The Cognition Team

Cognition believes strongly in the old adage, “An organisation is only as good as its people”.  Our most productive investment has been, and will remain, our people.  It is through their dedication, skills and initiative that Cognition has developed an enduring reputation for excellence.

Cognition is a dynamic organisation which has experienced rapid growth since its inception.  Our highly professional team has people with a variety of skills and experiences, working on a variety of projects.

Cognition’s Chief Executive leads the strategic direction of the company. He is supported by a Senior Management Group.

- Chief Executive


Terry was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in 2012. A well-known New Zealand educator, Terry has a diverse background in public sector education and related senior public service roles.

Terry brings rich experience in schooling improvement and education system change to his role.  He appreciates that clients investing with Cognition want to be able to assess value for money and improvement impact easily. The measurement of educational improvement and building the evaluative capability of practitioners to sustain that improvement is an area in which Cognition excels.

Cognition’s ability to demonstrate impact is key to the satisfaction of our various global clients, and also the teachers and principals around the world who have productively engaged with our Visible Learningplus professional development programmes.

- General Manager - Consulting


Dr. Phil Coogan is a well-respected educator with a background in secondary school English teaching, teacher education and teacher professional development. He has been a Commonwealth Fellow, president of the NZ Association of Teachers of English, national moderator for NCEA English and is an associate of the University of London Institute of Education. Phil has a Masters of Education Administration with 1st class honours and his doctoral thesis explored the influence of high stakes assessment on English teachers’ adoption of innovations such as ICTs.

Phil is Cognition’s consultancy operations manager with responsibility for a range of New Zealand and off-shore projects, covering schooling reform, e learning, curriculum development, teacher professional development, governance support, online communities for teachers, gifted and talented education and school design....

- General Manager, Knowledge and Growth

Chris is an experienced business executive and international consultant with more than 10 years of experience working across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. He leads business development and new product development (NPD) projects for Cognition. Chris has worked at a senior level with private and public sector leaders and CEOs and his work has taken him to the Middle East, Asia, North America, Europe and the Pacific. 

His key roles for Cognition include new product development, relationship management and corporate management. Chris is a Trustee of the New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network and a former treasurer and board member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. Chris has wide networks in education in New Zealand and internationally.

- Manager – Office of the CEO

Sarah is a Chartered Accountant, and began her career in public practice.  She has previous management and leadership roles in finance and business functions within the telecommunications and professional services sector and has governance roles in the not-for-profit sector.  She holds a Bachelor of Management Studies from Waikato University, and maintains an active interest in New Zealand’s export community and NZICA operations.

- HR Manager

Andre has qualifications in employment law and project management and has worked in human resources for over 20 years.

With a background in mainly in recruitment, he gained the bulk of his experience working in health in the public sector, both overseas as well as New Zealand.

Andre joined the Cognition team in 2010 as Talent Specialist and is currently the acting HR Manager. 

- Principal Consultant – Assessment & Consulting

Deb is a Principal Consultant at Cognition Education and the Director of Visible Learningplus. She manages products and services internationally for the company.

Through her extensive experience in primary and secondary teaching, Deb has a background in assessment, previously holding a senior assessment role with the Ministry of Education in Wellington. Deb also has an in-depth knowledge of e-asTTle and has been closely involved in its development since 2002.

Deb has responsibility for developing the Visible Learning professional development model in partnership with John Hattie.  She is also heavily involved in developing Visible Learning training and support materials, training Visible Learning facilitators and in delivering Visible Learning training globally. 

- Principal Consultant - Knowledge and Growth

Pam has an extensive background in professional learning design and materials development. She works across a number of the Cognition programmes including Pathwaysplus, Culture Countsplus and Visible Learningplus. Her key responsibilities are as a Co-Project Director of Te Kākahu, a partnership with Whanganui Iwi  to support secondary schools to accelerate outcomes for Māori learners in their rohe. 

Pam has been responsible for the delivery of several national and local professional learning programmes for teachers in New Zealand that have resulted in significant gain for learners. She completed a PhD in education on the conditions that promote sustainability of professional development projects in schools in New Zealand. Pam works at system and sector levels in educational design and innovation.

