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Meet the

January 2021

School to Skies Edternship



Aidan Gibson • Albany Senior High School

Aidan will be designing a learning experience for his year 12 physics students that develops critical thinking and moves them away from a regimented skill-and-drill approach towards thinking how concepts relate to each other more broadly. He is motivated by seeing growth in his students, and inspiring disadvantaged students to reach their goals. 


Alisha Smith • Kaiapoi High School

Alisha wants to redesign the year 10 science programme to incorporate more skills and contexts that cater to a wide range of vocational pathways so that students see the value in taking science in their final years. Alisha is motivated by her love of helping people, which brings her purpose and fulfilment. She strives to make science fun and accessible to students. 


Alister Gray • Central Southland College

Alister recognises the need to make more obvious connections between classroom learning and future careers and pathways. He aims to achieve this through designing a learning experience for his digital technology senior students. He wants to focus on developing better independence and critical thinking, especially in his male students which he believes have very few opportunities to get help with these skills.

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Andrew Barnett • Windsor North School

Andrew has identified the need for his year 6 students to be set up for the 21st century and to relate their learning experiences to real-life context. In his learning experience, he will have a particular focus on developing collaborative problem solving skills and have the students manage themselves more independently. 


Andrew Jones • St Thomas of Canterbury College

Andrew would like to design a learning experience for year 7-9 STEM students as well as extend the use of in-context internals for senior physics students. Andrew is passionate about encouraging a STEM career as an option for Māori and Pasifika students in particular and further developing STEM resources in his school. 

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Dr Angie Winnington-Sharp • Selwyn College

Angie has observed that her senior students tend to become less enthusiastic about science from year 12, and those who were interested in engineering lose their confidence, so her learning experience will be specifically for these students. Angie is a massively enthusiastic teacher who is motivated by increasing diversity in the science and engineering workplace for the good of the country, economy, and student’s futures. 

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Becky O’ Gram • Westlake Boys' High School

As the Deputy Principal, Becky would love to focus on building her knowledge of career opportunities in order to provide more insightful advice. Her learning experience will be created for year 13 students interested in STEM and the Air Force as a career path after recognising the need students have to apply their learning to real-life contexts when they ask “but when will I need this?”

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Caitlin Byrne • Kowhai Intermediate School 

Caitlin is currently involved in setting up a new STEM learning space at her school and so the learning experience will support this for her year 7 and 8 students. She recognises the need students have to be hands on with their learning in order to have lots of STEM experience before high school, creating young experts and leaders for the future.

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Candace Cassie • Saint Kentigerns Girls’ School 

Candace is motivated by seeing her students gain confidence in their critical thinking and problem-solving skill sets that gear them up for the many job opportunities in the technological world. Her learning experience will be centered around these 21C skills as well as creating partnerships with people in the community to put it into action. 

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Chipo Fumhanda • Te Kapehu Whetu Tuakana

Chipo would like to design a learning experience for his year 11 maths and physics students. He recognises that students need to see the relevance of the maths and physics they learn at school, to their daily lives and the job market. His project will see his students exercise more self-management, and acquire 21C skills. 

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Chris Davey • Airforce Museum of New Zealand

Chris is an Education Officer at the Airforce Museum of New Zealand who runs RNZAF/ NZDF-related education programmes for pre-school through to adult groups. He would love to create a targeted programme for year 9-10 STEM students as he sees it as the opportune time to inspire their pathway through senior school and as a potential career. 

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Clare Nelson • Tangaroa College

Clare recognises the need to provide a smooth transition between primary school maths and NCEA as well as engaging students to find passion in maths. She would love to create mathematical projects where students can see the real-life connection and she defines success as more than a grade. 


Daniel Sefton  • Opunake Primary School 

Daniel is passionate about helping students find their “why” or purpose. He aims to create an exciting and engaging STEM project that teaches his year 5 and 6 STEAM students that technology is a tool and not a toy - recognising that interest and engagement are key priorities to higher level learning. 


Debbie Anderson • Tauraroa Area School 

As the Head of Department of Technology, Debbie will be designing a learning experience for year 10 and 11 digital technology students that demonstrates how things work in the digital world. This experience will complement her current study in Masters in Digital Technology, as well as the app she’s developing.

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Deborah Ward • Mount Maunganui College

Deborah would like to design a learning experience for both her year 9 science classes and year 12 physics and engineering students. This will encourage year 9 students to see the relevance of what they are learning and why. It will also provide awareness for her year 12 of how their learning relates to future careers, in particular what skills employers are looking for. 

