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Treetops Staff

At Treetops we are proud of our Teachers and Non Teaching Staff. We believe that the quality of our staff is one of the most important factors in Treetops’ students’ excellent education.

As part of our ongoing commitment to an outstanding education at Treetops, all our staff are provided professional development opportunities throughout the year, along with a system in place to ensure regular communication throughout the different school areas and a small, but strong, support system in the Administration.

From the first person you’ll meet when you walk through the Administration doors, to the last teacher you see packing up in the evening, Treetops staff members are working at Treetops because they have a strong belief in the Montessori and International Baccalaureate education philosophies, and love witnessing an excellent education of the whole child.

Stuart Harris


Stuart originally trained as a plumber, but returned to full time study in his early 20’s to pursue a career in teaching.  He began teaching in 1997, and now has over 23 years of teaching experience.

Stuart has worked exclusively within the private education sector at a variety of Western Australian independent schools.  He is a passionate educator with experience in teaching both primary and secondary students, and has a breadth of experience in school management and leadership positions.

Stuart was attracted to Treetops due to its unique capacity to be a nimble and very child-centred educational provider.  He is excited for the excellent educational outcomes that Treetops can create for all its students.

He is married with three children, the eldest of whom is himself a teacher.  Stuart enjoys riding his mountain bike and loves the hills lifestyle.

Anene Lamb

Children’s House Directress

Anene began her teaching career after studying English Language at Cambridge University.  She worked for the British Council, teaching English for two years, in Qatar and The Sultanate of Oman before training as a Montessori Teacher in Vancouver.    Anene taught pre-school in Oman and Scotland before joining Treetops in 2015 as a relief teacher and librarian, as well as running a three-year-old program.

Anene is passionate about helping children develop a love of learning by promoting their intrinsic motivation, in so doing, they become enthusiastic about their own learning.

Anene lives locally in Darlington with her husband and three children, two of whom graduated (IBDP) from Treetops. Anene loves to travel, garden and quilt!

Natalie Boyd-Ratcliff

Primary Teacher

Natalie is the Wattle Directress. Natalie has previously worked at Riverlands Montessori School and Casa Mia Montessori School, but is delighted to now be a part of Treetops Montessori School.

Natalie has been a part of Montessori education since she was a child. Her mother set up several Montessori Pre-Schools in Papua New Guinea and the UK which Natalie enjoyed being part of, creating many resources for and ultimately working in them.  When Natalie graduated from Edith Cowan University here in Perth she began work at Riverlands Montessori School as the Lower Primary Directress (Year 1 – 3). As well as being the classroom directress Natalie was responsible for the resident emu’s, pet rats and the rescued ducks and chickens that found their way to her classroom which was named Animal Kingdom.

Natalie left full time work at Riverlands Montessori to work as a DOTT teacher at Casa Mia Montessori in the 3 – 9 year old classroom before she stopped work completely when her children were born.  Before returning to the classroom Natalie chose to complete her Graduate Certificate of Early Childhood Education and has now completed her Master of Education (Early Childhood Education).

Natalie believes each child is unique and should be treasured for who they are.  She loves welcoming all the children into her classroom each day and explains to them that the Wattle class is like a family where we all care for each other. She enjoys creating interesting learning programs based around the children’s interests, Montessori equipment and investigative play activities. 


Hylton Hayes

Primary Teacher

Hylton studied at the Charles Darwin University, and completed his final practicum with us at Treetops. He moved around a lot and travelled all over the place before settling down in Perth with his wife and his son.

Hylton has a fun outlook on teaching, always looking for interesting ways to teach subjects. This often leads to the construction of large structures in the classroom. Hylton also loves sport which allowed for him to push out in the physical education field, where he is building a positive sporting community for the students.

Hylton is a friendly face around the school, he is often seen joining the kids at lunchtime for sport or teaching them how to play properly and fairly.

Katie Simpson

Primary Teacher

Katie first started at Treetops when she began playgroup at the age of three.  She then went on to complete Primary Years at Treetops.

Katie has a passion for working with children of all ages. This has developed over the past two years when she visited a variety of both local and remote WA schools. Katie recently travelled to and tutored in Kalgoorlie, Norseman and Pia Wadjarri, as well as participating in regular university practical placements. These experiences have allowed Katie to put into practise her theoretical knowledge, enhance her teaching skill set and evolve her teaching philosophy.

Growing up in Darlington, Katie has always enjoyed the friendly, supportive and inspiring atmosphere that the Treetops community and environment facilitates. She strongly upholds the belief that education should be inclusive and engage all learners by building on children’s intrinsic motivation to learn and promoting their inherent desire for the possession of knowledge.  This approach creates curious, open-minded lifelong learners and valued, considerate citizens.

