Learning Enhancement

What is Learning Enhancement?

The Learning Enhancement Team serves the complex needs of adolescents.  At a stage when they are deciphering their personal identity, experiencing mixed gender friendships and developing the capacity to form intimate relationships, we are there for them. 

We commit to supporting student learning and engagement to increase their performance, while respecting their social emotional development.  Trough flexible delivery for students, the team practices inclusive principles and maintains an environment conducive for the diverse range of learners to successfully access the curriculum and fully engage in the life of the College.

Why Learning Enhancement?

As an Edmund Rice Associate College, we stand for the human dignity of each adolescent and believe that a diverse range of personal characteristics and experiences is for the common good and enriches the life of the College community.  We provide opportunities for each learning to 'be the best they are able to be', by supporting holistic growth and cultivating the gifts, talents and interests of each learner - aligning with our College mantra of 'Every Student, Every Success'.

How is Learning Enhancement delivered?

Learning Enhancement is delivered by a cohesive, experienced, professional team with varied backgrounds and skills, who work respectfully and collaboratively with our youth and families.  They inspire and challenge learners to perform to their learning potential and with confidence, the Learning Enhancement team is dedicated to:

  • On-going monitoring of progress and academic achievement for each student
  • Collaborative planning, teaching, assessing and reporting with class teachers to cater for the diverse needs of learners - Differentiation, Universal Design for Learning, Bloom's Taxonomy
  • Specialist planning and instruction with class teachers to maximise learning outcomes for students from a Non-English Speaking Background (NESB)
  • Provision of Enrichment programs within and beyond the classroom - extension, problem-solving, co-curriculum and quality sports program, eg. Sports Excellence and TAS Sports
  • Mentor Academy Program - advocacy for College and/or external sporting and cultural commitments
  • Being mindful of family and learner well being and needs - the learner is central to decision making processes and practices
  • Providing 'at risk' adolescents with the opportunity to journey on an alternative pathway to engage and continue with their education
  • Transition processes for new enrolments and learners with cognitive, physical, sensory, social, emotional and medical challenges
  • Lunchtime and after school tutoring - assignments, homework, study skills, time management and organisation, goal setting, resilience, 'learning to learn' skill development
  • One to one, small group and in class support for literacy, numeracy and Non-English Speaking Background intervention
  • Post-school transition practices - work samples, school based traineeships/apprenticeships, employment services programs, tertiary courses and institutions research QTAC applications
  • Providing additional support strategically and fade support as required
  • Learning enhancement Study Line facilitation for subjects, traineeships/apprenticeships requirements, skill intervention, enrichment and extension
  • NAPLAN and QCS Special Provisions applications and supervisions
  • Providing a warm, comfortable, safe environment for reflection, debriefing, celebrations, cultural exchange and meal sharing, group activities for like minded learners

Learning Enhancement Team

Veronica McMahon
Learning Enhancement Coordinator
Welcome to the Learning Enhancement Centre at St Columban's College, which provides an environment promoting the human dignity of each adolescent and the belief that a diverse range of personal characteristics and experiences is for the common good and enriches the life of the College community. Our core service is providing opportunities for each learner to “be the best they are able to be”, aligning with our College mantra of “every student, every success”.

Born and raised in country Queensland, my husband and I have our own family of three teenage daughters and large extended families. Whilst teaching and consulting in education for over 25 years in primary, secondary, adult learning and private enterprise, I have developed a specific interest and energy for diversity and inclusion. Advocating for uniqueness, belonging and learning are my professional priorities. Familiarity with and responding to the achievements, fears and concerns of youth and parents, are my areas of expertise.

My role is to lead the cohesive team which supports our learners, teachers, parents and administrative staff. Our group of experienced professionals with varied backgrounds and skills, work respectfully and collaboratively with our youth and families. Progress and academic achievement for each student enrolled at St Columban’s College is monitored periodically throughout the school year by our Learning Enhancement team. Being mindful of learner well- being and needs, the learner is central to decision making processes and practices, ensuring positive outcomes for students and families. We pride ourselves in meeting the transition needs of students and families in cases of medical issues, family incidences, emotional health and well-being challenges and disengagement from learning – providing adolescents a chance to journey on an alternative pathway rather than not continuing their education.

