Staff

Management


Barbara Mulhall - Principal

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Barbara graduated from UCD with a degree in Commerce followed by a Higher Diploma in Education, Post Graduate Diploma in Career Guidance and a Masters in Education Leadership and Management, having completed an Erasmus module in Jagaellonian University, Krakow, Poland.

She came to Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School from Mount Anville Secondary School, where she was Head of Guidance and Director of School Self-Evaluation and School Planning. She had previously worked as a Guidance Counsellor in Rathdown Secondary School and in The High School. Prior to that she was Head of Business in Sion Hill, Blackrock, where she taught Business, Accounting, Economics and Maths. She also lectured in Business and Accounting Training at 3rd level.

A passionate advocate for equality and inclusion throughout her career, Barbara has initiated numerous programmes in support of these ideals. She is an enthusiastic exponent of the Maslow before Bloom philosophy, believing that a teacher’s relationship with each student impacts on learning and growth for all. A firm believer in empowering students to engage in independent thinking and active learning, she encourages students, teachers and SNAs to embrace creative and innovative learning & teaching methodologies, take risks and find the fun in learning.

Colin Doyle - Deputy Principal

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Colin is passionate about all things learning and teaching. Graduating with an Arts degree from UCD in English and Greek & Roman Civilisation, Colin worked for several years as a TEFL teacher before gaining his Professional Diploma in Education from Hibernia in 2013. Colin spent three years teaching in St Joseph’s, Rush where he was also a form tutor, department coordinator and gained a Post-graduate Certificate in 21st Century Teaching and Learning from Trinity College. Colin joined Stepaside Educate Together Secondary school when it opened its doors in September 2016 and was delighted to be appointed Year Head for the school’s first-ever cohort of students. During his time in Stepaside, Colin has also occupied the position of Assistant Principal in the school, worked as an associate with the JCT, been involved in the Teaching for Tomorrow Erasmus Project and graduated from Trinity with a Masters in Cooperative Learning. Colin hopes that he can help all the students in SETSS develop key skills through holistic education and that they are fully prepared to move on to positive destinations when they walk out the door in 6th year.

In his spare time, he has a passion for all things sport, is a keen golfer, loves reading and is kept very busy by his two young children.

Teachers


Thomas Cashin

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Year Head - Fifth Year

Subjects: History, Irish, Business

Thomas, who is a native of Dungarvan, County Waterford, teaches History, Irish, and Business Studies. He has taught at primary and second level in Waterford, Galway and Dublin before his appointment to the start-up team in Stepaside ETSS. He is currently Assistant Principal, 4th Year Head and SSE Coordinator.

He has a BA and MA from UCC, PGDE from NUIG and an M. Ed. Foundation Studies in Education from TCD. He is delighted to be co-leading the development of an exciting new school which will be an inclusive, innovative, 21st Century centre of excellence; where each member of the community will be valued and encouraged to reach their full potential. He is enthusiastic about student engagement, runs the odd marathon and is passionate about Waterford Hurling.

Sean McMahon

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Year Head - Transition Year

Subjects: Chemistry, Physics, Science & Maths

BSc (Hons) Analytical and Applied Chemistry PGCE (Aberystwyth University)

Sean has a passion for teaching his subjects to the highest standards. He has experience working in the UK and Ireland and has held the positions of Head of Chemistry and Vocational Science Coordinator. Sean has worked as a performance manager, helping the school leadership teams to monitor, observe and train staff. He has had responsibilities for the administration, development and implementation of effective schemes of work for State Examination bodies. Sean also works for the State Exam Commission as an Exam co-ordinator. He has an in-depth knowledge of the exams and marking schemes, having taught students who have achieved 100% (400/400) in their Leaving Certificate Chemistry exam. He aims to promote his courses with enthusiasm and relevance, using exam-based material to allow for the best possible opportunities.

Sean has successfully completed the nomination process to become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (#MIEExpert), upon the completion of continuous profession development courses designed by Microsoft themselves. Sean has been working as part of the Digital Learning Committee, looking at ways to incorporate technology more effectively into the school community.

Sean has also been running an extra-curricular Mathletes class for the past few years. This an opportunity for students to engage with mathematical problem solving outside of the classroom environment.