Jayne Simpson

Student Learning Coordinator

Jayne has been teaching at Treetops since 2005.  She has worked extensively in the role of Student Enrichment here and in overseas schools, and was also interim Principal at Treetops in 2014/15.  Jayne has two children, both of whom attended Treetops.  She and her family, together with dogs, cats and chickens, live on an acre in Darlington close to the school.  Jayne’s interests have included endurance cycling, mountaineering and rock climbing, skiing, and organic gardening.

Jayne was educated in England, and came first to Australia to compete in a 5,200km mountain bike race across the centre of Australia with her husband on a mountain bike tandem!  This turned out to be a life-changing experience in many different ways and she and her husband emigrated to Western Australia shortly afterwards.

Formerly a Primary class teacher, Jayne’s interest for working with students with specific learning difficulties was ignited in Scotland when she worked with a dyslexic and very talented student in her class who, one year off the end of Primary, was still struggling to read.  He went on to a career in professional acting, and she went on to complete training and specialist qualifications, and set up Learning Support Departments which became integral to the learning experiences offered to students in three K-12 schools.

While enrichment education remains her passion, Jayne has utilised her lengthy and broad experience in educational settings to assist in the administration and management of Treetops.  She enjoys problem solving, systemising, and supporting her colleagues and the broader Treetops community.

Emma Moore

Specialist Teacher – Primary STEM

Emma began her “working” career on the farm – from 1993 through to 2014 she fixed tractors, constructed electric fences, and continually moved stray cows off crops, roads, neighbours properties , and once even from a chook pen. However, she always had the burning desire to utlise her qualifications and teach.

With six sons to continually instruct, moving into teaching was a smooth transition. Emma graduated from UWA in 1993 with a Science Degree, with a second Major in “Human Movement”, (now called Physical Education.) University was a different life from her previous “protected” world as a WAIS gymnast, travelling around and competing all over Australia. However, it’s farming that Emma firmly believes shaped her teaching philosophy. The concepts of never giving up, no matter what is thrown at you, fixing situations as best as you can, as sometimes you are on your own with no help and no one to give you the answers. Emma thrives on that ability to instill knowledge in children, and best of all loves to witness an eager face when that knowledge inspires them to seek more information.

To Emma, teaching at Treetops is like being at home. Not only for our amazing physical environment, but in the enthusiasm of parents, the love of teachers for the children, the excellent education and the close connection that a multi-age system produces. Emma believes the Montessori environment provides everything children need to be able to develop an inner love for learning.

Mary Pollard

Specialist Teacher – Music

Mary is a pianist and coordinates the classroom music program, private instrumental lessons, the school choir and any other ensembles as needed.

Mary has been at Treetops for a number of years as she has three of her own children currently enrolled at the school. Mary has worked at a number of scholarship music schools across the city, including Churchlands Senior High and Perth Modern School. She has been trained in and uses Kodaly Methodology in the classroom and believes that every student has the ability to increase their knowledge and skills through using their voice as their primary instrument. Mary has been a conductor with The Australian Youth Choir for 10 years and has traveled throughout Australia, the UK and Europe with the choir as an accompanist and conductor. She has a passion for working with Children of all ages and believes that singing as part of a group is a very important when creating belonging within communities such as class groups and schools. This is one of the reasons that Treetops also has a staff/parent choir that occasionally performs at school events.

Mary encourages all students to have a role within the music program, whether it be through learning class songs, whole school songs, school choir or learning an instrument. There is approximately one-third of the school’s population currently learning an instrument at school. Mary chose to become a teacher because of the wonderful influence of a handful of teachers in her own years at school and has chosen to work at Treetops because of the holistic approach to learning, the emphasis and importance placed on music within the school and because Treetops is a unique and diverse school with a strong sense of community and care for all students.

Sharon Crossman

Senior Secondary & IB Coordinator
Specialist Teacher – Japanese

Sharon‘s teaching philosophy is best encapsulated by Albert Einstein, that is “I do not teach anyone. I only provide the environment in which they can learn”. The environment Sharon creates in her Japanese classroom is one of authenticity. Realistic scenarios and culture-rich resources provide the basis for genuine language learning that can be transferred to the real world.

Sharon loves witnessing the “lightbulb moments” that students have and feels privileged to be a part of their learning journey. She joined Treetops in July 2013 to initiate the Japanese language program and is proud that it now extends from Children’s House through to the IB Diploma Programme. Sharon especially enjoys the flexibility in content delivery and the fact that she has the autonomy to adapt programs to reflect students’ interests and educational requirements.

Sharon has had some impressive achievements in her teaching career. In January 2013 she was one of only two Western Australian recipients of the Endeavour Language Teaching Fellowship. This involved three weeks of intensive Japanese language tuition at Kansai University in Osaka. She was also selected to attend the Intensive Seminar for Japanese teachers at the Japan Foundation Sydney in January 2016 and was a contributor to the Western Australian Curriculum: Languages (2018).

