Nick Billowes
I am a passionate educator, a believer in social equity, with a desire to help people become the best they can be and find their way purposefully in life. I am a professional teacher and an educator! This is the best calling in the world...
My learning life has been punctuated by excellent working opportunities bringing me to a career highlight at CORE Education. Now, as Director of National Operations, I have a role in the team in visioning, leading, evaluating, developing and encouraging the running of CORE's national contract programmes. With a stunning group of colleagues, together we are focused on making a difference for learning outcomes for kids/students/tamariki of Aotearoa, New Zealand. I get the chance to advocate for CORE as a part of the Executive with a focus on gathering new business. My most enjoyable work is, however, the connecting with and facilitating opportunities for our amazing team, the best colleagues one could possibly wish to work alongside.
Kaye Heasman
My career in the field of education has spanned an amazing 40 years and began with my initial training as a Kindergarten teacher in Wellington, New Zealand which I completed in 1972!
Diverse teaching experience since then includes teaching in New Zealand public Kindergartens as a teacher and Head Teacher, classroom teacher to 4 to 6-year-olds in private dual curriculum schools i.e. English/Arabic over a period of three years, as well as Year 1 children in a British International School in Saudi Arabia (British Curriculum). Another interesting position I held was as Centre Manager in an industrial child care centre that catered for children aged 2-12 years old (including before and after school care) and as a young mother I became actively involved in playcentre and in the set-up of a local community crèche in the area in which I lived at the time.
In 2000 I was appointed Education Services Manager for the Waikato Kindergarten Association in New Zealand employing. My responsibilities included overseeing Professional Development, buildings, equipment, curriculum implementation, appraisals of staff, as well as a Maori language unit.
At senior management level in the international contextI wasengaged in a consultancy and advisory capacity in two Education Reform projects over a 4 year period in the Gulf Region. This involved the implementation of a new curriculum, coaching and mentoring of teachers and professional leadership development and leading teams of subject advisors i.e. English, Science, Math, ESL trainers and interpreters based in schools. Over the years, my positions as Curriculum Advisor, Management Advisor and Director provided stimulation, challenge and a great deal of satisfaction.
In 2008 I was appointed to the position of Education Review Officer in New Zealand and for two years led or was part of teams that reviewed the quality of teaching and learning in early childhood centres, primary schools and secondary schools.
2010 saw me take up the position of Development Director for EtonHouse South Korea where I was responsible for developing a curriculum in line with the Reggio Emilia approach to Early Childhood Education, along with the recruitment of staff and provision of a professional development programme to support teaching staff in the implementation of same across two preschool sites.
I completed two amazing years as Head of the School Evaluation Unit, Beaconhouse School System, and Lahore, Pakistan in 2013. I relocated to New Zealand in mid-2013 to acquire further knowledge of current research and theory and worked in a senior management position with the largest early childhood care provider as Professional Services Team Leader for the Lower North Island region. This involved line managing 6 senior managers as well as four early childhood centres and teams, my professional services team were responsible for enhancing the overall quality of teaching and learning all early childhood centres(49).
For the last year I have been based in India as a Centre Director for KiwiLearners a New Zealand curriculum early learning centre, the first of its kind in India and have returned to N.Z. to take up the position of Senior Investigator with the Education Council.I feel truly blessed to have enjoyed such a long and successful career and look forward to continuing my association with KiwiLearners in an advisory and training capacity in the months and years to come.
Phil Straw
My background includes 44 years in the Education Sector, most of this in the Primary Sector but includes some time in the secondary sector both in New Zealand and internationally. Twenty three of these years as a Principal ranging from a small rural full primary school to a large school in an international setting that spanned all sectors, Early Years, Primary, Secondary and A Levels. Highlights of these leadership positions have been the range of contexts I have been lucky enough to work in, my secondment into a troubled secondary context by the Ministry of Education and the International experience as a foundation principal leading a school that catered for all 4 sectors.
Since returning from overseas I have worked as an Independent Education Consultant working on a range of projects including; Principal Performance Appraisal, Coaching and Mentoring, Schooling Improvement,Governance Training and Independent Issue investigation in the schooling context. Currently I am the Lead Investigator with the Education Council conduct team. This is a new role requiring the setting up of processes around fair investigations into teacher conduct issues.
I have held a range of executive positions on regional principal groups. I have been actively involved in community of schooling improvement projects, one as chairperson. I have a passion for effective professional learning and as such have coordinated a number of curriculum based professional learning opportunities across clusters of schools.