Ellen qualified as a Foundation Phase teacher from Natal Training College in 1982. She has taught in the Pre-Primary and Junior
Primary School grades. She was instrumental in setting up two Pre-Primary Schools in Donnybrook and Ixopo. She also started the Grade R section at
Merchiston Preparatory School. Ellen has taught remedial classes and has been a school counsellor.
In 2004, Ellen won a national teaching award in the Early Childhood category. She is a passionate teacher with a love for children. She enjoys
close interaction with the parents of pupils in her care. Ellen was appointed as the principal of Settlers’Park Pre-Primary school in January
On a personal note, Ellen is married to Richard. Her son, Kyle is a doctor and living with his wife Andrea in Dublin, Ireland. Her daughter,
Siobhan completed her honours degree at Stellenbosch University and is a jeweller, she and her husband, Nicholas live in Hilton. Ellen and her
husband are blessed with a little granddaughter.
In her spare time, Ellen enjoys relaxing at a game reserve or the beach. She is an avid reader and loves spending time with her family and
Mrs Lyn KrielSchool Secretary
Lyn's Personal Profile
Lyn was born and educated in Pietermaritzburg and has lived here all her life!
Lyn obtained a B. Com. Degree, majoring in Marketing and Business Finance from the University of Natal. After working for the Head Office of the Provincial Hospital Services Department for three years, she became a full-time housewife and mother for sixteen years, returning to work in a part-time capacity when her children had all begun to attend school. She has three children who all attended Settlers’ (many years ago!). She is fortunate to have her son living in Pietermaritzburg, whilst her older daughter lives in Florida, USA and her youngest lives in Cape Town.
Lyn has been our School Secretary since 2002, and her association with the school spans a period of more than thirty-five years!
Lyn has always adored children and feels privileged to work with these precious young people. It is certainly a unique environment as not many bookkeepers get to balance their books to the background strains of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", or to regularly have cup-cakes decorated with Jelly Tots and Smarties with their morning tea!
Mrs Carrie EricksonBees Group Teacher
Carrie's Personal Profile
Carrie is delighted to have the opportunity to teach and nurture the children at Settlers’. She is excited at the prospect of
assisting the children of the Bees group to mature and grow. To watch friendships develop in a safe environment where the children are free to be
themselves and reach their full potential.
Carrie lives in Howick with her husband, Tim and two children, Elizabeth and Mason. During the weekends, she loves spending time with her family and
pursuing her creative hobbies. She especially enjoys reading and crocheting.
Mrs Isa van heerdenAnts
Isa's Personal Profile
Isa began teaching at Settlers' in 2011. She is married to Johann and has two children: Jennifer and Peter.
Isa studied at Edgewood Training College of Education where she qualified as a Pre-Primary and Junior Primary Teacher.
She also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Montessori Education.
Isa is passionate about the development of children through music, movement and drama, and strives to see them reach
their full potential. She recognises the uniqueness and individuality of each child and regards every one as very special.
Isa feels privileged to be part of the Settlers’ family.
Ms Melissa WoodLadybirds
Melissa's Personal Profile
Melissa was born in Pietermaritzburg and has lived here her entire life. Melissa has a Bachelor of Arts degree
in Psychology and Criminology from Varsity College and UNISA. She completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Foundation Phase)
through UKZN in 2011.
Melissa loves working with children and has a keen interest in their development as individuals. She is passionate about teaching and
has known since a young age that it is what she wanted to do. She enjoys literature, cooking and baking, and spends her spare time doing
arts and crafts.
Mrs Kathryn PurchaseButterflies Group Locum Teacher
Kathryn's Personal Profile
Kathryn Purchase is a dedicated and proud mother of three and a grandmother of two. She has been involved in education for twenty- one years, being an administrator, teacher and principal. Kathy has a diploma in Foundation Phase Education and an Advanced Certificate in Education - Learner Support. She has qualifications in TQUK - Teaching English as a Foreign Language and she has completed a Play Therapy course through Play Therapy Online, Australia.
Kathy is a passionate teacher. She believes in the importance of developing the emotional intelligence of a child. She values the importance of a fun, sensory learning environment where children can freely enquire, play and explore. She feels it is an honour to join the Settlers’ Park team and she looks forward to engaging with the children, parents and teachers.
Mrs Tanya ValentineCrickets Group Teacher
Tanya's Personal Profile
Tanya has lived in Pietermaritzburg since she was three years old. After working in the travel trade for seven years, she decided that she needed to do something more fulfilling. She had already completed a degree in Child Development Psychology and decided to enter the teaching profession. Tanya studied through UNISA and at the end of 2013, she completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Foundation Phase).
Tanya was thrilled to become part of the Settlers’ team in 2014. She adores working with children and is continuously amazed by their rapid development.
Tanya is an avid reader: she enjoys reading for pleasure as well as conducting research in the field of Education.
Tanya is an enthusiastic photographer and enjoys spending weekends in the bush with her husband, Glen and their son, Rory.
