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Our people

Alana Madgwick

Alana Madgwick is a highly experienced secondary literacy facilitator with proven experience in accelerating literacy achievement in secondary schools. She had worked for 12 years at the University of Auckland on a number of national literacy contracts for TEAM solutions. She has presented at conferences and delivered workshops on a wide range of topics including: improving writing across the curriculum, accelerating Pasifika achievement, valuing student voice, improving reading across the curriculum. She is the facilitator for the Secondary Literacy Online community which has an audience of 850 teachers.

Dr. Brian Hinchco

Dr. Brian Hinchco has extensive experience in school and system leadership and educational project management, within New Zealand and internationally. Brian has project managed the development of our PB4L contract, the Ministry’s NZC PLD programme for Auckland and Northland, and the Student Competency Framework project for the Abu Dhabi Education Council. These projects have built on his extensive experience in curriculum development and involved such skills as curriculum design and mapping, resource development, senior leadership development and the establishment of clusters. Brian is currently an Expert Partner for CoLs/Kāhui Ako and leads the Cognition Associate programme. Prior to joining Cognition Brian was an intermediate school principal, president of NZAIMS, and a sector representative on a number of Ministerial reference groups.

Bronwyn Weston

Bronwyn facilitates a range of Visible Learning face-to-face and online workshops in New Zealand, particularly those focused on e-asTTle. She also organises our Visible Learning tours. Bronwyn also works as a mathematics facilitator and is part of our evaluation team.

 

Since joining Cognition she has been involved with literacy and asTTle professional development and support work both in New Zealand and internationally. This has included working with the New York City Department of Education providing reading support in an asTTle-based professional development programme. Both nationally and internationally, Bronwyn has provided professional support and development to classroom teachers and leaders in schools involved in educational reform.

Brooke Trenwith

A holistic educator, Brooke Trenwith works with teachers, leaders and families to meet the learning, social and emotional needs of all students, whilst creating a “rising tide” of achievement to support diverse learners and the minoritised. Her approachable, flexible style encourages engagement in change management and supports honest reflection. An experienced teacher, Brooke has taught students aged three to adult and has experience with NCEA at a national level. She was the assistant director of an English language school (primary) in Taiwan where her portfolios included curriculum development and teacher training. Brooke is a national representative for the New Zealand Association of Gifted Children and has been project leader of a Ministry of Education contract designed to support schools, build their capability, and develop effective, robust and transparent GaTE programmes.

Christine Hardie

Christine started with Cognition Education at the beginning of 2012. She has been working in teacher professional development in mathematics and statistics education since 2004. During this time she has worked alongside school leaders and teachers delivering a wide range of in-depth and flexible mathematics professional learning as well as presented a range of mathematics and statistics workshops, most recently with a focus on overall teacher judgments and moderation.

Chris Henderson

Chris Henderson has 10 years’ experience working in education and international development. As well as teaching Geography in East Christchurch, Chris has been a youth development planner and facilitator for UNICEF New Zealand, the United Nations Environment Program, and UNESCO. With Cognition, Chris designs and leads projects focusing on youth employability and leadership development, education innovation, child protection and workforce professional development. In New Zealand his clients have included the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Social Development. In Southeast Asia Chris’ clients include Google, NGOs, and philanthropic foundations. Chris holds a Master of Education (Research) with High Distinction from the University of Sydney, where he is also an adjunct lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work.     

Dianne Ogle

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 is able to support schools in data analysis using wide sources of evidence and assists them to make data-informed decisions. She has recently completed her Masters of Education (Hons) at Waikato University specialising in professional learning.

Dr. Phil Coogan

Dr. Phil Coogan is a well-respected educator with a background in secondary school English teaching, teacher education and teacher professional development. He has been a Commonwealth Fellow, President of the New Zealand Association of Teachers of English and national moderator for NCEA English. He is an associate of the University of London Institute of Education and is currently on the national executive of PLANZ (The Professional Learning Association New Zealand Te Māngai Whakangungu Kaiako o Aotearoa).

 

Phil’s doctoral thesis explored the influence of high stakes assessment on English teachers’ adoption of innovations such as ICTs. Phil is Regional Director Asia Pacific with responsibility for Cognition’s diverse work across this region which includes: schooling reform, curriculum development, teacher professional development and research and evaluation.

