Our Staff

Sally Whitrod

Director and 4 Year Old Educator


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. 

Kirsty Holyoake

4 Year Old Educator, Education Leader


Kirsty has been involved with Syndal Pre-School since 1999.  Both of her boys attended 3 and 4 year old kindergarten here.  Her involvement started off as a kindergarten mum and she has been a 4 year old teacher since 2004.  She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and enjoys watching each child develop their skills and confidence throughout the year.

Jennie Schopfer

4 Year Old Educator


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 is currently completing 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 Co-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 Co-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 

Lily Li

3 Year Old Educator


Lily has a Honours Bachelor degree in Early childhood and Primary education. She has volunteered in Syndal for three years between 2015 and 2017. Lily can speak both Mandarin and Cantonese. She likes to read books and learn new things, especially languages. Lily would love to support children and families’ communication when they need it.