Shona knows first hand the challenges of establishing and sustaining collaborative learning communities. Her career has been focused on leading and supporting change within and beyond her own school, at local and national levels, with the aim of unlocking teacher and student potential and addressing issues of social justice.
She led Te Kāhui Ako o Waitakere through its foundational years, from April 2016 till April 2018, developing a shared vision and coherent theory of improvement, building relational trust and putting in place effective systems in order to accelerate the achievement of all ākonga, but especially of Māori and Pasifika.
As Deputy Principal she was one of the leaders of transformational change for Waitakere College, 2017 co-winner of the Prime Minister’s Education Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning - Atatū and finalist for Leading - Atakura. She has demonstrated capacity to work effectively in partnership with Māori and Pasifika as well as deep knowledge of school leadership, including strategic planning, curriculum, assessment and qualifications, culturally responsive pedagogies, e-learning, professional learning, staffing and personnel.
Shona has worked with and on behalf of teachers nationwide to bring about change. She is a former National President of NZPPTA and member of the NZQA Board, and has led or contributed to reviews of curriculum, assessment and qualifications. She has organised conferences for local and national English teacher and AP/DP Associations. She was a founding member of the ground-breaking Auckland Feminist Teachers Association. Through these experiences she has learned a lot about how to exercise leadership through collaboration, support and challenge rather than through positional power, something which translates well into the context of Kāhui Ako.
- Developing and articulating an effective theory for improvement
- Sustaining relational trust and enabling conflict to be aired openly in a climate of respect
- Establishing systems and professional learning experiences which support the goals for learners
- Gathering, critiquing and acting on reliable evidence about student progress and achievement
- Evaluating progress, refining goals and planning for sustainability as leadership changes