Principal, Mercury Bay Area School, Whitianga, The Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand.
John’s field of teaching started in Science, and Biology in Secondary Education, moving into a Leadership role as Director of Boys in a large Secondary School in Auckland, NZ, before taking up the principal’s role in Mercury Bay Area School in 2003. Mercury Bay Area School is New Zealand’s largest Area School with 750 students (5-19 year olds) and 80 staff.
A particular ongoing interest for John over the last 20 years in education has been the personalisation of the learning journey for all young people. This we know is dependent on quality relationships being formed between the learner and the teacher, high engagement so that there is a platform for learning to occur, and both the learner and the teacher understanding the qualities (dispositions) of learning so that learning occurs at the highest level.
His work has taken him through practical change management leadership as a learning culture of the largest Area (all-through) School in New Zealand sought to embrace learning as it can be in the 21st Century. It is the personalisation of the learning journey for all our young people that is critical and the challenges faced in bringing this culture into the fore of students, staff and the wider community is one that we need to engage in if we are to be successful educators.