Barbara Mulhall - Principal


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


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.


Thomas Cashin


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 an Assistant Principal, 5th Year Head, Health and Safety Officer, and Family Support 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.

Sallie Ennis


Year Head - Sixth Year

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 Chinese 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 an Assistant Principal.

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 U12 GAA team, loves running and exploring with her family and their dog, Digger.

Aoife Linane

Year Head - Transition Year

Subjects: PE

"PE is highly inclusive at SETSS. We focus on ensuring all students can access the curriculum and know how to listen to their bodies. All students are welcome to join all our sports clubs, teams and are given the opportunity to proudly represent their school at fixtures and events."

Olive O' Connell


Year Head - Transition 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 Policies Coordinator, working to meet the needs of our school community.

Sean McMahon


Year Head - Third 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.

"Teaching in a school like SETSS allows both teachers and students to experience their subject in new and exciting ways, through group work, presentations, and the use of 21st century skills.All of which will stand to our students when they graduate from our school."

Catherine McAuliffe


Year Head - First 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


IT Co-ordinator

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.

"Working in a progressive, innovative technology based school allows me to constantly push boundaries and explore new ways of teaching and learning, inspiring both myself and my students to reach new heights of creativity and potential."

Rachel Butler


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.

"I love teaching in Stepaside ETSS and being a part of our wonderful community. There is a great sense of collegiality among staff, everyone is willing to share ideas and help each other at any time. On a daily basis, I see the kindness and generosity of our staff towards everyone in our school community. There is a great sense of inclusion and respect.

Staff and student relationships are another wonderful part of life in Stepaside ETSS. The mutual respect between staff and students is evident both in and out of the classroom. The students are given the freedom to be themselves and express their identities.

At the same time, our wonderfully skilled staff know how to challenge students, encourage them to reach their fullest potential and prepare them for their exams and life after school. We have a wonderful Maths department that is consistently growing and evolving. We work together to create content and support each other through the curriculum."

Sarah Garnett


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


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


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


Additional Educational Needs Coordinator

Subjects: Geography, History, and Resource

Conor is a Geography and History teacher passionate about teaching students critical thinking skills and providing them with the tools to understand our ever-evolving world. He holds a B.A. Degree in Geography and History, a PME Qualification, and has completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Special and Inclusive Education, all in UCD. Conor prides himself on his relationship-building skills with students and his ability to differentiate and scaffold carefully to include all students in his class. Kindness and Respect are at the core of Conor’s teaching style, creating a great atmosphere of trust among his students. Conor is also responsible for the LEGO Team, which has had success on a competitive level.

"Our students bring me hope that the future of Ireland is safe in the hands of socially aware, highly skilled individuals who will guide us to endless successes."

Fiachra White


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.

"Music in SETSS embraces knowledge from the past and the contemporary interests of our students equally. We are lucky to be in a school that is uninhibited, open, and adapting to the needs of 21st century Ireland."

Michelle Clancy

shell pic.jpg

Subjects: English, Geography, Philosophy

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 recently graduated from the Professional Masters in Education and is delighted to begin her career as a secondary school teacher.

Michelle believes in creating a safe and warm environment for students to learn in and strives to incorporate this into her lessons. Michelle is also an advocate for student voice, having completed her dissertation on the power of encouraging student voice within the classroom.

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

Katelyn Faust


Subjects: English, CSPE, Performing Arts

Honours BA Literature (Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California, USA), Professional Masters in Education (Trinity College, Dublin), PG Certificate in 21st Century Teaching and Learning (Trinity College, Dublin)

Originally from Seattle, Washington, Katelyn came to Stepaside Educate Together in 2020. During her bachelor’s degree, Katelyn completed an in-depth study of English literature with a particular focus on the memoir and the personal writing genre. After moving to Ireland in 2017, Katelyn spent one year working as a Special Needs Assistant where she gained valuable insight into supporting and including students with SEN, experience that she has incorporated into her classroom practice.

