LEADING LIGHTS     Issue 1 | 2020

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NZEALS 2020 pick-and-mix

A taste of our conference menu

Article by   Ann Briggs

With thirty-three leadership korero sessions in addition to the four keynote presentations, there is a great choice of brain-food over the three days of the conference. Taking a random dip into each day’s programme, here are just a few of the topics on our ‘menu’.

Tūrangawaewae: A place to stand

April 15-17th Hamilton

As the deadline for earlybird registration (Feb 28th) for the NZEALS 2020 conference draws near, here is a taste of the sessions which we have on offer. The conference attracts speakers and delegates from a range of countries, engaged in educational leadership research and practice across all phases of education from ECE to tertiary. We have four distinguished keynote speakers, a wealth of thought-provoking leadership stories and research presentations from delegates, and discussion groups which will bring you to the heart of thinking about educational leadership.

With thirty-three leadership korero sessions in addition to the keynote presentations, there is a great choice of brain-food over the three days of the conference. Taking a random dip into each day’s programme, here are just a few of the topics on our ‘menu’.

Day 1: April 15th

Tahi: A professional place to stand

Anne Malcolm retired from 23 years of principalship in December 2019...

Dr. Anne Malcolm

Retired from 23 years principalship December 2019. A major focus over her tenure was to grow positive, capable middle leaders and principals. A focus on coaching and mentoring for middle leaders was a key driver over the last 8 years. Termly ‘leadership growth seminars’ were part of her practice from 2016. Inherent in her work was her doctoral research into primary principal learning pathways and a sabbatical in 2018 to consider best learning for middle leaders. Under the NZEALS umbrella Anne and her team ran a TRSS course for middle leaders in 2015.It sold out in 4 days and that identified a huge need for learning for New Zealand’s amazing leaders.

Leadership Korero Session 1

Dr Anne Malcolm: Discussion session - Growing school middle leaders

The session will have 3 key provocations for discussion. Each provocation will be underpinned by literature snippets; principal experience and what the group brings to the table. We will develop a collective view of what works for aspiring and in the role middle leaders. We will consider what is currently available in NZ; How middle leaders can promote their aspirations; manifest their values in the role and sustain their enthusiasm?

We will use 3 tools to support the focus:-
3 charts/ 3 handouts linked to current literature and current practice. 2 video clips of current middle leaders telling their story

Chart 1

Leadership development activities- pathways currently available.

Chart 2

Coaching and mentoring opportunities to support middle leaders to build and lead their teams.

Chart 3

Taking on the role- looking for leadership opportunities.

Dr ‘Toby’ Holmes is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Counseling, Leadership, Advocacy & Design at the University of Wyoming...

Dr. William "Toby" Holmes

Dr. Holmes is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Counseling, Leadership, Advocacy & Design at the University of Wyoming. Dr. Holmes is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma primarily focused on research and teaching in the areas of leadership communication, motivating language theory, and culturally sustaining instructional leadership. He has previously presented at NZEALS 2016 and 2018 and published in Leading Lights.

Leadership Korero Session 2

Dr. William "Toby" Holmes: Preparing School Leaders for Diversity and Social Justice in a Land with No Diversity and Social Justice

Education in the State of Wyoming in the USA, is ranked in the top-ten nationally across many metrics for academic success, yet Wyoming Native American students are disproportionately suspended from school at higher rates that White students. This holds for Wyoming’s small numbers of Black and Latino students as well. When Wyoming’s current principals were surveyed regarding the subject of diversity the following select responses tell the story:

‘I feel that the national emphasis on it very well could spill over into our state. Taking valuable time and resources away from the classroom to pursue nonacademic hot button issues.’

‘With the current administration in place in Washington, DC, we have set back positive diversity discussions and social justice by 50 years. To try and provide that compassion flies in the face of what is being presented by our top leaders, so doing so is portrayed as being “anti-American”. It creates conflict for educators, and more importantly, for our students.’

This presentation is focused on how the educational leadership program at the University of Wyoming prepares future educational leaders in the state to take professional places to stand and lead with diversity, social justice, and culturally sustaining instructional leadership.

Day 2: April 16th

Rua: Standing with resilience

Alexandra Parrington is a Year 1 teacher with a Project Leader - Curriculum role at Cornish College in Melbourne, Australia.

Samantha Millar is a Year 5 teacher who lives to frolic in the great outdoors.

Mrs. Alexandra Parrington, Mrs Samantha Millar

Alexandra Parrington
Alex is a Year 1 teacher with a Project Leader – Curriculum role at Cornish College in Melbourne, Australia. An experienced classroom teacher, she is also an educational practice researcher and PhD candidate at Monash University, researching teacher practice in outdoor learning. Alex has a keen interest in sustainability and believes that connecting children to their land and teaching them in, with and about nature is the key to providing a different, more relevant and meaningful kind of education.

