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"We must teach our children to read and write the word so that they may re-read and re-write the World." Paulo Freire.

I am the Principal of Albany Junior High School in Auckland, New Zealand, a middle  school with 1250 students, 71 teachers and 31 support staff.

In my previous roles as an educational consultant (and in corporate executive positions) I learned much about the structures, practices, and processes of effective schools and I bring this knowledge to my school, in addition to change management and co-creation skills. The practical experience is underpinned by Ph.D. level research knowledge on global education systems and classroom practice, reinforced with experience through the NZ teaching career ladder as a senior teacher, team leader, and Deputy Principal. 

My objective is to drive the best learning  possible for our young people by being student centred, becoming the best school principal that I can be, developing the best team of teachers possible, and co-creating a shared vision for schooling.

I would like to bring together my life experiences, personal learning about schools and education, and skills and knowledge, and be a part of a great team that will help create future lives that our students can be proud of.

Work experience

May 2014Present


Albany Junior High School

School leader of a 1300 student school (from 1022 in 2013) where we deliver awesome educational experiences to year 7 to 10 students. Leading 75 exceptional teachers and 31 passionate support staff. 

After the usual 'storming' phase, developing deep relational trust and addressing mental models at use in the school, we introduced curriculum and pedagogical change based on the professional knowledge of the team in the school, World Class Learners (Zhao), Visible Learning research (Hattie), and the Challenging Learning Framework (Nottingham). We are now at the performing phase. My personal learning around change leadership has grown exponentially during this process. We are now on a journey to become a best practice model for middle years education. We had an ERO review soon after my taking on this role, receiving a 3-year review cycle but the ERO noted that this would have been a 4-5 year cycle had there been more time to provide evidence of our initiatives being embedded.  

Other processes introduced over the last three years include:

  • Shared visioning: Reviewing and replacing the previous vision and mission statement in collaboration with our teachers, parents, students, and Board.
  • Created online learning progressions to ensure a guaranteed and viable curriculum alongside critical vocabulary for each learning area.
  • Moved further towards personalised learning through a focus on student voice, co-creation, social construction, and self-discovery (Zmuda, Curtis, and Ullman, 2015).
  • Added over 70 extra-curricular clubs, two mornings each week, and a Make A Difference (M.A.D) session per week, with over 65 elective options, for academically-focused personal passion projects. Inspired teachers to make this a reality.
  • Increasing partnerships, community networking and parent information meetings, helping to grow our roll by an average of 55 students per year, in competition with high schools of great reputation.
  • Implementing a developmental appraisal model and a walkthrough process to ensure effective teaching in every classroom, aided by our team of excellent teachers. We also introduced a common language of instruction and learning.
  • Implemented a TRIAD and Professional Learning Team process to improve collaborative teaching practice whilst honouring teacher professionalism.
  • Increased student and parent voice, e.g., surveyed parents and subsequently changed our reports, including not only achievement towards National Standards but also progress (using effect size analysis).
  • Increased our knowledge of co-creation through Glaser's Conversational Intelligence method.

Executive Member

North Shore Principals' Association (NSPA)

Serving on the NSPA's Executive Committee, serving the needs of all 58 primary, intermediate and middle schools on the North Shore of Auckland, New Zealand.  Holds particular responsibility as a member of the Graduation Committee, having previously been involved in the annual leadership professional development day for principals.

Nov 2013May 2014


Visible Learning Plus

As a consultant with Visible Learning Plus, I:

  • Evaluated school performance on a range of strategic areas.
  • Completed needs analyses, and co-design action cycles with school leadership collaboration.
  • Consulted with schools (primary, intermediate and secondary schools) and facilitated professional learning and development (PLD), with a focus on Visible Learning and useful assessment tools, such as e-asTTle, to provide solutions to the needs of the school towards improvement in student achievement and community engagement.
  • Delivered quality professional learning workshops, conference papers and presentations.
  • Analysed data on school-wide data (achievement and perception data), and communicated with schools about the interpretation derived.
  • Specifically tasked with the establishment of the 'Impact Schools Project', whereby 15 schools undertook the suite of Visible Learning workshops and the collective impact was measured, analysed and evaluated.
Aug 2011Nov 2013