Since qualifying as a teacher of English in Ireland, Katelyn continued her professional development and immersed herself in all digital aspects of teaching in order to support her passion for English. In 2020, she completed a PG cert in 21st Century Teaching in Learning and has since become a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert. She is a member of the digital leaders team in SETSS and supports students, parents, and staff with all forms of technology used in school.

In addition to teaching, Katelyn involved with both rugby and football teams at SETSS.

In her spare time, Katelyn love reading, playing rugby, surfing, and skiing.

Clare Sydney


Clare has a Biochemistry degree from Leeds University and a master’s in Forensic Science from King’s College London. She has worked in lots of “sciencey” jobs. This included PhD research projects, in addiction clinics, supporting novel research initiatives on fingerprinting and working at a blood cancer charity, finding essential blood and marrow donors for patients.

Clare did her teaching certificate with Teach First, a charity to address education disadvantage in the UK. Clare is a passionate science teacher and is obsessed with developments in the biological world, medical science and the evolution of humans. She most likes teaching and doing experiments with students, especially dissections! Clare has experience as an assistant year head, tutor and resource teacher, and places great importance on supporting her students emotional and social development.

Outside of school, Clare practises yoga, knits faux taxidermy and goes for runs with her rescue whippet called Nancy.

Claire Funchion


Subjects: Irish, Geography

Claire is a newly qualified Irish teacher in Stepaside ETSS from County Kilkenny. Claire studied Irish and Geography at UCD and has completed her Professional Masters of Education in DCU.

Claire believes that the classroom should be a fun and positive environment for a student where one does not only develop subject knowledge but also learns how to be a good, well rounded citizen. She has a particular interest in the transition from primary to secondary school and has completed her PME research project on how to aid this transition.

Outside of school, Claire loves all things musical theatre. She has trained in ballet, tap and hip hop and has performed with many dance and musical theatre groups across the South East. Claire is looking forward to bringing these interests to extra-curricular life at SETSS and is looking forward to being part of such an innovative and creative school community.

Rachel Reynolds


Transition Year Programme Co-ordinator

Subjects: History, Classics, EAL, Resource

Rachel has a BA in History and a Professional Masters of Education from UCD. After qualifying in 2016, Rachel left Ireland to teach in an international baccalaureate school in Dubai for four years. Since then, she has become familiar with many different cultures and has taught students from all over the world. This cultural awareness and international mindedness is something that Rachel strives to integrate into the classroom environment. Her passion for concept and inquiry based learning is something she aims to implement in her lessons.

Rachel loves traveling and has travelled to over 30 countries. Other interests are hiking and any kind of water sports including swimming. She was a lifeguard and swim teacher and has recently started sea swimming since returning to Ireland. Rachel is also the Model United Nations Director at SETSS and has led the debate team to the quarter finals this year.

Ruairi Connolly


Subjects: Construction Studies, Graphics, Wood Technology, Technology

Master of Education Technology, Bsc. Quantity Surveying, Btech. Construction Technology

Ruairi joined the SETSS team in the 2020/2021 academic year and has felt at home with the school’s ethos and democratic style. Ruairi arrived late to the world of teaching having worked as an engineer in the construction industry for 8 years before undergoing a Master of Education in Technology at University of Limerick and graduating in 2019. Ruairi feels very fortunate to have travelled across the globe initially studying and then working on some of the world’s largest construction projects like London’s Olympic Park, Sydney’s Port Botany extension, the Commonwealth stadium in Canada, Manhattan apartment construction and the light rail in Edinburgh.

This global industry experience provides for continuous connecting of the technology subject’s curriculum with real-life scenarios, providing an opportunity to engage the students and showcase the value of the subject’s content. Ruairi also likes to replicate construction design team environments in the classroom to create an exciting and realistic learning environment for the students. He is passionate about the subjects he teaches and feels privileged to be able to share his knowledge and life experience in delivering content.

