Meet our staff

Jackie Becher – Principal

Jackie commenced her journey with St Andrew’s School in Adelaide in 2021. With a strong focus on primary and early years education, Jackie’s vision is to ignite and foster in children a passion and joy for lifelong learning.

A strong believer in creating communities of learners, Jackie presents opportunities to staff to extend their curiosities around their own learning, whilst pursuing their passions alongside their students. Underpinning this belief is Jackie’s conviction that a strong element of fun, novelty and challenge is essential for a school where joy is at the heart of the culture.

Jackie joins St Andrew’s School from EtonHouse International Group, where she was the Executive Director of Pedagogy and Executive Principal. Working in this role afforded Jackie the opportunity to work with schools across China, Japan, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore and Bahrain where she worked closely with principals to consider and develop curriculums based on an inquiry approach.

With over 25 years’ experience in education, Jackie has founded and established schools in the position of principal and vice principal, and worked as a university lecturer, curriculum consultant and teacher. While Jackie has had many unique experiences, her heart remains with children and teachers in the classroom, and she regularly works alongside teachers to ensure her work is relevant and realistic for the 21st century classroom.

Jackie has a Masters of Education (Educational Leadership), Bachelor of Education (Primary) and Bachelor of Arts (Early Childhood Education 0-8 years).

Nick Steel – Deputy Principal – Administration

Nick Steel

Nick Steel is the Deputy Principal – Administration and has been employed at St Andrew’s since 1991. Previous roles include those of PE Teacher, Events Coordinator, Director of Sport and Head of Co-Curricular.

Nick has responsibility for many of the organisational aspects of the school and oversees Pastoral Care, Co-Curricular Programmes, Camps and Major School Events.

Nick has experience as a secondary Mathematics teacher and provides support to target year levels.

Heather Wood – Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching


Heather has been teaching for 27 years following earlier career paths as a Travel Agent and a Speech Pathologist, specialising in Early Years speech and language development. Prior to migrating to Australia in 2008, she was an educator in London, West Yorkshire and Malaysia.

Having started her teaching career with the youngest students in Early Years, she has worked alongside students in all grades up to Year 7 and has had the privilege of leading educational study tours to Canberra and China.

Heather is the Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching. She is very much looking forward to being part of the Leadership team again. During 2014, Heather was Acting Deputy Principal of Administration at St Andrew’s and from 2002 to 2007 was Deputy Principal of a primary school in West Yorkshire.

Throughout Heather’s varied roles and responsibilities during her career, she has balanced positions of leadership with classroom teaching and is passionate about helping to develop her colleagues’ knowledge, skills and understanding to become increasingly skilful educators.

Cathie Egarr – Head of Early Years

Cathie joined the St Andrew’s staff in 1997 with a Bachelor of Education and a National Excellence Teaching Award.

With a passion for teaching, Cathie has extensive teaching experience in Junior Primary, Primary and music education. Other roles at St Andrew’s have included debating coordinator, tour organiser for Japan, and coordinator of our inaugural China tour.

In July 2011, Cathie moved from her role as staff coordinator, responsible for mentoring new staff, and Year 7 teacher to the position of Director of the Early Learning Centre. Since taking on this new role, Cathie has implemented the St Andrew’s Playgroup for our School community and local community and the Vacation Care Programme for ELC to Year 2 students.

From July 2017, Cathie has taken responsibility for the Early Years. Cathie’s positive relationship with students and their families gives a sense of belonging and assists with a strong transition from ELC into Reception.

Marissa Brown – Director of Marketing & Community Engagement

Marissa joined St Andrew’s School in March 2019 and brings to the School 17+ years’ experience in strategy, marketing, communications, business development and community development. She is also a Certified Practising Marketer, through the Australian Marketing Institute.

Prior to joining the school Marissa was General Manager – Brand, Marketing and Communications at Netball SA, where she led a team responsible for increasing brand awareness for both Netball SA and the Adelaide Thunderbirds, creating marketing strategies for various programs and events, communicating with Netball SA’s 35,000 members, and overseeing the event delivery of Adelaide Thunderbirds home games.

