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


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 30 year old daughter  and a 27 year old son. My daughter is married and now has a daughter of her own - our granddaughter, Ella.

Ian McKinlay

Assistant Principal

Hi, I’m Ian McKinlay and I have been working at Donvale P.S. since 2008.  I love my role as the Assistant Principal. Working with all levels across the school is very rewarding. I have 2 daughters, Alexandra, who is working as a lawyer in the city and Madeleine, who is completing her secondary teaching degree at La Trobe Uni. In my spare time I enjoy reading, riding my bike, playing tennis and barracking for the Tigers. Watching Richmond’s heroics last September was wonderful - I'm still getting over the excitement!

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 Bryant and I started at Donvale in Term 4 2017. I am enjoying my role as Business Manager and really looking forward to getting to know the school community. I am married with two children a 23 year old daughter Bec and a 25 year old son Luke. In my spare time I love playing and watching tennis, travelling, reading and going to the gym.

Sarah Hodgson


Hi, my name is Sarah Hodgson and I’m very excited to be sharing a Foundation class with Rochelle Nicks 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


I am extremely lucky to be teaching the fabulous grade of Foundation F this year! I am working in an amazing team with Sarah Hodgson and Rochelle Nicks. When I am not teaching, you will most likely find me walking my two dogs; Bella and Charlie, or, cooking up a storm in the kitchen. I love catching up with family and friends and travelling to new and exciting places. I am looking forward to an exciting year at Donvale!

Rochelle Nicks


Hello, my name is Rochelle Nicks and I am really looking forward to another year in Foundation, working in a fabulous team with Sarah Hodgson and Emma Farrington.  I am a proud mum of three beautiful children who keep me very busy with their own schooling and sporting commitments.  I love to travel, and when I'm not travelling I spend my spare time planning the next holiday!
Toni Grimes

Toni Grimes

Year 1 / 2 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

Rita Lucisano

Year 1 / 2  Education Support Staff

I have been here at Donvale for a number of years now, and it's a pleasure to work with the staff, children and parents. I've always been passionate about early learning and still get a buzz when students achieve their best. I have four wonderful children living at home and a loving husband who thinks he is a better cook than I am . . . actually, he probably is! My interests are arts and crafts and making the most of every day.

Jayde Valentine

Year Levels 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.

Jackie Ellul

Year Levels 1 & 2

Hi I’m Jackie Ellul and I started at Donvale Primary School at the start of 2018. I am greatly enjoying the fast and delightful pace of teaching grade 1/2 and am looking forward to getting to know the school community as the year continues. In my spare time I will often be found swimming laps at the pool, at the beach enjoying the waves, or enjoying a fabulous brunch that only Melbourne can offer.

Nikki Geary

Year Levels 1 & 2

Hi I’m Nikki Geary and this is my first year teaching at Donvale Primary School. I am very lucky to be a teacher at Donvale PS and have the opportunity of teaching the terrific students of 1/2 G. In my spare time I love reading (especially the Harry Potter series – I am a huge fan), spending time with my wonderful family and friends and travelling whenever I can!

Meagan Dickson

Years 3 & 4

Hello! My name is Meagan Dickson! I am very fortunate to be able to share a wonderful grade of year Three and Four students with Jess Trend  at Donvale Primary School! I love to spend time with my family and my awesome husband, Ben! My greatest passion outside of school is music! I love to sing, play guitar and listen to lots and lots of music! Whilst that doesn't leave time for much else, I also take our dog, Link for as many walks as I can!

Jessica Trend

Years 3 & 4

Hi I’m Jess Trend and I started at Donvale in Term 1, 2018. I am lucky enough to be a part of the Year 3/4 team this year! I am super excited for this year and being a part of the Donvale community. When I am not teaching, I am either training or playing football for North Melbourne AFLW side. I have an amazing family, I love going on adventures and really enjoy heading to the beach.    

Christian Garcia

Year 3 & 4

I've been a teacher at Donvale PS for a few years now and absolutely love teaching here and getting involved in the school. I have a passion for Science, and feel very fortunate to be in a school that has a dedicated  Science Lab. I also lead the sustainability program at the school and love watching our children and community develop our school garden beds. I also love sport and mainly follow soccer, barracking for Liverpool. I also enjoy making songs using DJ software on my computer - I'm a Mac Man!

Tasmin Brown

Year Levels 3 & 4

Hello! My name is Tasmin Brown and I currently teach level 3/4. I enjoy outdoor sports and have a passion for health and fitness. On the weekends I really enjoy spending time with my sister and relaxing with a hot cup of tea, while watching a Murder Mystery show. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends.    

Chelsea Wernert

Years 5 & 6

Hi!  I love teaching and learning and am excited to become a part of the Donvale community! I originally grew up in Wodonga, then lived in Geelong and I have recently relocated to Melbourne. I am loving the excitement of city life! In my spare time I enjoy running, reading and seeing live music.

Peter Reiter

Peter Reiter

Year Levels 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!

Jonathan Tapper

Year Levels 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 and Chelsea Wernert. 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.

Caroline Collins

Year Levels 5 & 6 Education Support

Hi! I'm Caroline Collins and I joined Donvale Primary School in 2011.
I have been working with childen for over 10 years. It gives me great pleasure in assisting the journey of children and watching the gains they make.
I enjoy travelling, music, cooking and entertaining family and friends.

Michael Hogg

Physical Education/Digital Technologies

Hello all, my name is Michael Hogg and I feel privileged to be teaching at Donvale Primary School as the Physical Education and Digital Technologies 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 eight year old living in Malaysia. Throughout my school years I had the opportunity to try the recorder, guitar and flute, but the piano is still my favourite instrument. I have a variety of music styles is on my iPod and CD collection but I am particularly drawn to African music with its wonderful harmonies and rhythms. Over the past few years I have travelled to both South Africa and Rwanda and experienced the music first hand. My husband Peter and I have two married daughters who live in Melbourne so we are now empty– nesters. Favourite past times include curling up on the couch with a cup of tea whilst reading a good book, going for brisk walks in peaceful surroundings, or meeting friends for a coffee.

Debora DeStefanis

Visual Arts

I feel extremely privileged to be exploring creativity with all the wonderful students at Donvale Primary. The arts allow students to express themselves in different ways, take risks and make mistakes, therefore allowing opportunities for great problem solving. They also offer another perspective on the world we live in, through how we view our selves, our surroundings, different cultural perspectives and contemporary issues.
Prior to teaching I completed a Master of Fine Arts in metals and jewellery. From here I was involved in group and solo exhibitions as well as selling my wares in galleries and boutiques across Australia. A highlight at this time was receiving a grant from the Australia Council of the Arts to attend s contemporary jewellery school in Florence.
At home I have my beautiful husband, two gorgeous children, Harrison  who is 10 and Audrey who is 8, as well as a cheeky Caviodle puppy called Ralph whose ability for mischief amazes us.

Rock Kho


Rick Gordon

Rick Gordon

ICT Leadership

Hi, I’m Mr G. and I co-ordinate the ICT program, direct the school production, and help with the Marimba Band. I barrack for the mighty Bombers, and enjoy going to the footy each week with my wife and two sons. I live in Warrandyte and am actively engaged in the community. I have been involved with the Warrandyte Festival for the last 30 years, and run the Warrandyte Carols by Candlelight each year. I also enjoy listening to jazz, funk and blues music and playing the drums.

Mei Lun

Library Technician

My two daughters came to Donvale 15 years ago, and I have been working as a volunteer in the Library for the last two years. I am looking forward to my new part time role as the Librarian. At home I love doing Chinese Calligraphy and working in the garden.