Staff Profiles

Jill Allison, Director of ELC 

Early Childhood Teacher, Higher Dip. Ed. (Pre-Primary & Junior Primary).

“I have been involved in Early Childhood teaching for the past 20 odd years, having taught in South Africa, London and mostly here at Mount Sinai College. After emigrating from South Africa, I taught here at Mount Sinai College from 2001, working most of the time in the Prep class. I left in 2006 to have my wonderful twin daughters, Kasey and Zoe. They attended Mount Sinai College and are currently in Year 9 at South Sydney High School. Since 2009, I returned to teaching on a casual basis, worked for an early learning programme and then took up the position of an Early Childhood Teacher in the Joey’s Room in 2012. 

I am now in the position of being Director of our wonderful ELC and Prep and am very fortunate to be working alongside such a talented group of educators, who on a daily basis show me what education of young children needs to be all about and this brings me nothing but joy and immense pride in knowing the children are receiving the highest quality of teaching from highly qualified educators.

Although my time in class is less than before, I still find it immensely rewarding to be able to encourage the children to think independently, work creatively, and help them to become aware of themselves as well as the environment around them. I look forward each year to getting to know every family and assisting in developing happy, sociable and confident children - each with positive self-esteem, a love for the school and being able to enjoy engaging in new learning experiences”.

“Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world” (Nelson Mandela) 

ELC Educators

Esther Imerman: Early Childhood Teacher Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), H.E.D. (Post Grad, Pre-Primary), Grad. Dip (E. Ch). 

I love teaching at Mount Sinai, this heimische school where everyone seems to know each other. It is very rewarding for me to experience our parents' wonderful interest and involvement in their children's learning experiences and development. Our partnerships are so fundamental to the children's wellbeing and education. Education has always been a passion of mine. I have enjoyed discovering and learning new things since I was a little child and have always hungered for more. I love to teach Preschool children. They have such inquiring minds and receptive hearts. I love their innate curiosity, the freshness of their thinking, their excitement when they problem-solve and construct new understandings either on their own or collaboratively and their engagement as they practise new skills.  Their delight as they start to master skills and discover new talents are just awesome - "I did it!", "I'm sooo good at this!", beaming smiles, excited High Fives and the most heartfelt hugs ... Yiddishkeit and Israel have a very special place in my heart, and I hope to pass on my love of these to everyone.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire "(W.B. Yeats).

In a world that is constantly changing, one of our most important challenges as educators is to support the children in developing positive attitudes and dispositions that the children will carry through their life: viewing themselves as resourceful and capable, enjoying the process of exploration and learning, questioning, attempting new approaches, viewing so-called "failure" as part of the process leading to discovery or mastery, genuine and respectful listening, negotiation, co-operation, using one's talents and pooling resources to help one another. 

"Of the many things children learn, perhaps the most important is the picture that they develop of who they are and how they fit in the world" (J.D. Novak, 1995)."

Kelli Martin: Early Childhood Teacher, B.Ed Early Childhood.

On a daily basis, as I walk into Mount Sinai College to begin my teaching day, I continue to realise and believe that this is way more than just a school. It is a family and community and has the feeling of warmth that just permeates throughout the school, from teachers to parents, grandparents and children. 

My teaching career has spanned almost 16 years and it still amazes me how much I learn from the children in my class each and every day. I am in constant awe of how children learn, interact and understand their world and I feel privileged that I get to do something I love at a school that nurtures and develops my teaching practice.

I have always loved children, from a young age, and would always 'pretend' to be a teacher in my childhood play, so it was only fitting that I became one in real life! From my very first class at university, I knew I was in the right place. I have always believed that children are the catalysts for their own learning and require scaffolding, attention, a listening ear and motivation to become capable and competent members of society as well as being able to have fun while learning in a preschool environment. I love watching them develop throughout the school year and always look back to the beginning of the year with a sense of pride as I realize just how much they have grown, learnt and developed and it is with this sense of pride that I send them into Year K with the knowledge that they will prosper and flourish as they embark on their next school chapter.

Nicole Judd: Advanced Childcare Worker (Diploma Qualified), Associate Diploma of Social Studies (Child Services). 

When I was a little girl, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I find it so rewarding to foster children's interests and learning through play, building their confidence, imagination and curiosities.  

After school, I obtained a Diploma of Social Science in Child Studies. During this time, I worked as a nanny and then started in a Daycare Centre for a year before beginning my assistant teaching at Mount Zion Preschool where I was for 7 years. In between having my three beautiful children Zac, Dylan and Zali, all of whom have been and are students at Mount Sinai, I worked several roles within teaching, nannying and daycare roles. My three children flourished on their Mount Sinai journey which I immensely believe was a wonderful opportunity for them at such a great school. Whilst my boys loved their schooling with the wonderful teachers, they both now attend High School, and my daughter Zali is currently in Year 4 and loves being at school! 

Mount Sinai College is a warm, loving and caring environment that really nurtures each child individually, and I love being a part of the Mount Sinai family. I was fortunate enough to open my own home-based Family Daycare which I successfully ran for over 6 years and allowed me to have my daughter in a small environment until she started her own schooling. Watching these small children grow and learn was so special and rewarding and through this journey, I have made lifelong friends through the families that came through my Daycare and stay in touch regularly. I closed my home-based Daycare at the end of 2019 and continued working as a Nanny with some wonderful families for the past 14 months. I am very excited to be part of a lovely team of Educators and look forward to getting to know all of you and your beautiful children on this wonderful journey.

