Meet our experienced team

Cognition Education consultants are teachers, principals and researchers. Our team are highly skilled professionals who use their knowledge and expertise to co-discover, co-design, co-deliver and evaluate education solutions.

As accredited PLD facilitators our team focus on supporting schools, teachers and leaders to effectively and sustainably improve learning outcomes for all ākonga.

Dr. Lindsey Conner

Dr. Lindsey Conner

Education Director Asia - Pacific

Bio

Lindsey brings a wealth of creative experience in leading curriculum development and assessment, supporting education systems and teacher education development in Asian and Pacific countries. She started as a Play Centre Supervisor, became a secondary science and mathematics teacher (and member of a school board), moving on to leading and researching teacher education in New Zealand and Australia. Her work spans multiple disciplinary areas and has focussed more recently on the power of integrating learning areas to build learners’ capabilities. In addition, she leads educators, collaborative teams and leadership groups to develop effective ways to infuse and apply appropriate and culturally congruent technology for more effective outcomes.

Lindsey has undertaken consultancy work for New Zealand Universities (Academic Quality Assurance), Fiji Higher Education Commission, National Institute of Educational Research (Japan), SEAMEO (South-East Asian Ministries of Education, 11 countries) and UNESCO. She has led multiple projects in New Zealand and across Pacific nations, helping teachers grow in their understanding about meeting student needs and transforming lives through education. Her inspirational “can do” approach within senior executive teams has enabled changes to strategic planning, digital solutions for educational services, extended external relations, improved quality assurance, augmented benefits of internationalization and effective management of human resources.

Her life goal is to find multiple ways to enhance human experiences through education. She strongly believes that there are powerful possibilities for public good when educators partner with communities to create and evaluate educational solutions that are culturally appropriate.

Jenna Crowley

Jenna Crowley

Regional Manager, Tai Tokerau

Bio

Jenna is an experienced educator and leader of learning with a background in a wide range of Auckland and Northland contexts. As a professional learning and development consultant, Jenna works within and across schools / Kāhui Ako to develop effective instructional leadership and increase collective efficacy. Jenna is passionate about raising achievement for all learners through culturally responsive pedagogy and Relationships-based Learning. Her strengths are in facilitating teacher inquiry and collaboration, responsive curriculum design, and school self-review. Previously, Jenna has specialised in Learning Languages, the New Zealand Curriculum, and Mathematics and Statistics. Her Master of Education (with Distinction) research focused on the impact of teacher collaborative planning for mathematics on their knowledge and practice, and explored factors influencing teacher change.

 

Dr. Deborah Lomax

Dr. Deborah Lomax

Regional Manager, Auckland

Bio

Debbie brings rich experience and expertise as a published academic in culturally responsive educational leadership, local curriculum design, and pedagogy.

Her doctoral research signals the importance of understanding the diverse knowledge values and social norms of teachers and school leadership, and of students and families to support inclusive and responsive education.

Debbie’s previous leadership and advisory work with the Ministry of Education offers specialist support for schools and Kāhui Ako with Strategic Planning, Local Curriculum design, the Learning Support Delivery Model and Action Plan, Change Management, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Histories.

Fiona McDiarmid

Fiona McDiarmid

Regional Manager, Lower North Island

Bio

Fiona joined the Cognition team in July 2012 and is the regional manager for our Lower North Island team. She has been working in teacher professional development in mathematics and statistics since 2001 and is National Leader for Programmes for Students (ALiM and MST).  Fiona brings a wealth of experience to the team. Prior to joining Cognition, Fiona spent 8 years with Victoria University where she led the mathematics advisory team and lectured a few mathematics masters level papers. This was followed by a three-year stint at the Ministry of Education where her main role focused on improving mathematics educational outcomes. Fiona is passionate about mathematics and believes that all students can be successful in learning mathematics.

Aleise White

Aleise White

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Aleise works with schools and Kāhui Ako to raise achievement for all learners through culturally responsive pedagogy and Relationships-based Learning. She supports schools to effectively implement evidence-based practice to address inequitable outcomes and meet the needs of all learners. Aleise also has strengths in developing effective instructional leadership, collaborative teaching practices and local curriculum design. As an Accredited GROWTH Coach, she has success using coaching to support teachers and leaders to build their capacity and agency.