Fiona Fox

Fiona has been working in teacher professional development in mathematics and statistics since 2008. She has worked for Cognition since January 2012 and is currently the National Leader: Accelerating Learning in Mathematics (ALiM). During this time she has worked alongside school leaders and teachers developing effective pedagogy, collaborative practices and accelerative learning strategies.

 

She has also delivered a wide range of in-depth and flexible mathematics professional learning as well as presented at a range of mathematics and statistics workshops, both in New Zealand and Australia. She has a wide knowledge and understanding of best teaching and learning practices and is up-to-date with current research.

Fiona McDiarmid

Fiona joined the Cognition team in July 2012 and is currently the regional coordinator for Mathematics Years 1-8 based in Central South Region. She has been working in teacher professional development in mathematics and statistics since 2001.

 

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 master 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.

Gillian Kissling

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. 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.

Heather Lewis

Heather has been involved in mathematics education since 2008 and joined Cognition Education in 2012. Her facilitation experience includes working with school leaders and teachers to deliver in-depth and flexible mathematics professional learning. Her previous experience has been in curriculum development in mathematics in an International Baccalaureate school and developing enrichment programmes for gifted students in mathematics. She has presented at conferences and symposia in New Zealand and Australia, including MERGA and MAV.

Ian Suckling

Ian has experience in primary, secondary and tertiary organisations as a teacher, facilitator and senior leader. He has led teams to develop communities of learning, collaborative online spaces, restorative practices and inquiry processes. His facilitation focuses on developing leadership capabilities, student-driven learning and evidence-based teaching. He has supported changes in assessment, curriculum and professional development to impact outcomes of all students. Ian has strengths in innovative learning and teaching, planning and review, and curriculum design. He has supported many schools to successfully integrate new technologies into learning, teaching and administration.

Jacque Allen

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.

Jenna Crowley

Jenna has held a broad range of teaching and leadership roles in a variety of contexts and is now working alongside teachers and leaders to support their professional learning and development. She has strengths in curriculum design and delivery, change management and school self-review, as well as teacher inquiry and collaboration. Jenna has led and specialised in the learning areas of mathematics and statistics and learning languages. She is passionate about culturally-responsive pedagogy and relationships-based learning. Jenna is a reflective learner who likes to work collaboratively with others and is passionate about raising student achievement for all learners.

John Rutherford

John is an educator and educational leader with extensive experience and expertise gathered over 32 years in both primary and secondary levels of schooling, and the Ministry of Education. He has worked as a teacher, middle leader, deputy principal and principal during his career.

 

His skill base includes extensive experience in self-review and strategic planning, data analysis, appraisal, curriculum, evidence based teaching practice and pedagogy, and special needs. John is currently leading a team who support schools in developing curriculums that are responsive to community and learners needs.

Julia Tong

Julia joined the Cognition team in 2015.  Prior to this she was a teacher and lead teacher of mathematics in a year 1–8 school in Palmerston North.  She is an experienced primary classroom teacher with a specific interest in mathematics. Julia currently works in Palmerston North and New Plymouth to support schools with professional development in mathematics and statistics, offering a wide range of topics including effective pedagogy, mathematical content knowledge, acceleration practices 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.

Kim Bulluss

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 relationship 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.

Kylie Surgenor

Kylie began her career with Cognition in April 2016, joining the mathematics team based in South Taranaki. Prior to this, she worked in an intermediate school as a classroom teacher and mathematics leader where she focused on accelerating student achievement in mathematics. She participated in ALiM and MST Programmes for Students.  Since joining Cognition, she has mentored ALiM and MST teachers in the Taranaki region and supported teachers, leaders and principals with professional learning and development in mathematics teaching and learning.

Laurayne Tafa

Laurayne has a wide range of teaching, leadership, advisory and evaluation experiences in educational contexts, situated in rural and urban Māori and Pacifika environments. In all of 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 schooling improvement projects

Louise Miller

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.

Marie Hirst

Marie has over 15 years’ experience as a facilitator specialising in providing quality professional learning and support in mathematics and statistics. She has worked extensively with many schools across Auckland to develop effective mathematics teaching, assessment, data analysis, leadership, and intervention programmes to accelerate learning in mathematics for a diverse range of students. She presents regularly at PMA and NZAMT mathematics conferences in New Zealand as well as internationally at MERGA and MAV, and has written mathematics resources and support material for teachers. Since joining Cognition in 2012 Marie has also coordinated professional learning for educators in the LEOTC sector (Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom). Prior to facilitation, Marie was a primary school teacher both in New Zealand and England.