Feel confident that our team is very well equipped to work with your family through issues that may arise. I invite you to contact me any time regarding how we may assist learners in your family on their education journey.

Joanna Kopitz
ESL/Support Teacher
Having lived, travelled and worked internationally for over 10 years, I bring this rich experience to my ESL/Support Teacher role. Previously, I owned and managed an English school in New Zealand for 15 years, and this experience is fundamental to understanding the challenges and supporting students who are learning and studying a new language. Working in collaboration with the Learning Enhancement team provides an effective learning environment with good teaching practices and visible learning results for all. I love the diversity in our team, the team work and being with teenagers. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

Karen Burton
Learning Enhancement Teacher
Prior to my role at St Columban’s College I taught with Education Queensland and schools in Japan, USA and Germany. I bring this diverse professional experience to my role as Learning Enhancement Teacher. I enjoy the diverse, dynamic and supportive team in the Learning Enhancement Department as it enables us to learn from each other and grow as professionals - to more effectively support our learners, their families and teachers.

Rachel Carr
Learning Enhancement Teacher
I've been a secondary teacher for 17 years, teaching Visual Art; English; RE and Film, Television and New Media. I've also been a Curriculum Coordinator for the Arts; Cultural Coordinator and House Coordinator. I've assisted, created and facilitated workshops, retreats and learning experiences for students and staff. My passion is the Arts, teaching and being a mother. I enjoy painting, film (filmmaking and appreciation), photography, and spending time in the great outdoors. I love working in the Learning Enhancement team because I am able to assist all students in their learning and work with classroom teachers in their goal to reach every student. I feel I am able to make a real difference to the students by supporting their learning through customised learning plans.   

Maureen Vanderhor
Learning Enhancement Teacher

After a career as a Registered Nurse in the southern states, my husband, 2 children and I followed the sun to beautiful Queensland. Whilst the children were completing their schooling, I managed the accounts in our successful Sunshine Coast family business. My interest however has always been literacy and learning. Now as my family has grown I have been able to complete my Graduate Diploma in Education and now working with the dedicated team at St Columban’s.

As, myself a life-long learner, I understand the importance of developing the love of discovery and in order to do that, developing the skills of literacy and numeracy, self-discipline and perseverance. The Learning Enhancement team at St Columban’s, builds on this, generously sharing their time and abilities in a way that demonstrates their care, support and sense of community.

Sandra Granger
Learning Enhancement Officer
UK born and Queensland raised, I've been married for 27 yrs and have 5 children all educated at St Columban's College. I own a menagerie of animals and enjoy craft of any kind, exotic eating and cooking, hiking, kitesurfing, camping, travel and reading! I've been part of the Learning Enhancement team since 2005. Seeing students succeed and grow is very fulfilling work for me. I feel very comfortable in the classroom working one on one with students. I enjoy supporting them to achieve the best they can by helping them solve problems and more fully engage in their learning journey. Our team of teachers are positive, non-judgmental and willing to do what it takes - it's a fantastic learning environment for teachers and students alike!  

Leanne Mathiou
Learning Enhancement Administration Officer
Born and primary educated in Papua New Guinea and finishing Secondary School at St Margaret's in Brisbane, I love to travel and really enjoy cruising the South Pacific Islands. Supporting the Learning Enhancement Team is very fulfilling work for me, seeing the students and families flourish as they are supported by our Team is a privilege. I've been married for 28 years and have two children of my own, so understand how parents feel as their children face challenges in their learning journey. I am here to assist you in every way I can.


Angela Woodriff
Learning Enhancement Teacher

I have been a full time classroom teacher in many subjects including Italian, Geography, Science, SOSE and Mathematics. I understand the challenges of getting to know and understand students and catering for all of their needs. I enjoy supporting both teachers and students. I love working with students in small groups and one on one. My understanding of pedagogy allows me to cut through very quickly to assisting learners with the best support structure for them as individuals.