Ruairi has an interest in most sports and is actively involved in Gaelic football, rugby and athletics on a daily basis also having coached several school teams and looks forward to getting back out on the field when we can.

Caroline Lynch


Subjects: Home Economics & Art

Caroline background is predominantly in art having completed her BA(Hons) degree in fine art from IADT, with a keen interest in Education she followed this up with H-Dip in Community Art Education (NCAD) & PG-Dip in Art Education (NCAD).

Caroline’s experience ranges from community settings, classrooms & Art Galleries, although she has spent the last four years working in adult education before joining Stepaside Educate together in 2020. She is loving getting to know the wonderful and unique personalities of all the students in SETSS while looking forward to getting involved in all the exciting upcoming projects this dynamic school has to offer.

In her spare time, Caroline loves painting, drawing, horticulture and transforming and small forest she owns in an eco-haven for biodiversity and wildlife.

Jennifer McGrath


Subject coordinator of Geography, Facilitator of Creative Writing Club, 2nd year tutor.

Subjects: English, Geography, Artistic Performance and Ethical Education.

Jennifer is from Dublin, with a strong family connection to Wexford. After school, she undertook a BA in English and Geography in UCD, followed by an MA in Drama and Performance Studies. Not content with that, she then completed an MA in Creative Writing.

She took a circuitous route to teaching, taking a year off to travel before returning to Ireland to work in retail, administration and as a fraud analyst. Jennifer completed her PGDE in Trinity College in 2014 and hasn’t looked back since, joining Hansfield ETSS and staying there for five years. In that time, she developed the curriculum for Performing Arts, was the English subject coordinator, mentor to several PMEs and tutor to 4th and 5th year classes. She joined Stepaside ETSS in September 2021.

In her spare time, Jennifer is an enthusiast of 80s music, festivals, and fashion. She bakes, plays the saxophone in a concert band, swims and enjoys going for walks. Her other love is writing. She was shortlisted for the RTE PJ O’Connor Radio Drama awards in 2010 and has since been published in several anthologies. She put together her first poetry collection over the summer.

Jennifer is looking forward to a busy third year at Stepaside ETSS.

Linda Finney


Year Head- Second Year

Subjects: History, English, Resource

Student Council Liaison Teacher

BA (Hons) History & English (UCD), MA History of International Relations (UCD), Higher Diploma in Education (UCD)

Linda has been teaching History and English to Leaving Certificate level for 18 years. This is her second year in Stepaside ETSS. Linda chose to move to the diverse school community in Stepaside ETSS due to the ethos of inclusion and equality, where there is a clear emphasis on kindness and respect for all.
Linda hopes to impart her love of History to the students, as well as getting more people reading! The focus of her teaching is on developing critical thinkers who can make connections in the real world. She has taken on the role of Student Council Liaison Teacher, which reflects her belief in the fundamental importance of student voice in all school communities.

Linda has held the role of Additional Needs Coordinator in her previous position, which provided great insight into meeting the needs of all students in the classroom and beyond. She also acts as a mentor for PME students, encouraging and supporting new teachers as they start out in the classroom.

In her spare time, Linda loves travelling, reading and spending time with her family.

"Stepaside ETSS is a school with a hugely positive learning and teaching environment. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunities provided to foster creativity and critical thinking. Teachers are very supportive of each other's ideas and collaboration is a key part of school life. Building relationships with students has been a very positive part of my experience in the school, as has engaging with the diverse perspectives of the school community."

"Stepaside ETSS is a school with a hugely positive learning and teaching environment. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunities provided to foster creativity and critical thinking. Teachers are very supportive of each other's ideas and collaboration is a key part of school life. Building relationships with students has been a very positive part of my experience in the school, as has engaging with the diverse perspectives of the school community."

Karen Sadleir


Subjects; Science and Biology

TY Tutor

Karen is from Co Monaghan but was born and raised in Dublin up until the age of 11 so has always had a strong connection with the Dubs!

