Northshore Christian Grammar School’s Head of Early Learning, Richelle Schokman, has a proven track record in building welcoming and nurturing communities in school start-ups.
A foundation student of St Stephen’s herself, Richelle’s first teaching position was opening Clarkson Primary School, considered a country placement in those days.
Richelle then taught at Kingsway Christian College and was part of the team setting up the Merriwa campus, before joining Alkimos Baptist College in its 2nd year.
“A new school offers such a unique opportunity and special feeling,” Richelle says. “Not only is there a real sense of excitement and openness amongst parents, students and staff, the school is usually also small enough to really get to know every parent and child and build deeper connections.”
Hailing from a family with generations of Christians, Richelle is all about serving, caring, mentoring and relationships and believes the school day doesn’t begin and end with the school bell.
“I love connecting with the parents and truly coming alongside them in educating their children,” Richelle notes. “Even years later parents still ask me to pray for certain situations, which I consider a huge honour. Seeds are always being watered.”
Richelle’s love of teaching emerged at a very young age when she taught Sunday School alongside her grandmother.
“I have always particularly loved the little ones,” says Richelle. “I love seeing them enjoy education and going home full of what they have learnt. I especially enjoy seeing the look of awe on their faces when they first hear the incredible bible stories.”
Five years as director of Children’s ministry at Woodvale Baptist Church has strengthened her passion for showing people Jesus.
“We are a lighthouse within the community,” she says. “Yes, we are absolutely giving our students an education of a high academic standard, but we are also teaching them that knowing Jesus is the most important thing.
With a clear passion for Early Learning, familiarity and affinity with the area, and vast experience in setting up foundation schools, the move to SCEA was a natural decision to make.
“Of course the beautiful school and awe-inspiring facilities are a great example of how a Christian school can be,” Richelle says. “but I’m especially amazed by the training, support and backing from head office and other schools. SCEA has a big picture that is unfolding in a godly way and I am grateful to play my part in that.”
We warmly welcome Richelle, her husband Floyd and their three children to the SCEA family.