Sharon was pivotal in Treetops being the only Australian school to be offered a place in the Hakuho Foundation’s 8th Scheme for a Global Children’s Japanese Language Network. Along with Japanese teachers from fourteen countries, Sharon spent three weeks at the Japan Foundation in Tokyo in November 2016 and then took four students back in April 2017 to engage in part two of the scholarship. Her dedication was rewarded further when Treetops was selected to be the host school for eighteen Japanese exchange students in July 2017.
Sharon is happily married with three children and is a Glen Forrest local. She loves walking in the bush with the her dog and singing while she cooks. Sharon holds the rank of brown singlet in Muay Thai kickboxing, as well as a tomodachi cross.

Kim Steimer

Secondary Coordinator
Specialist Teacher – Science

Kimberly is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she graduated with an IB diploma.  Although she didn’t appreciate it fully at the time, she now recognises how prepared she was for future study because of the holistic rigorous curriculum. She believes every child has unique gifts and it’s her job is to foster this in each child and young adult. She enjoys working at Treetops mostly for its focus on individual and independent learning.

She went to George Washington University, double majoring in Chemistry and Biological Anthropology. At university, her true love of travel began on a community service trip to Belize. While working for the Biology department as a laboratory manager she completed her Masters in Education. After teaching for one year in the US, she moved to an international school in beautiful and rainy Costa Rica. Now living in Fremantle, she loves exploring Australia with her family.

Peter Zylstra

Specialist Teacher – Visual Arts, Design and Technologies

Peter was born in Canada, and lived in a number of different countries until happily settling in Australia in 2006. He now lives in Darlington with his partner and two children. Peter’s teaching experience includes lecturing at universities in the US, a secondary school in Mexico, TAFE programs in WA, artist residencies, community inclusion workshops and guest lectures at various art institutions. Peter brings valuable industry knowledge to the classroom from his work across community and cultural development, social services and film and media production. As a practicing artist and photographer, Peter has been involved in over fifty exhibitions throughout the world and numerous curatorial projects and publications.

Peter has a Graduate Diploma of Education (Art and Media specialisation), a Master of Fine Arts, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Peter has taught in a variety of settings that includes working for many years with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, experiences and abilities. Early in his career, Peter was a Counsellor then Assistant Director at an educational summer camp for at-risk students. The many positive outcomes from this experiential learning program had a profound impact on his career as an educator. In the subsequent twenty years, he has continued to strongly support creative exploration through tactile, collaborative and inquiry-based learning due to their positive impact on learning and overall student wellbeing. Along with wanting to work in his local community, these educational values are why Peter has chosen to work at Treetops.

Paul Gillespie

Secondary Teacher – Mathematics

Paul obtained his Teachers Registration in 2016 and has been teaching at Treetops full-time since 2016. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching (ECU) as well as undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Applied Science (UWA & NTU).

Paul has a professional background in Geological Engineering and his teaching passion is focused around mathematics for all ages from Year 7 through to University Entrance (IBDP).

Paul is a proud parent, enjoys travelling, home renovating and most outdoor activities.


Kasey Boyd

Secondary Teacher – English / HaSS

Kasey grew up in NSW near the Blue Mountains, before moving to Perth with her family in 2005. She attended the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, where she studied History, English Literature and Theatre, topping it off with a Graduate Diploma of Education.

After graduating, she moved to the UK and spent six years building a diverse career in education: she has taught in schools across London and then moved to the south coast, where she taught English, Media, Drama and the Humanities, in a variety of schools – ranging from behavioural centres to grammar schools. In one of these schools, due to her creative flair, her classroom was nominated as a model classroom for displays and resources.

Her favourite part about teaching is creating exciting resources and supporting students, in whom she tries to spark a like-minded passion for her subjects. One of her proudest achievements was seeing seven of her final exam students make it into the group of highest achievers for the grammar school exams in 2017 (12A*/A grades at GCSE).

Kasey loves books, art and music, and enjoys exploring creative and worldly flavours with home cooking.

Suzanne Blake

Secondary Teacher – Science/HaSS

Suzanne is from Lancashire, England, and began her career as a Science teacher in 2003. She moved to Perth in 2018 after spending a few months travelling around the world with her husband and three children, before heading off around Australia in a caravan along with their dog.

Suzanne loves the community and family feel of Treetops. It is a school where staff know each student and are able to nurture them and cater for their individual needs. This reinforces an important aspect of her teaching that she brought with her from the UK, which is “every child matters”.

Suzanne comes to Treetops with many years of teaching experience. She loves to bring Science alive by completing practical and hands on activities with her students, guiding them to develop scientific enquiry skills. During HaSS students are encouraged to be independent and resilient learners gaining knowledge and skills, and who work collaboratively with their peers.

