Rose in the Green Group. Angie has a bubbly personality and loves working with children and is very excited to be a permanent member of the Jacaranda Preschool staff.
Ms NATALIA KALESARAN
Educator Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. Nat joined Jacaranda Preschool in 2017 as an Educator for the 3-year-old Possum group. Nat is absolutely passionate about the early years of education and truly realises the positive impact of it in a child’s life. Teaching and working with children is a joy for Nat. Part of her goal as an educator is to provide a nurturing, loving and safe environment where children can learn and experience new challenges that will help build their confidence while they play.
Ms PARVEEN LATA
Educator Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. Parveen joined Jacaranda Preschool in 2019 and is currently educator to the Yellow and Red Groups. She has a wealth of experience in long day and loves working with children and watching them grow. According to Parveen: "children are like wet clay and we, as educators, can mould and shape them for our society's better future by imparting value education to them." She speaks and reads Hindi fluently and enjoy sharing this with both groups.
Margaret joined the jacaranda preschool team as the administration officer in during term 3 of 2020. Her career began in early childhood many years ago, and it was very rewarding and fulfilling for her to work alongside young children. After having her own three children and being highly involved in their kindergarten's Committee of Management , she took an opportunity to work within the role of administration. She has over 10 years of experience in this role and also works at another kindergarten in the Whittlesea municipality. She highly enjoys her work and being involved in a community of educating and inspiring children.