Preschool Staff2019-01-31T12:30:50+02:00

Preschool Staff

Karen McDonald | Head -Preschool| Broadacres Academy

I feel so privileged to have been selected to fulfil the role as Head of the Preschool; it is truly a dream come true.  I aim to ensure that each child reaches their full potential in a way that is best suited to them as an individual.

In all my years of teaching, I cannot say that I have ever come across a staff base as positive and full of love as Broadacres Academy. I absolutely love their learning style and couldn’t have found a school better suited to my beliefs.

I am firmly of the belief that  if a child truly feels loved, they will be confident enough to explore outside of their comfort zone and this will lead to incredible results in and out of the classroom.

Being a Mom myself, I understand how truly difficult it is to leave your child in somebody else’s care. I would like to assure every parent that my duty is to ensure that their child is happy and content at school so that parents can have total peace of mind during the school day.

One of my favourite quotes is,

Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.”
-O. Fred Donaldson

Read Karen’s full biography here.

Open the tabs below to meet the Broadacres Academy Preschool teachers and assistant teachers.

Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners,
and the love of bringing the first two loves together.
-Scott Hayden-


Kay EdwardsKay Joubert

I was born in the northeast of England and relocated to South Africa in 1996. I have three children: Nicole, age 25 and twin daughters, Sarah and Rachel, age 11. Before I started teaching I was a professional dancer and travelled to many countries and worked on cruise ships.

I started teaching dance and drama at a small private school in Magaliesberg and worked there for 10 years before moving to Johannesburg. I love South Africa and there are still many places I would love to visit.

My passion for teaching came at an early age when I would have my dolls lined up and I would be their teacher. Little did I know that was my calling. To see these little children put all their trust in you and to appreciate all the love they give, just cannot be put into words.

Selina GundaSelina Gunda (Assistant Teacher)

I was born in Zimbabwe and I have all my educational qualifications from there. I am currently married with four children of my own –two boys and two girls.

I am a quiet and shy person, with very simple needs. If I get angry, I forgive and forget quickly. I am by nature a happy person and I love to laugh. I enjoy reading and I have a strong faith. I enjoy going to church and I am happy with what I have been blessed with.

I love my job because the children in my care give me great pleasure. The children are like a blessing of little angels.They go from fighting one minute, to playing the next – as if nothing ever happened. They don’t hold grudges and I love seeing them grow and develop. I love to see them creating things and I enjoy reading stories to them.

I enjoy interacting with my colleagues – we are stronger for working together.


Janine SchoemanJanine Schoeman

I absolutely love teaching. Having children around me makes me happy and doing this as my career is the ultimate in job satisfaction. I have been teaching since 2002 and have taught almost all ages in the preschool.

I am a mother of two beautiful children, Jessica and Tiaan.

Being a mother, I know what it is like to leave your little ones in someone else’s care, and therefore I take great pleasure in settling the children in my class by giving loads of love and care.

I have special bonds with every single “Bee” that I have had in my class. It is almost as if they become my own during the year they are in my class.

What a joy it is to see them grow and develop at a pace never imaginable; starting to speak and grow into tiny individuals. That is so rewarding to see!

I love being part of the Broadacres team. Here we feel like one big happy family!

Portia LebepePortia Lebepe (Assistant teacher)

I am Mpho Portia Lebepe and I was born in Johannesburg.  I have two sisters and we were raised by my mom and my grandparents. In my spare time I enjoy reading and listening to motivation talks.

I have a few qualifications that I obtained during 10 years of experience as an au pair and nanny. I am very patient and humble. Those are my greatest strengths.

I am very interested in the brain development of children, and the many ways that they learn. Being able to be a part of that process and education is one of my inspirational aspects of ECD.

I love doing projects with kids and encourage them to be creative. I absolutely love working with children…so much that I’ve decided to continue with my education studies in the field of Early Childhood Development.

You may ask me why this field?  I will answer you by saying “children are unique and lovable”. I believe in reading stories out loud. Encouraging children to tell stories, and finding unique ways to illustrate them, builds imagination – I love that!


