Our Staff

Jennie Schopfer

Director and 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.

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.

Jessica Kneale

4 Year Old Teacher

 

Jessica completed her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Melbourne in 2009. She has been working as an Early Childhood Teacher for almost 12 years in various early childhood settings and understands the importance of building meaningful relationships with children, families and the community. Jessica is multi-lingual and speaks Cantonese and Mandarin. She plays the piano and enjoys incorporating her musical skills into the early learning program. Jessica lives with her husband, her mischievous 4 year old and a chatty peach-faced parrot named Tuppence.

Alka P-Prabha

4 Year Old Teacher

 

Alka has a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching. She has experience teaching both primary and early childhood years. She is passionate about early childhood and believes that a stimulating and rich learning environment will not only help the children in their early years, but will also set a strong foundation for their future education as well.

Alka lives in Mt Waverley. She has two children and both of them are at university. Her daughter, Arya, is studying at University of Melbourne and her son, Advaith, is studying at Monash university.

Alka is looking forward to have a fabulous year, both for children and for herself along with the team to learn and grow through this year!

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 

Francoise (Fron)

4 Year Old Educator

 

Francoise (Fron) joined Syndal preschool in February 2022. Having a background in an early intervention special school for Autism for approximately 8 years, has completed a Certificate 111 in Children's services and working in a preschool setting for 5 years. She has also been a swimming instructor for children with all abilities. Overall working with children for 17 years.

She has a passion for treating all children as individuals and helping them learn through play, connecting them to community, family and a nurturing environment.

In her spare time she enjoys the outdoors, stand up paddle boarding, photography, painting and spending time with her husband, two daughters and her dog called Louie.