Meet Our Team
Bronwyn is co-director of EdConnect, alongside Naomi. Together, they share a deep commitment to raising outcomes for learners through building relationships for learning.
Bronwyn brings over 15 years’ professional learning and development experience, both in New Zealand and in other parts of the world. Twelve of these years were with Cognition Education, where she held a number of roles.
Bronwyn is passionate about helping leaders, teachers, students, and communities make powerful connections with each other. She takes a customised approach that uses the research about ‘what works’ to make a difference for particular people in a particular place. Her special interests include evaluative and cultural capability. Bronwyn knows how to bring these capabilities together within the framework of relational leadership.
Oral language is central to learning and communication. Research offers new ways to drive improvement in oral language and communication in order to improve, not just learning and achievement, but overall well-being. She is keen to show teachers and school leaders how they can use this knowledge to empower their students and strengthen their communities.
Read more about Bronwyn here
Read Bronwyn’s MOE Summary of Practice here
During her educational career, Naomi has been a teacher, principal, and adviser to schools. She has worked internationally in several Professional Development advisory, facilitation, and curriculum writing roles including directing a leadership development project for school and aspiring leaders. In establishing EDconnect with Bronwyn, Naomi is continuing her work as an education consultant and facilitator.
As an experienced education leader and professional learning and development specialist, Naomi has a strong focus on building professional relationships and working partnerships to grow effective leaders and successful learners. She is passionate about coaching for growth, effective leadership, teaching and learning and achieving more equitable educational outcomes. She continuously focuses on raising student achievement and ensuring leaders and learners are active participants in their learning.
Naomi is a NZSTA endorsed Consultant providing assistance to Boards of schools in the areas of Principal performance / Appraisal and Principal appointment.
Read more about Naomi here
Read Naomi’s MOE Summary of Practice here
Professor David Giles is an Emeritus Professor (Educational Leadership and Management, Flinders University) and an Adjunct Professor (School of Education, University of Adelaide).
David has taught in primary and secondary schools, teacher education, educational leadership and adult education in New Zealand and Australia. He is currently working with a number of schools providing professional learning for leadership.
His consultancy and research interests focus on the relational nature of pedagogy, strengths-based practice, educational leadership, and organizational cultures. A recurring theme in his work and practice is that relational and moral imperatives for education are essential to our praxis.
In 2017 he received two Australian Council of Educational Leadership awards, the ACEL National Fellowship Award and the ACEL (SA) Alby Jones Award. The Alby Jones Award is for outstanding Educational leaders who have made a significant contribution to education, educational leadership and the improvement of student and organisational outcomes. In 2016 he also received the Australian Council of Deans of Education National Award for outstanding service to education and teacher education nationally, and for services as the President of the ACDE (South Australian) branch.
He has published a range of articles and books, the most recent being his 2019 book ”Relational Leadership in Education: a phenomenon of inquiry and practice” (London, Routledge).
Read more about David here
Emma has been a teacher, leader and manager for a wide variety of early childhood centres, as well as a tutor for training early childhood teachers. Emma has taught in new entrant and year one/two classrooms so knows firsthand what is required and the importance of a robust transition to school programme. Using her theoretical and practical knowledge about transition to school she led a forum for early childhood and primary school teachers to bridge the gap between the early years and school. Emma has implemented play-based learning programmes in centres and her greatest passion in education is the Reggio Emilia project approach.
Emma has extensive experience working with young children sharing her wealth of knowledge and practical skills to support teachers, managers and owners of early learning services. She can help you to develop and grow your teachers and childcare to meet the needs of our youngest tamariki and their whanau.
Emma provides expert support and development for professionals from setting up new centres, growing existing centres, guiding staff through ERO visits, to HR and marketing and coaching teachers and managers to ensure quality care and education.
Read more about Emma Blake here
Micheal has spent the past 25+ years as an educator, leader, education consultant and director, working in New Zealand and internationally. Micheal has project managed, led, facilitated and worked in-depth with many cross-sector government ministries across the globe.