Samantha Millar
Sam Millar is a Year 5 teacher who lives to frolic in the great outdoors. An experienced primary and secondary school teacher, she has led the way in her role as Outdoor Leaning Coordinator ensuring that all primary students and staff at Cornish College spend a dedicated amount of time each week learning in and with nature. Sam believes that all children have a right to know their land and she is passionate about ensuring that indigenous knowledge and language is acknowledged and made visible in Cornish’s Outdoor Learning Program – Dhumba-dha biik (Talk Country).

Leadership Korero Session 3

Mrs. Alexandra Parrington, Mrs Samantha Millar: Dhumba dha biik (Talk Country) – How we connect children to their land.

Ours is a leadership story about ‘the place we stand’ to learn with, in and about nature. It is about how we, as a school community, now embrace learning in nature as an essential part of our pedagogy from ELC, through the Primary Years and into the Secondary School.

We will discuss the journey we have been on to build on the innovations begun by our Early Learning Centre – influenced by the philosophy of the Reggio Emilia approach and the notion of the “Environment as the Third Educator” and how we sustained and maintain the change. We will share the germination of an idea, the creation of our Outdoor Learning Program ‘Dhumba dha biik’ (Talk Country in Boon wurrung language – used with permission), how it started and where we are now. Inspired by the belief that in order for our young people care about the land and what happens to it, they must really know it. We connect to ‘place’, to country. Learning in nature is good for our health and wellbeing, and it helps us learn more effectively. A growing body of research evidence is proving this to be true. We will share this evidence, how our learning in nature journey began, what it looks like now and how we got (and keep) our learning community on board.

Dhumba dha biik is now not only what we do, it is part of who we are.

Blair Dravitski is the principal of Linwood Avenue School ...

Mr. Blair Dravitski

Blair Dravitski is the principal of Linwood Avenue School, the first school to be placed in to lockdown due to the close proximity of the Linwood Mosque on Friday 15th March, 2019. An experience that tested his leadership during the event and in the aftermath.

Blair plans to share his personal journey during the 5 hours in lockdown as well as the journey since that day.

Blair completed his dissertation for his Masters of Educational Leadership with a focus on leadership in crisis settings.

Leadership Korero Session 4

Mr. Blair Dravitski: A Moment in Time

The conversation is based on the premise that leadership is different during and in the aftermath of crisis, in relation to school leadership and what is required for success. It is important that in times of crisis you can change from what is required of you, to what is needed in the moment.

Through my research I noted that various leadership models were required to operate during and in the post crisis setting which will be explored within a leadership lens.

It was also noted that there is limited support, professional development or research from an educational viewpoint.

Dr Hawani Negussie is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Brandman University ...

Dr. Hawani Negussie

Dr. Hawani Negussie is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Brandman University, part of Chapman University System. She received her Ed.D. from California State University Long Beach. Her undergraduate degrees are in Child Development and Early Childhood Education. Her research concentration includes indigenous educational systems, implementing culturally relevant pedagogy in early education classrooms, and teacher training based on responsive caregiving practices.

Leadership Korero Session 5

Dr. Hawani Negussie: Integrating indigenous knowledge in Early Childhood Care and Education in Ethiopia: Challenges, success and the future

Early Childhood Care and Education in Ethiopia was revitalized after the initiatives of Education for All (EFA) campaign were introduced with intention of expanding access and improving educational opportunities to children living in underserved communities. In the process of expanding access to ECCE programs in Ethiopia, a greater need to grasp the meaning of early education introduced in the context of children’s historical, social, and cultural experiences emerged.

When examining the current early education programs in the country, there are several notable advancements to highlight in the area of creating a national awareness on the importance of early education, access to pre-primary programs and a collective agenda to offer quality education to the youngest learners in Ethiopia. But when exploring how classrooms are integrating the country’s indigenous knowledge systems, the results produced delineating themes.

Challenges to integrating indigenous approaches were associated with opposing national and international policy, shortage of local materials, lack of a strong regulatory agency and diminishing use of Amharic as the medium of instruction in advanced grades. The successes of programs were more tied to low-income schools that ascribe to indigenous practices as compared to the more affluent schools that prefer Western materials and education pedagogies.

Day 3: April 17th

Toru: Standing with awareness

Jami Royal Berry is a clinical assistant professor in the Educational Administration and Policy Program (EDAP) at the University of Georgia ...

Dr. Jami Berry, Karen Bryant

Jami Royal Berry is a clinical assistant professor in the Educational Administration and Policy Program (EDAP) at the University of Georgia and a co-director of the UCEA Center for the International Study of Educational Leadership. Prior to her university service, Berry was a music teacher and elementary school administrator. She remains active in K-12 education through volunteering in schools and serving as a board member for several education organizations.

Karen Bryant is a clinical associate professor in the Educational Administration and Policy Program (EDAP) at the University of Georgia. Prior to joining the EDAP faculty, Dr. Bryant worked for 30 years in K-12 education; serving as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, district director of curriculum, district director of federal programs, and district leadership development mentor. Dr. Bryant serves as the Coordinator of the Program of Educational Administration and Policy in the College of Education.

