National Executive Members - 2016

The Professional Learning Association New Zealand Te Māngai Whakangungu Kaiako o Aotearoa (Inc) is led by a national executive. In March of each year, members are elected to the national executive which consists of a Māori medium committee and an English medium committee with a chair for each committee that become co-chairs of the national executive.

In the first instance an interim national executive group has been established. This group represents various PLD providers and will be disestablished once the first annual general meeting takes place and the first elected national executive is in place.

INTERIM NATIONAL EXECUTIVE: The roles will be open for nomination in 2016 and voting open to all members.

Michael Absolum Michael Absolum

Company Director
English Medium - Committee
Evaluation Associates

Michael is the founder and director of Evaluation Associates and a thought leader in assessment for learning. He is the author of ‘Clarity in the Classroom’ which is recognised by teachers as the best New Zealand text on assessment for learning.
Michael is currently directing the Consortium for Professional Learning (CPL) Leadership and Assessment PLD in the Ministry of Education's Southern, Central South and Northern regions. He is also the co-national lead for the Ministry of Education’s Māori-medium aromatawai (assessment) project.

Michael has a deep knowledge of the New Zealand education system and what it takes to lead an effective school, create inspired and inspiring teachers and enable students to become powerful engaged learners.  He is also one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded evaluators.

In the past, Michael has held positions as a teacher, a psychologist, and with the education review office. For the last 15 years he has consulted to schools and the wider education system through Evaluation Associates, leading many highly successful professional development programmes.

Michael has a Master’s degree in science and a post-graduate diploma in educational psychology from Auckland University.

Nick Billowes Nick Billowes

Director Development
CORE Education Ltd

Nick is CORE’s Director of Development. In this role he supports CORE’s major national contract programmes with oversight of the Te Toi Tupu (TTT) consortia, the Early Years Programme, executive support to the Kaihautū Māori team leaders, as well as a range of other contracts currently held by CORE with the MOE. His key responsibility is around procurement and the acquisition of new business.

In the profession of teacher development, Nick became Director of Nelson Education Centre in 1989 where, apart from both teacher in-service and teacher preservice responsibility, he was appointed to be National Coordinator for the MOE’s ICT PD project through until 2007.

He became Foundation Director of Ultralab South in 2003, then CORE Education in 2005. In all areas Nick has been leading teams and developing the practices of facilitation for change in teacher PD and school leadership. The past 5 years have seen him connected with the professional learning and development consortium, Te Toi Tupu along with a range of other PLD projects.

Camilla Highfield Camilla Highfield

English Medium - Co-Chair
University of Auckland

Dr Camilla Highfield has been the Director of Professional Learning and Development at the Faculty of Education since 2007. This role involves her leading a range of Ministry of Education contracts delivering professional learning and development in New Zealand schools.

Camilla’s research and professional interests are in the arts, professional development, equity and social justice, school change and leadership. Developing and coaching effective leadership practices in colleagues and young people is a particular interest.

She has given papers at conferences focused on schooling improvement and is an emerging academic writer and teacher. Camilla has worked on a wide range of projects and held roles as a board member and consultant is a range of education contexts.

Jan Martin Jan Martin

Director, Institute of Professional Learning
English Medium - Committee
Associate Dean Professional Learning, University of Waikato

Jan is the Director of the Institute of Professional Learning: Te Whai Toi Tangata and the Associate Dean, Professional Learning at the University of Waikato. Jan has experience as an educational leader and project manager. She has directed the national pilot programme for aspiring and potential principals and has led professional development programmes as a school principal, as the coordinator of the School Support Services Leadership and Management team, and as Acting Director, Continuing Education. Jan has worked with adult educators in REAP programmes, in Community Education, as a school principal and as a school adviser.

She is interested in leadership development, particularly as it relates to improved outcomes for students. She is also very interested in the involvement of parents, whānau and the wider community in educational organisations. Jan has a Masters in Educational Leadership and a Graduate Diploma in Disputes Resolution from the University of Waikato.

Ian Stevens Ian Stevens

Director, Education Support Services, University of Otago
English Medium - Committee
Te Tapuae o Rehua Mau ki te Ako Consortium

Ian is Director of Education Support Services (ESS) at the University of Otago. Since 2012 ESS has been a partner with the University of Canterbury and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in the Te Tapuae o Rehua Mau ki te Ako consortium. In his role Ian has been responsible for leading a range of Professional Learning and Development (PLD) contracts for ESS, including English and Māori Medium, Literacy and Reading Recovery contracts.

Ian has been a Social Sciences and Leadership facilitator for the Otago/Southland region History and a Teaching/Learning lecturer at the College of Education. He is currently lecturing History in the University of Otago Masters of Teaching and Learning programme.