Micheal has worked with schools and school leaders across New Zealand, the Middle East and Pacific. He has been heavily involved in driving inquiry practice, collaboration and effective leadership approaches across the group and across their schools. Micheal was the regional director for Auckland and Northland; providing culturally responsive guidance and leadership for the National Aspiring Principals programme. NAPP is focused on developing culturally responsive leadership dispositions for 21st Century learning environments.
Micheal was the project manager for an extending high standards project to build culturally responsive practices with school leadership teams and classroom practitioners. He facilitated professional coaching and mentoring with principals; professional development with classroom practitioners to support classroom observations; developed self-review tools and led in-depth scoping and the evaluation of school effectiveness reviews.
Micheal has undertaken both Iwi and community consultation as part of his governance facilitation role, when working with the Establishment Board of Trustees of new schools. Micheal has been responsible with working alongside Iwi chairs and hapū representatives to ensure that Māori perspectives, input and ways of working are acknowledged and used to ensure that schools and iwi-based outcomes are reached, using the appropriate manner.
Read more about Micheal here
Read Micheal’s MOE Summary of Practice here
Penny started her career as a teacher with experience gained in both NZ and the UK before moving into the HR domain. She has over 20 years’ experience in HR, including senior roles within the education sector specifically consulting in NZ and overseas and the tertiary education sector. Penny has been involved in large scale recruitment processes with very tight deadlines and strict parameters through to individual appointments. All recruitment is specific and individualised with a targeted approach to meet the client’s needs. We can help you with a recruitment plan to ensure we are going to attract the right people.
Getting the recruitment process right is paramount to all successful organizations. People are the key. Recruiting the right people is essential, as is the way recruitment is carried out. Now in the 21st century, recruitment approaches have changed, and culture is recognised as imperative to the process. It takes more than short listing and interviewing, the cultural fit is just as important – that both sides feel comfortable in the environment, that they have the same values and work ethic.
Read more about Penny here
Robyn brings a wealth of experience as an educator, facilitator, evaluator, and leader. Once a secondary English teacher and curriculum leader, Robyn has ventured into broad and interesting educational spaces both in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas. Her practice is wedded to the principles of social justice and to promoting equitable outcomes for learners. Recognising Māori as tangata whenua, she is committed to promoting culturally responsive practices and supporting schools to develop their bicultural curricula.
For eleven years and until recently, Robyn worked as an evaluator for the Education Review Office. This work gives Robyn a deep understanding of the whole schooling sector from governance to classroom practice.
Other areas where Robyn has experience and expertise include facilitation of literacy across the secondary curriculum and advisory work in secondary English. Robyn has also worked as a Te Kotahitanga facilitator. A highly reflective practitioner, Robyn evaluates the impact of her work, with the aim of influencing
positive change and improvement.
Robyn’s current work includes leading a project for the Ministry of Education around the review and redesign of NCEA. She is also the Mentor Manager for Ako Mātātupu: Teach First NZ and is excited to be part of the EdConnect team.
Emma is an experienced speech language therapist, who has worked with children, families, teachers, and schools in New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland. She has joined the EDconnect team as an associate and runs a small clinical practice. She loves to share her knowledge through delivering professional development to
early childhood, primary, and secondary educators.
Emma has a passion for oral language and literacy acquisition, and for applying evidence-based practice to improve outcomes for all learners – particularly those at risk for learning challenges. Emma has a knack for making important research findings accessible and applicable to the classroom and supporting educators to embed new knowledge and skills in their practice across a range of areas.
- supporting speech sound and oral language development
- assessing and developing emergent and early literacy skills from early childhood to secondary levels
- incorporating and integrating the “big five” within literacy instruction: phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension
- explicit, systematic, cumulative teaching of the English code from phonics through to morphology using decodable texts.