Our Staff

Sally Whitrod

Director and 4 Year Old Teacher


Sally has a Masters degree in Education as well as Bachelor and Diploma qualifications, all specialising in early childhood education. She has many years teaching experience in early childhood settings and enjoys creating stimulating programs for children which encompass each child’s individual interests. 

Jennie Schopfer

4 Year Old Teacher


Jennie began work at Syndal as a co-educator and has been inspired and supported by the Syndal staff to continue her studies. She has a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching and completed her Masters in teaching at Deakin University. Jennies background is in science and she hopes to share her passion and skills with the children via a played based program. Jennie lives locally with her husband, 2 children and a menagerie of animals.

Donna Stevens

3 Year Old and 4 Year Old Educator


Donna has been involved with Syndal Pre-School since 2004 as both her girls attended 3 and 4 year old kindergarten here and she has done some relief work since then.  She has been teaching pre-schoolers and babies to swim at the Monash Aquatic and Recreation Centre since 2006.  Donna brings her love of adventure and sports to Syndal Pre-School. 

Karin Della Penna

4 Year Old Educator


Karin gained a Certificate III in Childrens' Services in 2009, so fulfilling a life goal to enter into the Education Profession.  She loves working in Early Childhood and believes children learn best through play and having fun.  Karin also has a science background and enjoys sharing it with inquisitive minds 

Issy Thirumurthy

3 Year Old and 4 Year Old Teacher

Issy has been a Kindergarten teacher for around 8 years and has a diverse background from working with children in different early childhood settings in Australia and Singapore. She is very much inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach of learning and using natural materials and loose parts in the classroom. She enjoys exploring and learning about different cultures with the children. Issy speaks Tamil and conversational Mandarin and enjoy bilingual experiences in the program. Issy is also a mum to a cheeky toddler.