About us


About MECS

We strive to be a school that provides all our students – each wonderfully and uniquely made in God’s image with different gifts and abilities – an education that challenges them to live for God, not themselves; to see education as the pathway to service. Come and explore our beautiful bush setting, welcoming community, amazing, committed staff and distinctive curriculum. We’d love to chat with you about partnering with us, and show you around our school.


School Overview

— Meet our Team

Leadership Team

The leadership team at Mount Evelyn Christian School is a group of dedicated, experienced professionals committed to providing the best Christian education to their students.

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Michelle Dempsey

First and foremost, Michelle introduces herself as a follower of Jesus. She says, “I’m in awe of His saving grace and generous love for me. I choose to serve Him in all things, to the best of my ability and thoroughly enjoy celebrating His love through the enjoyment of His creation, in particular through the people around me. I am passionate about education and in particular, assisting schools in growing leaders, teachers, ancillary staff and students in a distinctively different approach to learning. A learning that reflects the love of the Father and points to His ability to transform all aspects of life.”

Michelle Dempsey has had a long-term involvement in Christian Education, and in CEN schools. Starting out as a teacher, Michelle has taught all ages and has served as a Coordinator, Deputy and Principal. In fact, Michelle did a short teaching stint here at MECS in 2004 and 2005. Michelle comes to MECS having recently served as the CEO of Christian Education National, and has been so since 2015.


Janet Anderson

Janet brings a wealth of experience to MECS, having taught for more then 30 years – not just in Melbourne but interstate in NSW and the ACT, across a diverse range of schools. Having held school leadership positions at other schools, Janet possesses the motivation and heart that reflects the primary school at MECS. Janet completed her Master’s Degree at the National Institute of Christian Education, and is most excited about being able to apply such formational principles at MECS. “The most exciting thing about Christian education is the partnership with God’s unique plan for each child. Jeremiah 29:11 reiterates that God has ‘plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'”. When Janet is not leading the primary school, she enjoys her menagerie of pets and the great outdoors.


Karissa Esselbrugge

Karissa has served MECS for more than 19 years in various teaching and leadership capacities before stepping into the role as the secondary assistant principal. She is passionate about her staff and her students. She particularly loves that MECS has the natural bushland lapping at its boundaries.  What excites her the most is educating and empowering young people to grow in their knowledge of God and His world, and their place within it. “The best part about Christian education is being able to actively teach and encourage our young people in their God given identity, through the work of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. I love that we can open up the eyes of our young people to a world that reflects our Creator.” When Karissa is not leading at school, she enjoys being creative with her hands – jewellery making, sewing or building Lego. She also loves nothing more than a beach side holiday in the caravan with her husband.

Ric Thorpe

Ric Thorpe

“Life is a journey and not a destination” is so true for Ric. He is a Tradie at heart with his first career starting as an Apprentice Horticulturist leading managing a Wholesale Nursery, leading production, sales and staff, which included hiring (and firing) apprentices. This led to University, where Ric studied Theology and Teaching. His intention was to go into Chaplaincy, but providence had another direction. His next career was Youth Pastoring where he built up a vibrant Youth Group that ran student services at local High Schools and a Sunday Youth Service that raised leaders. In 2012, he began teaching at Ranges TEC; an innovative school who were looking for a teacher, horticulturist, with a pastor’s heart. Along with a skilled team of Tradies, Ric pioneered the Year 10 Taster program at Ranges TEC as well as designing and teaching the Certificate II in Horticulture. It was in 2017 when all of Ric’s careers truly converged when he took on the Directorship of Ranges TEC. Since then, Ranges TEC has grown in every way. Ric is passionate about seeing students knowing that they have purpose, that they belong, and to see them grow into who God has made them to be.


Gerry Beimers

Gerry has wealth of diverse experience as the Administration Manager. He has worked in education for 30 years, providing extensive oversight over the operations of the school. However, Gerry has spent half that time teaching in cross-cultural adult education and Bible Translation in the Solomon Islands and Melbourne. The MECS community has been blessed to have an Administration Manager who is not only passionate about the Bible, but passionate about working alongside people who are committed to having the Kingdom of God impact all that they do. “The most exciting thing is playing a part in Christian Education National, so that teachers can discover that teaching from a Christian perspective is a rich and deeply rewarding work.” When Gerry is not at work, he enjoys four wheel driving and gardening.