Prep School Staff2018-09-24T18:47:01+00:00

Junior Preparatory School Staff

I obtained my Higher Diploma in Education with distinction, from the Johannesburg College of Education at the end of 1992.

My educational career spans twenty-four years and has been incredibly diverse, starting with high school teaching in the beginning, moving right down to the Grade 0s that I currently teach.

I have always been a passionate educator who has a genuine love for children and I know that I have made a significant difference in many little lives over the years.

Even though I am Senior Primary trained, I have been working in the Pre-Primary and Foundation Phase since 2007, and this is where my true passion lies.

My approach to learning involves creating a positive, happy, fun and secure space where learning is integrated, hands-on and differentiated.

A place where children are seen as individuals, where they find their ‘difference’, understanding what makes them special and unique.

Over the years I have come to firmly believe that teachers should expect remarkable things from the children in their care. If you believe they can, they will.

I have been married to Richard for the past twenty-one years and we have two gorgeous teenage children who keep us on our toes. Nicholas is eighteen years old and is currently in Matric, and Julia is nearly fifteen and she is currently in Grade 9. Both children attend school at St Stithians College.

Grade 0


Lauren Nadas

I am a highly motivated and passionate teacher. I matriculated at Roedean High School and although I was a challenging student, I ended up with a great passion for teaching.

I have completed a BA Psychology degree and continued to complete my Honours in psychology. My studies have not yet ended and I am busy with my post graduate certificate in education. Despite all my studies, I would love to one day have children of my own.

I have a great love for music, singing and dancing and have always participated in choirs, school productions and concerts.

I am a very affectionate person and my teaching is driven by my love for children. I am a structured and organised teacher, but with a free and fun-loving side too.

By combining lots of love and routine on a daily basis, I find that the children in my care flourish.

Being able to make an impact on a child’s life and watching them develop, is the most rewarding part of my job.

I love what I do and the children in my class become like my own during the year; becoming a part of my heart.

Daniella TeixeiraDanielle

I was born and raised in Johannesburg and have only ever been abroad once. I matriculated at St Peter’s College in 2013 and went straight into studying. I am currently studying a B.Ed in Foundation Phase teaching through UNISA.

I have always been very passionate about teaching. I have a love for learning and for teaching young children. I enjoy giving every bit of knowledge I have to the children in my care and this drives my passion.

I am a patient and kind-hearted person who loves to help out wherever it is needed. Being creative in one of my strongest points, but I am also very organised and I like to follow a daily routine. One of my favourite quotes is:

The future of the world is in my classroom today.– Ivan Welton Fitzwater

Nina Zweifel

I was born in Johannesburg and come from a strong Swiss background. I love to travel, and I have seen and experienced many wonderful places.

Growing up I always wanted to be a princess and a teacher. Teacher come out tops!

While I was at high school my parents opened a Nursery School, where I started working and helping out with the aftercare and holiday care. Through this, my love and passion for teaching grew and grew.

I qualified as a Montessori directress and went on to complete my degree in BPrimEd through UNISA. I have been teaching in the Foundation Phase for over 20 years and have loved every minute of it.

I love life, and to experience it through teaching children is so rewarding. I am dedicated to developing and setting firm foundations in each child. I am always looking to better myself and my teaching by finding new and effective methods and strategies, striving to be the best teacher I can be.

I believe that learning takes place when children are secure, relaxed and having fun. I am always upbeat and positive. Teaching is my passion.

“I cannot alone change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Theresa

Grade 1


Karen Nunan (Grade 1)

I graduated from JCE in 1993, with an HDipEd. After doing a few teaching pracs at Forest Town School, I knew that it was a school that I wanted to be a part of.

I taught remedial and cerebral palsy children, and loved every special moment of it. The learners taught me the value of “counting one’s blessings”.

My daughter, Kayleigh, is 19 years old, and after matriculating in 2015, she is currently on a gap year working on a summer camp in the USA. It’s hard to watch your “baby” grow up and fly, but I believe that I have done a good job raising her if she is confident enough to spread her wings and gain her independence. She makes me so proud to be her mom.

Next year, she will be studying teaching, Foundation Phase, and maybe one day I shall have the privilege of teaching alongside her.

My son, Matthew, is 13 years old, and is at school at the Tutor Centre at Broadacres Academy. He has faced many challenges in his school career, but moving him to the Tutor Centre in January 2017 was the best decision for Matt.

He is so happy at school and it has been so heart-warming for me to see how he has grown in confidence by embracing the way André and his tutors have allowed him to be an individual and to embrace the fact that he learns “out of the box.” His passion is planes and flying and he is a great little chef. What an honour it is to be called “mom” by this unique, energetic boy.

Presently, I am obtaining my Award in Literacy and Dyslexia through Bellavista and the British Dyslexia Association. I will graduate in March 2018. This course has taught me so much about myself, my passion to teach children, my personal strengths and weaknesses and my excitement to be returning to the classroom.

I am so thrilled to be joining such a wonderful school and to be a part of the amazing staff that I will get to call my colleagues and friends. I believe that I have a lot to offer your children in Grade 1 and I’m sure that they have a lot to teach me too. “The day you’re willing to veer off the lesson plan, follow a kid’s lead and learn with your students, is the day you really become a teacher.”

My motto is, “A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart.

Leanne Vlietstra

When I was young and was asked “what do you want to be?” My answer was that I always wanted to be a teacher; following in my mom’s footsteps. I was always marking something and teaching my dolls.

I did not, however, follow through with my passion for teaching and went into travel and tourism after finishing school at Jeppe High School for Girls. After qualifying for my BCom degree in Industrial Psychology, I entered the corporate world.

I did not feel fulfilled and at the age of 27, I heard that I could convert my BCom into a teaching certificate. I was so excited and determined that I completed the two-year course in 1 year.

