Aberfeldie Primary School


Our Staff


Tyson Smith - Acting Principal


Erin McNamara - Assistant Principal

Erin McNamara holds a Bachelor of Education from Latrobe University. She has 14 years’ experience in the Department of Education & Early Childhood, and 6 years’ experience in senior leadership. Erin is extremely passionate about cognitive science and empowering all educators to put evidence-based theory into practice. She believes that every child has the right to a high-quality education and is dedicated to ensuring this is the case for every student at Aberfeldie Primary School. As Acting Assistant Principal, Erin oversees the wellbeing and learning of all students within the school.

Nicky Bonacci - Business Manager


Belinda Hudson - Administration

Belinda joined our office staff in 2022 and continues to manage the Library.  Previously Belinda spent many years working as and Integration Aide in classrooms across the school.  She has significant administration experience across the banking and records management industries.  She enjoys working with the students, parents and supporting teaching staff to achieve the best educations outcomes.

Sandra Tigani - Administration

Sandra joined our office staff in 2022 after several years’ experience working in a variety of roles including administration, sales, and training in the retail industry.  She is very customer focused and has quickly developed and connection with students, staff, and our school community. 

Learning Specialists

Emma Sprakel - Curriculum Design, Implementation and Assessment

Emma holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science (Psychology) from Swinburne University, a Master of Primary Teaching from the University of Melbourne, and she is currently completing a Master of Instructional Leadership at the University of Melbourne. Emma has had experience teaching various year levels across primary school and has held various leadership roles, including PLC Leader and ICT Coordinator. Emma is dedicated to working with teachers to develop effective and engaging teaching instruction that supports learning for all students. Emma loves to learn, and is passionate about literacy and the science of learning.

Emma Beckett - Inclusion and Intervention

Emma has a Bachelor of Education from Victoria University. Emma was offered a scholarship to The University of Melbourne in 2022 and is currently completing her Masters of Learning Intervention. Her studies focus on supporting the engagement of students with disabilities or learning difficulties in both Literacy and Numeracy. Emma has extensive teaching experience across various settings and was previously a classroom teacher and PLC team leader at Aberfeldie Primary School. Within her Learning Specialist role, Emma is passionate about Inclusive Education and ensuring all students have access to high-quality education.

Class Teachers

Foundation Team 

Jessica Townsend - Foundation Teacher & PLC Leader

Jessica has a Bachelor of Education from Victoria University, majoring in Health & Physical Education. Jessica has taught for 6 years in a range of settings, this will be her first year at Aberfeldie Primary School. Jessica is passionate about building strong community relationships which centres around the growth and wellbeing of each student. As PLC Leader, Jessica leads and oversees the implementation of curriculum and student wellbeing for the Foundation students.

Danielle Soccio – Foundation Classroom Teacher

Danielle holds a Bachelor of Education (P-12) from Victoria University, majoring in English and Art. She has been teaching at Aberfeldie Primary School for 12 years and has experience teaching various year levels. Danielle has held several roles at Aberfeldie, including PLC Leader and Prep Transition Coordinator. She is committed to ensuring that students are engaged in their learning, whilst maintaining a high standard of education. Danielle is passionate about early literacy development, with an emphasis on teaching phonics and phonemic awareness.

Year One/Two Team

Tayissa Coppinger - PLC Leader and Classroom Teacher

Tayissa has a Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Education from Victoria University. Tayissa has a range of teaching experience across year levels and settings. She has been teaching for 10 years and has been at Aberfeldie for 8 years. Tayissa is dedicated to promoting an inclusive learning environment for all and is passionate about building strong relationships with students and the school community. As PLC Leader, Tayissa leads and oversees the implementation of curriculum and student wellbeing for Year 1/2.

Danielle HartClassroom Teacher

Danielle has a Bachelor of Science (Hons), PhD and a Master of Teaching from the University of Melbourne. She also holds a Graduate Diploma of Business Computer from Victoria University and was previously employed as a research scientist and IT Design Engineer. Danielle is dedicated and enthusiastic about sharing the beauty and logic of Mathematics and Sciences with her class, but also inspires the students to find enjoyment in reading.

