Meet our Staff

Meet some of Walford's Senior School staff.

Rebecca Clarke

Principal

It is critical that Walford empowers girls and young women to understand that gender should never obstruct an outcome they choose. My secondary education, undertaken by scholarship, enabled me to experience first hand the opportunities that an all girls’ school can provide.

There is no greater privilege than leading a school where learning is the priority. Each day at Walford provides an opportunity to engage with students who are willing to give anything a go, and who value the reward that comes from striving to achieve one’s best.

During my almost twenty years in education, I have enjoyed working collaboratively with teachers helping them grow their capacity to support young learners thrive. My work with teachers in international contexts through the International Baccalaureate Organisation and my post graduate studies in leadership and business administration have provided rich opportunities for learning which for all of us in schools, must be ongoing.

Beyond Walford, I love being a mother and step-mother to four children, who ensure that the fun and joy that fills each day continues well after the bell rings.

Rebecca presently serves as a member of the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA) board. She is also a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) Board, the Anglican Schools of Australia (ASA) Board and she is a member of the SACE Board’s Principal’s Partnership Strategy group.

Mandy Hore

Deputy Principal

It is a joy to be entrusted with, and be a part of, one of a child’s most important life journeys – education. I love engaging with young people to guide and facilitate their individual growth and help them to achieve their personal best.

I’m committed and passionate about girls' education and, through my daughter, who was educated at Walford, have seen first hand the benefits that this provides. The world has much to offer young women whose education has enabled them to develop confidence and realise the value of giving everything a go, working hard and striving to achieve personal best.

My position is one that enables me to work with, engage and get to know all members of our community. Being in a small school helps facilitate this, every girl knows that she is an important part of our 'family' – it is a pleasure to work in an environment that is so warm and caring.

My focus as an educational leader is on developing students as learners and as individuals, whilst enhancing teacher excellence. It is a privilege to work alongside our Principal, Rebecca Clarke, and the Walford staff in a school where learning is the priority and where each member of the community is encouraged to achieve their best and actively participate in the diverse school life that Walford presents.

Over a 30 year career, I have actively continued my learning and beyond school enjoy a busy family life filled with sport, music and fun!

Georgie West

Head of Senior School

At Walford we aim to foster the learning and development of each girl in ways that honor her individual strengths and needs.

It is a tremendous privilege to lead in a school where the learning of girls in both academic and co-curricular contexts is placed at the forefront of everything we do. I believe that our Senior girls ought to have entry into the disciplines that reflect their strengths and best promote their growth, to be supported in striving for academic excellence and to develop a strong sense of self efficacy through community engagement, service and leadership. We aim to augment the growth of our girls toward autonomy by providing them with opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate their own progress and develop the broad capabilities needed to thrive in an ever changing and complex world.

Through dedicated service to girl’s education and completion of a Master of Education (Educational Management) through the University of Melbourne, I have an enduring commitment to ongoing learning and value seeking evidence as a means to inform and enrich my practices.

Peter Westhead

Director of Learning

I have always had a passion for learning and a keen interest in the life of schools beyond my own classroom.

Over 20 years of teaching in Australia and the UK has provided me with experience of a variety of roles, from Curriculum Leadership to Pastoral Programs, in a range of schools. Since my arrival in South Australia in 2006, I have delivered and helped lead innovations in the International Baccalaureate, SACE and Australian Curriculum. In recent years, my roles have centred on developing pedagogy and the use of evidence of student achievement as part of a broader whole-school improvement strategy.

I believe a culture of reflection and collaboration is essential, and that we can best meet our students’ needs and help them to realise their potential when we have a comprehensive picture of where they are in their learning. It is vital that, when educating the whole child, other passions, successes and virtues of character are nurtured.

All members of any school community are learners; today’s learners should be reflective, capable of critical thought and able to make full use of a range of learning technologies.