Catherine McAuliffe

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Year Head - Third Year

Subjects: Spanish, History

BA (Hons) German, History, Higher Diploma in Education (U.C.D)., Post-Graduate Diploma in Spanish (DIT), Master’s in Education (U.C.D.)

Catherine is very passionate about teaching and learning languages and loves working in SETSS which has such a rich and diverse school community. She is a strong advocate of active learning methodologies and task-based learning which is a core part of a student’s learning in SETSS. She believes the high priority given to digital learning and teaching here brings the language and culture alive and creates a more authentic learning environment for the student. Catherine was delighted to launch SETSS’s first Spanish school exchange this year (2019).

Previously, Catherine was seconded as a History teacher to European School I in Brussels and as a Regional Project Leader to the Modern Languages in Primary Schools Initiative, a role she loved, which included supporting teachers in the teaching and learning of modern languages at primary level. She continues to work in a similar role as a PME supervisor and occasional lecturer in the School of Education, U.C.D. in the area of language methodology. Catherine also works as a part-time Associate with the Post Primary Languages Initiative where she enjoys developing local MFL community of practices. In her spare time, she volunteers as a Scouter and loves reading, playing tennis and spending time outdoors with her family.

Colin Brennan

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Year Head - Second Year

Subjects: Geography, Computer Science, Classical Studies

BA (Hons) Geography and Classical Studies (M.U.), PDE Education (U.C.D.), M.Sc Climate Change (M.U.), Post-graduate Diploma in Software Development (M.U.)

Colin is a Geography, Computer Science and Classical Studies teacher here at Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School. After completing his Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Classical Studies he went on to complete an M.Sc (Hons) in Climate Change, his thesis investigated public perception of climate change. Colin continued his studies receiving a First Class Honours in his Post Grad for Education and his Post Grad in Software Development.

Colin is passionate about the impactful and meaningful use of Digital Learning, Leadership and 21st Century learning and teaching practices. He has previously worked as a software developer developing an AR mobile application and is looking at innovative ways to bring the technology into the classroom. He is the IT Co-ordinator and member of the Digital Learning Committee at Stepaside ET.

Olive O' Connell

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Year Head - First Year

Subjects: English, Ethical Education, CSPE

Olive O'Connell is an English and Philosophy graduate of University College Dublin. She began her teaching career working with English undergraduates in TCD, UCD and St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra. She commenced her career as a post-primary teacher of English in Tallaght Community School. She subsequently moved to Deansrath Community College where she spent eleven years as a teacher in the college and as an active member of the wider community in Deansrath.

Over the course of her career, Olive has embraced the diversity of educational philosophies and methodologies. She retains post-graduate qualifications both in post-primary education and in adult education. Olive continued her personal and professional development with post-graduate studies in Special Educational Needs and undertook further studies in Ethical and Multi-Denominational Education. She recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in School Leadership, furthering her development as a teacher and a life-long learner.

Olive is passionate about inclusive education and is our Special Needs Coordinator, working to meet the needs of all students in our school community.

Sallie Ennis

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Subjects: French, CSPE, Ethical Education & SPHE

MA (Hons) Modern European Languages & EU Studies, PGCE Secondary Foreign Languages (French & Spanish), MEd Education Management, PG Cert Teaching Chine Language & Culture (UCD).

After studying Modern Foreign Languages and EU Studies in Edinburgh, Sallie trained as a French and Spanish teacher in Manchester and taught in various schools in Manchester, Sheffield and Barnsley before moving to Dublin in 2013. Since then, she has added Chinese to her language teaching repertoire, along with CSPE, SPHE and Ethical Education. Sallie is currently Assistant Principal and Transition Year Coordinator.

Global Citizenship Education is a particular passion of hers and she loves working with the school's Student Council and Green Schools team. Outside of school, she is a proud member of the Student Climate Action Network and is also a Climate Ambassador. In her spare time, she helps out with the local U9 GAA team, loves running and exploring with her family and their dog, Digger.