Alison Robinson

Alison Robinson

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Alison joined Cognition in 2014 and is currently a consultant based in Northland. Prior to this she worked in the primary sector for 25 years and has lead curriculum teams in numeracy, literacy and physical education. She has held several leadership positions within her career and believes in developing a strong relational trust with all stakeholders to raise student achievement for all learners. Her recent work has been working with Northland school leaders and teachers to develop in-depth and flexible mathematics professional learning.

 

Anna Charlie

Anna Charlie

Consultant

Bio

Anna’s two decades of experience reach across Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary sectors and demonstrate her diverse skills. Anna majored in Management with a Bachelor of Communication Studies and holds a Graduate Diploma in Teaching. Anna’s leadership journey was strengthened through five years of Principalship. She is an advocate for relationships/whanaungatanga at the centre of all learning. Anna encourages understanding communication and behaviour to support learning; improve interpersonal and organisational culture; and increase achievement. Anna can support effective growth in a wide range or areas; leadership, differentiation, key competencies, wellbeing, cultural responsiveness and working with communities.

Belinda Blick

Belinda Blick

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Belinda Blick has a wealth of experience supporting leaders and teachers with their writing programmes. She is a professional learning facilitator with over twenty years of experience working in schools and is passionate about using evidence-based research to guide writing instruction and raise achievement. Her bespoke approach to professional development is focused on meeting educators where they are – modelling practice, observing, supporting content development, workshops, formative feedback and more. Belinda is currently trialling a new approach to teaching sentences with students in Year 8 and the results are showing that they are making significant progress with their writing achievement.

Dr. Craig Hansen

Dr. Craig Hansen

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Dr Craig provides digital fluency and local curriculum design support with a focus on strategies that promote reengagement of students. With a PhD in Education & the creative industries, Craig helps schools to remove barriers to learning. To this end, Craig launched Drone Legends (the largest STEM.org approved flight programme in North America) in a South Auckland Alternative Education centre.  Craig’s PLD supports integration of the local curriculum & EdTech with both NCEA Achievement Standards & the primary curriculum. Craig has a team of specialists through his advisory board so more teachers get greater benefit in a shorter period of time. With 30+ years in education, 7 years leading the largest Google Education Group in SE Asia, creator of the first AltEd programme in a primary school and founder of an NGO that enables women who have been sexually exploited to reintegrate into society, Craig is comfortable in any setting and ready to support your school’s vision.

Del Costello

Del Costello

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Del provides Literacy, Learning with Digital Technologies and Innovate Learning professional learning and development (PLD) to schools and Kahui Ako throughout the country. Del has specialised expertise in the area of oral language for literacy and has worked in the PLD space for the last 15 years. She has a Master of Education (eLearning and Digital Pedagogies endorsement). Her work focuses on collaboration with teams to design, develop and evaluate integrated approaches that improve learner outcomes. She advocates for evidence-based practice and delivers a focus on strengthening relationships across school communities. In addition to her work with schools, Del is an examiner for Speech New Zealand.

Des Lynch

Des Lynch

Consultant

Bio

Des supports school leaders in collecting, reflecting and acting on evidence about the effects on ākonga learning of school-wide organisation and classroom teaching. His areas of expertise include strengthening culturally capable systems and practices, local curriculum design, assessment for learning and equitable digital learning experiences for all ākonga; Des’s kaupapa values whanaungatanga, kōrero, resilience and inclusion.

With nine years of experience in secondary school Deputy Principal roles, Des has been an agentic educational leader navigating the change process’s many challenges. His qualifications include NAPP, Grad. Dip. Tch & Lng (Sec.) and Bachelor of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management.

Dianne Ogle

Dianne Ogle

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Dianne has been working in mathematics professional development since 2009. She also has experience in leading professional development in digital technologies, literacy and gifted education. Dianne is passionate about mathematics education and is particularly interested in developing student discourse in mathematics classrooms, data-informed decision making and the role of digital technologies in mathematics education. Dianne supports schools in data analysis using wide sources of evidence and assists them to make data-informed decisions. She completed her Master of Education (Hons) at Waikato University in 2016 specialising in professional learning.

Conrad Waitoa

Conrad Waitoa

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Ngāti Porou | Ngāti Kahungunu | Ngāi Tahu

Conrad has inherited the mana of his genealogy. His maunga stand proudly, his awa ripple gently past, and marae has the warmth that allows him to stand tall in Te Ao Māori me Te Ao Pākehā.