Karen obtained a BSc in Natural Sciences from Trinity College back in 2009, specialising in Zoology and then went on to obtain a MSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare from Queens University Belfast. With a strong educational background in animal science, Karen emigrated to Canada in 2011 where she worked for 4 years in an animal hospital as a veterinary assistant and was fortunate enough to travel a lot of the world during that time.

Karen then returned to the UK to start her career in teaching where she completed a PGCE in Biology at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2015. Karen worked as a Science and Biology teacher in the UK for 3 years before moving to Abu Dhabi to work as a head of department and teach Science and GCSE Biology and Chemistry.

Having truly fulfilled her travelling bug, Karen decided to move back to Ireland in 2020 and worked in a school in Co. Wicklow before joining SETSS last year. Currently Karen is back at college and is completing a professional diploma in Physics teaching with DCU.

Karen is a huge advocate for mental health awareness; something that she strives to promote at SETSS and is very keen to promote the Science subjects at Leaving Certificate level at SETSS; with a particular focus with promoting women in STEAM subjects.

Karen also enjoys running, travelling, hiking and cooking during her spare time.

Pablo Schofield Legorburo


Subjects: Politics and Society, Philosophy, Ethical Education, CSPE, Spanish

Extracurriculars: Football Club, Philosophy Club, Culture Club

Pablo grew up bilingually between Ireland and Spain as the child of an Irish/English father and a Spanish mother. After completing a BA in Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin in 2012, he worked in a sailing association in France and then as a teacher of English as an Additional Language in Spain and Ireland. Then, in 2015, he completed an MA in Political Economy in King’s College London. After two years considering a career in the political sphere, he decided that he loved teaching too much to leave it and moved to England in 2018 to do a Postgraduate Certificate and then a Master’s in Education at Cambridge University. He then spent two years teaching Philosophy, Religious Studies and Spanish in London before moving back to Dublin and joining SETSS in 2021.

Pablo is passionate about dialogic teaching and learning and always aims to create an environment where his students succeed by relating to and engaging with the subject being studied and by not being afraid of exploratory dialogue, questions, challenges and mistakes. His goal is to improve his students’ skills of language, questioning, argumentation and exploration and, alongside these, a depth of understanding of themselves and others that they can carry into their adult lives. He is delighted to be working in an Educate Together school that matches his approach to teaching and learning.

Beyond the classroom, Pablo is a keen sportsman, with a particular love for football, bouldering, snowboarding, cycling, sailing and hiking. He also loves music, film, chess and reading. Part of what he loves about being a teacher is leading or assisting in a variety of extra-curricular activities like he does at Stepaside, and experiencing the enjoyment and value of being part of wider school life and the positive knock-on effect this can have in the classroom in a teacher’s relationship with students.

"I love working in SETSS and being part of our exciting school community. The emphasis on kindness and respect is evident to me every day in my relationships with my students and colleagues, who consistently display these values in their interactions with me. A key part of this is the freedom our school community gives us all to express and be ourselves.I also love the way we celebrate diversity, for example in our PBL week on migration and diversity which culminated in an international food fair, as it reflects my experience as the product of an international marriage."

Fionan Keenan


Subjects: Maths, Coding, CSPE

Fionán is a recent graduate of the Professional Master’s in education course in UCD and teaches Maths, Coding and CSPE in SETSS. Previously he worked as a financial consultant in the exotic lands of London, Sweden and Hong Kong but is thrilled to be home again and teaching in a young and vibrant setting. Fionán is a sports fanatic and will be coaching the Boys Football team this year.

Fionán really appreciates the ethos that SETTS has and loves being able to teach using active learning methodologies that creates engaging mathematics discussions and debates.

Outside of school, Fionán loves all things sports related and plays football and tennis regularly along with the odd sea swim!

