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Meet the Principal

Jacqui Zeelie is the founder and principal of The Capstone School. After gaining teaching experience as the standard head at a Model C school, she established Children's World Pre-School in 1997. She is a member of the Reggio Emilia Alliance, holds a Diploma in Montessori Education and is the proprietor of a study skills programme. 

Jacqui has attended a number of workshop, the most notable of which include Adoption and Attachment, Sensorial Development and Reggio Emilia in the Classroom. Jacqui's teaching philisophy is premised on valuing each child in a happy, loving, stress free learning environment. 

Welcome to The Capstone School and the warmth that it embraces.

The Primary School

Grade 1

Leonora Stephens

Leonora completed her Bed Foundation Phase Degree through UNISA, she is currently working towards completing her Honours degree in Education through UNISA.

Leonora has 9 years teaching experience. She has a background in ACE and State Curriculum. Leonora is also part of the Children’s Ministry team at her church. Her passion and belief in the Reggio teaching methods is what drew her to The Capstone School. Leonora is someone who believes that teaching is all heart. She considers it a blessing to be part of a child’s educational journey and assisting them in reaching their full potential through creative teaching and providing a nurturing environment.

Leonora believes in the quote by Gordon Neufeld, “Children learn best when they like their teacher and they think their teacher likes them”

Grade 2

Louise Lotter

Louise holds a BA Hons degree in Drama and Theatre Studies form the University of Stellenbosch and a Postgraduate certificate in Early Childhood Development and Foundation Phase teaching from UNISA. She has spent the past four years gaining international teaching experience and is delighted to be back in the Eastern Cape. Her passion for the Reggio Emilia approach is what drew her to The Capstone School, and she is excited to create a holistic learning environment in the Grade 2 classroom.

Louise is inspired by the quote by Loris Malaguzzi, "A school needs to be a place for all children, not based on the idea that they are all the same, but that they are all different'. Different children have different ideas, but, when given enough space and time, the class will naturally work together - communicating, collaborating, experimenting and solving problems.

Grade 3

Angie Beckman

Angie has taught locally and abroad for the past ten years, where she gained valuable exposure to a number of international curriculums and teaching philosophies. Before starting her teaching journey, she completed her Bachelor of Social Sciences and PGCE at Rhodes University. Angie believes in creating a safe atmosphere for the children in her class, where they can ask questions freely and let their curiosity grow. She is excited to express this at The Capstone School.

Grade 4

Lisa Viljoen

Lisa was born in Port Elizabeth. She holds a Diploma in Education from Edgewood College of Education and has 24 years’ teaching experience in both private and government schools. She has taught grades one through seven in multilingual schools, and has completed courses specialising in Autism, Aspergers and ADHD.

Lisa is a fully accredited swimming coach and has been coaching since the age of 21. She was awarded her South African colours for synchronised swimming, competing in the Junior World Games at the age of 17. She is a creative and passionate teacher who believes in giving children the wings to fly. Lisa encourages each individual child with positive reinforcement so that they can achieve their potential and blossom into the wonderful people they are meant to be.

Grade 5

Leana Olivier

Leana holds a BDRAM degree from the University of Stellenbosch, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from UNISA and a National Diploma in Outcomes Based Education, Training and Development Practices. For the past 12 years, she has been involved in various areas of education, such as skills development, special needs education, as well as Foundation Phase teaching. She has worked both in the classroom and on the stage as part of Performing Arts instruction. She believes that children should be loved first and taught second, and that the most important tool in a teacher's arsenal is a superb sense of humour! Leana teaches Grade 5-7 Afrikaans and Life Orientation.

Grade 6

Shannon Meyer

Shannon has 23 years’ teaching experience both locally and abroad and has taught in private, state and international schools. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a postgraduate Education diploma from Rhodes University. As a creative person, she loves to nurture children’s creativity and strives to see children as God sees them, with eyes of love. She believes that children learn in relationship, by interacting and participating, and that children are innately capable and curious. “Wisdom begins in wonder.” Socrates

Grade 7

Joseph Chakonda

Joseph holds a diploma in Education and is in his final year of study towards a BA (Forensic Science and Technology) from the University of South Africa. Joseph has 11 years mainstream teaching experience, of which the last five years was spent at a private school. Joseph teaches maths and science at the senior primary level and believes that the classroom is a place where the teacher is not the host source of information, but where information flows from all directions. The teacher assumes the role of facilitator who ignites enthusiasm and watch genius grow.


Emma Brink

Emma Brink graduated from Stellenbosch University in 2011 with a BMus degree (Cum laude). Prior to her studies she spent 3 years in the mission field with Operation Mobilisation, travelling to 18 different countries around the world. After graduating she taught at different schools in Stellenbosch and Somerset West and began teaching at The Capstone School in 2018. She believes that every child has been created in the image of God and is unique and smart. Emma draws inspiration from the book ‘8 Great Smarts’ by Dr. Kathy Koch. She is passionate about music education as learning to play a musical instrument activates every area of the brain and helps brain cells make the connections for virtually every kind of intelligence. She loves seeing children experience the joy of making music and using their gifts to glorify their Creator.


Grade 000

Debbie Brunner

Debbie has 8 years experience in the Early Childhood Development Sector. 4 of those years were spent pioneering and developing a Toddler Class Curriculum and she is intentional in her approach to the children in her class and endeavours to create a nurturing home away from home environment. Her personal approach to education, is one of "incidental" learning through play. As Loris Malaguzzi so rightly quotes: "Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe carefully what children do and then, if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be different from before". Debbie believes that teaching is a calling and considers it an honour to walk a child's journey with them as they explore and discover their world.

Grade 00

Tayla Steele

Tayla graduated from the Nelson Mandela University in 2018 with a BEd Foundation Phase degree (Cum laude). Tayla is is inspired by a quote by Louis Pasteur “When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments - tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become “. This impacted on her deeply as she truly believe that every child has the potential to shine and therefore, she always strive to motivate and encourage each and every learner in her care to be the best they possibly can be. In the words of Loris Malaguzzi, founder of Reggio Emilia schools: “Our task, regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own mountains,as high as possible. No one can do more”.

Grade R

Biancé Mitchell

Biancé completed her BCOM Industrial and Organisational psychology degree in 2013. She has also furthered her studies in Integrated Learning Therapy that focuses on the neural development of children. Her teaching philosophy is that children learn through experiences and experiencing and that the more a child uses their whole body, the more learning will take place. She strives to provide opportunities for children to explore, discover, create and imagine.

Reggio Facilitator

Farie Mubonderi

Farie joined The Capstone School in 2021 and has eight year’s experience teaching in a Reggio Emelia environment. Fari’s teaching is predicated on the use of open-ended materials in stimulating creativity and an exploratory mindset amongst the children.

As an educator and facilitator Fari believes that every child is unique and capable to learn and flourish when given an opportunity to explore and express themselves through the creative use of different media.