Jeanette NichollsJeannette Nicholls

I am an outgoing person with a fun loving sense of humour. I was born in South Africa to an Italian father and a Dutch mother. I have 2 children, a son and a daughter. I also have 2 beautiful little grandsons. In 2017 I had the wonderful experience of teaching one of my grandsons. My other grandson will hopefully soon join the Broadacres family.

I have been teaching for many, many years now and wouldn’t change my career for anything. I love each and every child in my class as if they were my own and cannot wait to get to school each day to try something new and fun with them. These little ones bring such joy and no two days are ever the same. It is so rewarding to see their little personalities develop during the year.

Over the years I have come to enjoy teaching the 2-year-olds the most. They are so excited about everything around them and come out with the funniest things. These littlies also just need a little bit of extra care which I feel I am able to provide.

I strongly believe that Gross-Motor activity is most important at this age and that once this is in place, all other development falls into place.

On a personal note, I am a very neat and tidy person and am very house-proud. I therefore enjoy working in my home and garden. I love reading and am also interested in natural health and medicine. I have done a great deal of self-study on natural health. I enjoy outdoor activities and enjoy spending social time with my close friends. Being Italian, I am big on family and family get-togethers; these are very important to me.

Mina Mosiya

Welhelmina Mosiya (Assistant Teacher)

I was born in South Africa and I have been a teacher’s assistant for the past 16 years. I love working with children – especially the 2-3 year-olds. They are rewarding and I love to watch them learn and grow.

I have a strong personality, yet am always friendly and loving. I like to be organised and neat. I believe in good and positive discipline and that the children must be safe, busy and happy. I am very happy working at Broadacres Academy and hope to be here for many years to come.


Heba Sabra

Heba Sabra

I am married and we have a 9-year-old son who is currently enjoying his schooling at Broadacres Academy. I am from Lebanese descent and now live happily in South Africa.

This year will be my seventh year of teaching at Broadacres Academy. I am grateful for the opportunity to work in a nurturing and loving environment, where children can learn and experience new challenges.

My favourite thing about being a teacher is being able to witness the growth within each child during the school year.

I live by the saying, “Do it with passion or not at all.”

Anna MasekoAnna Maseko (Assistant Teacher)

I am a loving, caring and gentle person who always has a smile on my face. I am rather quiet and shy, but also like to laugh a lot. I am happily married with a daughter called Prescilla.

I started working at Broadacres Farm Nursery School in 1996, and I am amazed at how the school has grown. I am passionate about helping children to learn. In my spare time I like to read a lot of different books and magazines. I also take good care of my health by eating correctly. I am strong in my faith and always trust in God.

I currently assist teacher Heba in the Ladybirds class and I am really enjoying it. We have a very strong bond with each other and the children in our care.


Bianca BuysBianca Buys

I am a quiet person who enjoys yoga and meditation, nature and animals. Teaching has brought immeasurable joy to my life. Children have always been a huge part of my life, being the family-based person I am. Working as an au pair, as well as at a Summer Camp for children, was the start of my journey.

I have no children of my own, but dream of adopting in the future, when the time is right. Another dream I have is to truly teach peace; we need more peace in the world. My goal as a teacher, other than teaching peace, is to let the children in my care be exactly who they are and to make them feel special by bringing out their true happiness from their hearts and souls.

“Find a job you love and are passionate about and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

I believe I have achieved this.

Carol NdlovuCarol Ndlovu (Assistant Teacher)

I was born and raised in Zimbabwe, in Bulawayo. I have been in South Africa for a number of years now and although I miss my home, it is lovely being here.

Interacting with the children is a highlight of my job and I enjoy playing with them and seeing them learn new things every day. What I really enjoy is going for walks with them on the school farm and looking at all the animals.

I am a fun-loving person with a kind and caring heart. I am naturally a positive character and believe in working hard. I am always helpful and honest. I am happy to help out at the school whenever I am needed.


