Heather has been fortunate to have had a rich, diverse and satisfying education career that has spanned almost 50 years.  She has been a deputy principal in three schools and principal in four, from a small two teacher rural school in the Waikato to a large urban schools of over 20 teachers in Auckland. 

Heather was an Inspector of Primary Schools prior to 1989 and an Education Review Officer from 1989 to 2005.  In these positions she was involved in evaluating the quality of education, teachers and teaching.  She has recently retired as principal of Rosebank School, a multi-ethnic decile 2 Auckland school which has a Maori and a Samoan bilingual unit.  These varied experiences have provided opportunities to participate in worthwhile educational learning and teaching from Y1 to Y8 in contributing primaries, full primaries and intermediate schools, and had led to proven strengths in curriculum and promoting leadership.

One of Heather’s long-time interests is literacy/literature.  She has been involved in an early rewriting of the Progressive Achievement Tests in Listening Comprehension for NZCER, has twice been on the national advisory committee for the OECD PIRLS testing and was on the Ministry of Education’s national advisory committee for ESOL. She was one of the writers of the English curriculum for the NZC.  These experiences have supported her learning, evident in curriculum development and the development of sound practice across the curriculum.

As a young teacher Heather joined the Waikato Reading Association and the Auckland Reading Association and then the New Zealand Reading Association and International Reading Association.  This was the beginning!  She has twice been president of the New Zealand Reading (now Literacy) Association (NZLA) and is only one of two New Zealanders elected to the Board of Directors of the International Reading (now Literacy) Association (ILA).  She continues to be actively involved and established and coordinated the annual national NZLA Leadership Workshops.  She has presented at many local, national and international conferences and has convened numerous conferences and seminars, including two IRA world Congresses on Reading (Auckland 2000, and 2010).  Her participation with these associations helped to extend her understanding of research and effective practice in literacy/literature and have been a cornerstone of her career. 

Heather’s service to education has been acknowledged in several ways.  She holds Life Membership with the Auckland Reading Association, a Citation of Merit from the New Zealand Reading Association and the inaugural international Maryann Manning award for outstanding volunteer service.  In the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2016 Heather was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education and later that year was honoured with a Waitakere Area Principals’ Association Distinguished Educator Award and subsequently with Life Membership in 2017.  Also in 2017 she was elected into The Reading Hall of Fame, only the 6th New Zealander to be inducted into this extremely prestigious international organisation. Throughout her career Heather has demonstrated the importance of working collaboratively to achieve positive outcomes for learners of all ages and stages.

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