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.

Lena Clark

Principal

I absolutely love being the Principal of Donvale Primary School and feel privileged to lead such a vibrant and friendly community. I have held many leadership and mentoring positions within the Department of Education, and am passionate about developing effective curriculum and engaging students in authentic learning activities. In my spare time I love reading, travelling and watching my favourite football team, the Mighty Bombers. My husband and I have two children; a 32 year old daughter  and a 29 year old son. My daughter is married and now has a daughter of her own - our granddaughter, Ella.
 

Michelle Rassias

Acting 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 two years.  I love my role and am thoroughly enjoying working at this wonderful school.  I am married with two children, Luke and Bec and expecting my first grandchild in July this year. I love playing tennis, cooking, reading and travelling whenever I can.

Sarah Hodgson

Foundation

Hi, my name is Sarah Hodgson and I’m very excited to be teaching Foundation H 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.

EMMA FARRINGTON

Foundation

I have been teaching at Donvale Primary School since 2018 and absolutely adore teaching the Foundation children.  This year I am working in a team with Sarah Hodgson and Rochelle Nicks. I have one fur-child named Alfie who I love taking out on walks and adventures. I enjoy watching movies, cooking, all things Disney related and spending quality time with my friends and family.

Rochelle Nicks

Foundation

Hi, my name is Rochelle Nicks and I’m really looking forward to teaching Foundation again this year.  I have three children in high school, a gorgeous Golden Retriever called “Noodles” and a sweet cat called “Pepper”.  In my free time I enjoy reading, watching movies and most of all travelling.

Jayde Valentine

Year 1 & 2

Hi my name is Jayde Valentine.  I am really excited about teaching grade 1/2V 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.

NIKKI GEARY

Year  1 & 2

Hi, my name is Nikki Geary and I have been teaching at Donvale Primary School since 2018. I am very lucky to be a teacher at Donvale PS and have the opportunity to teach the wonderful 1/2G. In my spare time I love reading (especially the Harry Potter series - I am a huge fan), spending time with my family and friends and travelling whenever I can!

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! 

 

Georgia Milne

Year 1 & 2

Hi, my name is Georgia Milne. This is my second year of teaching and I am beyond excited to be working at Donvale PS. This year I am grateful to be working in the year ½ team with Jayde Valentine, Nikki Geary, and Lisa Webster. Outside of teaching, I enjoy playing netball, going to see live music, and spending time with my family. I am the eldest of five siblings and am a proud Essendon supporter.

Tina Cheung

Year 1 & 2 Education Support Staff

Hi, My name is Tina Cheung. This is my third year as an Integration Aide at Donvale Primary School. It is a joy to work with Nikki Geary in the 1/2 classroom. I originally grew up in Hong Kong, then studied in Victoria Canada and Sydney before move to Melbourne. I am married and have an 11 year old son Toby and a Miniature Schnauzer Oreo. I love 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 3 & 4  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.

ANNE OGNENIS

Year 3 & 4 Education Support Staff

Hi, My name is Anne Ognenis and I absolutely love teaching children with special needs. This is my third 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.

RHOE PRICE

Year 3 & 4

I am so excited to be teaching at Donvale PS. I am committed to engaging students in an inclusive and supportive environment to inspire them in becoming lifelong learners and reaching their fullest potential. Some fun facts about me is...I have a dog called Lily; I love travelling and going on adventures. I've been fortunate to visit 28 countries and can't wait to visit more; I am very passionate about sport, especially Basketball, netball and AFL (I barrack for Collingwood!). I will always jump at the opportunity to play, coach or watch most live sports.

 

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.

     
 

Samantha Graham

Year 3 & 4

Hi! My name is Sammie Graham and I am so excited to be teaching 3/4 at Donvale Primary School beginning in Term 3. This is my second year of teaching, and my philosophy is that the wellbeing of the child needs to come first. It is important for all students to feel that they are liked, respected and welcome in their class community by both classmates and by their teacher. I have a very theatrical approach to teaching and like to have fun in class. I look forward to getting to know you all as my teaching time at DPS progresses. Feel free to come and say hello!

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 this year I am teaching levels 5 & 6, so now I will have taught all levels except Foundation. I have a lovely class of students, and we have a lot of fun learning things together, especially with the 1-1 iPad program. In my spare time I love keeping fit. I teach fitness classes 4-5 times a week and enjoy running as well (I recently completed the Great Ocean Road marathon!) I love listening to and playing music, and I enjoy spending time with my family. It’s a busy life, but I wouldn’t change a thing!

Chelsea Wernert

Year  5 & 6

My name is Chelsea Wernert and 2021 will be my fourth year teaching at Donvale Primary School. I originally grew up in Wodonga, then studied and taught in Geelong before moving to Melbourne. I live with my partner, Lachy and our cheeky black cat, Freddy. In my spare time you’ll find me heading out for a walk or run in the sunshine, reading a good book and spending time with my friends.

Jonathan Tapper

Year  5 & 6

Hi I’m Jonathan Tapper and I started teaching at Donvale Primary School in 2017. I am really enjoying teaching here, the staff and the students are amazing. This year I am lucky enough to be teaching in 5/6 with Peter Reiter, Chelsea Wernert and Susan Thomas. I love to explore interesting and new subjects with the students, especially in areas of history and geography. In my spare time I love to go camping, four wheel driving, boating and exploring the bush. I have travelled and lived in Europe and the USA. I also have a Golden Retriever called Nina who sometimes comes to school.

 

Susan Thomas

Year 5 & 6

Hi, my name is Susan Thomas and I am very excited to be teaching 5/6S this year.  This is my second year at Donvale P.S. and my 6th year of teaching.  I have a 18 year old daughter and a 15 year old son.  We live with my fiancee and two cats, Tyson and Dusty. I love teaching writing and have a passion for student wellbeing.

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.

 

Rock Kho

Mandarin

Hi, my name is Rock Kho. I am a LOTE Mandarin teacher at DPS. I am so happy to be able to teach Mandarin at this beautiful school. I am multilingual and truly love learning and teaching languages. I have learned five different languages including Korean, Japanese, English, German and Mandarin that I am currently teaching. Apart from that, I also love the guitar, motorbikes and Buddy, my dog. I am a huge fan of Harley Davison and love the screeching sound of the electric guitar!

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.