Marissa is also active in the not for profit sector in her role as a Board Director of the Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Association of SA, which she has held since May 2014.

She looks forward to applying her experience to enhancing the reputation and profile of St Andrew’s School.

Anna Coppens – Director of Music

Anna’s life long passion for music has seen her work in many and varied music environments, with performance experience in piano, clarinet, trumpet and conducting, and an involvement in musical education, from Reception through to Tertiary level.

Initially starting at St Andrew’s as an Instrumental Tutor, Anna accepted the role of Coordinator of Concert Bands in 2001 and, in 2009, the additional role of Coordinator of Instrumental Music. In 2013 Anna became the Director of Music, the position she feels immensely privileged to hold today.

Anna’s role is complemented by a team of instrumental specialists and support from parents, creating a shared journey for the whole community. This joint passion, expertise and dedication to music is displayed in the success and achievements of St Andrew’s School students.

With a passion to work with children and see them grow through the gift of music, Anna firmly believes that music is the most wonderful tool for learning the fundamental skills we all need to succeed in life. Anna has created a first class learning environment for all those who are passionate about music, and she remains in awe of the musical talent, energy and enthusiasm of her students.

Theo Mylonas – Coordinator of PE and Sport

Theo has been teaching at St Andrew’s for over 10 years, after completing his Bachelor of Education through the University of South Australia.

He finds St Andrew’s School an amazing place to teach Physical Education as the children are so eager to learn. The students embrace challenges with a smile and enjoy the many rich opportunities that PE and Sport bring to their life.

St Andrew’s philosophy is quite simple; to develop the whole self and empower our children to become more resilient and confident while learning and playing in Physical Education.

Victoria Slater – Year 3 Teacher

Victoria is a highly compassionate educator, with eleven years teaching experience across all year groups. She returned to St Andrew’s School in 2016 with a Bachelor of Education from the University of Paisley and a Modern Languages French certification from the University of the West of Scotland.

Victoria is passionate about curriculum development and effective assessment within the classroom. Having begun her career in Scotland, she is heavily influenced by the formative assessment practices of Dylan William and Spencer & Simpson Assessment is for Learning approaches.

Within Victoria’s classroom, pupils feel safe, nurtured and have equal access to the curriculum. This inclusive ethos allows pupils to thrive as reflective life long learners.

Chris Boden – Year 6 Teacher

Chris has been an educator at St Andrew’s for over nine years: six in Year 4 and the past three in Year 6.

Prior to commencing a career in education he was a civil engineer for an international firm, before specializing in foundation diagnostics. He is also a passionate scuba diver and spent over three years in the recreational diving industry certifying divers and leading dives in Egypt and Honduras. The latter country is where he met his Australian wife and what ultimately brought him to this lovely land. After arriving in Australia, Chris began to look at alternative career paths and, due to his love of education in diving, he retrained as a primary school teacher.

Chris has a passion for Science and in April 2015 received the 2015 SASTA Outstanding Science Teacher Award.

Rebecca Starling – Year 5 Teacher

Rebecca has worked as an educator in the Arts for the past 18 years. She joined St Andrew’s School in 2013 and is currently teaching Year 5. She believes learning begins with a relationship between the knower and the known, and the search for enduring understanding. Central to her conviction are the questions “who is this child in our world?” and “who will they become because of the experience we share?”

In her teaching, Rebecca places great emphasis on connecting with the heart of the child. She believes that children are not only students but also individuals with great promise, purpose and potential. Rebecca encourages this by creating and facilitating opportunities for every student to feel capable and challenged and to excel in what they are learning.

Paul Huebl – Year 4 Teacher

Paul completed his Education qualifications at the University of Technology, Sydney and began his teaching career as a Year 5 teacher, now teaching Year 4 at St Andrew’s. After the birth of their first child, he and his wife moved back to their native Adelaide to be with family and friends.

Paul is passionate about the authentic use of technology to enhance and redefine learning experiences for students. Of particular interest to Paul is utilising ICT and social media to create meaningful connections for students with extended learning networks.

