Meet our Staff

Meet some of Walford's Junior 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!

Melissa Threadgold

Head of Junior School

I am a passionate educator with more than 20 years teaching experience both in Australia and England. I see the International Baccalaureate offered at Walford as a fantastic framework that enables educators to lead student learning towards purposeful outcomes, and to focus on the development and celebration of the whole child. I also love the way that Walford is able to focus specifically and unapologetically on the unique developmental needs of girls, in all areas.

I have been lucky enough during my career to teach children from the Early Years through to Year 6. I have also worked in a Specialist capacity developing the talents of students through enrichment programs. Outside of school, in addition to my work as a team leader in the State Emergency Services, I was a volunteer counsellor for Parent Helpline for some time and it was here that I developed, through formal study and experience, the skills for supporting and guiding families through a whole range of life’s challenges. These skills also underpin my ability to be able to support students as they navigate the changing social landscape they experience throughout their schooling, while they build their resilience and self-confidence.

I have two wonderful children who enjoy many pursuits including tennis, football, chess, violin and guitar. When I am not working I love to spend time with my family and continue with the renovation of our old home.

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.

Jennifer Bowditch

Primary Years Programme and Wellbeing Coordinator

I’m a firm believer in the benefits of an International Baccalaureate (IB) education and the role it plays in ensuring that each girl reaches her full potential. My teaching career has spanned local, national and international IB schools, which has enabled me to develop a strong network of fellow IB teachers.

The aims of the IB are very much in alignment with my own. I love to see girls take risks in their learning, to inquire and go further. The development of critical and higher order thinking skills is crucial in ensuring that each girl reaches her full potential. Just as important is to encourage and promote the attributes and attitudes of the learner profile to ensure the girls are well-rounded and prepared for the international stage.

Trish Hart

Music Teacher

I can't ever remember not loving music! I come from a musical family and pestered my parents from the time I was 4 years of age to learn piano.

As well as teaching (at Walford I have enjoyed teaching music at every level from Preparatory through to Year 12), I have also enjoyed performing in the Chorus of the State Opera, and working as a performer, Director and Musical Director for various companies in Adelaide.

I'm inspired by people close to me, my Dad who is a pianist, my Mum who is a life member of the Adelaide Harmony Choir and my husband who is a dedicated and talented musician. I also admire Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield and Connie Francis – three women who carved a field in music at a time when men were dominant.

I love teaching my students how to love music! It's as simple as that. It doesn't matter what level they are at they can all find something they enjoy. As Confucius says 'Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without'. I think I have the best job ever!

Kate Fisher

Learning Support Teacher

Early in my teaching career, I developed a passion for working with students with disabilities and a range of educational needs. This led me to return to university and complete a Graduate Certificate in Special Education.

At Walford, my role is to support students with various difficulties both in and out of the classroom. I enjoy running programs such as MiniLit, the MultiLit Reading Tutor Program and the Beat Dyslexia Program, and find the results incredibly rewarding.

Jade Stoyanoff

Year 2 Teacher

As a child I would often be found sitting with my dolls and teddies in a circle, calling the ‘roll’ and throughout my schooling I would take any opportunity to work with younger students. From a young age I knew I would become a teacher. How lucky am I to have been able to follow my dream!

Every child comes to school with their own thoughts, ideas and knowledge and I work hard to ensure that the curiosity of each child is explored. My classroom is full of engaging conversation, as I truly believe that self expression and reflection is a powerful tool for learning.

I thoroughly enjoy the energy and sense of fun Junior School students offer and welcome all opportunities for parents to be involved in the learning journey of their child. Being an old scholar, I am a proud Walford Girl and I look forward to providing the same meaningful learning experiences that I was gifted to our current students.

Natalie Spyrou

Reception Teacher

I am one of those lucky people who are working in a field they love. I believe the early years of a child’s development are one of the most important and crucial times for learning. The foundations of all skills, whether they be physical, social, emotional or academic are established in these years, and as a result I feel my role as a Reception teacher comes with great responsibility and privilege.

One of the benefits of teaching Reception is that my students have a certain youthful energy and innocence about them. Together we are able to laugh and have fun while we develop skills and learn about life. I am indeed extremely fortunate to be part of this wonderful profession.

Kathrin Zirkel

Year 4 Teacher

It must have been the sight of that bright and beautiful wendy house at my school in Palmers Green in London, that ignited my life long love for school and learning as a little girl. In my early school years I felt a great sense of achievement and pride when I unlocked the wonderful world of reading and progressed from basic readers to more substantial novels.
Some things proved to be more challenging, but my sense of well being and love for learning stayed with me and even now I continue to strive to learn new skills no matter how small or challenging. This is part of being a life long learner.

My first experiences at school were so positively etched in my memory they became the key to my future career as a teacher. I believe it is those positive experiences with in the classroom that help create a desire for learning within young children.