Deputy Principal, Curriculum, Assessment and Pedagogy

Sunnynook Primary School

General DP duties with specific responsibility for curriculum, assessment and pedagogy. Through implementation of a planned action-cycle and a change programme focused upon improving teaching quality and student agency, we improved student achievement against national standards by 7-10% in one year. The change program involved:

  • Devising and producing a School Improvement Portfolio, cross-tabulating student data, perception surveys, demographics, and teacher practices, analysing and sharing the findings with the community.
  • Assessment of teaching effectiveness.
  • Collecting, analysing and interpreting student achievement data, updating MS Excel spreadsheets with pivot tables in order to help analyse and report progress.
  • Co-created a shared scope and sequence for literacy, maths and inquiry, that teachers could refer to. These were linked to the SOLO taxonomy.
  • Following up with coaching walk-throughs every day, with feedback for each teacher.

This data and action cycle was shared with Review Office inspectors and the school received a 'highly effective' result by the Education Review Office and a 4/5 year review period. Subsequently, we received several groups of visitors from international school leaders to explore how we were achieving such good results, e.g., from Denmark.

Oct 2005Aug 2011

Assistant Dean, Team Leader, Lead teacher for Mathematics, Board member

Murrays Bay Intermediate School
  • Whole school and team leader responsibilities in a 1000 student school.
  • Assistant Dean responsible for whole school professional development.
  • Extension class teacher. Consistently achieved highest effect size on student achievement in the school for the three years of numeracy and literacy measurement (consistently ranging between 1.1 and 1.6).
  • Responsibility for whole school ‘day talent’ programme of elective days. 
  • GROWTH qualified coach and was part of the coaching lead-team for the whole school.
  • Board member at MBl for 5 years, gaining a unique insight into the governance requirements of a school and gaining an understanding of quality board reports.
  • Highlighted as a high performing teacher in 2010 ERO review.
  • Introduced blogs, wikis and podcasts to our practice.
  • Graduated from the Ministry of Education’s National Aspiring Principals’ Programme.


Nov 2012Present

Doctor of Philosophy (Education)

Deakin University

Research on 'How does the publication of PISA league tables influence education policy making in New Zealand?'

Feb 2006Mar 2011

Master of Education (First Class Honours)

Massey University

A first class honours with papers on educational research, mathematics education, teaching fractions, decimals and percentages, teaching statistics, foundations of literacy, and current issues in teaching mathematics. A 3-paper equivalent research thesis on 'The impact of a school leader's mathematical identity on the teaching of mathematics in their school' with Dr. R. Hunter as main supervisor.


International School Leadership Certificate

Ontario Principals' Council/University of Waikato

6 module study on Ontario's school leadership programme, overlaid by the New Zealand context and culminating in a professional leadership plan. Modules included:

1. Leadership for School Improvement

2. Characteristics of Effective Schools and Systems

3. Building Relationship and developing People

4. Setting Goals and Expectations Using Data Informed Decision Making

5. Leading Improvement in Classroom Instruction

6. Developing a Leadership Plan

Feb 2005Nov 2005

Graduate Diploma (Teaching) Primary

Massey University

Achieved an A+ average across the year, being entered on the Dean's Honour Roll as a result.

Sep 1988Jun 1992

B.A. ( First Class Honours) in Management

University of Central Lancashire

A four year honours degree covering business management. Initially focused on the hospitality industry but leading to a year long placement in retail with Marks and Spencer.  Majored in leadership, marketing and accountancy.

Received the Hopkinson Trophy for Best Management Student.