Nicole ManyalaNicole Manyala

I have a definite passion for children. I knew I wanted to be a preschool teacher since I was in nursery school myself, which makes teaching them exactly what I am about.

I studied at Professional Child Care College and carried on my teaching education with Unisa. I started working at Broadacres in September 2009 and have never looked back.

I do a lot of fun and out-the-box activities with the children which allows them to express their individual personalities through play .

I am also interested in the medical field (specifically paramedics) and believe this is an important skill to have when working with children.

In my spare time I enjoy reading, watching movies, listening to music and spending time with friends and family. My motto is: you only have one life; live it to the fullest.

My dream is to touch each child’s life I teach and make a positive difference and have the children leaving my care with the best childhood memories.

Although I do not have any children of my own as yet, it is natural for me to take on the children I teach as my own. The bond I share with each child that comes into my care is priceless. I love what I do and am very grateful to have the opportunity to follow my dream career.

Patricia Thengaleni

Patricia Thengelani (Assistant Teacher)

I was born and raised in Soweto and grew up there, attending primary and high school in Orlando, graduating at Orlando West High School.

I am a kind and loving person with a good heart and I am nurturing to the children in my care. I enjoy interacting with the children every day and watching them grow and develop gives joy to my heart. I also enjoy interacting with my colleagues and I am so proud of the high standard we achieve at Broadacres Academy.

I love working with teacher Nicole; she is truly inspirational. I am an active member of the Z.C.C. church and in my spare time I love to be with my family and to watch movies.


Melissa Bergstedt

Melissa Bergstedt

Combining my love for children, nature and animals – working at Broadacres Academy definitely met my desires.

After completing my degree at the University of Pretoria in 2012, I went on to work with children at Summit College and, thereafter, I started my adventure in Junior Aftercare right here at Broadacres Academy.

I am passionate about health of mind, body and spirit. I practice yoga and follow an ethical diet and I therefore believe that it’s vital to teach our children how to practice peace in all aspects of life, be it on the playground, in class or at home.

This type of learning is the process through which children (and adults) acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions.

Teaching is a colourful journey that I have found reflects rainbows through our children and therefore I believe it is important to teach social and emotional skills like self-awareness, empathy, mindfulness and social skills.

I live by the motto “Nothing is impossible” and I definitely believe that our children are the future.


Stacey ViegasStacey-Lee Partridge

I am an enthusiastic, fun-loving individual. I don’t take myself too seriously. I love to laugh and spread my happiness as happiness is contagious. I absolutely love working with children, they keep me young at heart.

My journey began in England and France at a children’s holiday camp. I have been privileged to instruct many outdoor activities and have come across children from many walks of life.

After my European experience, I headed back home to sunny South Africa and again became involved at Sugar Bay, instructing and looking after children at the holiday resort. This gave me my fun loving attitude I use in my class room.

I was then blessed to be given the opportunity to work at Broadacres Academy. I began as the Senior Aftercare teacher in 2011, and soon after that was given the opportunity to have my own class, The Hedgehogs, where I have been since 2012.

I enjoy the outdoors and anything physical and team related. I am big into team spirit and anything that involves FUN! I also enjoy drama and dance and enjoy taking on a lead role during our preparation for our annual school concert. The Hedgehog class is the place to be!


Vanessa Clarke

Vanessa Clarke

I am a Joburg girl, born and bred. I am married with three teenage children. I have been involved in teaching for 12 years now.

I love being able to play such a crucial role in the development of innocent little beings in my care. I like to think that I am nurturing to the children and I prefer a gentle approach with boundaries, while still having fun and learning.

Experience grows knowledge and I have learnt to take the time to teach your children the correct values and positive thinking skills that are imperative to survival in today’s world.


Margie Iser

Margie Iser

I am originally from the snowy parts of north east England. When I was 5 years old, my family moved over to the sunny shores of South Africa. I started teaching 29 years ago, when I realised my passion for children and teaching.

I am a mother of 2 boys, aged 34 and 26. My granddaughter, Teagan, attends Broadacres Academy. It is an absolute joy to be able to watch her grow up.