She understands the importance of building a rapport with her students and creating a classroom environment that nurtures the intrinsic love of learning in every student.

Giselle Thornton

Teachers Aide/Montessori Playgroup Leader

Giselle has been at Treetops for over 11 years and has worked in almost every part of the school! However, she is best known for her beautiful nature and warm way of welcoming new families to the school through her role as Playgroup Leader.

With experience in every Montessori cycle, Giselle brings extensive understanding from her Education Support role and previous years in child care and public school education.  With a passion to ensuring a child’s learning journey begins from a happy and confident experience, Giselle most loves watching a child grow more confident from accomplishing a task independently. She appreciates the Montessori method of learning through perceived play and especially enjoys working in our Playgroup because of te environment that allows children to reach their own potential.

Giselle has two children and, along with her husband, has cared for over thirty children as a foster carer since the year 2000.

Sandy Eaton

Teachers Aide

Sandy emigrated from England with her husband and two sons in 2009 after a career as a Teacher’s and Special Needs Assistant in the UK. Educated in South Africa and with extensive travel experience around the globe, Sandy and her family chose Darlington to bring up their family.

With a Cert IV in Education Support, Cache Level 2 CPP Introduction to Pre-school Practice and Diploma in Personnel Management, Sandy believes Treetops provides a safe environment for all to build confidence in their ability to achieve both academically and socially, to become independent learners. She appreciates the close-knit community of parents, staff and students and the Montessori approach to education promoting independence.

Sandy believes it is important that we give children the best start to their educational journey, under the direction of the teacher, and that we help children with their educational and social development, both in and out of the classroom. She loves that no two days at Treetops are the same and that she has the opportunity to utlise her skills in cooking, art, puzzle solving, working with small groups and one on one and helping children reach their full potential. For Sandy, witnessing a child master a task is the ultimate reward.

Sandy has fully embraced the Australian environment; she is often rescuing bobtails, geckos and spider bugs. She’s passionate about our oceans and is a qualified Padi diver.

Liz Wilson

Teachers Aide

Liz is the mother of three children ranging from 8 years to 18 years of age and comes from a very big family. This places her well to be in her fifth year at Treetops! She has experienced various educational philosophies with her own children but feels the learning at Treetops is a wonderful, nurturing environment for a child to flourish.

Liz has seen the 3 year Montessori work cycle help a child develop from a timid 3 year old,  to a 6 year old child who is creative, spiritual, independent, emotional, physical and intellectual human being that has had a fantastic grounding to embrace their learning journey.

Liz has a passion for working with children which began in her teens when she became a swimming instructor and enjoyed watching children achieve levels they hadn’t previously believed themselves capable of.  This lead to running a Private Swim school for children who had fears  or problems with learning how to swim and this naturally lead Liz into education.

In Liz’s personal life she has a passion for lead lighting, art and making things look beautiful around her. She loves nothing better than heading out with her friends for a 6am bike ride to welcome in the day.

Tamera Skewes

Teachers Aide

Tamera Skewes is an experienced Education Assistant who  is a mother of two girls. She believes all children have the right to an excellent education that focuses on respecting and encouraging each child’s individual differences while providing a nurturing environment to teach social interaction and emotional skills.

Tam has been employed as an Education Assistant since 2008. She has extensive experience in assisting children with a variety of special needs and learning difficulties as well as those with psychological and emotional challenges.

Before children, Tam worked for several years in the residential building industry and with a husband who is a builder, this equates to her being a jack of all trades. Tam and her family have a genuine love of the great outdoors and they are often out camping over the school holiday period. She has a passion for AFL and somehow manages to cope with the rivalry between the Dockers and the Eagles during the football season.

Paige Warner

Teachers Aide

Paige has been working as an Education Assistant for the last 3 years and has a passion for working with young children. Paige studied at Edith Cowan University to complete her Education Assistant Certificate. She believes that all children have the right to an education at their level, with the support they may require.

Paige has previously worked in retail and as a Legal Secretary in a law firm, however her caring nature and connection to children has led her to follow her dreams and assist children with their education.

In her spare time she enjoys dancing and has danced since she was 18 months old. Paige still dances with her local dance school and assists with teaching the pre-schoolers.

Paige also loves to travel and spends most of her time off overseas. She has travelled to many places including, Europe, USA, England, Bali and Phuket, with many more places on the list.

Treetops Administration

Treetops Administration staff combine a multitude of skills to run a vibrant and dedicated system for every day running of the school and support for teaching staff and parents and students. Treetops permanent Administration and Non Teaching Staff include a Business Manager, HR Manager, IT Specialist, Maintenance Officer and, most importantly, an amazing Receptionist.