Conrad provides strong Cultural Capability, Local Curriculum Design and Assessment for Learning expertise, each through the lens of Te Ao Māori. He believes every tamariki deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, understands the power of whakapapa, and insists that they become the best they can.

Hawkes Bay is home where Conrad currently works with Iwi, hapū, marae, kāhui ako, schools, leaders, teachers, ākonga Māori and whānau through his trust, Inspire In Education and as Māori Cultural Advisor to the Public and Health sectors. MBA in Māori and Indigenous Leadership, Te Pōkaitahi Reo Māori and Long Service Award “Board of Trustees” NZSTA are some of his tohu.

Fiona Smale

Fiona Smale

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Fiona joined Cognition in 2019 as a consultant based in New Plymouth, covering the Taranaki and Whanganui areas. Prior to this, she mentored ALiM (Accelerated Learning in Maths) and MST (Maths Support Teacher) teachers. Fiona has over 25 years of experience working in primary and intermediate schools both in New Zealand and overseas, having held leadership roles in Technology and Mathematics. Fiona is particularly passionate about mathematics teaching and learning, with the belief that all students can achieve success in mathematics. As Maths Lead Teacher, she has participated in both the ALiM and MST programmes for students which focusses on removing inequalities and accelerating student achievement. Fiona is now involved in supporting teachers, leaders and principals with Maths Professional Learning and Development.

Gillian Kissling

Gillian Kissling

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Gillian Kissling demonstrates passion and capability in improving teaching practice. At the heart of her work alongside schools is the development of young people as life-long learners and productive citizens. With significant expertise in collaborative inquiry, Gillian empowers leaders and teachers to respond agentically in a range of situations. She has strengths in evaluation and self-review, acceleration practices, curriculum design and delivery and mathematics pedagogy. She has presented at symposia in New Zealand and Australia, been involved in internal consortium review and provided consultancy education since 2009. Prior to her role as education consultant, she held a number of positions in the primary sector ranging from literacy leader, special education needs co-ordinator to principal. Gillian is curious, optimistic and passionate about her work in education.

Glenys Henry

Glenys Henry

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Glenys is a skilled educator and professional who has been working internationally for over 15 years. She supports transformation and improved performance in education using coaching approaches to meet the demands of a changing world. She has designed and delivered over 100 workshops focused on coaching training, communication, leadership and team effectiveness, and has coached over 350 individual clients. She has successfully supervised educational research in the Middle East resulting in unique research in this region.  Her training results in improved wellbeing for teachers, stronger relationships, more effective and motivated teams and empowering and culturally appropriate approaches. She is currently working with schools in New Zealand for improved outcomes for all students.

Heather Lewis

Heather Lewis

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Heather’s expertise and interests lie in mathematics education. She is experienced in co-constructing professional development solutions with schools, based firmly on current research and evidence that support the core principles of the New Zealand Curriculum. Heather’s passion is to help school leaders and teachers challenge their own mathematics teaching practices and strengthen mathematics learning that is centred on cognitively challenging problem solving and rich tasks that span the broader curriculum. Heather is currently the National Leader for Programmes for Students (ALiM and MST). This Ministry of Education funded intervention supports leaders and teachers to implement accelerative strategies to raise achievement for priority learners. Her role as a mathematics consultant in schools is to support leaders to build and sustain professional learning communities, in which teachers grow their capability. Heather joined Cognition in 2012 and led the mathematics contract for Auckland and Tai Tokerau until 2017. Heather also facilitated the Mutukaroa project which supports schools to partner with parents and whānau to better understand how their children are progressing in their learning over the first three years at school. It is also about supporting parents with making learning fun at home. She is accredited to deliver professional development to understand and use the Learning Progressions Frameworks in Mathematics, and the PACT. She has presented at conferences and symposia in New Zealand and Australia, including NZAMT, MERGA and MAV.

Helen Walls

Helen Walls

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Dr Helen Walls specialises in the teaching of writing, structured literacy, school-wide data analysis, formative assessment, and feedback.

Helen is a professional learning facilitator and educational researcher, with eighteen years experience working in schools. Helen assists schools to plan effective programmes – closely aligned with student needs. She is passionate about supporting teachers, sharing evidence-based methods that will engage every student. Helen gained her Diploma of Teaching in 2003, and her PhD in 2019. She has spoken at national conferences and has published with The Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties.