Ian has a strong commitment to equality of education for all students and challenging and supporting centres, kura and schools to make significant shifts for those underachieving within our system.

Phil (Piripi) Prendergast Phil (Piripi) Prendergast

Kaihautū Māori
Māori Medium - Committee
Kaiārahi: Mau ki te Ako

Piripi began his career as a secondary history teacher in the Bay of Plenty and later specialised in teaching English in Māori medium settings, mostly in Christchurch. He is the author of several bilingual social studies texts and is on the executive of the Canterbury Association for Gifted Education. Currently, Piripi is the Kaiārahi for Mau ki te Ako, the PLD consortium of ngā papatipu rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the University of Canterbury and the University of Otago. Mau ki te Ako is one of six strategic partnerships that come under Te Tapuae o Rehua. Piripi also does facilitation work for provisionally certificated teachers.

Deanne Thomas Deanne Thomas

Kaihautū Māori
CORE Education Ltd

Deanne has much experience and leadership in indigenous education issues. She has developed a number of projects and programmes for teachers of Māori immersion, dual immersion and te reo Māori. She was a member of Te Ohu Matua, the reference group for the Ministry of Education in the development of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Professional writing is also a skill of Deanne’s and she has been a part of the continued development of the learning area Hangarau, since its first draft in 1995. Through writing resources for both teachers and students, to the development of professional learning programmes and exemplars for teachers, Deanne has been at the forefront of hangarau for Māori-medium schools.  She is presently on the Ministry of Education’s Digital Technologies in the New Zealand Curriculum reference group.

As Kaihautū Māori for CORE Education, Deanne works to grow the professional capability of the CORE Māori-medium facilitators and publishing teams. She also supports other Māori facilitators within CORE Education by providing a cultural base/network where people can celebrate and increase their personal understanding of te reo Māori, tikanga and mātauranga. Across the company Deanne offers the advice and support required to help CORE meet its cultural aspirations as a company.

Geoff Moore Geoff Moore

Director UC Education Plus, University of Canterbury
Te Tapuae o Rehua - Mau ki te Ako Consortium PLD

Geoff is Director of UC Education Plus, University of Canterbury (2009 - 2015), and a partner in the Te Tapuae o Rehua – Mau ki te Ako Consortium for PLD. Geoff has 35 years experience in education, as a teacher and principal, and with extensive experience as a PLD facilitator and coordinator of PLD in leadership, curriculum support, and assessment for learning.

He is the professional leader of UC Education Plus, providing leadership, curriculum and pedagogical support to schools through a wide range of Ministry of Education PLD contracts, and consultancy services in Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary settings in English Medium and Māori Medium.

Geoff believes that it is a privilege to work with leaders, teachers and facilitators who are committed to make a significant difference for their learners.

Jill Parfitt Jill Parfitt

021 512 580

Jill has worked in education for over 25 years. From teaching and then facilitation, Jill moved into contract management and leading teams of facilitators, delivering professional development and learning in schools, predominantly in the Auckland and Northland regions. Jill has a published article about effective facilitator practice.

Jill is currently consortium manager for Te Toi Tupu - Leading Learning Network. In this role she works collaboratively with five professional learning and development organisations who hold a number of Ministry of Education contracts.

Lifelong learning and continual improvement within a supportive and growth environment are important to Jill. Working collaboratively with a number of different professional learning organisations on common issues and focus has been a highlight for Jill in recent years.

Leeana Herewini Leeana Herewini

Māori Medium
Institute of Professional Learning

Leeana is the Deputy Director, Māori Medium of the Institute of Professional Learning: Te Whai Toi Tangata. She is also a Te Toi Tupu project leader and an experienced facilitator for Pāngarau in years 1-8 across the North Island. Leeana supports school principals and teachers to embed Pāngarau in their own schools. She has a particular focus in improving outcomes for Māori students, Pasifika students and students with special educational needs.

Leeana has previously worked as a project leader for gifted and talented, INSTEP; and a facilitator for Pāngarau and Te Poutama Tau. She has also been on the advisory groups for Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMoA), Wāhanga Ako Pāngarau, Ministry of Education Numeracy projects, He Kahui Pūmanawa (Giftednz) and Ministry of Education New Zealand Curriculum. She was involved in the publishing of Te Poutama: An alternative framework examining Māori medium in-service teacher education practice.

Jenny Whatman Jenny Whatman

Senior Researcher

Jenny is a senior researcher at NZCER where her work has encompassed research and evaluation on adults’ work, adult literacy, initial teacher education and community experts in schools. She is also involved in test development relating to school student and adult learning. She leads NZCER’s involvement in evaluation for Te Toi Tupu.

Prior to working at NZCER, Jenny worked in schooling policy for the Ministry of Education and co-ordinated the secondary initial teacher education programme at Wellington College of Education.