Tracey Gracey

School Chaplain

My role at Walford is to be a spiritual presence in the school and whilst Walford’s faith tradition is grounded in the Anglican Church I acknowledge the many faith traditions in the school community and seek to find relevant and meaningful ways in which all students and staff can nurture their own sense of self and connection with the Divine.

I have a passion for compiling contemporary communion services for students and staff and I like to encourage student leadership and participation.

I enjoy the challenge of teaching Religious Education to selected year levels and love to see students engaging in class discussions and sharing their spiritual and ethical insights and views.

Another important aspect of my ministry at Walford is that of offering spiritual support and pastoral care to students, families and staff.

I hope that when students complete their schooling at Walford they will leave having a deeper sense of self and connectedness to their spiritual self. I hope that the spiritual tools and practices that were taught at Walford will become tools that each student will be able to draw on in all aspects of life.

Mayra Franco

IB Coordinator

I’ve always valued the opportunities education can bring to a person’s life. This is what led me to become a teacher. My philosophy for teaching is to encourage students to do their best and aim to engage them with the subjects they are studying.

I am passionate about the benefits of an International Baccalaureate education. I believe it provides students with the necessary skills to become active members of society, allowing them to think critically and reflect on the world around them.

Emily Beattie

International Student Coordinator

British by birth, I was brought up in Hong Kong, where I attended an International School. With both parents being teachers, and sharing their love of their vocation with me, I think I was destined to choose a similar career path. Having lived in four different countries, my background has imparted a very international flavour to all that I do, including teaching. In my role at Walford I bring an understanding of different cultures to my lessons. My experience and understanding of what it is like to live apart from your family, in a different country, gives me a particular affinity with our boarding and international students.

My own love of learning has led me to complete an Honours degree in French Language and Literature (Durham University), a Masters in Modern French Cultural Studies (Warwick University) and a Doctorate in French Literature (Oxford University). I enjoy sharing this passion with my students.

Alice Speirs

Business Education and Economics Teacher

After a ten year career as a Chartered Accountant I made the move to teaching. My philosophy for teaching business and economics is to encourage students to engage with the world in meaningful ways. I love to get the students out of the classroom, to see businesses in action and to experience running businesses themselves. I believe students benefit from hearing from experts in their fields of study.

As a passionate professional, I actively use my networks to bring authentic experiences to the students. I am committed to keeping up to date with world events, to ensure the curriculum I deliver is fluid and contemporary. As an active user of technology in the classroom, I engage students in a method they are familiar with. The microbusiness project introduced in Year 11 Business and Enterprise provides students with an opportunity to run their own small business operations. The students are required to make and market products, with proceeds going to a charity that funds micro finance for those in poverty.

Tim de Jong

Director of Music

Whilst music alone is a significant part of my life, I have always wanted to be a teacher. I knew this when I was only 15, taking inspiration from my school teachers at the time.
After completing my studies at the Elder Conservatorium of Music in 1999, I honed my teaching skills in a challenging rural school, finding countless rewards, particularly in working with musically gifted students, students at risk and students with disabilities. I taught music both in and out of the classroom, to remotely located students by phone and later, as technology developed, by camera linkup. Coming to Walford in 2008 was a very significant change for me, but one that I quickly embraced.

As the Director of Music, I am able to work alongside a very large and diverse cohort of students, staff and parents. This starts in the ELC and finishes way beyond the students in Year 12, with many parents and old scholars remaining associated with the music program each year. The most rewarding aspect to my job is that every day I get to see the immense joy that music can bring.
Through my own experiences, I believe in the intrinsic benefits of learning music and the flow-on effect that it can bring to other aspects of schooling and life. I believe in a learning environment where everyone is happy, and happy because the learning is producing real satisfaction, with a sense of continuously moving forward and with a constant feeling of accomplishment.

Abbie Thomas

English Teacher

I am the Coordinator of English and Debating at Walford. I teach senior English and have experience in both SACE and the IB Diploma. I have a true love for English (I graduated with Honours in English from the University of Adelaide) and am passionate about teaching girls how to analyse a text and develop their interest and skill in creative and non-fiction writing. As well as teaching, I have co-authored textbooks on Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” and “The Merchant of Venice”.