Jacque Allen

Jacque Allen

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Jacque is an education consultant for Cognition Education in the area of Innovative Learning. She is working with many schools, both with new and existing learning spaces. Her experience in teaching at both primary and secondary levels enables her to work across all curriculum areas and at all year levels. Jacque is passionate about the change management involved in innovative learning pedagogy and practice, utilising innovative learning spaces to capitalise on the advances in pedagogy across New Zealand and around the world. Jacque provides a co-constructivist approach, enabling leaders and teachers to develop strategies for learner agency, collaborative teaching practice and transforming learning spaces. Jacque is a founding and current member of the Learning Environments New Zealand committee. She has recently completed research on sustaining value within online communities.

Janine Simpson

Janine Simpson

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Janine is an experienced education consultant who uses reliable expertise, a passion for making a difference and a collaborative approach to help support continual improvement. She is a strong advocate for evidence based continual growth, learning and development. Janine has particular strengths and experience in leadership development, formative assessment, curriculum design and mathematics pedagogy. She has worked in the education sector for over 20 years, half of which were in senior leadership roles. Janine has presented at seminars in New Zealand and Australia and provided consultancy education since 2009.

 

Jenny Bennett

Jenny Bennett

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Jen brings a background in principalship to facilitation. She supports schools and Kāhui Ako with strategic and relational leadership, cultural capability, and local curriculum design. In her work, she focuses particularly on supporting the progression from English-medium to dual-medium, and the development of bicultural kaupapa.

Jen supports schools to centre Te Tiriti o Waitangi, empowering partnerships to transform outcomes for all. She brings a focus on creating communities of care through partnerships and equity.

In addition to education, Jen facilitates and supports across other sectors, including facilitating partnership projects and providing administration support to local iwi. She also holds governance roles outside of education and is studying for a Masters in Māori Education.

Josephine Carpenter

Josephine Carpenter

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Josephine is an education consultant with experience in the primary, secondary and community sectors. Her expertise and interests lie in facilitating effective oral language, literacy, communication, public speaking and drama. Josephine’s focus is on Assessment for Learning, Localised Curriculum and Literacy (oral language). She works to grow teachers’ confidence and capabilities to integrate and evaluate oral language in classroom practice. Josephine is passionate about working with schools to develop localised curriculum based on the values and aspirations of their community. Josephine is also an examiner for Speech NZ.

Dr. Judith Bennetts

Dr. Judith Bennetts

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Judith joined Cognition Education in 2022 having worked as an education consultant for the past ten years. While based in Christchurch, she has worked extensively in the Central North region as well as the top half of the South Island in both secondary and primary schools as well as Kāhui Ako.

Judith has a Doctor of Education and is passionate about supporting leaders to lead change, and develop local curriculum approaches that are place-based, student-centred and informed by mātauranga Māori.

Prior to working as an education consultant Judith was Head of Science at a large city school and served on assessment and PLD committees. In addition to her passion and expertise in science, Judith has experience in the delivering aspects of the new digital technology curriculum. 

Personal expertise

· Change leadership

· Mentoring and coaching school leaders

· Teaching science through the science capabilities

· Developing a local curriculum

· Using student and whānau voice to inform curriculum design

· Assessment for and as learning

· Teaching as inquiry

· Professional learning clusters

· Integrating the new technology curriculum into other curriculum areas

· Engaging diverse learners

JULIA CRAWFORD

JULIA CRAWFORD

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Julia is passionate about supporting teachers to make learning engaging and relevant for all. Her experience includes pre-service teacher education at both primary and secondary levels, teaching and middle management at a year 7 – 13 school, Numeracy skills specialist at the University of Auckland and as accredited PLD facilitator. Julia’s deep understanding of the mathematics pedagogy and learning is based on research and practical experience. She believes that the learning of mathematics should be based on active and authentic activities and that all learners can engage in meaningful mathematics learning that relate to their local context. Julia has expertise in improving pedagogy in mathematics and statistics, designing school wide programs with a focus on the transition between primary and secondary school, statistics teaching and learning, NCEA assessment (including program design, writing assessment tasks and moderation), and GaTE. Currently Julia is involved in mentoring the in the Programmes for Students (ALiM and MST), PLD in intermediate and secondary schools, supporting the use of the Learning Progression Framework (and PaCT) tools and writing Teacher Guides and Student Learner Books in Mathematics for the Solomon Islands.