Pip Arnold

Pip was a project director for the primary mathematics contract for the North Island from 2012–2016. She led a team of 45 facilitators who collectively worked annually in over 100 schools providing in-depth tailored mathematics PLD.  She has led the data collection and collation process to ensure accurate diagnosis of primary presenting needs and accurate and focused reporting of impact. Pip has previous experience in curriculum and assessment development. She was a member of the mathematics and statistics curriculum writing team and has been involved in achievement standard development. Pip led the development of the secondary senior guides for mathematics and statistics on TKI. Formerly Pip was head of mathematics at Auckland Girls Grammar School, followed by work as a secondary mathematics advisor before joining Cognition in 2010.

Raewyn Gainsford

Raewyn joined Cognition in 2013 and is currently a consultant based in Taranaki. While the main focus of her work is mathematics, she has also worked as a facilitator to support networks of schools involved with the Mutukaroa project. Prior to this she worked in primary education for many years and has a passion for developing skills in making teaching and learning accessible for everyone.

Selena Hinchco

Selena works directly with clusters and schools to promote evidence-based practice and instructional leadership. She is skilled in building collaborative inquiry habits and has strengths in practice analysis conversations and in establishing PLCs. Selena has an in-depth understanding of assessment tools (especially e-asTTle), assessment for learning theories and practices and data analysis. She has strengths in the area of the National Standards and was part of the national team running Ministry workshops about making and moderating OTJs and using the progressions framework within the PaCT tool. Selena recently worked with international and private schools in Abu Dhabi to pilot a competencies framework of 21st century skills. This involved curriculum mapping, leadership support, the establishment of clusters and an eventual scale up to all international and private schools across the Emirate.

Shaun Hawthorne

Shaun joined Cognition Education to work as part of the Visible Learningplus team in early 2014. Currently he is a principal consultant leading the New Zealand delivery of the Visible Learningplus PLD programme of self-review and school improvement for school leaders and teachers. Shaun’s other roles include development of new products and PLD materials as well as managing the implementation of collaborative impact programmes in New Zealand and internationally. Shaun has over 20 years’ experience working in the secondary schooling sector in New Zealand, most recently as a deputy principal in a co-educational year 9–13 school in Auckland. Shaun holds a Doctor of Education degree specialising in effective practices in teaching writing and motivating adolescent learners. His other areas of expertise include the cognitive science of learning.

Susan Heeps

Susan joined Cognition Education in 2012. She has had 30 years of experience and has worked in the primary, secondary and tertiary sector in both teaching and management roles, including 10 years as a science teacher. Currently she is the regional director for Science and works with schools to develop science programmes that are both future focussed and culturally responsive. Susan has a wide interest in all things pertaining to education and enjoys opportunities to discuss and share new ideas and developments that have the potential to challenge and improve current practice. Susan returned to NZ with a renewed commitment to the possibilities that our NZC provides. This remains the catalyst for her work.

TeAhua Park

TeAhua Park (Ngapuhi/ Ngatihine) has worked in the education sector for 20 years as an experienced classroom teacher in primary school settings. For the past four years she has facilitated the learning with digital technologies professional learning and development contract in a range of Northland schools. TeAhua is a passionate facilitator with expertise in designing connected curriculum, working in innovative learning environments, building community partnerships through collaboration and learning and teaching with digital technologies. TeAhua works with all stakeholders (students, whānau, teachers, leaders and BOTs) to review, design and deliver responsive professional development opportunities which build leadership and teacher capability, improve student outcomes and create a catalyst for effective change.

Tracy Bowker

Tracy comes from a varied secondary education background, including National Certificate of Education Achievement (NCEA) roles. Tracy’s expertise revolves around the use and integration of digital technology in teaching and learning.

 

Tracy currently represents Cognition as the project leader for a number of New Zealand Ministry of Education contracts. She was previously the project leader for the national blended e-Learning and digital technologies guidelines projects. Tracy provides Cognition with a unique background and strong leadership qualities.

Questions? We’d love to hear from you.