This is a career path that I have been very happy in and have even taught English in South Korea for a year in 2012. This was a wonderful experience. I am blessed to have followed my calling and am involved in something that I am truly passionate about.

I am a cheerful and hard-working person. am loyal, trustworthy and spiritual. I am a member of Bedford Chapel. Here I sing in the worship team and have previously been a deacon and lead one of the youth groups.

I am an active person, and enjoy going to gym and doing the Park Run. I recently took part in the Jozi 10km run. I love to read for enjoyment and also to read stories to children. I love seeing their faces light up when the story becomes exciting. I am a big fan of Dr Seuss and love reading his books to kids. A quote that I particularly enjoy of his is: “You have brains in your head, and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world – Nelson Mandela.

Grade 2

Gill Forbes

I started teaching in 1989 after completing four years at the Johannesburg College of Education. I have taught from Grade One through to Grade Seven, acquired a qualification in remedial education, worked one-on-one with children at home and have studied some psychology subjects. Education has, and continues to be, a wonderful learning experience for me. I quite simply love it.

I am so excited to be joining the Broadacres’ family and more so to be working in Grade Two which just happens to be my favourite year.

I believe that learning happens when children are secure, relaxed and are having fun. As such, my classroom environment is structured but fun-filled. You will hear lots of noise emanating out of our learning space and I’m sure you will be informed of the antics that occur during the day. Your children will be having fun, as will I.

I am married to Bruce, and have been for 24 years. We have two sons, Glen, 22 and Stuart, 18. They support me in my teaching and are known to spend hours helping me with school-related projects.They get to know my “littlies” through all the talking I do at home, about my class.

I am friendly and approachable and have a real zest for teaching and for life.


Michele Hala (Grade 2)

I come from a family of teachers. My husband, David, is the Principal at Kyalami Prep. My daughter, Ashleigh, is a Grade 1 teacher and she has a son, Matthew, who is a retail marketing analyst.

I enjoy spending time in the bush with my family and my interests include art, reading and travel. After running a painting studio from home for 10 years, I completed a Bachelor of Education degree through Unisa. I have a genuine love of children and believe in the unique potential of each student.

I am looking forward to joining the Broadacres Team in 2018 and giving my best to the education and development of each child in my care.

Grade 3

jean-marie-barnard-broadacresJeanne-Marie Barnard

When I began my school journey at the age of 5, I announced to my parents that one day, when I was big, I was going to be a school teacher… and so my dream came true.

I have now been in education for the past 24 years and whilst I have studied Psychology and Psychometry, I always land up back in the classroom; my happy place.

If anyone asked me about a magical ingredient for each child’s life with whom I have come into contact, I would answer that I would love to give him or her the gift of self-esteem.

A key factor in the debate on strategies for raising pupil achievement is self-esteem. I am very excited and privileged to become a member of the Broadacres Academy team in 2018, and I endeavour to do my utmost to ensure your child develops to his or her full potential.

Your children will be exposed to numerous successful experiences involving the ability to use cognitive, social and behavioural skills that will enable your child to make wise decisions and choices and develop a true sense of personal competence.

My little darling, who stole my heart 10 years ago, is my son Ashton, who is the absolute light in my life. We share a home in Lonehill with our two very naughty little Daschunds, who most certainly rule the roost and adore walks and picnics in the Lonehill Park. My little boy attends Cedarwood School, as he has a learning difficulty, which has certainly made me a far more compassionate and sympathetic teacher, as I am only too aware how tough it is to face challenges.

I studied Remedial therapy for a few years and currently work as a private therapist at the Baby and Child Wellness Centre. Whilst my 3 years there have been truly amazing, and I have met some very inspiring and incredible people, I look forward to working as a member of a team in pursuit of each child’s optimal development.

My personal philosophy is, “If a child cannot learn the way he is taught, then he must be taught the way he can learn”.

Central Learning Facilitator

alexi-rusche-broadacresAlexi Rusche

I was born and raised in South Africa and I am very passionate about teaching. I started out by helping with the swimming at Broadacres Academy, and was then blessed with the wonderful opportunity to work at Broadacres as an intern, while I complete my studies to become a teacher.

My love for teaching came about when I went to Germany on an exchange program and started going to the schools. There I had to teach them about my country and the diverse cultures of the world. After that experience, I decided I wanted to become a teacher and be influential in the lives of children.

I am currently studying a BEd through UNISA and plan to further my studies in remedial education.

I have travelled quite a bit and enjoy it very much. I love visiting and seeing countries with different cultures and traditions, and would one day love to teach children living in various parts of the world.

I believe education is a person’s most important asset and I will strive to educate children in the best way possible.

Prep School Aftercare

DiedreDeirdre Hodgkinson

I started teaching at the age of 20 and have loved it ever since. It has been my goal in life to be the best teacher I could be and to be better than the teachers who taught me. My teachers at school affected my confidence and I vowed to never allow this to happen to children in my care.

In 2000 I married my high school sweetheart and in that year we had our first child, Jared. Once becoming a mom, my passion for children grew. After our second child, Aimee, was born in 2003, I left teaching for the corporate world for financial reasons. I endured this for two years and after being desperately unhappy, I went back to teaching in 2005.

I started working at Broadacres Farm Nursery School in 2009 and taught the Chameleons Class. I learnt and grew so much during my six years at Broadacres. I became a better friend, a better mom and better teacher. I became a confident person who loved life and love people and making children and adults feel special and cared for.

I left Broadacres in 2015 to go and teach at Chartwell Country College, where my son goes to school. I teach the Gr R class, as well as EMS to Gr 5 and 6. I am thrilled to be back at Broadacres; it’s like coming home.

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
-Henry B Adams-