Niall Cullen

Subjects: Maths

BEng (Hon) Electronic Engineering and PGCE

After completing his degree in Electronic Engineering Niall worked as a Network Engineer in Dublin before moving to London. A passion for travelling led Niall to take a career break and travel across South America for a year. Niall returned to South America to live in Colombia where he worked as an English Language teacher for 2 years. During this time Niall caught the bug for teaching (as well as Dengue fever) and returned to London to complete a PGCE in teaching at Brunel University in London. Since then, Niall worked at a school rated as outstanding for seven years before moving to Bristol to become a Head of Mathematics.

In 2021 Niall returned to Ireland with his family. Drawn to the democratic and inclusive culture at Stepaside Educate Together he can now share his passion for Mathematics and education with the students of Stepaside.

Outside of school Niall enjoys music, playing guitar and hiking in the beautiful Wicklow mountains.

Conor O'Kelly

TY Coordinator

Subjects: Business, Economics, CSPE, LCA and LCVP

In a previous life, Conor was a derivatives trader with over 25 years experience in the financial sector both in Paris and Dublin. He taught corporate finance at Trinity University (part-time) for ten years before making the full transition to education in 2017. He is currently Transition Year Coordinator and a firm believer in the unique benefits of TY to students’ social, emotional and academic growth. He is also a keen basketball player and enjoys coaching both at the school and at club level.

Aideen Clarke

Naomi Cuffe

Sophie Harrison

Subjects: French and Spanish

Sophie is a passionate, innovative and creative teacher of French, Spanish and EAL. She loves working at Stepaside ETSS and is committed to creating a dynamic and inclusive learning environment in which every student thrives. Having graduated from the Professional Masters of Education (NUI) with a First Class Honours, she is committed to creating a dynamic and inclusive classroom environment which supports all learners and in which every student thrives. A qualified English as an Additional Languages teacher, Sophie also enjoys working with students who come to the school and for whom English is an additional language. Sophie is particularly passionate about student learning, engagement and active teaching methodologies, an area that she chose to explore further in her dissertation in partial completion of her Professional Masters of Education.
In her classes, students embark on a journey of natural language acquisition. She understands that just as we acquire our first language by immersing ourselves in it, second-language learning should mirror this process. Through interactive reading, dynamic storytelling, and engaging with authentic music and media, students absorb the languages in an organic and enjoyable way. This approach nurtures not only linguistic skills but also a deep cultural understanding. Together, students learn, explore, and laugh – because having fun is essential for effective learning!

Outside of the classroom, Sophie works on the Professional Master of Education programme as an occasional lecturer and EAL methodologies tutor. In her spare time, Sophie loves to practise yoga, bake and read. In addition, Sophie enjoys acting and playing music, both areas which she incorporates into her student's learning.

Medb McKevitt

TY Musical Co-ordinator, Induction

Subjects: Irish and English

Medb has a BA in English and Irish and a MA in Anglo-Irish literature from UCD. She has taught in various schools in Dublin and also spent six years teaching English and Irish to European Baccalaureate level in the European School of Mol, Belgium. Medb teaches Irish and English in ETSS Stepaside and feels that her experience teaching in a multi-lingual environment has really enhanced her own teaching and pedagogical approaches. Medb is deeply passionate about the Irish language and encourages students to see it as a vibrant and living language that holds the mysteries of our past and the pathways of our future in its words and stories. Medb truly believes that her job as a teacher is to bring out the ideas, individuality and creativity that exists within every student. She is also part of the Drama Department and this year hopes to watch with pride as the students of Transition Year perform the inaugural musical.

Katie O'Brien

Dermot Finn

Subjects: Art, Coding, Resource

Dermot loves art and hopes that this love of the subject will inspire his students. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Art and Design Education from The National College of Art & Design, Dublin, which he completed in 2008. His professional background is rooted in a genuine passion for art and a commitment to education. Over the years, he has significantly contributed to various educational institutions.