 Daniella Babic - Classroom Teacher & Junior School Council Leader

Daniella holds a Bachelor of Human Nutrition from La Trobe University and a Graduate Diploma in Education from RMIT University. Her teaching philosophy focuses on the whole child through learner-centred theories of education which encourages students to be active participants in their educational journey. Daniella has extensive experience in leading a number of student leadership programs. She is passionate about promoting and empowering student voice within the school community.

Sasha Pollnitz - Classroom Teacher

Sasha holds a Bachelor of Environmental Sustainability from Deakin University and a Bachelor of Education from RMIT University. From her experience as an Education Support staff member and working in Out of Hours School Care, Sasha has formed a teaching philosophy that centres around establishing meaningful and genuine teacher-student relationships. Sasha is an enthusiastic graduate teacher keen to foster student growth in safe, happy, healthy learning environments.

Michelle Apollonia

Dezi Tyris

Janelle Landry


Year Three/Four Team

Jennifer DoumasClassroom Teacher & PLC Leader

Jennifer is an enthusiastic and passionate educator. She holds a Bachelor of Education from RMIT University, graduating with first class honours. Jennifer has taught for seven years, having extensive teaching experience across a range of levels. This is her first year teaching at Aberfeldie Primary School. Jennifer believes in building strong authentic relationships with students and sparking curiosity to engage student learning. She encourages students to be active participants in their learning by working collaboratively to develop and achieve academic and personal goals in the classroom. As PLC Leader, Jennifer leads and oversees the implementation of curriculum and student wellbeing for Year 3/4.

Elyse Dickeson - Classroom Teacher

Elyse holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ballarat and a Masters of Education- Educational leadership from Edith Cowan University. Elyse is a passionate teacher of Mathematics and enjoys learning alongside others. Elyse has taught for 11 years in various school settings in Australia and overseas, she considers herself to be a lifelong learner. 

Krystal Cohen - Classroom Teacher

Krystal holds a Bachelor of Nursing from Victoria University and worked as a Registered Nurse before changing careers. She has since completed a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Primary) from LaTrobe University and a Masters of Education from the University of Melbourne. Krystal initially began working as a CRT at Aberfeldie Primary school in 2015 and has enjoyed watching the school evolve and its offering of professional development opportunities. Krystal’s passion for helping others grow and learn extends beyond the classroom, leading the Graduate Mentor program for beginning teachers at Aberfeldie Primary School.

Hannah Alexander - Classroom Teacher

Hannah holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology) from RMIT University and a Master of Primary teaching from Deakin University. She is currently undergoing her second year at Aberfeldie Primary School. During her first year at Aberfeldie, Hannah worked with the sustainability captains to ensure our school was environmentally conscious. This year she has taken on the role of ICT leader. Hannah is passionate about creating a classroom environment where all students are supported to grow to their full potential and looks forward to facilitating learning for another group of 3/4 students during 2023.

Emma Hill – Classroom Teacher & Tutor

Emma holds a Bachelor of Business and a postgraduate in Education, both from La Trobe University. She has experience teaching all year levels both in Australia and in the UK. Emma is passionate about early reading practices, specifically phonics instruction, and ensuring that all children learn to read and read to learn.

Year Five/Six Team

Trudy Trounson - Classroom Teacher

Michael Saunders - Classroom Teacher

Michael holds a Bachelor of Education from Deakin University. He has been teaching at Aberfeldie since 2013 and has held a number of roles across years 1-6 in that time, including Team Leader and Marrung Leader. Michael is dedicated to developing a culture of learning, support, and improvement for students’ within the school community. He is currently leading the Marrung Education Plan for the school and hopes to strengthen the First Nation perspectives across the curriculum.