Rachel Butler

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Preferred pronouns: She/Her

Subjects: Maths & Applied Maths

BSc (Hons) Mathematical Sciences (TUD) and PDE Mathematics (Trinity College Dublin)

Rachel is a Dublin native living in Co. Wicklow. She is extremely passionate about maths and teaching the subject to the highest standard. Rachel worked for several years in Mount Sackville and Mount Anville secondary schools in Dublin where she delivered the Maths and Applied Maths courses to Leaving Certificate Higher Level.

Rachel joined the team in Stepaside ETSS 1 year ago and has fully embraced the 21st Century culture of learning. She has become a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) and is currently working on achieving the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert title. She also coordinates the numeracy initiative in the school.

Rachel is a passionate advocate for the LGBTQI+ community. She runs a weekly Pride Club with LGBTQI+ students and Allies of the community. This was also the first year she coordinated Stand-Up week in November 2019.

In her spare time, Rachel loves running, watching musicals, shopping, dancing and going to gigs. At home she enjoys going for walks and looking after her animals on her mini pet-farm.

Sarah Garnett

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Subjects: Home Economics, Business Studies, SPHE, Ethical Education

After qualifying with a B.Ed in Home Economics and Economics in 2013 Sarah taught for 5 years in the High School in Rathgar before joining the team here in Stepaside ETSS.

Sarah has always shown a passion for food, nutrition and the benefits of mindfulness through cooking. From working as a commis chef in a commercial kitchen while receiving her B.Ed in Home Economics, Sarah has developed a depth of culinary knowledge and a passion for food. She has set up a small business specializing in bespoke wedding cakes and cupcakes. She loves expanding her horizons, experiencing new cultures and tasting and learning about culinary delicacies from all over the world. She loves to spend time stretching her creative muscles in dress making and relishes the opportunity to practice and share recipes and cooking techniques, honed from several workshops and courses.

Sarah is passionate about the holistic development of her students, utilising meditation and a mindful approach to all areas of her subjects. She offers all of her students the opportunity to fall in love with cooking and enhance their culinary skills in her extracurricular baking club.

She is very proud to work in a school that encourages the development of all aspects of the student, helping them to recognize their valuable role within the broader community.

Aoife McDonald

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Subjects: Art, Ethical Education

Aoife is an Art, SPHE and Yoga teacher at Stepaside Educate Together. She completed a BA(Hons) Degree in Art and Design Education, specialising in Painting, from The National College of Art and Design. She enjoys learning and building upon her creative skills so that she can share them with the students such as embroidery, puppetry and textiles.

She is very passionate about health, wellbeing and maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She has completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, 50 Teen Yoga Training and various Mindfulness and wellbeing courses. Outside of school, Aoife enjoys photography, reading, cooking, practicing yoga and spending time outdoors in nature.

Garry Hodgins

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Subjects: English, History, Chinese

Garry has been teaching since 1998 and was formerly employed at Dominican College, Muckross Park and Ashfield College. He has extensive experience of teaching English and History at both Junior and Senior cycle. Following his B.A. (Hons) in English he undertook an M.A. (Hons) in Modern Drama; his thesis being on W.B. Yeats and the Japanese Noh Theatre. He then qualified with his Higher Diploma in Education in 1998. In 2019 Garry received First class honours in an M.A. in teaching Mandarin and Chinese culture. He has also been actively involved in a research team at the Confucius Institute in U.C.D. to develop teaching materials for teaching the Junior Cycle Short Course in Chinese, has provided in-service training for teachers in the Confucius Institute, was a featured Case Study in the "Chinese as a foreign language in Post - Primary Schools in Ireland" report and is Vice President of the Irish Association of Chinese Teaching.

Garry, an Asian culture enthusiast, is also a Senior Instructor in Tai Chi Chuan, a former international champion in Chinese Martial Arts tournaments and was certified as an Instructor in Russian Martial Arts and Krav Maga. He has taught Tai Chi to University students and has been hired by businesses to teach Chi Gung as part of their Well Being initiatives. Garry has also taught Martial Arts seminars in the U.K., Belgium and the Unites States. He is a former columnist for Irish Fighter magazine.

He is the Editor of the school Newsletter and debating coach.

