Our Team

Meet our teaching staff

At WHPS we have a dedicated and experienced team of teachers led by our highly experienced Director, Karin Port. Each group is taught by a qualified Early Childhood Teacher, a Certificate 3 trained Co-Educator and a regular, lunchtime Early Childhood Teacher.  We also have an Administration Manager working part-time in our office, permanent casual staff, and occasional visits from students on University placements.

KARIN PORT

Director
Green Joeys Teacher

Exemplary Level Teaching Standard
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood)
Graduate Diploma in Special Education

“I was born in Durban, South Africa and moved to Melbourne with my parents and older brother
when I was eight years old.
I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a Kindergarten Teacher. My desire to create a safe and welcoming environment for the children and their families was foremost in my mind.
My love of animals, insects, birds, and nature is often captured in the photographs that I take and
used to teach the children about the important role that we all have in taking care of our natural
world.
I often remind the children that they are the future and together, we need to work hard to help each
other to be the best that we can be.”

VICKI GAZIS

Grey Roos Teacher

Exemplary Level Teaching Standard
Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Education
Bachelor of Adult Education
Masters of Education in Child Psychology

“I believe that it is my role as a kindergarten teacher to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children as they make the transition from home to pre-school. It is an exciting journey as children learn through play and are scaffolded to an optimal level of development. Partnerships with parents are an important part of my teaching practice thus acknowledging that a child’s family are his or her first teacher.
When l am not at WHPS, l enjoy stepping into the academic role of a part time lecturer in Early Childhood. One of my toughest and most fulfilling jobs in the world ‘is being a mother’. My choices have been heavily influenced by being a mum to my son and daughter.”

SHAWN HILLEN

Red Roos Teacher
OHS Officer

Accomplished Level Teaching Standard
Post Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education
Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Applied Science

I spent the first part of my working life mainly working in science-based fields. After thoroughly enjoying being the primary carer of my children before they went to school, I decided to make a career change and re-trained as a Teacher in Early Childhood.

CLAIRE WILSON

Yellow Joeys Teacher
Reconciliation Action Plan Chair

Graduate Diploma of Education (Early Childhood) with Distinction

“I have a love of learning and have studied and worked in several fields, including the performing arts and nutrition, but I have found my calling in kindergarten teaching!
I love getting to know each child and walking with them on their early learning journey.
I endeavour to create a calm, happy environment, where children thrive and grow, and can enjoy Belonging, Being, and Becoming.”

LUCY SOSSA

Yellow Joeys Educator
Red Roos Tuesday Educator

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

“Working with the children and families at WHPS is an absolute delight. Every year the children collectively bring unique challenges, which not only add to our teaching growth but the privilege of forming a unique bond. Given the privilege of playing such a vital role in our little participants social, emotional and academic development is a role I and we, the WHPS teaching team, don’t take lightly. We pride our teachings and care with the knowledge of delivering and empowering them with a strong foundation for the years ahead. We welcome you all and thank you for entrusting us with your bundles of joy!”

JOSIE ZANDEGU

Grey Roos Educator

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

“I see my role as the Co-Educator of the Grey Kangaroo group to be the facilitator that helps our children move through their pre-school journey. It’s a privilege to see the children learn and grow in our kindergarten environment, and build trusting relationships with children and parents. My most joyful experience is to see the children again who have gone on to school and are confident and successful.”

JASMINE MAIN

Green Joeys Educator
Sustainability Officer

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Car
e

“As the Co-Educator of the Green Joeys group I acknowledge the great responsibility I have to encourage and support every child to feel safe, secure and supported within our kinder environment. My goal is to build warm, caring and reciprocal relationships with each child and their family. It’s a real privilege to be part of the education and care of every child in our Green Joeys group.”

RUBY MACLEAN-SWANN

Red Roos Thursday & Friday Educator
Grey Roos Additional Assistant


Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood
Education
Bachelor of Youth Work

“I started my career as a youth worker then made the switch to early childhood education as I have always had a passion for working with children. I have strong values in inclusivity and empathy. I am especially passionate about music and other forms of creativity as it can create fun memories and also extend children’s learning.”

NAOMI PETHYBRIDGE

Lunch Time Teacher

Accomplished Level Teaching Standard
Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

“West Hawthorn Pre-school is such a supportive and encouraging environment for the children who attend, their families and for educators. It is such a privilege to be part of the fantastic teaching team here at WHPS. I love observing how much the children learn, grow and develop during their time at kinder and it is an honour to be part of their educational journey.”

KARIN MCEWEN

Lunch Time Teacher

Accomplished Level Teaching Standard
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood)
Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Child and Youth Studies

“West Hawthorn Preschool is in such a unique setting and is one of the most beautiful early childhood services I’ve worked at. I’ve been in the industry for 30 years, so that’s saying something! We are incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by parkland, some of which include our bush kinder corner. I often think back to my days teaching in London, where the enclosed playgrounds were all asphalt and no grass. It’s a privilege to engage with the children in this natural environment and set them on a path of discovery. Loris Malaguzzi, founder of Reggio Emilia, once said the environment is the third teacher. This statement couldn’t be truer than at West Hawthorn Preschool. I especially enjoy chatting to the children about how the large plane trees change each season. West Hawthorn staff are kind, professional, and an absolute joy to work with.”

DEEVINA ALWANI

Lunch Time Teacher

SARAH BROADBENT

Administration Manager

Bachelor of Science
Graduate Diploma of Internet & Web Computing
Certificate IV Bookkeeping & Accounting

“Being a local mum of two small children I greatly value the teaching staff and the lovely environment here at WHPS. I enjoy my admin role at the pre-school as it is great to be involved in a community kinder, and to be able to help support the staff, committee and families here at WHPS.”

‘Together we grow, learn and celebrate the journey’