Yolanda Hyde

Geography Teacher

As primarily a Humanities teacher with a passion for Geography my aim is to support students in finding direction and meaning in their lives within local, national and global contexts. Through aspects of the curriculum I attempt to connect with students in relevant and interesting ways, fostering lifelong learning beyond the classroom.

My approach focuses on the community of learners. I aim for it to be challenging, collaborative, differentiated and, given the nature of my discipline, connected to the real world.

I love to travel and believe that experiencing the world is a wonderful way to learn. As a teacher I am constantly learning and growing both personally and professionally and I enjoy imparting this love of learning and the new knowledge that I acquire to my students.

Teaching is much more than about just a curriculum, it’s about relationships, and I value opportunities to develop relationships with my students and their families.

Adele Harty

Student and Careers Counsellor, Head of House

I firmly believe that in order for a student to achieve their best, well being is crucial. I am actively involved in delivery of the well being, empowerment and engagement program at Walford. Our strong House system and co-curricula program, which I am part of, also helps develop a sense of belonging and friendly rivalry amongst the girls.

My interest in counselling was developed through volunteering with the Service to Youth Council and Lifeline, which led me to gain my Masters in Counselling.

My own career path has been varied, spanning banking, training and recruitment, and I am able to draw on it when assisting students explore and identify possible career paths that will suit them.

Amy Kan

Chinese Teacher

As a teacher, I am fortunate to be able to share my Chinese culture and heritage with my students. One of my highlights is taking students on the School’s exchange program to China. Seeing their knowledge expand, their independence grow and their language skills develop through the experience is a great joy.

Sue Jones-Parry

Boarding House Manager

I come from a large family and have always been the carer, the mum and the big sister. Professionally I am a nurse and I am passionate about good nursing care and being an advocate for the vulnerable. My husband was a Boarding Housemaster in the UK for over 20 years and I worked by his side, loving the atmosphere of boarding and being in the very privileged position of supporting young people through their adolescence.

Working at Walford allows me to do what I love most and use all of my skills and knowledge to support and encourage the young people in the Boarding House. I believe we have created an atmosphere in the Boarding House where our young people are happy to be themselves and are confident in being able to share any concerns as well as their joys and happiness with the staff.

Maria Caruso

Science Coordinator, Physics Teacher

It was one of my own teachers who inspired me to teach physics. He made science interesting and broke it down to a form that we could understand as students. In turn, I urge students not to be frightened by a label. Physics sounds hard, but I draw upon what inspired me, and work to make the subject interesting and accessible. I provide support to students who need extra help and encourage students to try their best and explore different areas of science that may appeal to them.

I love all things science, particularly physics. Using what we know on a macroscopic level to explain what we can’t see or touch is fascinating. It is amazing that so much of what we think we know, or accept to be true is based on theory.

As well as teaching at Walford, I teach physics revision courses for Adelaide University and have authored a test and examination pack. This year I was thrilled to be recognised as the South Australian State Finalist in the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards for teachers.

Kelly Scott

SACE Coordinator, Humanities Coordinator, History Teacher

Story telling plays a large part in my approach to teaching – some of my earliest memories are of reading stories about the Trojan war and wondering about what happened to the people there. This was the start of my love of history, and of learning.

I commenced my own schooling in an International School in Penang. This has influenced my belief in the importance for our students to be globally aware, and I bring this into the classroom as a teacher of both SACE and IB Diploma History.

As SACE Coordinator, I enjoy investigating options for students that will challenge and develop them both as learners and global citizens. The flexible options within SACE enable SACE and the IB Diploma to work well together in achieving this at Walford.

I am also a strong believer in the value of girls’ education and its importance in shaping the many and varied pathways that will be taken by our students.