Conor Devlin

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Subjects: History, Geography

Conor is a newly qualified teacher who is at the cutting edge of the latest teaching methods and practices. He has a B.A. Degree in Geography and History and has recently completed his Professional Masters of Education, both from UCD. Conor is passionate about the provision of special education and has recently been accepted onto a Graduate Diploma course in UCD in Inclusive and Special Education. He is the Chess Supervisor in the school and has led the SETSS Chess Team to regional and National finals where they came 1st and 2nd respectively.

Robyn Hickey

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Subjects: Maths, Science

Robyn is a newly qualified science and maths teacher here in our school, originating from Co. Clare. She completed her B.Ed in the University of Limerick where she majored in Biology and Agricultural Science. Robyn is very passionate about sport and trains the Gaelic football team here with Thomas in Stepaside ETSS. As a newly qualified teacher, Robyn is very enthusiastic about implementing differentiated and innovative teaching methods to students of all abilities. She has been working within the senior cycle committee to develop a well-rounded senior cycle that all students will benefit from in all areas of their learning. In her spare time, she enjoys running and spending time in the West coast of Ireland with her family and friends.

Saoirse McGrath

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Subjects: PE, English

Saoirse is a qualified PE and English teacher. Originally from Galway, Saoirse was a National and International Swimmer with over 50 National medals. She also represented Ireland in Tennis and played on the Irish development squad in Hockey. She is passionate about physical activity and maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She loves to pass on her experiences and skills to her students.

Fiachra White

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Subjects: Music, DML, Ethical Education, Technology

Fiachra is Music teacher at Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School, as well as teaching Digital Media Literacy, Ethical Education, Technology, English as an Additional Language and Resource classes. He also works as a local centre examiner for the Royal Irish Academy of Music and as a music examiner for the State Examinations Commission.

Previously with seven years’ experience as a piano teacher at Leeson Park School of Music in Dublin 6, he also holds a diploma in Music Production for Computer Games and is the composer of a commercially-released album 'Kammerpop : Like a Ride in the Back of an Ambulance'.

He deeply values being part of the team at Stepaside ETSS and truly feels at home with the school’s ethos and its vision of a 21st century learning environment. He is very proud of the school’s dynamic music department with its exciting practical opportunities that include choir, instrumental ensembles, music technology and musicals.

Rose O'Mahony

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Subjects: Irish

Rose joined the school in 2019 having taught in the Community and Comprehensive sector for more years than she cares to admit. She is a graduate of Irish and Mathematical Science from University College Cork and hold post graduate diplomas in Education, Catechetics and Mathematics from University College Cork and National University of Ireland Maynooth.

Rose is passionate about Irish and Irish culture and aims to promote both of these within our school.

Rose is an active member of the Teachers Union Of Ireland where she has held many positions over the years and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the union.

She has been a teacher representative on the Equality Council and the National Women's Council of Ireland. She has represented teacher viewpoint on the National Council for Curriculum Assessment(NCCA) for Maths and is currently a member of the NCCA Senior Cycle Review team for Irish.

To relax Rose can be found exploring the coastline of her beloved Cork or even Kerry.

Guidance


Alice O'Connor

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Alice is the Guidance Counsellor in our school, a role which she is passionate about and values highly. She also teaches Italian, SPHE, and Careers. She has taught in a wide variety of secondary schools around Dublin before taking up her current role in Stepaside ETSS, where she was excited by the opportunity to be part of a new start-up school that would put its own shape on the education, development and care of all the young people that came through the doors. She works closely with management, year heads, tutors, parents, students and the wider community in meeting the guidance and counselling needs of all.

Alice has a BA in Italian and History of Art and an MA in Italian from UCD, along with a Higher Diploma in Education and a Masters in Education, Guidance and Counselling from Trinity College Dublin. She also has completed extensive training in restorative practice, mindfulness, yoga teaching, and attends regular CPD relating to guidance and counselling and her teaching subjects. She is passionate about pathways and opportunities in education for all students and secured the school's award as a Trinity Access School of Distinction for our school’s dedication to 21st-century teaching & learning and pathways to college. Alice also coordinates the Relationship Keepers, a student leadership group responsible for upholding the schools' core values of Kindness and Respect and holders of the Localise Volunteering for All award. She can be contacted via the website under Guidance and Counselling.

