The staff at Donvale Primary School provide your child with the best of both worlds – experienced educators combined with fresh ideas from new staff. We have dedicated specialist staff in Physical Education, Performing Arts, Visual Arts and LOTE - Mandarin. Our classroom teachers bring a diversity of interests and passions to their teaching, to the benefit of the students. Our staff take on leadership of curriculum areas such as ICT, numeracy, literacy, performance, environment, and student leadership.

Larissa Vesdrevanis




Assistant Principal

I have worked in education for over 20 years, with most of my teaching career being here at Donvale Primary School. During this time I have been very fortunate to be part of the learning journey of so many students. Seeing each child grow and develop over their time here at Donvale is a privilege. I am married with two teenage children, Emma and Will. Last year we welcomed our fur baby Leroy, a Pomeranian X Japanese Spitz, into the family. In my spare time I love catching up with family and friends, gardening and watching Melbourne City win. 

Wendy Cheesman

Office Manager

I have been at Donvale Primary School since 1995 and still loving it.  I am originally from South Africa and came here with my family in 1993.  I have 2 wonderful sons.   In my spare time I  like reading, listening to music, crosswords and going to the gym.

Sandy Bryant

Business Manager

Hi I’m Sandy and I have been the Business Manager at Donvale now for five years.  I love my role and am thoroughly enjoying working at this wonderful school.  I am married with two children, Luke and Bec. I have  2 grandchildren, Chevy and Cleo.  I have two Italian Greyhound fur babies - Parker and Pearl and my hobbies include playing tennis, cooking, reading and travelling whenever I can.

Sarah Hodgson

Grade 5/6

Hi, my name is Sarah Hodgson and I’m very excited to be teaching 5/6H this year.  I have four children Oscar, Tilly, Hunter and Tate who keep me very busy with all of their sporting commitments. I have a gorgeous Cavoodle called Storm and a couple of chickens. In my free time I enjoy reading, cooking, exercising and catching up with family and friends.


Year 1/2

I have been teaching at Donvale Primary School since 2018. I am very excited to start my new chapter as a grade 1/2 teacher! I have one fur-child named Alfie who I love taking on walks and adventures.  You may see him around the school from time to time.

Carly Nedas


Hello, my name is Carly Nedas and I am very excited to be joining the Foundation team this year. I have been a teacher for 6 years and this will be my 1st year teaching at Donvale Primary School. When I am not teaching, I love spending time with my family. I have 2 children, who are 7 and 9 years old and we love to travel.  I love to unwind listening to classical music, propagating my plants and cooking up a feast for my family. I like going to the gym, reading and looking after my 2 cats, Luna and Aston.  I feel so lucky to be a teacher and to be able to welcome my wonderful students to their first year of school. 

Jayde Valentine


Hi my name is Jayde Valentine.  I am really excited about teaching Foundation and am so fortunate to have such wonderful students. I have two sisters, one being my identical twin sister. I have two dogs, Jack and Daisy who I absolutely adore. In my spare time I enjoy exercising, baking, spending time with my friends and family and travel.


Year  5/6

Hi, I’m Safa Chebbou. I am excited to be joining the Donvale Primary School (DPS) community and am looking forward to working closely with the Year 5/6 students this year. In my spare time I enjoy going on hikes, reading, cooking and travelling. I have recently returned home to Australia after living and working in the United Arab Emirates for the past 6 years. While I had an wonderful experience as an expat, I am happy to be home and I look forward to a great year at DPS.

Lisa Webster

Year 1/2

Hi! My name is Lisa Webster. This is my second year at Donvale Primary School and it will be my sixth year teaching. I absolutely love teaching and I am so lucky to have such a beautiful group of students this year. Outside of teaching I love to spend time with my family and friends, go camping and head to the beach! I also love playing with my beautiful little Cavoodle puppy, Charlie! Fun fact: I skydived out of a helicopter in Switzerland! 


Olivia Thomas 

Year  1/2

Hi! My name is Olivia Thomas. This is my first year at Donvale Primary School. I am very grateful to be teaching Grade 1/2 this year, and to have a wonderful class of students. I am excited to fill my classroom with valuable learning and lots of fun. Outside of teaching, I love to play netball, spend time with my family and friends and play with my Spoodle puppy, Cleo.

Tina Cheung

Foundation Education Support Staff

Hi, My name is Tina Cheung. This is my  fifth year as an Integration Aide at Donvale Primary School. I am excited to be back in the Foundation classroom. I grew up in Hong Kong, then studied in Victoria Canada and Sydney before I moved to Melbourne.  I am married and have an 14  year old son Toby and a Miniature Schnauzer Oreo. I love  swimming, cooking and catching up with friends.

Toni Grimes

Year 3/4 Education Support Staff

Hi! My name is Toni Grimes and I have supported children in their learning here at Donvale since 2001. I love being a part of a great team and a wonderful school. I am married and have two great sons. I enjoy taking walks with my beautiful little dog called Sally and spending time in the country visiting my mum.

Rita Lucisano

Year 5/6  Education Support Staff

I do enjoy working at Donvale and have been here for many, many years. It is always a pleasure being involved with the children's learning and emotional development. I find it extremely satisfying to see a child reach their full potential.

I have four adult children, two boys and two girls. Two who are married and two still at home. I love being active, my favourite sport is soccer, love listening to music and I also enjoy arts and crafts.


