elaine robinson principal SMMIS International School Singapore

Elaine Robinson

Elaine was born and educated in the UK, and has been in the teaching profession for over 20 years in London, Israel and Hong Kong. She gained her undergraduate degree in Theology, from Birmingham University, UK, and her MA is in Philosophy of Education, from the Institute of Education, London. Elaine attained her NPQH (National Professional Qualification in Headship) in November 2017.

Elaine served as Deputy Headteacher of the Jewish Community Secondary School a large Jewish Secondary School in London for 8 years. It was during her role there that she was awarded the National PAJES Jewish School Awards for Deputy Headteachers, which she won for her role in setting up the school. She started her formal teaching career at Immanuel College London, where she was responsible for creating the Social Action programme in the school and launching the Yoni Jesner Award Scheme – a programme encouraging children around the country to volunteer.

She is committed to child centred education and is inspired by the work of Carol Dweck: and her theories of the Growth Mindset. Elaine was an active member of the Senior Faith Leadership Programme run through Cambridge University, and is committed to Interfaith work. Elaine is in Singapore with her husband and two children, who are happy to be studying at SMMIS.

Shanthi Vaidyanath teacher SMMIS International School Singapore

Shanthi Vaidyanath

With more than 17 years of experience teaching in International schools, Shanthi is drawn to the new experiences of every single day, and the chance to be an important part of each child’s unique learning experience. Shanthi completed her Master’s in Education from Monash University, Australia in 2009, expanding on a Montessori Diploma and a Bachelors in Science. She began her career in SMMIS as a teacher 15 years ago, becoming the Vice Principal in 2009. Throughout her career, she has taught various age groups, from Kindergarten to High School Science.

Having lived in five countries over the past 25 years; she credits the International school capabilities for bringing a wealth of experience and understanding for herself and her family.

Shanthi lives in Singapore with her husband and two children. She believes in giving back to society and is passionate about charity work. She is part of the Education 4 everyone (E4e) group which has built 14 schools in impoverished communities in Asia.

Simcha Abergel

Simcha has been in the education profession for over 20 years. It is through her undeniable passion for Jewish Education that she founded and established the Ganenu Learning center, the first Jewish preschool in Singapore and served as its principal from 1996 for over 10 years when it then became the Sir Manasseh Meyer International school in 2009. Simcha has also served as the principal of the Sunday Hebrew School for many years and is involved in all aspects of the Jewish community.

Simcha holds a DEC in education from Marie Victorin, a Diploma of teacher training from Chaya Mushka Seminary both in Montreal Canada, and an Advance Career Award Diploma in Business Management from The Singapore institute of Commerce and the Cambridge local syndicate.

Simcha and her husband Rabbi Mordechai Abergel have been serving as the Chabad Shluchim and Rabbi and Rebbetzin of the Jewish Singapore community for the past 24 years, they have 6 children, 2 who are current students at SMMIS while the others each had the chance to experience SMMIS before moving on to various international schools around the globe.

Alexandra Cipriano

Ali was born and educated in the UK. She has been in the teaching profession for over 10 years in London, and prior to that has experience teaching in both Thailand and South Korea. She gained her undergraduate degree in English Studies from the University of Southampton, UK, and her Post Graduate Certificate of Education in English, Secondary Education, from Middlesex University, London.

Her last position, at JCoSS – a large Jewish secondary school – was as Head of English where under her leadership, the faculty achieved results placing them in the top 10% of schools nationally for student progress. She was also an English Subject Adviser for a large cluster of North London Secondary schools, advising other leaders of English on best practice.

Ali is in Singapore with her husband, who is also a teacher, and two children, the youngest of whom is happy to be learning at SMMIS.

Erin Smith

Erin was born and educated in Australia where she earned both her Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Teaching/Arts and a Master’s Degree in Educational Studies (majoring in ICT/Digital Learning) from the University of Newcastle. Erin has been in primary education for approximately 15 years and has taught in Australia, Japan and Germany prior to moving to Singapore in 2017.

With extensive experience in inquiry-driven pedagogy and as an Enrichment Specialist, Erin engages her students in learning experiences that challenge thinking, heighten curiosity, and open their minds. Erin strives to help each individual student create a positive mindset, fostering their ability to become lifelong learners and global citizens.

Her last position, at another international school here in Singapore, was as Head of Primary where she led the development and success of its Primary School to become one of the fastest growing schools in Asia – from 200 students to over 800 students in just 3 years. She has also been at the forefront of training and mentoring teachers for best practices in inquiry, conceptual thinking, creativity, and differentiation.

Erin is in Singapore with her husband and 2 children, both of whom will be learning at SMMIS starting in August 2021.

Justine Fredman

Justine was born and educated in Australia. She completed a 4-year degree in a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Studies and is trained in Reggio Emilia. Upon completion of her degree Justine moved to the UK where she worked in a Jewish day school as the Grade 1 and Reception class teacher for 7 years. Moving back to Australia to start a family, Justine worked at a Jewish day school as the Year K teacher for 3 years. After having her 3 children Justine successfully opened up her own family day care which catered for children from 1-3 years old. She moved to Singapore with her family in 2015 and began working at SMMIS in 2016. She is now Head of Pre-School and has a strong philosophy of learning through play, creating child centred and hands-on approaches to learning, development and growth.


Janine Lewinton

Janine was born in the UK, and educated there and in the USA. She has been teaching for twenty years and before that she worked for a global banking group in the City of London. She gained her Honours degree from the Open University, whilst working full time, and is a firm believer in Life Long Learning. 

Janine began her teaching career at a selective boys’ Grammar School in the UK, where she gained Qualified Teacher Status as an English teacher and was the school’s SENDCo. She comes to us having spent a short while as Head of English and SENDCo at an International School in Malaysia, and before that she was Assistant Head at an Independent Jewish Day School in North West London, where she was SENDCo and a Designated Safeguarding Lead as well as an English teacher.

She is married to the Principal of an International School in Malaysia and has three grown up children, one of whom is a School teacher, like her mother and grandmother before her!

Valentina Wijaya

Valentina studied Accounting and Finance at Curtin University of Technology and is a member of CPA Australia. 

She worked at another international school in Singapore prior to joining SMMIS. Previously a senior auditor in one of the professional accounting firms in Singapore, Valentina has been in the accounting and audit industry for over 7 years.

Joy Sie

Joy has extensive experience in HR across a variety of industries. She studied HR Management at SHRI Academy, completed a Certificate in Employment Intermediaries (Basic) CEI at NTUC and is a Certified Human Resource Manager.

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