Paul has twice won the EdTechSA Leading Light Award for his contribution to developing ICT in education in South Australia.

Outside of his teaching, Paul enjoys trail running and playing with his kids.

Nicole Joanni – Year 3 Teacher

Nicole has gained over 12 years of teaching experience, 6 years in the Catholic Education department and the remainder within the Independent sector. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Education (Junior Primary & Primary) and a Graduate Certificate in Catholic Education. Nicole was fortunate to have joined the St Andrew’s community in 2014 as a Year 7 classroom teacher and facilitator of Tournament of the Minds, where her team was awarded as state and international champions. Previously, she has been in leadership roles including the IDEAS Management Committee and Co-ordinator of Teaching and Learning. Now, Nicole teaches one of our Year 3 classes.

Nicole believes that children learn best when their tasks are connected, differentiated and relevant. She enjoys all that the Middle Years has to offer, including the Leadership Program, Personal Research Projects, Aquatics Camp, annual Canberra Study Tour, Valedictory Service and Graduation. She runs our community outreach project where classes create soups to be delivered weekly to the Salvation Army. Nicole promotes student-centered learning in a supportive environment, which challenges, motivates and engages students to become active participants in their learning, grasping ownership and taking learning risks.

Linda Engelbrecht – Year 2 Teacher

After more than 20 years of teaching, Linda’s passion and enthusiasm for teaching little ones at St Andrew’s still shines through. Linda completed a Bachelor of Primary Education, specialising in Junior Primary education, and has followed up with several certificates such as Brain Dynamics, Auditory Processing, Visual Learners and Play Therapy. Linda believes in teaching by setting an example and is passionate about developing children’s curiosity, a positive self-image and enthusiasm for learning. Linda strongly believes in setting clear boundaries to make them feel safe and secure in a nurturing environment.

Michelle Bode – Year 2 Teacher

KITE Michelle

Michelle holds a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education and has a strong passion for creating learning environments that are unique and engaging to each child. She joined the St Andrew’s community in 2010 working in the ELC and has been a part of the Junior Primary team since 2012. Michelle now teaches Year 2 where she continues creating a meaningful curriculum for each individual in her care.

Denise Hendry – Year 1 Teacher

After more than 20 years teaching in England, Denise emigrated with her family in 2006 and began working at St Andrew’s School in 2007. She is passionate about celebrating student differences, recognising and accommodating individual student potential. Denise believes empathy and collaboration are key to a happy and successful learning environment.

Emma Wotherspoon – Reception Teacher

Emma Wotherspoon

With more than 20 years’ experience working with children aged birth to 8 years, I am a passionate Early Years teacher. Since graduating from the University of South Australia in 2000, I have worked in various locations including Adelaide, Darwin, London and Melbourne, in roles such as Staff Coordinator, Language and Literacy Coordinator and Preschool Director, before returning back to Adelaide in 2011 to start a family. I believe the environment is crucial in fostering a love of learning. I strive to create learning environments that provide a place of security and comfort, of challenge and wonder – a place where children feel confident to take risks, knowing that they will be supported and encouraged along the way. Education is one of the greatest gifts we can give a child. I once heard a Tibetan Proverb which resonated with me, stating ‘A child without education, is like a bird without wings.” I endeavour to add a feather to each child’s wings every day, helping them to fly.

Rita O’Leary – Reception Teacher

Rita holds a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s in Education with a Digital Technologies specialisation. She has a passion for creating engaging learning environments and is particularly inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Rita joined the St Andrew’s community in 2016 and teaches in the Tarragon Room in the Early Learning Centre. Rita draws on her knowledge of digital technologies and integrates ICT into all areas of the curriculum. Rita’s classroom environment is always engaging, and stimulates an inquiry based learning approach integrating natural resources and neutral tones.