Dermot has also pursued a career as a professional artist, exhibiting his work across various venues in Ireland. His artistic journey has allowed him the opportunity to share his creations with the public, both locally and on an international scale. Dermot's experiences as a professional artist have deepened his understanding of the art world. These insights are shared with his students, offering them a glimpse into the practical aspects of an artist's life.

Dermot has diverse interests and hobbies outside his professional life, including film, technology, science, navigation and environmental issues. He loves engaging in outdoor activities such as running, swimming, surfing, and cycling. However, he particularly loves sea kayaking, a pursuit that allows him to explore and appreciate the natural world.

Hugh Gallagher

Subjects: Irish and Geography

Hugh, a native of Donegal is an Irish, Geography and Ethical education teacher here in Stepaside Educate Together Secondary school. After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Irish and Geography in St. Patricks College, Drumcondra, Hugh went on to complete the Post Graduate Diploma in Education in UCD. He has completed a course in Educational Leadership and served as an examiner for the State Exam Commission.

Hugh has written six successful textbooks for both Junior and Senior Cycle Irish as well as co-creating a digital education platform with Folens that supports blended learning. Hugh has been teaching for 20 years, and has developed highly effective practices that allow students to engage with the Junior and Senior Cycle skills and competencies in a more meaningful way.

Hugh holds the school values of kindness and respect of utmost importance and hopes to instil an appreciation of these values in his students. Hugh is passionate about teaching and learning and aims to make a positive difference to the student experience here in Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School. Hugh also hopes to impart his love for the Irish language to all his students. Beatha teanga í a labhairt!


Alice O'Connor


Wellbeing Co-ordinator

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.

"I love teaching in Stepaside ETSS. There is a really positive, collegial, creative approach to teaching and learning. Classrooms and the staffroom

feel like happy places where students and staff are kind and respectful to each other. Stepaside feels like a place where learning is genuinely valued and people are afforded space to makes mistakes, learn from them and grow from there; embracing a growth mindset is a distinct part of the learning culture here. I especially love our commitment to wellbeing and equity, where everyone is valued and offered support in the ways they need."

"I love teaching in Stepaside ETSS. There is a really positive, collegial, creative approach to teaching and learning. Classrooms and the staffroom

feel like happy places where students and staff are kind and respectful to each other. Stepaside feels like a place where learning is genuinely valued and people are afforded space to makes mistakes, learn from them and grow from there; embracing a growth mindset is a distinct part of the learning culture here. I especially love our commitment to wellbeing and equity, where everyone is valued and offered support in the ways they need."

Special Needs Assistants

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


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!

Claudia Coppo


Claudia holds a degree in Modern European Languages and Literature (Spanish and English) from the University of Turin and holds a Masters in Spanish Translation.

Before moving to Ireland, she worked for several years as a secondary school teacher in Italy where she taught English, Spanish and Italian as a foreign language. After moving to Ireland, she worked in both public and private schools as a Spanish and Italian teacher (Loreto in Bray and Ashbourne Community School).

She feels very passionate about teaching languages and she has a particular interest in grammar and the history of languages.

After taking some time off to have her own family, she completed her studies to become a Special Needs Assistant with the Open College, QQI Level 5 & 6. After volunteering in a Special School in Gleneagary, she developed a keen interest in the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

She currently works as a Special Needs Assistant in Stepaside ETSS. She also currently works for the Italian Institute of Culture and Cabinteely Adult Education as an Italian language teacher. In her spare time, she likes spending time outdoors with her husband and two boys and she enjoys practising yoga, walking and reading books.

Carolyn Caffrey

Peggie McKeon


Rachel McHugh

Caroline Bennett

Staff Contact

To contact a member of staff via email, use the following format.

(First letter of the first name)

Staff Member - [example]

No events found
an absolutely fantastic day of team building activities for third year students. A huge thank you to Go Beyond Adventures for coming out to our school
Ballyogan Road, Leopardstown, Dublin 18, D18 VEA0.
© 2024 Stepaside ETSS