Special Needs Assistants


Rachel Murray

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Rachel was one of the initial staff members of Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School when we opened our doors in 2016. She is passionate about inclusion of all students, but especially those with additional needs and advocates strongly for them. She has worked with students in all year groups in the school and prides herself on the strong relationships she builds with them.

She completed her studies in Special Needs Assisting with the College of Progressive Education. She has also undertaken training in the areas of Restorative Practice and Assistive Technology and has a particular interest in the area of autism and enabling students on the spectrum to participate fully in our education system.

She can be relied on to roll out her culinary skills, not only in the Home Economics room, but also during school social occasions. She is one of the core members of our Healthy Eating Schools group. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and is looking forward to contributing to the further development of SETSS.

Niamh O'Sullivan

Niamh has been working with Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School for three years now. Prior to this Niamh worked with children in early years, primary school, a school for children who have ASD and worked in Tallaght hospital with patients through the department of Arts in Health. Niamh is now in her sixth year working as a Special Needs Assistant with post primary students.

Niamh qualified as a Special Needs Assistant after completing a Diploma with the College of Progressive Education. Along with this she has also trained in Mindfulness, Restorative Practice and has completed a course in Lamh with a background in Art, Design and 3D Studies.

In her spare time Niamh enjoys yoga, pilates, art and spending time with her family and friends.

Sonya McConnon

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Sonya has a BA Degree in Psychology and comes to us after taking some time out to have her family. She completed the Special Needs Assistant QQI level 5&6 course with the Progressive College of Education in 2018.

She coaches athletics at the school having a keen interest in the sport herself starting at schools level and has gone on to represent Ireland competing at the European and World Mountain Running Championships. She hopes to develop the athletics programme at our school to have students competing in cross country and track events.

In her spare time she can be seen running up the Wicklow mountains or in Marlay Park for her training sessions!

Xanda Monteiro

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Xanda Monteiro, trained as a filmmaker in DLIADT and started her professional career in the Irish film industry. Later as an exhibiting artist, the interactive nature of her exhibitions/installations Light Shadow and Ink awaken her interest in education.She completed a Cerificate in Counselling Skills with NUI in 2008 and graduated from DCU with a Honours Degree in Education&Training in 2011.In 2016 she completed her H. Diploma in Art and Montessori Education with Saint Nicholas Montessori College. LastAutumn sheenrolled for a courseon Personality with Dr. Jordan B. Peterson and Teach .b Mindfulness in schools training.

Working with children since 2004 in various capacities, from workshop facilitator (Fighting Words) and resources development (Ballymun Comprehensive), three years in the Montessori classroom, to six years at Lycée Françaisd’Irlande/primary enhancingtheAfter School Services and exploring Book projects with early years children.

A Buddhist meditator in the Tibetan Tradition for over 20 years, she joined 34th Generation Shaolin Master Yin Xin’s Kung Fu class in 2016 and has never looked back. She plans to launch the Heart Room (a meditation blog and practice channel) online, in the Autumn. She also loves reading and writing, eclipse chasing and climbing mountains.

She took a break to care for her mum and joined Stepaside Educate Together SNA’s team in 2018. The values of Kindness and Respect fit seamlessly with her way of living and she feels happy and greatly inspired by this vibrant community of students, parents and professionals.

Michelle Clancy

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Passionate about the environment, fitness and mental health, Michelle strives to incorporate these interests into her daily life both at work and at home.

After completing a BA in English and Philosophy in NUI Galway, Michelle went travelling for a year before coming home to pursue a career in education. Michelle has begun her Professional Masters in Education and will qualify as an English & Geography teacher in April 2021. Until then, Michelle is working as an SNA here in Stepaside Educate Together and is committed to supporting all students on their journey through secondary school.

As Rita Pierson says, students are somebody when they come and will be a better somebody when they leave.

Admin


Alex Dempsey

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05-May-2020
Creative Schools RTE Documentary
20-Mar-2020
With the school doors currently shut due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Stepaside Educate Together has been using technology to communicate with students and keep lessons going.
02-Mar-2020
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