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Dev Singh • Cornwall Park District School

Dev is excited to explore how she can support students in applying design thinking processes in real life settings with growth mindset skills, and how these skills and processes can be applied to lifelong learning.  Her learning experience will be focused on her year 5 and 6 STEAM students and she’d love to expand her own critical thinking skills and use design thinking through this programme. 


Egavas Savage • Rowandale School

Evagas is aware that some of his students lead sheltered lives with narrow viewpoints, so he would like to grow 21C skills particularly in the use and know categories. His learning experience will be designed for all students and staff within Rowandale School to continue to develop student agency and self efficacy. 


Evgenia Kern • Stratford High School 

Evgenia is excited to design a learning experience for her year 9 and 10 accelerated mathematics students initially, with a longer term goal of the whole school participating in STEM based projects. Evgenia has a strong background in the field of maths and science having worked as a biotechnologist and microbiologist and in biotech startups, but would also like to add the technical skills of robotics and programming to her toolkit! 

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James Clark • Avondale College

James would like to combine current key employable skills shortage areas like data science and data interpretation with areas of students interests such as game design, as well as ‘soft’ 21C skills. He’d like to design an experience that all of his year 12 core math students, even those with lower motivation, will want to explore and complete.


James Riley • Douglas Park School

James is keen to continue to develop the implementation of four core beliefs through his school’s curriculum: critical thinking, collaboration, student agency and creativity through his learning experience for year 4-6 STEAM students.  He recognises that students need support in articulating how their learning links to the development of the core beliefs and desired curriculum objectives. He sees a well structured, student-driven STEM projects as a possible solution to it. 


John Matthew Smith • Rosmini College

John has identified that students with high levels of ability who “think with their hands” want to engage in careers that require theoretical and practical applications that are largely unsupported in the curriculum base.  His learning experience will therefore be focused on his year 13 physics students and he will collaborate with the technology department to improve outcomes for the students. 

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Julian Lumbreras • Havelock North High School

Julian recognises the need to present the possible career pathways for students in the branches of science which he will do through his learning experience for year 11 science students. He will be focusing on developing techniques for teaching critical thinking, teamwork and goal setting and how these apply to the workforce. 

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Ken Bailey • Manurewa Intermediate School

Ken’s learning experience will be created for year 7 and 8 math students as well as his form class. Ken observes many students continue to ask “when will I need to know this?” so he wants to ensure they can apply their knowledge to real-world contexts that feel relevant to them. Ken is motivated by having a growth mindset and is inspired to improve societal outcomes for his school and community. 

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Kyle MacFarlane • Whakatane High School

Kyle would love to design a learning experience for his year 9-13 mechatronics students. He believes students have a need to base their design ideas on broader concepts, and would like to provide pathways for learners that are interested in aviation. Ken is inspired by setting up rich learning programmes for his students and creating quality exposure to engineering concepts and best practices. 

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Maree O'Leary • Kaipara College

Maree’s learning experience aims to help her year 10 food tech students to find their passion, give them the chance to operate control and control machinery, thus developing a sense of commitment and responsibility towards an outcome they are accountable for. She is motivated by inspiring students to take an interest in the world they are living in, and to shift students away from apathetic attitudes towards an engaged and excited attitude. 

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Maria Darroch • Rolleston College

Maria recognises that students need to be able to contextualise their learning and be resilient, disciplined and responsible for their learning, as well as being able to communicate and collaborate with others effectively.  Her learning experience will be created for year 9 and 10 connected STEAM classes, focused on developing design thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving. 

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Matthew Brachi • Opaheke School

Matthew is passionate about designing a learning experience for his year 6-8 students, in particular those who might be under-achieving in their education. He believes providing positive role models and shared interests are a positive tool in helping boys to engage with their learning and so he will be focusing on the 21C skills of critical thinking, tenacity, resilience, and a growth mindset.

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Meri Blakey • Te Wharekura O Ngā Purapura O Te Aroha

Meri would like to engage students in STEM based learning and recognises the need for students to really be interested in what they are learning. She is motivated and inspired by tamariki’s success in education, but not necessarily academic success, rather for them to grow a strong sense of self by integrating practical life skills into the curriculum. 


Nick Epsom • Kowhai Intermediate School

Nick will be creating a learning experience for his year 7 and 8 maths students to make maths feel accessible. Through the paper he is currently studying, he knows that by applying maths to a real world context can affect the mindset and attitude of students.  He will therefore be focusing on developing growth mindset, resilience and curiosity in his students. 