Marika Stein - Advanced Child Care Worker (Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care), Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Studies (Hons).

I discovered my passion for working with children much later in my working career, having spent many years in the financial services “rat race” and feeling unfulfilled, career-wise. An opportunity arose almost ten years ago to work as a nanny, and I have not looked back since! 

After several years of working as a nanny to children of various ages, I felt the next natural step was to get involved with teaching and nurturing young children. I started off in a large daycare centre, then was overjoyed to receive the opportunity to join the beautiful Mount Sinai family, and realise my dream of working in a warm and loving Jewish environment.  

My teaching philosophy is child-focused, based on the principles of nurturing, listening, kindness, respect, and compassionate guidance. The driving force behind my personal philosophy is bringing out the best in children through intuition, leading by example, positive encouragement, and embracing the simple joy of teachable moments. 

What I particularly love about Mount Sinai is the Jewish context in which these values are taught, and that the kids are not only taught beautiful Jewish rituals and traditions such as blessings before meals and welcoming Shabbat on Fridays, but everyday values which teach the children to live in and from their hearts, embracing Tikkun Olam. 

My favourite aspects of working with Preparatory year children is watching them gain independence, seeing them flourish with their developing gross and fine motor skills, joining them in their literacy and numeracy journeys by reading them books and playing counting games, observing and scaffolding their problem-solving skills through games and puzzles, and most of all, the way they use their imaginations to play with toys and equipment in the most unconventional ways!  Children in that age group are also so entertaining and insightful, the way they articulate their observations with almost-too-forthright comments! 

I look forward to many happy years continuing my journey with the Mount Sinai Mishpacha!”.

ELC Educators

Dena Freedman: Advanced Childcare Worker (Diploma Qualified), Diploma Children's Services.

13 years later and I feel I’m part of the furniture 😌. What wonderful years from one campus to the next back to the other! Each year brings a new challenge or change, and this year it's taken me on a different path leading the journey of those cute two-year-olds!

Together with the staff and the delightful families, we work harmoniously and collaboratively to support the children in our care with all areas of their learning and development. We strive to be the best advocates for our future generation, and I'm still blown away by what I learn from the children on a daily basis. 

From an early age, I knew working with young children was my true calling in life. I adore and have a special place for each and every child in my care. Their individual personalities, one-liners, phrases, jokes, and of course their little 'secrets', are the highlights and if I were to write a book with these statements, I have no doubt it would be a best seller!

Thank you for continuing to trust me with your children, and as much as they learn from me, I'm always learning from them!

Liat Leibovitch: Advanced Child Care Worker Certificate 3 in Early Childhood Education and Care.

Working with children is something I’ve always had a passion for, and always loved being around these little explorers. Since a young age, I've been teaching at different preschools and mainstream schools in Israel, so it seemed like a natural progression for me to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education when I migrated to Australia in 2014. 

It is an incredibly amazing and rewarding feeling to care for and teach children. I believe in making children develop a sense of self-discipline and teaching them values of life as well as building up their self-confidence through positive reinforcement. And as a parent myself, I can appreciate how important it is to support children and their families through some of the most important years of their lives. 

On commencement of my time at Mount Sinai College, I felt privileged to be welcomed into the Mount Sinai family by staff, children and families. The unconditional love I receive at work from the children is a great incentive to come to work every day as it's such a fun and enjoyable place to be. I already feel like we are a big family and always feel at home. Not a day goes by that the children don't make me laugh or smile!

Rachel Anderton: Early Childhood Teacher, B.Ed. (Early Childhood) & Assoc. Diploma.

Hi! My name is Rachel Anderton and I have been a part of the Mount Sinai College ‘Mishpacha’ for many years now, so as well as it being a place of work it is also my home! 

I have two boys of my own, Charlie who is in year 8 at Rose Bay High school and Jonah in Year 6 at MSC. 

I have a strong passion for nurturing children's individual creativity and showing them the wonders of nature, through hands-on learning projects. With every year I teach, I continue to seek and learn with the children as we explore new and different ideas based on what fascinates their minds at the time. 

One of my passions is nurturing children's emotional intelligence. This includes creating self-awareness, having emotional control, being self-motivated, building empathy and relationships - all of which are life skills enabling the children to grow into confident learners. 

Jenny Yu: Advanced Child Care Worker (Diploma qualified), Diploma (Children's Services).

Since I was young, I've always had the passion to spend time with children. However, I never thought I would be a Childcare Educator as a graduate of Mechanical Engineering in China.

After emigrating from China, I stopped working when I had my two wonderful children. Watching them grow from an infant to a teenager and now adults, I've enjoyed every precious moment with them and learnt a lot about children's development from them. Also, the more familiar I got with the education system in Australia, the more interested I was in educating children.

This is my ninth year working with children aged 0 to 5 years since I finished my Diploma in Children's Service at Randwick TAFE. As a mother of two adults, I really love this challenging, enjoyable and rewarding career as an Assistant Educator at the Mount Sinai College ELC. I’ve been given a marvellous opportunity for both my professional and personal growth inspired by my friendly, professional, supportive peers and the wonderful children. Also, I find it greatly rewarding to provide children with opportunities to maximise their potential and develop a foundation for future success in learning. 

"When you keep planting plants, you become a gardener” (Olivia) 

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