Professional Development Received

  • Level 3 Tikanga and Te Reo Course with the Te Wananga o Aotearoa
  • Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) coaching course with Judith E. Glaser (USA). Now a certified C-IQ coach.
  • Visual facilitation course (Melbourne)
  • Year-long Schools Colloquium Programme through the National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative (NESLI)
  • 4 Day Advanced Open To Learn Leadership with Prof. Vivianne Robinson (University of Auckland)
  • 5 Day Summit on High-Reliability Schools with Dr. Robert Marzano (Denver, USA)
  • Graduated from First Time Principals' Programme with Ministry of Education (NZ), following National Aspiring Principals' Programme
  • Ph.D. research

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (RSA)
  • Executive Member of the North Shore Principals' Association

Member of:

  • International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching (ISATT)
  • Australian Council for Educational Leadership (ACEL - Australia)
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD - USA)
  • Mathematics Education Research Group Australasia (MERGA)
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM - USA)
  • New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)
  • NZ Educational Administration and Leadership Society (NZEALS)

Professional Development Delivered

Professional Development workshops that I have led have been widespread and effective:

  • Delivered a year long Schools Leadership Colloquium Programme through the National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative (NESLI) and the Australian School of Applied Management
  • Visible Learning conference, Brisbane. “Building Relational Trust for Sustainable School Improvement"
  • North Shore Senior Managers’ Association Seminar series. “Towards school improvement using Visible Learning methods, tools and strategies".
  • Mathematics Education Research Group Australasia (MERGA) 2011 conference, Alice Springs, Australia. “Mathematical Identity, Leadership, and Professional Development in Mathematics: Influences that affect mathematical practice”
  • Published in MERGA publications, 2011. “Hidden Influences That Affect Mathematical Practice In Your School”


I am passionate about empowering our students for success in their future lives. I am committed to engaging students who see a pathway (university or vocation) to achieve their potential, whether creative, practical, or otherwise, with the help of my school.  I am part of a leadership team that introduced whole school change, surveying all stakeholders, acting on findings, and developing learning progressions for core curriculum areas. This saw improvements through a focus on rigour and a student centred culture.

I am an educational leader with life and business experiences that add layers of capability, including a depth of understanding to engage with a wide variety of stakeholders in the education, governance and policy making sectors. I am a lifelong learner with a first class M.Ed.(Hons.) and current Ph.D. studies, demonstrating proven intellectual and practical educational leadership knowledge. I believe, fervently, that education should contain the foundations of equity of educational opportunity, high quality teaching and transparency. I am an advocate of evidenced-based teaching practices and have driven these processes in many schools. I feel that rigour in theory and practice is a necessary skill of the 21st Century educational leader. Learning from others is part of this approach. 

Finally, I employ the use of technology. I use all web 2.0 tools including blogs, wikis, and podcasts.  I study online on MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) and have delivered online courses in leadership. 

Non-Educational Work History

This section offers a summary of work experience prior to becoming a teacher, in reverse chronological order.

Director, Martial Arts NZ Ltd. (2000 - May 2007)

Following my lifelong love of the martial arts, I founded the first professional martial arts school in NZ, becoming the largest such organisation in Australasia. My programme included bully busters and values education.

Business Leadership Experience, UK, France, NZ, and South Pacific (1992 - 2000)

My first role following my degree was as an area manager in the hospitality trade, managing hotels, restaurants and bars in Southern England (including London). This was followed by a role in the oil business as a retail business manager for Elf Acquitaine, the French petroleum organisation, leading the operations of 22 sites.

In NZ, from 1994 to 1997, I was employed by Woolworths New Zealand as a Category Manager, responsible for several categories of product for three supermarket brands and as the first project manager for the original online customer shopping system in New Zealand.

I was then headhunted to be Deputy General Manager of Morris Hedstrom Supermarkets in Fiji and Western Samoa, living in Fiji for two years before being headhunted again for an American based retailer, called Cost U Less, and taking up the position of Vice President for the South Pacific region. A Board takeover led to redundancy and entry into my lifelong dream of being a teacher.

Services Between 1978 and 1988, I served in the  Greater Manchester Police in the United Kingdom and the Royal Air Force as a Commissioned Officer (Air Navigator). Having completed one of the World's most stringent leadership courses at RAF Cranwell, I trained for Flying duties an led a flight of 15 men and women.


Outside of my family time, my Ph.D. Studies both fills my time and is my main interest. Educational policy, Jean Baudrillard, actor-network theory, Bourdieu, school reform, and lots more have taken over any spare time. Prior to the Ph.D., my main interests included the extreme sports of reading, novel writing, and coffee drinking long with the martial arts, in which I hold a 7th degree Black Belt in Karate.