David McGrath

Head of Rowing

I love the challenge that rowing gives the girls. It is not just about getting up early and trying to win races. The process that will lead to success on the water is the same that will lead to success in many areas of life: setting goals, working hard to try and achieve these goals and challenging your perceptions of what you think you are capable of doing. It is very rewarding to watch someone grow through this experience.

I have enjoyed rowing since starting as a coxswain while a student in Victoria. I have been fortunate to represent my country in rowing, which has been a huge honour. My career highlight has been winning the Silver medal as part of the Australian U23 Men’s Coxed Four in 2006 in Belgium. I also coxed the Australian Lightweight Men’s Eight in 2008 at the World Championships in Austria.
Prior to Walford, I was Head Coach at two schools in Melbourne, Genazzano FCJ College and Loreto, Toorak. I was also selected as the Women’s Sweep Coach for the U21 Australian Team in 2013, and a co-coach of the Women’s Eight on the U23 Australian Team in 2014.

Lara Elsdon

Strings Coordinator

Music has always been a very important part of my life. After learning the piano as a 6 year old, I realised that I was missing the fun of music making with other students. I was fortunate to be offered the opportunity to learn cello; that was where my love for ensemble playing started.

As the Strings Coordinator at Walford, I encourage girls to play string instruments from Year 2, so they too can enjoy the opportunities that come from being an instrumentalist. Having enjoyed many music camps, both state and national, I strongly encourage my students to take up any of these opportunities.

Conducting is a passion of mine and I currently conduct nine ensembles at Walford including senior choir, concert bands, stage band, string orchestras, quartets and handbells. Prior to my appointment at Walford, I enjoyed 3 years teaching in the UK and I travelled extensively for 18 months through Europe and Africa with my husband. Whilst living in Southampton I played and performed with the Southampton Symphony Orchestra.

My daughters, too, are enjoying the wonderful opportunities and co-curricular activities that are offered to them here at Walford.

Luke Guerrieri

Maths and Science Teacher

Prior to teaching, I spent many years working in finance and superannuation. Although I didn’t have any family or friends who were teachers, I had a hunch that teaching would be something I would like. I was right; it is now my sixth year teaching, and I still find it fun, and love spending each day doing something I enjoy.

I teach a broad range of subjects, Maths, Science and Geography. Different aspects of each of these subject areas appeal to me, and I aim to bring a different perspective to each one for my students.

Julie Nagy

Sport Coordinator, HPE

I set my sight on PE teaching from quite an early age - my older brother, whom I admired very much, was a teacher and I was always very interested in sport.

I am passionate about girls having the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities while they are at school. If they can find something that they are passionate about participating in for the rest of their lives it will enrich their lives in so many ways.

Sport is very important in all aspects of our overall health - physical, mental, social and emotional. At Walford I also like to give opportunities for girls to perform at both an elite level and social level.

I grew up locally, in Mitcham, and over my career have set up Sports, PE and Health Programs at various schools, and have tutored PE students at UniSA.

I am a keen participant in a wide variety of sports, having played over 250 senior District games at Sturt Basketball Club (including a Premiership), and have represented the state against the New Zealand National Basketball team. I also played senior state lacrosse for 5 years, softball for Sturt, Senior State Touch Football and have played soccer at A grade and state level.

Libby Emery

Director of Admissions

I have spent my working life in teaching, management and marketing roles in the education sector. I have been privileged to work with young people and to be part of their journey towards a successful career.

My role at Walford enables me to be in contact with all sections of the community. I forge relationships with families who are visiting Walford for the first time, with their daughter when she enrols at the school, with current students and their families at Walford events, and with Walford old scholars. Having been a student in the country, I have a close affinity with our boarders.

It is a pleasure to work in such a warm, vibrant community and to see Walford students graduate as confident, accomplished young women.

316 Unley Road Hyde Park, South Australia 5061
Telephone: +61 8 8272 6555  |  Facsimile: +61 8 8272 0313

CRICOS No 00563J

International Baccalaureate logo

Website Credits

Back to top