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Paula Calver • Westlake Girls' High School

Paula recognises that many bright rangatahi are alienated from academic achievement by the system and format of teaching, which doesn’t bring out the best of their abilities. Her learning experience will be for year 11 science and year 12 physics students who are at risk of becoming disengaged with STEM because of the perception science is too hard and/or too boring.  She’d like to design a pathway for students intending to leave school with level 2 that prepares them for skilled trades. 

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Peter Cayzer • Francis Douglas Memorial College

Peter would like to design a learning experience for his year 12 physics students that develops excitement for a career in science and technology rather than just looking to ‘credit harvest’. He aims to develop knowledge and skills that engage young people, potentially through the use of technology, and also to develop a better collaborative learning environment where students learn from each other. 

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Quin Paterson • Murchison Area School

Quin recognises that many students are only familiar with the small town they grew up in and struggle to see connections to where they fit in the big picture and how they are an important part of the changing world. His learning experience for year 5 and 6 students aims to combat this and develop characters like resilience and teamwork in his students as well as academic skills.

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Rodney Roneel Narayan • Taumarunui High School

Rodney’s learning experience will be for his senior math students with the goal to highlight how maths can impact society and how it is used in real life contexts. Rodney would like to develop the know skillset of 21C skills, as he feels it is relevant to teaching the big picture scenario to his students. He is inspired by bringing about a resurgence in interest in the mathematical area through engaging kids with dynamic and creative ways to use maths. 

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Samantha Spilling • Kristin School

Samantha would like to design a learning experience for her year 10-13 calculus students that focuses on all aspects of the aviation industry to enable the students to see potential career opportunities. Samatha’s professional learning goals are to incorporate more STEM in her teaching  and to develop a learning experience that could be used by all teachers in the maths faculty.

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Saradhi Akhilesh Banda Sri • Henderson High School

Saradhi feels that his students are ambitious but lack self belief. He wants to be the catalyst for change for his year 11 and 13 math students, so this learning experience will bring in real world knowledge from the industry to encourage students to dream big and pursue STEM career options. He is particularly motivated to mentor struggling students, with a core focus on those from low socio-economic backgrounds.


Sarah Lovell • Otatara Primary School

Sarah teaches new entrants and year 1 students and would like to design a learning experience for these students. She’s passionate about developing real world connections with learning from an early age in order to set students up to be excited and engaged about learning throughout their schooling. 

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Shirley Katon •  Warepa School

Shirley brings 33 years of teaching experience and passion to her role and acknowledges the need students have to feel that their maths lessons are relevant to them and their futures. Her learning experience for year 5-8 students will explore collaborative problem solving and teamwork while incorporating STEM into the classroom. 

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Stephan Van Haren •  St Peter's College

Stephan would like to design a learning experience for his senior electronics and robotics class in which his students learn about using AI to autonomously control robots. He has recognised the need students have to feel like their activities are valued; i.e for robotics successes to be valued and celebrated in the same way achievements in sports and cultural arenas are celebrated. 

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Subash Chandar K  •  Ormiston Junior College

Subash feels that if ideas and connections are not made at a junior level, some will miss out on high achievement at a senior level, so his experience will be taught to his year junior maths and STEAM students. Having created infinityplusone, a successful educational Youtube channel and several STEAM based PD programmes, Subash strongly believes that learning never stops!

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Susana Tomaz  •  Westlake Girls High School

Susana would like to explore ways to encourage girls into STEAM careers which they wouldn’t normally consider due to stereotypes, biases, or lack of confidence. She’ll do this through her learning experience for year 9-12 science robotics class by focusing on developing the 21C skills of growth mindset and goal setting and planning.

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Teressa Watts  •  View Road School

Teressa will be designing a learning experience for her year 0-3 students that develops 21C skills: collaborative problem solving, teamwork, growth mindset, and resilience. She is aware that students from lower socio-economic backgrounds in particular, need to feel they are able to engage in learning and that it matters, as well as seeing they can do any job they want to in the future. Teressa aims to ignite passion in her students and remedy the disparity of learning opportunities present. 


Tobias Clack  •  Rangitoto College

Tobias has recognised the need to make STEAM relevant, and to develop independence, problem solving and perseverance. He will be designing a learning experience initially for year 9 STEAM students to later be spread across the school. This will focus on developing collaborative problem solving skills and curiosity in his students. 

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Young Lee  •  Catholic Cathedral College 

Young’s learning experience for year 7-10 maths and science students aims to ensure maths feels relevant to them and applicable outside of the classroom. He recognises students need more practical experience at school and is keen to develop collaborative problem solving, teamwork, growth mindset and digital fluency in his students which will be supported by his experience as a youth leader and football captain.