I also believe that as a teacher the relationships we build with our students are crucial to their well being and education. My experiences at school and university helped to shape and develop my own personal educational philosophy and especially enabled me to understand what it is that unlocks the desire to learn. Children are naturally curious, so creating learning experiences that elicit a sense of wonder about the world we live in, form a crucial platform for discovery.

Hannah Trengove

Year 1 Teacher

Education is such an exciting, creative and rewarding journey. It is always changing, always surprising and has endless possibilities. I love sharing in those ‘light bulb’ moments of learning, encourage students to continue to discover and most importantly to build confidence and have fun everyday.

Ironically, after many years of teaching, the person who learns the most in the classroom constantly seems to be me! As journalist Sydney J. Harris is quoted as saying, “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” I love learning and I want to encourage and inspire my students to love learning too.

Amanda Murphy

Junior School Librarian

One of my passions is to foster and encourage a love of literature and reading in the girls. I see it as a real skill for life. Digital technology is also an important tool for learning in the library, and our Year 4 and 5 students enjoy learning the fundamentals of coding during library Code Club sessions.

Frans Kuiper

Year 3 Teacher

I feel that the best learning environment for students is one that is welcoming, caring, inspiring and challenging, while recognising the need to cater for individual needs. I aim to create an environment in the classroom where all students feel valued, secure and confident to take risks and make mistakes in order to grow and develop as life-long learners.

In the classroom I incorporate a number of different Visible Thinking Routines that are easily and flexibly integrated with content learning, and represent areas of thinking such as understanding, truth and evidence, fairness and moral reasoning, creativity, self-management and decision making.

My teaching practice has been both shaped and inspired by my international experience and my training in the IB Primary Years Program, where collaborative planning and reflection is encouraged.

Having started my career in Canada teaching Inuit students, I have also taught in Japan, Portugal and The Netherlands.

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.

Aly Roberts

Year 3 Teacher

I am a big believer in the power of positive sayings, and this gorgeous one is a beautiful guide for teaching: “Together may we give our children the roots to grow and the wings to fly.” I have been blessed here at Walford to witness all of my ‘baby girls’ grow and fly over the years.
I am always thrilled to see curiosity and passion for learning in the faces of ‘my girls’. My aim as a teacher is to encourage all the children in my care to be the best they can be and to soar as life long learners. In my classroom, I aim to provide opportunities for imaginations to be developed and nurtured, for creativity and bravery to be fostered, for positive thoughts to be shared and encouraged and for creative thinking and problem solving to be unleashed. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing a child grasp a concept or find meaning and understanding in something that has eluded them, that awe inspiring ‘a-ha’ moment that keeps us going every day. I am constantly amazed by the many ways in which my girls continue to teach, challenge and inspire me.
“No I am not a superhero, I am something even more powerful…I am a teacher. I don’t need a cape because I am lifted up by the amazing and inspiring kids that I teach!”

Pam Davidson

Year 5 Teacher

I thoroughly enjoy my work teaching here at Walford and feel privileged to have the opportunity to teach our wonderful girls. I possess a wide range of experience and skills, having taught in Catholic and Independent systems, both here and abroad. My experience of over thirty years, has seen me working successfully with a variety of students, both boys and girls, with differing backgrounds and needs. The education I offer is values based, recognising and affirming the integrity and worth of each individual. I provide a differentiated curriculum based on the International Bacculaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) where learning is scaffolded and students achieve outcomes based on the level of their skills. The realisation of each individual’s potential is evident in the students I teach as they develop a sound and comprehensive knowledge base so that they become well-informed citizens, aware and empathetic not only of their local community, but also of our global connections. Teaching at Walford in the PYP means that I have an excellent understanding of Inquiry methodology and the subsequent integration of this with the Australian Curriculum. I believe to be an effective teacher, one must develop positive and lasting relationships with students, sprinkled with a good dose of common sense and a great sense of humour. It gives me no greater pride when students I have taught come back to visit me to keep me posted on their progress.

Alison Hunt

Year 5 Teacher

Teaching and learning has been my life and passion with over 35 years working in independent schools predominantly in Adelaide but also internationally in England, and Malaysia. Currently teaching in the Year 5 team, over my career I have been a classroom teacher across all primary year levels and a specialist teacher in Music, Religion and English as a Second Language. I have also been privileged to work with teachers and colleagues as a PYP co-ordinator and PYP workshop leader for 15 years in a range of settings in the Asia-Pacific region.

I believe the purpose of education is to nurture the unique potential of each individual student so that they are encouraged to develop personal integrity, a sense of self fulfilment and a love of learning. My role as an educator is that of a facilitator. Learning in my classroom is student centred as I aim to meet the diverse learning styles and needs of my students, physical, social, academic, cultural and aesthetic. My goal is to develop independent and reflective students, thinkers and inquirers, who take responsibility for their own learning in a supportive and stimulating learning environment based on understanding and respect. I am inspired by the questioning, thinking and action that students can take.

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

CRICOS No 00563J

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