Emily Decis - Classroom Teacher

Emily Decis holds a Bachelor of Education (Primary) from the Australian Catholic University. She is an approachable graduate teacher who is passionate about providing learning opportunities that will inspire student creativity and help all to reach their full potential. During her work as a casual relief teacher, Emily has developed a teaching philosophy that is based on respectful relationships. She believes the relationship between herself, and her students should be built upon trust and respect, while also encouraging students to become independent learners that make responsible choices.

Ashleigh Chisholm - PLC Leader & Classroom Teacher


Emma Hill

Specialist Teachers

Sam Cheshire - Physical Education Teacher & Sports Co-ordinator

Sam is a passionate and dedicated Physical Education Teacher. He has worked in a variety of different industries before becoming a primary school teacher. Sam coaches football and basketball teams in Airport West. He loves spending time with his kids and his passions are golf, football and gardening.

Nikki Daley - Visual Arts Specialist

Nikki Daley is the new, excited Visual Arts teacher at Aberfeldie Primary School. She completed her bachelor of teaching in 2013 in NSW and a Master’s of Education degree in 2018 at the University of Melbourne, where Nikki focused on exploring identity through visual arts, both in the classroom and in an art therapy setting. She has worked as a classroom teacher for many years but has remained passionate about the arts and is an avid artist who uses a range of mediums including pencils, paints, clay and digital platforms. Her other passions include reading, creative writing, singing and playing a variety of instruments.

Jill Walker - Japanese Teacher

Jill Walker is one of our Japanese teachers. She studied at Junior high and High school in Japan as an exchange student where she lived with a Japanese family. Jill went on to complete an Asian Linguistics degree at the Australian National University, part of which she received a full scholarship from Chiba University. She completed a Postgraduate Teaching degree (Languages Other Than English and Teaching English as a Second Other Language) at Melbourne University in 2012. Jill has worked as an English as an Additional Language teacher for many years. She has a passion for languages, culture and teaching.

Kimberley Caffari - Performing Arts Teacher

Kimberley has a Bachelor of Education Degree from Victoria University. She has been teaching for 28 years and has an extensive background of experience in various school settings. Kimberley has been a leader for many years of her career and has a comprehensive amount of experience teaching all year levels of Primary School, including teaching in a variety of Specialist areas. Kimberley has been teaching at Aberfeldie Primary School for the past 24 years and has well established relationships with the students, families and the community, past and present. Kimberley is a passionate and dedicated educator and her expansive roles over the years have allowed for mentorship and guidance of staff and students.

Education Support 

Antigone Toulkeridis

Antigone Toulkeridis completed a course in Education (Education Support) in 2003. She has been at Aberfeldie Primary School since 2008 and in that time has supported our students in the classroom, providing our students with every opportunity to learn, attain their goals and succeed. Antigone's passion for education ensures she is always looking for and utilising learning opportunities. An active member in the school community, Antigone also seeks and participates in further learning to continue her work for our students. 

Loretta Nicholls

Loretta holds a Bachelor of Design (Graphic Design) from RMIT University. She worked as a designer for many years before switching to the role of Education Support at Aberfeldie Primary, where she has worked since 2017. Loretta is passionate about an inclusive classroom where all children are supported to achieve their personal best, both physically and mentally.

Gail McKenna

Gail attended Aberfeldie Primary as a child and now is very happy to be working there now. Gail holds a Bachelor of Arts in Australian Cultural Studies, a Diploma in Children's and a Certificate in Education Support. Gail has over 35 years experience working with children in a variety of settings. Gail enjoys her role at Aberfeldie as an ES and values the opportunity to help each child reach their full potential.

Yasmine Jones

Yasmine has Bachelor Of Science in Mathematics and Computing and worked in Life Insurance.  She has a Cert IV in Education Support from Victoria University.  Her commitment in this role is to help students achieve their best educational and social outcomes that they are capable of. 

Nicola Stenger

Nicola has a Diploma in Food and Nutrition and recently completed her Certificate III and IV in School Based Education Support. She has been part of the APS community since 2017 and has previous experience working with primary school children at an international Montessori school in Germany. Nicola  is passionate about supporting teachers in the classroom and encouraging students to have pride and a sense of achievement in their learning.

Georgia DiLizio