JULIA TONG

JULIA TONG

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Julia joined the Cognition team in 2015. She is a strong advocate for developing authentic learning experiences for students, teachers and leaders that is collaborative and evidence focused. She has worked in a range of capacities delivering professional learning support in mathematics to schools, leadership clusters and regional symposiums. Julia currently works in Palmerston North to support schools with professional development, offering a wide range of topics including curriculum design, effective pedagogy, acceleration practices, formative assessment and the use of inquiry to improve teaching and learning. Julia also contributes to the Programmes for Students project – ALiM (Accelerated Learning in Mathematics) and MST (Mathematics Support Teacher), as a mentor and training facilitator. Julia is passionate about developing data driven decision making skills and leadership capability that will raise student achievement for all learners.

Jo Matthews

Jo Matthews

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Jo Matthews has a wealth of experience and knowledge having specialised in mathematics education for the past 15 years. Her experience includes pre-service teacher education and maths facilitation with leadership and teachers. Jo has a deep understanding of designing needs-based professional development for schools and supporting ALIM and MST teachers with inquiry-based teaching designed to accelerate learning for targeted students. Jo’s aim is to work collaboratively with schools to build content and pedagogical knowledge in mathematics, providing need-based support. She enjoys working alongside teachers in class, modelling and coaching effective practice. 

KATE BIRCH

KATE BIRCH

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Kate is a highly skilled and experienced educator with extensive experience in literacy, assessment and professional development programmes for teachers and leaders. As a Visible Learning Plus consultant, both in New Zealand and internationally, Kate has been part of the programme development team which has supported schools to embed the principles of the Visible Learning research. Her book, Evidence into Action, co-written with John Hattie, showcases 15 schools around the world who have implemented the VL programmes. As an Expert Partner, Kate has supported Kahui Ako around New Zealand to develop their theories of action to activate their Achievement Challenges. She is skilled in developing collaborative inquiry as a tool to identify and solve complex issues and challenges, at system and classroom levels. Currently she is part of the Cognition team supporting and designing the Impact Coaching programme in the Northern Territory of Australia. She also maintains her passion for literacy, working as a PLD provider in schools throughout New Zealand. 

KIM BULLUSS

KIM BULLUSS

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Kim joined Cognition in 2012. Prior to this, Kim was a primary teacher for 16 years and had led curriculum teams in literacy, numeracy and the arts. Kim has worked in a diverse range of schools across Auckland delivering professional learning and development to build teacher and leader capability in mathematics years 1–8, effective pedagogy, culturally responsive pedagogies, data analysis, teacher inquiry and implementing and monitoring acceleration programmes. She has a particular interest in relationships-based learning and building stronger partnerships with whānau groups and local communities to improve the learning outcomes for their students. Kim regularly presents at Primary Mathematics Association and Mathematics Association of Victoria conferences and has an interest in incorporating her love of music and the arts across the curriculum into the delivery of mathematics. Currently Kim has been involved in writing Teacher Guides and Student Learner Books in Mathematics for the Solomon Islands.

Laurayne Tafa

Laurayne Tafa

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Laurayne has a wide range of teaching, leadership, advisory and evaluation experiences in educational contexts situated in rural and urban Māori and Pasifika environments. In all her roles her focus has been on building communities, and organisational performance to achieve improved student outcomes. She is skilled at developing open, consultative processes with stakeholders to grow educationally powerful partnerships. These result in capacity and capability building within communities.

Over many years she has played an integral role in challenging the failing status quo and bringing about positive change in both literacy leadership and school leadership in schooling improvement projects.

Lee Smith

Lee Smith

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Lee joined Cognition in 2019 after working in her local intermediate as a classroom teacher and syndicate leader for some years. She was heavily involved with the ALiM programme as an Across School leader, within her Kāhui Ako, and enjoys seeing the success students and teachers have when using acceleration practices. Lee is driven by creating learning environments in which a growth mindset and agentic attitudes are fostered. She has strengths and experience in formative assessment, inquiry, curriculum design and mathematics pedagogy.

Lee holds a Masters in Degree Education from Victoria University of Wellington, where she majored in curriculum, learning and assessment.

Lori Mravicich

Lori Mravicich

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Lori Mravicich is a member of the Learning Environments New Zealand committee. She has worked as a Deputy Principal and is currently completing her Masters in Education, exploring Collaborative Practice and Flexible Learning Environments in educational settings.  She can provide support for staff looking to build their capabilities in Collaborative Practice, delivering a comprehensive Mathematics programme, and in upskilling how Digital Technology tools can be integrated into your teaching and learning programme. Lori is passionate about building collaborative learning environments to support and enhance akonga’s learning.