I enjoy spending my time of leisure at the gym and in the bush; I love the outdoors. I am an animal fanatic and I have a bunch of crazy friends whom I love very much.


Dielie EksteenDielie Eksteen

I was born in Ladysmith and grew up in Newcastle. My real name is actually Daline. I have a twin brother and when we were little, he struggled to pronounce my name correctly. He started calling me Dielie and that stuck with me forever.

I am married to Louis, who is a software developer. We went to the same high school. We were married in 2008 and we have two beautiful children, Mia and Heno. They keep us very busy, but we love every moment.

I come from a family of teachers. My father was the principal of Ferrum High School but has since retired. My mother teaches Afrikaans at the same school. Teaching is my passion and I started teaching in 2007.

I love teaching children between the age of 4 and 5 years old. This is an important time in their lives, where they begin to distinguish between right and wrong. They are like little sponges, always learning and absorbing new information, which is amazing to see.

I like to teach with rules and parameters in my class, but also allow the children to feel free to learn and feel secure in their environment. Having children of my own has taught me the fine line between being strict and loving. It has also brought out my mothering side.


Emma-Lee Matthews

Emma-Lee Matthews

I grew up on a big vegetable farm with my large, crazy family. They created the happy and family orientated environment that made me the person I am today.

I completed Matric at Brescia House School in 2010 and obtained my teaching degree (4 years) at the University of Pretoria. I have been working at Broadacres Academy since 2016.

I have wanted to be a teacher ever since I was a little girl. I am a happy, gentle and nurturing person. I believe children learn best when they feel secure and loved in their environment and within clear boundaries.

I am adventurous; I enjoy traveling and trying new things. I believe in open communication and honesty.

One of my favourite quotes:

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein.

Teachers Assistant

Portia MashabaPortia Mashaba (Assistant Teacher)

I come from Winterveld and I am a mother of two sons. I am a quiet person and I don’t like to shout. I am responsible and always punctual.

I am a happy person who is always smiling. I love children and treat the little ones in my care as if they are my own.

Working with children is good because they are always happy and they do not discriminate. There is never a need to shout if you talk to them properly and make sure they are listening to what you say.

I consider myself to be a team player and working together with others makes things so much easier to achieve.

I believe in good communication in order to make good things happen.


Lauren Van RooyenLauren van Rooyen 

I have  been teaching for the past 7 years. I used to teach at Broadacres Academy as the Lambs teacher. In 2015 I left Broadacres and had a beautiful baby boy.

Now I am back and am ecstatic to once again be part of this amazing school and wonderful team. I am also so grateful that my son will be able to attend this inspiring school.

I am truly passionate about teaching and I have always wanted to be involved in the lives of children. I am kind and loving, yet firm and fair.

I strive to create a warm, positive and safe environment for all the children in my care.

I am very excited for the opportunity of being involved in the aftercare at Broadacres Academy.

Jane Bingham

My career in education has spanned over more than 30 years. As a young girl I always aspired to be a teacher, and knew from an early age that this was my calling.

I have experienced all spheres of the preschool world: teaching, management and have also owned two schools.

My granddaughter started attending Broadacres Academy in 2018 and I was so impressed with the school’s vision and wonderful, loving and caring environment. It made me realise how much I missed my career and I’m privileged to be back in the fold of such a dynamic school.

I am dedicated to the love of learning and to inspire children to learn more. I create a loving environment where learning is fun and incidental. Values that are important for me to instil in children are love, empathy, honesty, respect, compassion, perseverance, responsibility, confidence and curiosity.

I am married, and have a son and daughter and a beautiful little granddaughter.

It is an honour to play a part in shaping our country’s future.

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

Making the right decision about a Crèche for your child

By |

Is crèche the right option for my child? Often parents are sceptical about sending their precious children to a crèche. Many times - with both parents - or even a single parent having to go back to [...]

A teacher-mom reflects on new beginnings at the start of the school year …

By |

The time has come, and the new school year has started. I have been watching and observing a few things in the last days before the start of the new school year. My daughter is [...]

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