Year 1/2 Education Support Staff

Hi, My name is Anne Ognenis and I absolutely love teaching children with special needs. This is my fifth year at Donvale Primary School and I am fortunate to be apart of a wonderful school community. I am married with two children Aiden and Tiana. I love cooking and I barrack for the Navy Blues.

Jonathon Males

Year 3/4

Hi, my name is Jonathon Males and this is my first year teaching at Donvale Primary School. This is the third school I have taught at and I am super excited to teach 3/4M. I love playing golf on the weekends and watching the footy as I am a big Carlton supporter. I have a black cat called Midnight and in my spare time I love going travelling and exploring new places.


Emily McMullen

Year 3 & 4

Hi, my name is Emily McMullen. This is my first year at Donvale Primary, and I am very excited to be teaching 3/4E! I am originally from the United States, but I have been living and teaching in Melbourne for five years now. Before that, I taught in India, Thailand and the US. 

In my spare time I love going travelling, gardening, reading, and spending time with my adorable kitten, Rosie. 


Anita Flack

Year 3/4

Hi, my name is Anita Flack. This is my second year teaching at Donvale Primary School, and will be my 7th year teaching. I am excited to teach grade 3/4F. I am a huge Harry Potter enthusiast, and I even play Quidditch throughout the year. In my spare time I love to spend time with my family and friends, go to the cinemas and travel.


Ursula Cuspilli

Year 5/6 Education Support Staff

Hi my Name is Ursula Cuspilli. This my second year at Donvale Primary School, previously I worked for 14 Years at a school that specialises in Autism. I have been living in Australia for 23 years, originally from South Africa.  I have two adult children. I love travelling locally and overseas with my family.


Peter Reiter

Year 5/6

Hi. I’m Mr Reiter and I’ve been at Donvale Primary for over 15 years. I love teaching grade 5/6 and helping students get ready for high school. In my spare time, I support the mighty Dees (Melbourne AFL club) and I love keeping fit, especially riding my bike and running. I’ve ridden up all the big mountains in Victoria and recently completed the Cadel Evan’s Great Ocean Road people’s ride, which was 125km long! Music is my other passion and you may spot me playing the guitar at our school assemblies. 


Harinder Costopoulos

Year  1/2

Hello, I am so excited to be joining the Donvale Primary School community. I’m especially excited to be working in the Junior School with the Year 1 and Year 2s. I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching for the past 15 years and look forward to starting my teaching journey here at DPS. I have two beautiful children Louis and Zoe who keep me super busy, I love being their mum! In my spare time I love to spend time at the beach, practise yoga, spend time with my family and friends, listen to music and go on walks with our cheeky pup, Kaya.


Michael Ringin

Year  5/6

Hi all, my name is Mr Ringin and I will be teaching 5/6M this year. This is my third year of teaching, but my first year teaching at Donvale Primary School. I’ve recently returned from living and teaching in Sale for the past two years and I am very excited to join this new community. When I am not teaching, you can find me playing and coaching basketball, playing video games on my computer, or practising my Scottish smallpipes. I hope to meet you soon and have an awesome 2023!


Susan Thomas

Year 3/4

Hi, my name is Susan Ciccone (nee Thomas) and I have been teaching at Donvale Primary School since 2020. I have two children, Olivia and Miles and two gorgeous grey cats, Tyson and Dusty. I am originally from Canada but have lived in Australia since 1996.  My family and I are lucky enough to be able to head back to Canada every second year to see my family. In my spare time, I like to go for long walks and do epilated reformer classes. 

Michael Hogg

Physical Education

Hello all, my name is Michael Hogg and I feel privileged to be teaching at Donvale Primary School as the Physical Education teacher. I have been teaching since mid 2009 and have an astonishing love of sport! I currently play football in the winter and cricket in the summer, but have been known to play other things such as basketball, indoor soccer and baseball amongst other things.

Anthea Keep

Performing Arts

I began learning the piano as an 8 year old living in Malaysia. Throughout my school life I had the opportunity to try the recorder, guitar and flute but the piano is still my favourite instrument.

Over the recent years I’ve had the privilege of travelling to Africa a number of times (Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania) and have had the chance to share my joy of music in a couple of schools in Rwanda.

Teaching at Donvale Primary is a joy and I’m now one of the long term teachers here! It is wonderful to watch children grow in confidence and share their enthusiasm with their peers and school community.

My husband and I are parents to two adult daughters and we love spending time with our five granddaughters whenever we can!

Debora DeStefanis

Visual Arts

I feel extremely privileged to be exploring creativity with all the wonderful children at Donvale Primary. The arts allows students to express themselves in different ways, take risks, make mistakes and allow for great problem solving. They also offer another perspective on the world we live in, through how we view ourselves, our surroundings, different cultural perspectives and contemporary issues.

Prior to teaching I completed a Master of Fine Arts in metals and jewellery which allowed me to participate in exhibitions, venture to other countries to study and really nourish my love for making. At home I have a beautiful husband, two gorgeous children and a cheeky Cavoodle named Ralph.




Hi, my name is Mona Yan and this is my first year teaching at Donvale Primary School. I really appreciate the opportunity to teach Chinese (Mandarin) and to see student development of intercultural capabilities. I am a foodie person who interested in trying new food. I am also an art person that I will spend most of my spare time on art, trying different types of paintings.

Mei Lun

Library Technician

I have been really enjoying working at Donvale as a qualified Library Technician since 2015. I always encourage our students to explore our beautiful library filled with care and love by our wonderful Donvale community. I have two daughters who are former students of Donvale Primary. In my spare time, I love writing Chinese Calligraphy and looking after my vegetable garden.