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Tapasā Expert Teacher Group

The Education Council is putting together an Expert Teacher Group to co-construct the implementation of Tapasā. Confirmed participants include:

Lisa Seuseu - Centre Manager, Punavai o le Atamai, ECE
Lisa is of Samoan heritage and Centre Manager at Punavai o le Atamai preschool, a Pasifika care and education setting in South Dunedin. She has worked in this community alongside faia'oga and fanau for the last sixteen years. Recently, Lisa has also been employed at Te Rito Maioha as kaiako of third year akonga delivering The teacher as Curriculum Inquirer paper. Lisa is currently studying further with a focus on Early Intervention, and is passionate about Pasifika Education and the implementation of Tapasā.

Taime Pareanga Samuel – Early Childhood Education (ECE)
An ECE teacher, Taime has served on various Boards and Panels advising on ECE, the Ministry of Pacific Islands Affairs Advisory Group and the Pacific Advisory Group for the Ministry of Education.  Taime has been a Board Chair for Flaxmere College for over 20 years and has held positions of President and Secretary for the Cook Islands New Zealand Sports Church and Culture Federation.  In 2009 she was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal.

Roxy Burt -  Head Teacher, Arataki Kindergarten
Currently Head Teacher at Arataki Kindergarten, in Mount Maunganui, Roxy Burt has been involved in Early Childhood education since 1998, and completed her Bachelor of Education at University of Auckland in 2007. She was awarded the Margaret Blackwell Travel fellowship which took her on a journey back to her cultural roots in Vanuatu where she explored language learning, wellbeing and happiness in relation to Te Whaariki. She is passionate about ensuring that Pasifika children and families have access to learning spaces where identity, language and culture are at the heart of teaching and learning.

Sepora Mauigoa – Principal at Glendene School
Active principal at a primary school in Auckland, with 60% Pacific learners. Sepora completed her Masters in Educational Leadership in 2014 with a thesis entitled Improving Pasifika achievement: Pasifika teachers’ expectations, experiences and perceptions of primary school leadership.

Phonderley Siohane – Deputy Principal, New Windsor School
Phonderley has over thirty years of teaching experience – the past twenty years as deputy principal across three schools. She is currently Associate/Deputy Principal at New Windsor Primary School in Auckland. Her many roles within Pasifika leadership include being an active member in her village, Hakupu Atua in Niue. Phonderley is currently a member of the NZEI Te Riu Roa National Executive.  She is also a member of the NZEI Pasifika Leadership Caucus. Phonderley was involved in contributing to an early draft of the Tapasā document.

Helen Varney – Principal, Target Road School
Current president of the Auckland Primary Principals’ Association, and member of the New Zealand Pasifika Principals Executive,  Helen won a Principals sabbatical report award in 2017 and completed a report that focused on  how to grow a schools' capacity in culturally responsive teaching practices and pedagogies to support acceleration of learning for priority and target learners. 

Malia Tuala – Cluster Manager, Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour (RTLB)
The only Pasifika cluster manager in the RTLB service, Malia set up the Pasifika RTLB community of practice to connect many of the clusters in Auckland together. One of the goals of this community is to look at Tapasā and support RTLB colleagues be competent with Pacific learners. Malia is a member of the NZ Pasifika Principals Association and the board chair of Ranui School in West Auckland.

Dr Martyn Reynolds – Specialist Classroom Teacher, Wellington College
Recipient of a TeachNZ award to pursue his PhD. Awarded last year, Dr Reynolds’ thesis investigated the conflicts between Pacific theory and methodologies and Western educational contexts, with a view to improving policy, practice and outcomes.

Lui Lorenc-Lafou - Teacher of History and Religious Studies - Bishop Viard College
Lui is of Samoan and Tokelauan heritage and currently teaches at Bishop Viard College in Porirua. He grew up in New Zealand, Samoa and Tokelau and has since taught in each of these countries too. Lui has been teaching at Bishop Viard College since 2011 teaching History and Religious Studies and is the Whanau Leader for Year 9 and 10. He is part of the STARS programme run by the Graeme Dingle Foundation at BVC and has been a member of the Northern Regional Polyfest committee for the Porirua colleges since 2012. He has also been involved in the development and implementation of the Tokelau curriculum (2005-2008), the Pacific People's Consultancy Group at Massey University (2009-2011), the Pasifika Strategy Working Group, Faculty of Education VUW (2011) and the Kids Voting Advisory Group, Electoral Commission (2011).

Myra Fidow – Senior Dean, Marian College
Myra is of Niuean descent and brings 18 years of teaching experience in secondary schools in Auckland and Christchurch, teaching Te reo Māori, Mathematics and Religious Education. She is currently teaching at Marian College in Christchurch as the Year 12 and Year 13 Dean providing pastoral and academic support to senior students, including Pasifika students and their fanau. She also has two teenage daughters who are of Niuean and Samoan descent and are active Pasifika students at Marian. Myra is a past recipient of a Teachers Study Award to commence a Master of Education Degree and is completing a research thesis on the impact of NCEA assessments has on second language learners of Te reo Māori. 

Dagmar Dyck, Arts and Technology Teacher, Sylvia Park School
Dagmar is an Auckland-based teaching artist.  Her arts practice spans more than 20 years and she has exhibited her work extensively in New Zealand and around the globe. Her current major project is as one of two research artists included in Ancient Futures: 18th & 19th Century Tongan Arts and their Legacies. This is a three-year research and art development project funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund. Since completing her Graduate Diploma in Teaching in 2009 Dagmar has merged her skills and is passionate about empowering her students through the platform of the arts at Sylvia Park School.  Recently she has led a 3-year Teacher Led Innovation Fund project, Teaching past the Frangipani, that raised issues around relevant Pasifika arts resourcing and presence within the framework of the national curriculum. Dagmar is the recipient of a Teacher Study Award Sabbatical and will complete her Masters in Education in 2019 at the University of Auckland. Dagmar’s maternal lineage hails from the Wolfgramm and Hemaloto kainga and the village of ‘Utungake, Vava’u, Tonga. Her paternal lineage includes Dutch, Polish and German ancestry and links to her father’s birthplace in Gdansk, Poland.  

Dr Cherie Chu – Pacific Education Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW)
Cherie has a particular research interest in mentoring and leadership in Pasifika contexts. She has been involved in delivering leadership training for VUW Pasifika students, including New Zealand Agency for International Development scholarship students. She has extensive networks with Pasifika students and staff in tertiary education, and she convenes a leadership network and leadership cluster group for Pasifika students. Cherie presents at national, regional and international forums on leader development for emerging Pasifika leaders.