(03) 9817 3624 info@jjmcmahon.org.au

Our Staff

Our experienced and enthusiastic teachers and assistants are highly qualified in early childhood education. Our university-trained teachers plan and deliver programs which reflect their specialist knowledge of child development. Most importantly, all our staff love their work and the children. Some are past parents from our kindergarten community.

All staff have current First Aid, CPR and Epipen/Anaphylaxis training. In addition, staff are experienced in liaising with outside agencies where a child has additional needs.

Our staff are approachable and available to talk to parents about any problems or concerns that may arise.

Let us Introduce Ourselves

Blue Group Team

Kylie Gazzola – Teacher & Educational Leader

I became part of the JJ’s community in 2018, and as the Blue Group teacher I feel most fortunate to belong to a workplace that I love coming to every day.  I consider myself fortunate to be trusted with the children’s care and education in the early years, and see it as our role to instil a sense of wonder and a love of learning in the children during their time with us. I enjoy getting to know and building relationships with each child and their family, and I learn as much from them each day as they learn from me. I love to explore, question, analyse, play and laugh alongside the children and find it most rewarding to see their curiosity, confidence and independence grow. After gathering experience from working in a range of early childhood settings for over 25 years, it is a privilege to have the role of Educational Leader and Nominated Supervisor of JJ’s. I am passionate about working in partnership with families to ensure best outcomes for children, and in working with the amazing group of staff we have at our kindergarten to foster an environment of positivity, warmth, and inspiration. 

Fiona Robertson – Educator

Hello, I am an educator in 4yo Blue group. JJ McMahon is an extremely unique and special place for children to commence their learning journey. Our philosophy is implemented each & every day in an inspiring and nurturing environment. Both my children attended JJ. I was fortunate to join the staff in 2009 and remained until 2013 when we transferred to Brisbane before returning in 2018. I am delighted to be a part of the JJ McMahon staff and look forward to meeting and getting to know all the children and families. 

 Maria Garcia – Educator & Spanish Language Teacher 

I came to live in Melbourne from Spain with my Australian husband and son in 2011. In Spain I was teaching drama to children 8 to 16 years old in a recognised Theatre for 10 years before co-founding my own Theatre Company & School. I graduated as a Primary School Teacher in Spain and here in Melbourne I completed a Diploma in Early Childhood Education. I have been teaching Spanish at JJ McMahon Kindergarten since 2018 and am currently running a government funded Spanish program across two kindergartens. My passion is using play to stimulate curiosity and creativity in children which I believe is essential for future learning. It is a delightful experience sharing my language and my culture with the children.

Red Group Team

Chloe Cooper – Teacher

Every day as a teacher I always look forward to seeing what paths the children’s ideas and play take us, as it is my priority to follow the children’s voices. This makes every day different, interesting, and exciting and allows me to build strong connections with each child as they are all represented in what we are learning. I have worked at JJ McMahon since 2020 when my first sessional kinder placement resulted in ongoing employment. I was very fortunate to have this experience, which really solidified my passion for early childhood teaching, and working in all the groups enabled me to be mentored by all the staff at JJ’s. I learnt so much and found that the ethos of the kindergarten aligned with my personal philosophy. I have been employed in Red group as educator and teacher since 2021 and look forward to my continuing role as Red Group teacher.

Naomi Karu – Educator (Blue group lunch relief Monday)

As a newcomer to JJ McMahon, I’m super excited to get to know the Red Group children. I place a strong emphasis on building and maintaining meaningful and positive connections with the children and their families to allow for a collaborative approach to each child’s personal development. I believe children thrive and learn best when playing, wondering and having fun in an environment that values inclusiveness and respect. I have three teenage children, two dogs and hold a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood.

Green Group Team (3 Years Old)

Lisa Delbridge – Teacher 

I have been a Kindergarten teacher for the better part of 20 years and continue to learn and challenge myself with new ideas and pedagogy as well as reflecting on my ways of working. I love the adventure, wonder, joy and magic that each day brings, when working with children. I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of a child! I value and place great importance on relationships, within the program: relationships with your child and your family are paramount in everything that we do. Children need to feel safe and secure: this is when we see the magic happen with the children’s development and dispositions towards learning! At the heart of the children’s learning is learning through play! How fortunate we are at JJ McMahon to have this imperative principal of Early Childhood as our motto!

Each day I am guided by one of my favourite sayings by VALERIE WELKS:

I promise you every day your child will learn something
Some days they will bring it home in their hands
Some days they will bring it home in their heads
Some days they will bring it home in their hearts”

Welcome to JJ McMahon Kindergarten: our Kindergarten is yours to share!

Sharon Cohen – Educator (Red group Monday & lunch relief Wednesday)

Hi, I’m Sharon and I have been working as an Educator with the 3 year olds and 4 year olds for many years at JJ’s. I live locally and am a mother of three adults. I have a passion for gardening which I love sharing with the children – seeing their faces when our tomato plants produce one single tomato is just so precious. I feel it is a great privilege watching the children grow and develop and really appreciate their families allowing us to do this.

Yellow Group Team (3 Years Old)

Zoe Zhao – Teacher

I am Zoe, 3yo Teacher in Yellow Group. I am so excited to be part of the children’s learning journey at JJ McMahon. I completed my study with RMIT to become a kinder teacher in December 2022. It is a great privilege and honour to have a part in teaching future generations. I strive to design play-based activities that enhance children’s cognitive skills and foster a love for exploration. I commit to partnering with parents to ensure a positive transition from home to kindergarten, creating a foundation for lifelong learning.

Vanessa Chessum-Buxton – Educator (Blue Group Tuesdays)

I am very excited to be working as an educator in 3yo Yellow & 4yo Blue groups at JJ McMahon. I have been an educator since 2009 and have been working at JJ’s since 2020. I am Diploma qualified in Children’s Services and I also have an Advanced Certificate in Fine Arts & Design, and a Bachelor of Photography. I like to use my art background in the kinder room so we can make exciting art projects and creations. I have a passion for gardening, cooking and sustainability and I love sharing my knowledge with the children.

Mandy Dominello – Lunch relief Educator (all groups)

I am very excited to be working in all the kinder rooms on Thursdays and Fridays to assist the teachers for lunchtime relief in each class. I have a Diploma in Childhood Education and Care, and have been working in this role for over 6 years. I also work at Healthways Gym and Swim Centre where I am an educator in the baby and toddlers room, and work in the Holiday Programme with children aged 5yrs – 12yrs as a team educator. I enjoy working with preschoolers and always aim to contribute to the children’s education and learning experiences. I really enjoy reading and role playing with children. I have two sons, and outside of work my interests include reading, gym, yoga, swimming, travel, cooking and learning new skills.