Alicia Flowers – Educational Leader

Alicia joined St Andrew’s in 2002, as a new graduate from the University of South Australia. After teaching in the Junior Primary, she had the honour of becoming the inaugural Director of the Early Learning Centre in 2005. Since the birth of her two daughters, she has returned to work in a rewarding role as a Learning Support teacher, working with small groups of children who require that ‘extra boost’ in their learning.

Jade Vidovich – EAL Teacher

Jade who holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of South Australia, is an experienced teacher. She brings specialised skills to our school including ICT and Drama. In 2009 Jade was one of only thirty applicants from all of Australia and New Zealand awarded Apple Distinguished Educator. Jade’s wealth of knowledge and experience using Apple information technologies also enabled her co-ordinate training and development opportunities for staff.

Donna Longden – Wellbeing Coordinator/School Counsellor

Donna’s journey has taken her through the fields of health, social science and education; she holds qualifications in these three areas. Her passion as a Wellbeing Coordinator and School Counsellor at St Andrew’s is to integrate her knowledge of counselling, holistic health and education into the professional work setting and to empower both staff and students in the areas of self-discipline, respect, tolerance and empathy so they can excel in their own personal goals of excellence.

A main initiative of Donna’s, since joining our School, is the Circle of Friendship, which represents a caring group of our community who are willing to help School families as needs arise.

Catherine Puckridge – Art Teacher

Catherine loves observing children create art. It reminds her to look at the world with fresh eyes and disregard unhelpful preconceived ideas. Catherine feels as though she learns as much from them as they do from her. She believes that art is vital to children, not only to aid dexterity, observation and learning, but also to enhance self-esteem and provide a sense of achievement.

Mary Trimble – School Archivist

Mary has been working at the School since 2015 as Casual Relief in Administration, mainly on the Reception Desk and assisting on the Junior Primary Campus. Now part of the Public Relations team, Mary enjoys her new role as Archivist and working with the team.

Prior to having children Mary worked for the National Bank, credit unions and for Credit Union Services in Adelaide and Sydney specialising in Product and Service Management, Marketing, Retail Delivery and Customer Relations.

Mary took on the role of Archivist after Leonie Castle retired after 20 years of exceptional service. Mary’s primary focus in Archives is to build on what has been achieved so far; to protect, present, profile and celebrate the School’s history and gradually migrate our collection into digitised formats.

She is a past parent and was an active volunteer in the School from 2005–2015 during which time she championed the “friend raising” aspects of the Parents’ Association and wider community with a little help from the Nespresso machine.

Helen Charles – Enrolments Manager

After moving from my home town in Sydney, I enjoyed a 15 Year career as Registrar at Cornerstone College at Mt Barker. I was welcomed as part of the Hills community and soon joined Rotary which gave me the opportunity to support various fundraising projects and to work with a great bunch of people. At the beginning of my Presidential year in the Mt Barker Rotary Club in 2016, I was honoured to receive the Paul Harris Fellow awarded in recognition of my contribution to the local community. Volunteering still plays a big part of my life.

I also love travel and a highlight for me was walking a large section of the Camino in Spain. My aim is to return someday and complete the entire walk. My other love is my grandson Lawson, who is 18 months old and an absolute delight.

I am excited by the role of Registrar and the interaction it provides with the current and prospective school community. I look forward to meeting you soon.


Cathy Zhou – Community Engagement Officer

Cathy Zhou has a Bachelor of Journalism degree, with several years of experience as a journalist in China. She also worked as a CEO Assistant in Los Angeles before settling in Adelaide with her husband in 2011.

Cathy works as a Chinese translator and communicator and established St Andrew’s Wechat public channel in March 2018, the first WeChat channel for a School in the State.

Cathy has also participated in the first Chengdu No.7 High School’s study tour at St Andrew’s and has supported the international relationship between the two Schools.  In the role of Communications, Cathy maintains the WeChat platform, translates and assists with school tours, bridging the communication between the Chinese community and St Andrew’s School.

  • St Andrew’s School is a South Australian independent, co-educational specialist primary school providing excellence in education from playgroup through to early years and on to Year 7. Principal Jackie Becher – an International Baccalaureate School – UNESCO Associated School.