Meet the Faculty
Mr Robert Slider is Head of Science at St Hilda’s School and holds a Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Education and Master of Education (Educational Research) with a focus on gifted and talented learning and a thesis on the implementation of 21st century learning. Prior to becoming a teacher, he had a career in the chemical industry, working in chemical production, environmental monitoring and mining engineering sectors. After relocating from the United States in 2000, Robert began his career in Australia at The King’s School in Sydney. Prior to joining St Hilda’s, he held senior positions at two Australian International Schools in Malaysia and Singapore (Head of Chemistry, Head of Year 12 and Head of Science); Ipswich Grammar School (Head of Science) and has consulted on STEM development within schools. Robert has curriculum development experience in the IB Diploma, IGCSE, NSW HSC and QCE systems and is using these experiences to address the changes in the QCE system. He is a qualified IB examiner and has served on the Chemistry panel for the last 4 years. Robert believes that differentiated learning is the key to meeting the needs of all learners and he strives to provide students with a variety of learning experiences that encourage inquiry and lifelong learning so that they can develop into informed, 21st century citizens.
Susan Tiplady graduated from Macquarie University with a Science degree and Graduate Diploma in Education. She then followed an interest in fashion and textiles and operated a business in the fashion industry before moving to the Gold Coast in 1980, where another business opportunity arose in office equipment and supplies. Susan spent time in the general aviation industry and obtained a Private Pilot’s License. She arrived at St Hilda’s in 1998 having previously taught at Somerset College. As a Science Teacher Susan appreciates that she has an opportunity to foster a sense of curiosity that allows the girls to explore the dynamic nature of scientific knowledge and the issues presented by these through practical work and problem solving. She encourages the girls develop a deeper understanding of science and its place in their world, enabling them to develop critical and creative thinking skills to understand the importance of their personal actions and their impact upon the world in which we live and in the future.
Sara Bentley teaches general Science and Senior Biology and is St Hilda’s STEM Coordinator in partnership with Griffith University. Sara holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom; a Master of Science in Conservation Biology and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education in Secondary Science from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Sara started teaching in 2008 at The County High School Leftwich, UK where she taught Science and Senior Biology. During her time at The County High School Leftwich, Sara was in charge of Senior Biology and oversaw the implementation of a new national teaching syllabus within the subject. In 2013, Sara relocated to Australia where she began teaching at the Queensland Department of Education (Ipswich) before moving to St Hilda’s in 2014.
Chris Caughley holds a Bachelor of Science from James Cook University, Townsville and a Diploma in Education from the University of Queensland. Her teaching career began with the Queensland Education Department and she joined the staff at St Hilda’s School in 1976. Underpinning her passion for teaching is the philosophy that education is of the whole person and should therefore involve presenting challenges both inside and outside the learning areas. Outdoor pursuits such as the Middle School Outdoor Education Program and World Challenge provide opportunities for self-growth, self-reflection and character development for young women. Chris has an avid interest in these programs and has led three World Challenge expeditions as well as innumerable camps. Science provides a vehicle for students to understand their place in the world. Testing of ideas using practical activities is paramount as is peer discussion in a science-based classroom. Presenting intellectual challenges that promote questioning, lively discussion and ways of finding solutions gives students ownership of their learning. I would hope that they leave my classroom having gained knowledge that will allow them to challenge themselves further. To have been involved in the education of thousands of girls and to watch them grow into the capable young women has given Chris great satisfaction.
Alexa Wood holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition) from QUT and a Graduate Diploma of Education and Certificate in Religious Education from Australian Catholic University. She has a keen interest in health and fitness and worked in this field before moving into education. Alexa taught at Bunbury Catholic College in Western Australia for four years as a HPE and Science teacher and Sports Co-ordinator. In 2012, she joined St Hilda’s School as the acting Head of Sport, before moving into her current position of Head of Year 10. Alexa is the mentor for the Non Nobis Solum portfolio and is also involved in World Challenge, having recently taken a group of students to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. She teaches across the Health and Physical Education and Science faculties.