Louise Miller

Louise Miller

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Louise has worked within the education sector in local and international settings. Since relocating to New Zealand, she has developed a commitment to developing rich, authentic learning experiences for students, teachers and leaders. Louise has worked in a range of capacities delivering professional learning support in mathematics to schools, leadership clusters and regional symposiums. She has supported networks of schools to develop both effective home school partnerships and strong assessment practice through the implementation of the Mutukaroa project.

Louise supports schools to demystify learning in the classroom in order to build authentic relational learning partnerships with whānau. She values strong inquiry practices, is invested in exploring and implementing research-based learning to develop strong cultures of learning in schools and across local communities. Louise is a Relationship-based Learning trained facilitator.

REBECCA BISHOP

REBECCA BISHOP

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Rebecca joined Cognition in 2019 and brings strengths in teacher inquiry, curriculum, assessment and digital technologies. Prior to this she was a deputy principal of a largediverseurban school. Due to a fascination of how people learn Rebecca left a career as a practicing scientist and has been in education for over a decade. Rebecca has a deep understanding of teacher inquiry including being the project leader of a Teacher Led Innovation Fund project (TLIF) that focused on developing Makerspace pedagogy to improve outcomes for priority learners. In her school and Kāhui Ako Rebecca led inquiry project groups with a focus on raising student achievement in mathematics, including leading and facilitating PLD and Programmes for Students (ALIM).

REBECCA THOMAS

REBECCA THOMAS

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Rebecca is a passionate educator with 20 years of experience in the UK and Northland in both Primary and Intermediate settings. Her forward-thinking insights into curriculum design, Teaching as Inquiry, and Learning with Digital Technologies enable her to lead change in exciting, collaborative directions. Rebecca has experience in successfully influencing innovation through transformative learning in schools, implementing effective pedagogies and growth mindset cultures. Additionally, for the past seven years, she has had extensive experience using talk for writing strategies to engage students with a love of writing. Rebecca also enjoys promoting the importance of Philosophy for Children in our fast-changing educational landscape.

ROSINA WIKAIRA

ROSINA WIKAIRA

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Rosina has worked in education for over 20 years, with vast knowledge and experience in educational leadership, management and pedagogical coaching. Rosina’s Principalship spans 11 years, and she recently graduated with a Masters of Contemporary Education. Her practice-based research project, focused on, “Building & Sustaining Effective Leadership Practices to Improve Educational Success of Maori Learners, in Culturally Appropriate ways”.

Her strengths include supporting the growth of leaders and teachers to transform their pedagogical leadership and growth mindset.  Having a firm foundation of Kaupapa Māori me ona Tikanga gives Rosina the confidence to be unapologetic about putting ākonga Māori first. Leading from a kaupapa Māori belief system allows Rosina to act on these key beliefs, normalising our Māori values, behaviours and understanding.

SARAH HOPKINSON

SARAH HOPKINSON

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Sarah provides Curriculum Design professional learning and development (PLD) to schools and Kāhui Ako throughout the North Island. She has a Master of Education (Distinction) and is passionate about supporting schools and their communities to develop innovative local curriculum approaches that are place-based, critically conscious, culturally sustaining and student-centred.

Sarah utilises design thinking methodologies in her PLD processes. This ensures collective ownership of the PLD as solutions are created “by, with and for” those that she serves. She led the development of Pūtātara, a resource for schools to embed sustainability across the curriculum. She is currently managing the Solomon Islands Curriculum Project and consulting with a number of schools and organisations on curriculum, vision and strategy.

Sarah thomas

Sarah thomas

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Sarah is based in Nelson and has spent the last four years as an across COL Lead teacher, implementing the Relationships First Programme. Sarah has become a trained Impact Coach, voice collector and leader in the Relationships First space. Now, Sarah is looking to work with more schools across the region to build collective capability and share the Relationships First Mahi.

Sarah is also a skilled mathematician and supports schools with Assessment for Learning and Cultural capability through a Mathematics lens. With years of practical experience in the classroom, Sarah has a great repour with students, teachers, leaders and whanau alike, and can support your school to make sustainable and worthwhile changes.