Leadership Korero Session 6

Dr. Jami Berry, Karen Bryant: An Exemplar Inclusive Leader

Today’s educational leaders face the challenge of ensuring all students have opportunities to fully participate in activities that enrich their learning in classrooms and beyond. However, for students who are differently abled, this undertaking is often not met successfully. Villa and Thousand (2003) declared that a school leader should be a visionary in order to successfully implement inclusion. The paper presented in this session highlights the work of a leader who has surpassed Villa and Thousand’s visionary call with regard to inclusionary practices in one American high school.

The principal highlighted in this paper has built a community of care around the students designated as having learning differences. This care permeates every element of the school culture from the morning announcements to curricular offerings to leadership opportunities at extra-curricular events. Through his leadership, he has set the stage for a school environment that is both inclusive and expansive as he continues to offer volunteer opportunities to these students following graduation. In highlighting his story, this session will both pay homage to his role as a servant leader and offer a model for others who are looking for ways to build a stronger school community through inclusive practices.

Sanjay Rama is Principal of Ponsonby Primary School, Auckland

Francis Naera has taken over the Deputy Principal role

Mr. Sanjay Rama, Francis Naera

Sanjay Rama. Principal of Ponsonby Primary .Appointed from DP position to begin 2020. I took over leadership after Dr Anne Malcolm who was in the role for 23 years. So, big shoes to fill but feeling it is okay to believe in yourself.

Francis Naera has taken over the Deputy role moving from team leader. He too has a story to tell. Francis grew up with both his parents being school principals, so he has seen first hand how to manage change and stand proud of who you are.

Leadership Korero Session 6

Mr. Sanjay Rama, Francis Naera: Taking on a new senior leadership role. Moving beyond the imposter syndrome

Begin by presenting our story to DP and principalship and as this is for us the first term in these new roles, outlining the emotions, the holding to values and sharing concerns so that the job is doable. We will have a set of discussion starters to consider around taking on a new role and not feeling like an imposter. In our initial presentation, we will talk about:-

Applying for the role

Knowing what you want

Overcoming the notion of … can I really do this?

Samantha Mortimer is Deputy Principal at Te Aroha College

Joseph Hartzenburg is the Guidance Counsellor at Te Aroha College

Samantha Mortimer and Joseph Hartzenburg

Samantha Mortimer

Samantha Mortimer is Deputy Principal at Te Aroha College, a small secondary school in rural New Zealand. As a school leader her interests lie with social justice, restorative practice and developing teachers both in the classroom and as leaders.

Samantha completed a BA at Radford University, Virginia, and an MA at the University of Exeter before becoming a high school teacher and an Advisory Health Education Teacher in Manchester, UK. Samantha then moved with her family back to NZ in 2007 and completed her Masters of Educational Leadership at the University of Waikato in 2015. She is currently a doctoral candidate there, investigating how schools support, or perhaps limit, the development of beginning teachers’ professional identities. Samantha received the NZEALS President’s Research Award in 2018.

Joseph Hartzenburg

Joseph Hartzenburg is the Guidance Counsellor at Te Aroha College, a small secondary school in rural New Zealand. Joseph completed a BA (Hons) at The University of Cape Town and an MA at Yale University. He worked as a Research Economist for BP and Barclays Bank in South Africa. After moving to NZ in the early 1990s he studied Psychotherapy and Counselling where he completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling (Health Science). Joseph is Registered Counsellor (NZAC), a Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist and a member of DAPAANZ
Before joining the staff at Te Aroha College in 2016, Joseph had worked as a Counsellor for various Community Agencies, specialising in Addictions Rehabilitation Counselling and Counselling to support individuals and their families with recovery and reconciliation after domestic violence incidents.

Leadership Korero Session 7

Samantha Mortimer and Joseph Hartzenburg: Hopeful partnerships: A different approach for school leaders when working with students, their whanau and when needed other agencies

In this presentation Samantha Mortimer (DP) and Joseph Hartzenburg (Guidance Counsellor) will take the audience through their journey towards “hopeful partnerships” which is a different way of working with students, their whanau and when needed other agencies, with regards to the behaviour of these students.

“Hopeful partnerships” comes from both Samantha’s and Joseph’s strengths based, solution focussed personal philosophies which are steeped in social justice and wellbeing. Simultaneously, they recognise that all parties (student, whanau, school and/or agencies) need to do more of what works and less of what does not.

Freire, bell hooks, Noddings and others have challenged Samantha and Joseph to develop their understanding of “hopeful planning.” Both Samantha and Joseph also agree with the authors’ added proviso that hope by itself is not enough, action is also key.

Samantha and Joseph will discuss their journey to “hopeful partnerships.” This includes: why they decided to try it; literature that supports their thinking; the “best hopes” strengths based approach; specific examples of high end and lower end cases; how to effectively work with agencies; their learning from their successes and frustrations; and finally, how they have adapted “hopeful partnerships” to other areas including restorative practice meetings.