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The staff at St John's are a highly dedicated team with an impressive range of experience and skills.
Find out a little more about them!
  • Daniel Ryan

    Principal

    Daniel commenced at St John’s in 2004 and was appointed Principal at the beginning of 2012.

    Daniel believes in a school community that welcomes everyone, looks after its students and their families, and brings out the best in every child.

    Daniel grew up just outside Ballarat and he likes to sing, tries to stay fit at the gym, and reads crime books in his free time.

  • Melanie Granata

    Deputy Principal & Additional Learning Needs Leader

    Melanie Granata is our Deputy Principal. She has been at St John’s since 2009. Melanie is also our very hard-working Religious Education Leader, responsible for keeping RE at the forefront of our very busy school life.

    She is also the Additional Learning Needs Leader at St John’s. Her role is to help students who have additional learning needs to reach their full potential.

  • Gina Mele

    Administrative Officer

    Gina is our valuable and ever-efficient, ‘Jill of all trades’ office administrator. She began in the role in 2013.

    Starting life at St John’s as a parent, Gina’s children moved from St Brigid’s in 2009 when the school sadly closed down.

    Gina loves running, reading and keeping fit.

  • Sally Barker

    Education Support

    Sally began at St John’s in a voluntary capacity through her involvement with Mercy Connect. She took up a paid position as an Education Support Officer in March 2015 and very much enjoys making a difference in the lives of the children with whom she works.

  • Thomas Watson

    School Counsellor/Chaplain

    Thomas is a registered psychologist and child and family counsellor with CatholicCare. He has experience working in schools in Melbourne and abroad, and is passionate about supporting children and their families to build positive relationships, social skills, and resilience within the classroom and at home.

  • Michele Davies

    Visual Arts Teacher

    Michele loves the Arts and any opportunity to promote creative expression. She is a board member of Regional Arts Victoria, taking art to the regions.

    Michele creates performance projects in her spare time and delivers programs for art teachers in Victoria in galleries like Heide and the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne.

    Michele is engaged in therapeutic art practices, through which she believes we can learn anything.

  • Carlie Dowley



    Carlie grew up in the country and moved to the Big Smoke to study photography before a career change to pursue her passion for teaching.

    Carlie teaches with a focus on multiple learning styles and tries to ensure learners are offered different ways to express themselves. Carlie’s hobbies include reading, netball, keeping fit and catching up with friends.

    Carlie is currently on leave after the birth of her second child and we look forward to welcoming her back later in 2019.

  • Anthony Falcone

    Physical Education

    Anthony has many years of experience in the area of Physical Education and sports coaching. He joined the staff at St John’s in 2016 and quickly began passing on his love of sport, and what it can bring to people’s lives, to all of the children.

  • Jennifer Gan

    Library Technician

    Jennifer Gan has worked at St John’s since 2009 as a library technician. She assists in the running of the library, helping students select books for projects as well as recommending books to suit their interests and reading levels.

    Jennifer is a retired teacher with a background in teaching Maths, Science and Biology at secondary level. She enjoys cooking and likes to surprise the staff with her culinary delights.

  • Sarah Huang

    Mandarin Teacher

    Sarah grew up in the country where she spoke Mandarin and 2 dialects.

    She came to Australia for further education and to learn English many years ago.

    Since then, Sarah has been teaching Chinese to non-Chinese and Chinese students from Prep to VCE within Melbourne as well as overseas.

    Her goal is for all the students to learn as much as possible while having fun doing it.

  • Stephanie Jarema

    Grade 6

    Stephanie is new to our school and to the state of Victoria this year, having moved from South Australia late in 2018. Before choosing to embrace her love of teaching and making a difference in the lives of young people, Stephanie worked in event management, something that helps make her classroom a well organised and buzzing space for great learning.

  • Franca Montagna

    Education Support

    Franca Montagna has been working at St Johns Primary School since 2012. She has a Certificate III and IV in Education Support and Certificate III in Business (Education).

    Franca has many years’ experience in supporting children to develop their literacy knowledge and skills. She also assists students with individual learning programs such as Speech Pathology Language and maths intervention.

    Franca enjoys helping students develop their learning skills and supporting teachers in the classroom. You can find her working across the school from Prep to Year 6.

    In her free time, Franca enjoys spending time cooking, reading and relaxing with family and friends.

  • Ann Nolan

    Grade 2/3N Classroom Teacher

    Ann Nolan is one of our 2/3 teachers this year and has been at St John’s since 2009. Ann is also our Student Wellbeing Leader and holds a Master of Education (Student Wellbeing) from the University of Melbourne.

    Ann has five children and four adorable grandchildren and enjoys spending any free time with her family and walking her two very naughty Labradors, Fudge and Holly. Her other interests are bike riding (a new pursuit), cooking, keeping fit and gardening.

  • Antoniette Stasi

    Grade Prep/One Classroom Teacher

    Antoniette Stasi is our Learning and Teaching – Curriculum Leader and our Prep/One Classroom Teacher.

    Antoniette is an experienced classroom teacher and has previously held a number of leadership positions, including Literacy Leader and Numeracy Leader. She has also been an early childhood educator and coordinator.

    Antoniette has a passion for the English language, contemporary education and a personalised learning approach, which inspired her to complete her Master of Education at the University of Melbourne in 2013.

    She really enjoys being with students and supporting them with their learning. Antoniette enjoys reading, playing tennis and spending time with family and friends.

  • Karen Stubbs

    Learning Support

    Karen joined the staff of St John’s at the beginning of this year but is a familiar face as one of our supportive parents. Karen’s work history has mainly been in the public sector but, over the last few years, she has embraced the opportunity to work with children who need extra support in the classroom, ensuring that they experience success and are eager to move on to the next stage of their learning.

  • Narelle Taylor

    Grade 2/3T Classroom Teacher

    Narelle Taylor is one of our Grade 2/3 teachers at St John’s.

    Working as a teacher since 2001, she has successfully completed post graduate study in Literacy Intervention and is Reading Recovery trained.

    Narelle’s hobbies involve drawing and netball. She likes to have fun with her class (at the same time learning is happening, of course!), which involves music, singing and occasional daggy dancing!

  • Jessica Thwaites

    Grade 4/5

    Jessica has been part of the staff on a part-time and fill in basis at St John’s since mid 2018, having moved to Victoria from NSW with her family. This year Jessica is with us full-time as our enthusiastic Grade 4/5 teacher, instilling her love of learning and making a difference into the lives of her students, getting them in turn excited about their learning journey.

  • Gina Varasso

    Library Technician

    Gina has been working at St John’s Primary school since 2009 when she retired from teaching.  She always wanted to work in a library as she loves books and reading and her job in the library also puts her organisational skills to good use.

    Gina purchases books for the library and catalogues them.  She is always trying to think of ways to better organise the library in order to make all the resources more accessible to its patrons.

    Gina taught at Pascoe Vale Girls College for 33 years as a Maths and LOTE teacher. She continued at the college in her role as Chief Supervisor of the VCE exams for five years.

    Gina is a line dancer and country music fan who has been attending the Tamworth music festival for the past 14 years. She loves to take photos and has more albums (all arranged in chronological order and each photo is labelled) than she would like to admit to.  Gina considers herself lucky to be part of the St John’s community