Sekah Peautau

Sekah Peautau

Accredited Consultant

Bio

O le ala i le pule o le tautua – the pathway to leadership is through service.

Sekah (Estear) has served 14 years as an experienced classroom Teacher in Primary/Intermediate Schools. In recent years she has developed effective leadership skills and qualities as a Senior Leader, and led a variety of portfolios; Cultural Responsiveness and Sustainability, STEAMs Curriculum and Pastoral Care. 

Her strengths are communication (Samoan & English), and digital design skills. Sekah works with teachers and leaders to build collective capability through impact coaching, to ensure equitable outcomes for all students. Making connections and building positive relationships with all stakeholders is also a passion and strength of hers.

Sonja He

Sonja He

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Sonja joined Cognition as an education consultant in 2022. She is based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.

Before joining Cognition’s mathematics team, Sonja was a school maths leader and a team leader in an Auckland normal school. Sonja has taught across all year levels in the Primary sector and has extensive experience reviewing and moderating teaching, learning and assessment; and in facilitating workshops, lessons and PLD for teachers and student teachers.

Sonja has a Master of Education (with First Class Honours) from the University of Auckland specialising in developing students’ mathematical identities through science. Her specific expertise lies in developing cross-curriculum approaches to teaching mathematics.

Sonja is committed to developing confident leaders and learners in STEM and to enhancing localised curriculum to develop meaningful mathematical experiences. She has a deep passion for assisting kaiako to accelerate achievement in maths.

STEVE SAVILLE

STEVE SAVILLE

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Steve is a passionate educator who has significant experience across a range of educational settings. Over recent years, his work has been in the field of managing curriculum and environmental change. He was the foundation Principal of Rolleston College in Canterbury and prior to that worked as Deputy Principal at Alfriston College. He was also the Regional Facilitator for the Te Kotahitanga Project and English Curriculum advisor for the Auckland region during the original implementation of NCEA. He has extensive experience in leading and developing authentic, skill-based learning contexts that empower learners and teachers. Steve has also researched the role of creativity in the learning experience and worked extensively in relationship-based learning programmes.

Susan Dow

Susan Dow

Accredited Consultant

Bio

With a Master of Educational Administration and a Doctor of Education, Sue can provide support for leaders at all levels of school communities.

Sue has specialised expertise in improving the quality of teaching and learning for Māori students in bicultural schools. Her work focuses on ensuring proprietorship, governance, management and teaching and learning work together to effect tangible change for students and their whanau. She uses indigenous research methodologies to develop efficacy, mana tangata, for all concerned.

Sue can break down the big ideas of educational policy and philosophy into achievable gains in local contexts.

TANIA HEKE

TANIA HEKE

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Tania is a strategic leader with a passion for student learning. Her effective leadership practice systematically supports students, teachers, leaders and whanau to accelerate the progress of every learner.

Following a successful school leadership background in Auckland and the Waikato, including Principalship, Tania enjoys working alongside and growing other leaders and teams. Tania finds success through coaching and developing strong school cultures that are underpinned by student, teacher and community voice.

Tania is an experienced educator who is skilled at listening to the needs of leaders and teachers and co-constructing professional learning plans to help them achieve their goals.

She can work alongside senior and middle leaders to develop observation and coaching skills. Her strengths include using formative assessment to accelerate achievement in literacy, strategic planning and reporting as well as developing an authentic localised curriculum through a culturally responsive lens that reflects your school and community.

TRACEY LAWSON

TRACEY LAWSON

Accredited Consultant

Bio

Tracey is an experienced trainer and classroom practitioner, with strengths in the Arts, English and Social Sciences. As a secondary specialist and an Across School Leader within Te Tai Raki Kāhui Ako, Tracey has proven leadership skills and is passionate about delivering solutions that best meet the needs of tauira.

A trained Relationships First facilitator, Tracey has 15 years of corporate experience in the IT and customer care industries, outside of an education setting.  As such, she is experienced in change management and consultation with stakeholders.

One of Tracey’s passions is applying Arts education to unlock literacy pathways through authentic and meaningful contexts. Tracey has expertise in curriculum design and assessment practice, having been a Principal’s Nominee. Tracey has also facilitated training and led the implementation of PB4L and Restorative Practice, supporting teacher and leader learning and development in these areas. 

Contact

info@cognitioneducation.com

Stanbeth House, Level 1
28 Customs Street East
Auckland Central
New Zealand