CORE's Team

Ara Simmons

Accredited Facilitator (English-medium), Positive psychology practitioner and certified coach


2019 Certification in Applied Positive Psychology Coaching (APPC) USA
2018 Certificate Applied Positive Psychology USA
2016 Postgraduate Diploma Specialist Teaching (Learning and Behaviour) Massey University
2015 Certificate Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning) Mindlab
2010 MA (Hons) Education Auckland University
2009 Graduate Diploma TESSOL Auckland University

Contact details


P: 0800 267 300

M: 021 402 109

Accreditation Number: ACC 900

Region: Auckland

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Ara Simmons Full shot 1

Professional profile

Ara is a Positive Psychology practitioner, accredited facilitator and certified Positive Psychology based coach. Ara works alongside schools in supporting a whole school systems response to both culture and wellbeing which includes staff, students and whānau. This includes strategic planning for delivering wellbeing, growing wellbeing teams within schools and supporting the design of wellbeing initiatives. She works with both schools and communities of learning. She draws on a variety of tools that also include a coaching psychology to support both school leaders and teachers for career development and job crafting that support transformational shifts in individual's that enhance self-efficacy, confidence, direction and wellbeing. Ara has also coached teenagers for life and academic success using the deep mindset principles of awareness, growth mindset and resilience.


Staff, student, whānau and community wellbeing

  • Develop systems through the use of appreciative inquiry processes to support staff, student, whānau and community wellbeing.

Positive Education

  • Develop a shared vision to combine the Science of Positive Psychology with best-practice teaching and learning to support students and school wellbeing through a strength’s based approach.
  • Support the integration of Mindfulness and Social and Emotional practices within teaching and learning.
  • Support the integration and strengthening of students Resiliency toolkits.

Inclusive Education

Successfully supporting learning communities to:

  • support and develop processes, systems, culturally responsive and inclusive practices for successful special education monitoring and development within school
  • facilitate the use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) practices and classroom environments where students are able to flourish
  • advice and support on specific special education needs and IEP’s within the school setting.

Coaching and mentoring

  • Supporting leaders to develop their coaching capabilities to support their team's personal growth.
  • Coaching for positive leadership and wellbeing.
  • Coaching of in-school wellbeing teams.
  • Supporting students in academic and wellbeing coaching.

Professional body membership

New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology (NZAPP)

International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA)

Conference presentations, seminars and workshops

2019 uLearn19 - Supporting whole school wellbeing: Strengthening connection and belonging

2019 Positive Education - open conversation series - Coaching for Wellbeing and Growth

2017 Inaugural Positive Education Conference Christchurch - Mindfulness

2014 RTLB Conference Wellington - Art that sticks! A personal inquiry

Personal statement

With gratitude, I love the work I do in learning and sharing with and from others. Being able to always continually work on the inner landscapes of our lives is critical. My purpose is that we continue to support every single young person in Aotearoa to step into the best version of themselves. My belief is that we can achieve this by supporting our teachers to be able to step into the best version of themselves.