Meet our Executive Staff

Luke Schoff - Principal

I feel privileged to be the Principal at St James Lutheran College.

I have a great passion for, and deeply understand, Lutheran education and how it uniquely helps shape the lives of young learners. I bring to St James a rich background in teaching and learning, pastoral care, positive psychology and the International Baccalaureate (IB).

Previously I was Assistant Principal at Immanuel Primary School, Novar Gardens South Australia. Prior to that appointment I spent five years in teaching and leadership roles in International schools in Asia; firstly in Nanjing China and then Yokohama Japan. I started my teaching career at St Andrews Lutheran College on the Gold Coast.

Along with my Bachelor of Education, my further academic qualifications include a Post-graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership and a Graduate Diploma of Theology in Education from Australian Catholic University and Australian Lutheran College respectively.

I have a strong commitment to my own professional ongoing learning and remain intimately networked through professional associations and collegial networks.

I live in beautiful Hervey Bay with my wife Emily and my two school aged sons, Harry and Oscar. I am a keen traveller, photographer and cook and enjoy entertaining at home when I get a chance.

Kristy Blaikie, Head of Primary School

It is an honour and privilege to lead our Primary School at St James Lutheran College. I am incredibly passionate about school improvement and build high quality teachers, learning assistants and support staff to inspire children to be the best version of themselves. For the past 14 years I have led schools throughout Queensland in roles of Principal, Deputy Principal and Curriculum Co-ordinator engaging staff and students to be self-directed independent learners and leaders. I hold a Diploma of Early Years Education, Bachelor of Education and Master of Education in Leadership and Management.

I have a gentle and kind approach and truly believe when children are in a supportive environment they can absolutely thrive in learning and in life. Innovation excites me and I feel inspired walking into any of our classrooms watching students engage with world class learning and teaching approaches. I am truly passionate about creating our future leaders whether that be sports, academic or pastoral pursuits. Students are the centre of my decision making living and breathing our motto: inspired to learn - empowered to serve.

Originally from the Sunshine Coast, I am a mother of three primary school children and have lived in Hervey Bay with my husband since 2017. I can remember spending many holiday’s as a child camping at Pialba, catching a whiting and loving what Hervey Bay has to offer. I am proud to now call Hervey Bay home. When not at the beach I am close by at a sporting field cheering on my children or coaching a game of netball or two!

Renae Brogden, Head of Secondary School

I feel truly honoured to step into the Head of Secondary role at St James. I spent a lot of my early career teaching in small country towns in South-West Queensland, working in a variety of different roles including curriculum leadership and pastoral care. I feel most at home working in small-to-medium sized schools where the opportunity to build strong relationships with staff, students and families exists. This is what drew me to St James 11 years ago when I was looking to relocate to the Fraser Coast. I fell in love with a little school where everyone felt like family and quite simply, never left!

I am passionate about working with adolescents and I love watching, and helping, them grow on their journey from small shy Year 7s to the outstanding young men and women that leave our doors at the end of Year 12. I believe that when students feel comfortable in their learning environment they are more likely to experience success, and for this reason I have always poured my time and energy into building classrooms that are safe, engaging and respectful. My personal philosophy of a relational approach to education and community mindedness align perfectly with the St James values and ethos and I am truly excited to lead our secondary school in this way.

Not long after I relocated to Hervey Bay in 2013 I met my (now) husband Shane, and along with our two little girls, we like to make the most of what our beautiful town has to offer. Weekends are about family time, whether that be hitting the parks with scooters and bikes in tow, making the most of our beautiful beaches, or spending time with extended family and grandparents. We are also keen travellers and love making use of school holiday time to pack up our caravan and explore new places.

Melanie Zipf, Business Manager

I am the proudest Business Manager in town! We have such a wonderful College here in beautiful Hervey Bay, and while I’ve seen phenomenal growth since I started in 2012, there is still so much more to come! I am so grateful for the sense of community that we have at St James, where staff, students and families work together, to love, to share, to grow and to serve….together.

I started at St James as the College Accountant, and in 2020 have taken up this new role to serve the St James Community in a much broader capacity. I’m responsible to the Principal, and oversee the Financial and Administrative functions of the College, along with Capital and Minor Works Projects, and Property and Facilities Management.

My extremely broad employment history, which ranges from Government and not-for-profit employment, to Agriculture and Construction, has gifted me a huge range of skills and knowledge which lend themselves perfectly to the Business Manager role at the College.

On a personal level, I’ve been married to Craig since 2000. We have two adult children, Tom and Abby, who live and work on the Fraser Coast. I completed a Bachelor of Commerce with the University of Southern Queensland, majoring in Accounting and Human Resource Management, as an external, mature-aged student. I have a deep love of learning, and intend to continue researching, learning and growing, as the world around me continues to change.