Mrs Charlene Dinkelman Catapillar Group Teacher
Charlene's Personal Profile
Charlene relocated to Pietermaritzburg from Somerset West eight years ago. She is married to Simon Dinkelman.
Charlene had the privilege of being a teacher intern at Settlers’ Park for three years. Thereafter she interned at Merchiston Preparatory School in
the Foundation Phase for a year. During this time, she assisted with the younger children at Settlers’ Park aftercare. She studied her B Ed degree
through UNISA and qualified in 2019. Charlene has been teaching at Settlers’ Park for two years in the Caterpillar class
Charlene adores spending time with children, baking, cycling and being around people.
Mrs Heather TeichmannFireflies
Heather's Personal Profile
Heather matriculated at Eshowe High. She studied in Durban and obtained a Diploma in Pre- Primary School Teaching. She taught Grade RR in Eshowe at Noah’s Ark Pre-Primary before going overseas to America as an Au pair. Heather then went to the UK where she travelled and worked as an assistant at various special needs schools. On her return, she worked at New England Pre-Primary for six years as a Grade R & RR teacher. In 2010 she started teaching at Settlers’ Park Pre-Primary as the Butterfly teacher.
After a year and a half, Heather left to be a full-time mom, but continued to locum at Settlers’ Park. Now that her children are older, Heather has returned to the school and feels privileged to be the teacher of our youngest class, the Fireflies. Her motto is to teach children the way she would like her children to be taught with love, encouragement and building up their self- confidence so that they can blossom to their full potential.
Heather is married to Brett Teichmann and is blessed with two beautiful girls: Jenna and Kayla.
Siobhan was employed as the fulltime Aftercare Supervisor at Settlers' Park Pre -Primary in April 2018.
She is currently studying towards a B. Ed. (Foundation Phase) degree.
Siobhan was born in Australia, grew up in Johannesburg and has lived in Pietermaritzburg since 2011.
Siobhan loves working with children and watching them blossom and grow into unique individuals.
She has many years of experience, including au pairing and working overseas
Siobhan is married to Selwin – they enjoy the outdoors and spending time with their family and friends.
Ms Peyton MarniesAftercare (dragonflies) Assistant
Peyton's Personal Profile
Peyton was born in Pietermaritzburg and she has lived here all her life. She matriculated at Carter High school in 2017. She is
currently studying towards a B.Ed. degree in Foundation Phase Education.
She has a passion for working with little children. She is very interested in educational matters and it has always been her dream to be a teacher. Peyton
enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys baking in her free time.
Mrs Som RiesTeaching Assistant
Som's Personal Profile
Som completed her Bachelor of Education Degree in Pre-Primary School teaching in 2011. Thereafter she taught Kindergarten for the next 4 years at Wat
Changlek School in Bangkok, Thailand.
In 2015 she immigrated to South Africa with her husband, Jamie. She began helping out in various classes at Settlers’ Park Pre-Primary School. In 2016
she joined the staff as a full time assistant teacher in the Firefly class.
Som enjoys exercising, cooking, crochet and has a passion for educating children.
Ms Liana van RooyenTeaching Assistant
Liana's Personal Profile
Liana van Rooyen was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg. She completed her schooling
at The Wykeham Collegiate in 2013. She is an alumnus from Athlone Primary and Settlers’ Park Pre-Primary Schools. Liana furthered her studies at
Stellenbosch University where she began working towards a degree in Social Work. During this time,
Liana discovered a special passion to work with young children and to be involved in their education. She has been employed at Settlers’ Park as a
teaching assistant in the Bees’ (Grade R) class. She plans to complete a degree in Foundation Phase Education, on a part-time basis.
In her spare time, Liana works for an Early Childhood Development consultancy, Aladdin Learning Solutions, as a product developer. Liana can be found
immersed in anything artistic and creative. She enjoys being active in the outdoors.
Ms Shelby O'ConnellTeaching Assistant
Shelby's Personal Profile
Shelby O'Connell matriculated from The Wykeham Collegiate in 2020. She has a keen interest in teaching. She will soon begin
studying art and has loved singing all her life.
Shelby’s interest in teaching was sparked by her two younger cousins whom she has cared for. She assists both as a teaching assistant and at our
Aftercare facility in the afternoons.
She is excited to learn from the rest of the staff at Settlers' Park.
Ms Lisa PitoutIntern Teacher
Lisa's Personal Profile
Lisa was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg. She matriculated at Heritage Academy in 2006. Shortly thereafter she worked in the corporate world for eleven years. She has always had a passion and a heart for children. Her dream is to become a teacher which she believes is her calling. In 2018, she began studying towards a B ED Degree for Foundation Phase through UNISA. She is enjoying her studies and is very pleased to be in a school environment where she can gain valuable practical experience. She assists in the classroom and at our Aftercare facility.
Some of her other interests include cooking, baking and spending quality time with her family.