- Project Director

Dr. Linda Selby has over 30 years of experience at all educational levels and has worked in the education sector all over the world. She has been a teacher and administrative leader in elementary, secondary, polytechnic and university sectors.

Her teaching has included both graduate and undergraduate courses in many areas of education and research. Dr Selby has supervised a number of graduate students and served on MA and MEd thesis committees. She has also acted as an external examiner for both masters and doctoral level students. She is the former Dean of the Faculty of Postgraduate Studies and Research, Auckland College of Education and former Dean of the Faculty of Education, Royal University for Women, Bahrain. 

Linda is currently a Project Director based in Abu Dhabi for Cognition Education.

- Transport Operations Manager

Trained as a Civil Engineer with a focus on project management, Karl worked for 12 years in various consulting engineering roles. He continued on to have a 15-year career in the Royal NZ Navy leading a team of military and civilian project management professionals to manage the Navy’s shore-based property portfolio.  Karl joined the New Zealand Ministry of Education in a similar role in 1997 as Manager Network Provision for the Northern Region and served in that role for 10 years.  In this time, he established 21 new schools in Auckland and has completed various leadership and management courses both within the military and externally.

Karl brings a unique and vast range of experience to Cognition and is currently our Transport Operations Manager.

- Principal Consultant

Mary has held a range of teaching and management positions in New Zealand secondary schools and was formerly the Senior Manager for Schools Monitoring and Support in the NZ Ministry of Education. In that role she was responsible for national policy development and the leadership of a diverse range of education change management projects. 

Mary was formerly a board member for the International Congress of School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) and has represented New Zealand on the OECD work on ‘Combating Failure at Schools’ and ‘Innovation for Effective Schools’. Mary was appointed as an Executive Trustee for the Cognition Institute from August 2006 - August 2012.

- Regional Manager, South East Asia

Sally has extensive senior consultancy experience, working on the integration of policy, research and practice at government, school and consultancy level.  Her experience in strategic and operational planning, practice, evaluation and review has seen her lead a number of high profile international education projects. 

Sally has previously been the Principal of the largest secondary school in New Zealand, Project Director for the Abu Dhabi PPP project and most recently Cognition Education’s Chief Operating Officer in the Middle East

- Commercial Manager / Financial Controller

Sean is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Management Studies degree with Honours from the University of Waikato.  He has worked in a range of industries including one of the Big 4 accounting firms, technology, FMCG and R&D in various accounting and commercial roles.

Sean’s role has a strong commercial focus on the global licences of the intellectual property and development of new products.  This focuses on return on investment, partnership management, and international business compliance.  Sean is also responsible for the Finance and Accounting team who look after complex international payrolls, compliance, financial reporting, treasury, pricing, risk management and forecasting.  

Cognition has operations in a range of diverse regions and Sean enjoys working across a range of projects and teams.

- Visible Learning Plus Programme Development Manager

Starting at Cognition in 2014, with a background in Educational Leadership and Teaching in Higher Education. Sue’s project management experience and continuous improvement framework is responsible for the operational management and the programme development of Visible Learningplus. 

- Principal Consultant — Manager Professional Learning and Development

Anna Sullivan is a principal consultant in our education consultancy team.  In Visible Learning, Anna has specific responsibility for programme and materials development and training of facilitators internationally.

Anna leads Cognition’s team for Te Toi Tupu a consortium made up of five leading New Zealand education institutions.  Te Toi Tupu has a series of contracts with the Ministry of Education to deliver professional learning and development to New Zealand schools.

Anna has worked extensively in New Zealand and internationally in a range of leadership roles in the education sector. Prior to this Anna worked for a number of years for Cognition in Qatar as a school management advisor, working with school leaders to establish new schools and supporting teachers to improve their practices.

- Principal Consultant

Chris joined Cognition as an ICT curriculum specialist supporting schooling improvement teams in the Middle East. She has extensive experience working with digital technologies to enable future-focused learning and until recently was northern region team leader for the Learning with Digital Technologies PLD programme. Currently she manages Cognition’s e2e e-learning services and is leading the “Multimedia Products Demonstrating the Use of Digital Technology in Schools” project.

Chris comes from a secondary teaching background and  has been an ICT advisor to schools and a national facilitator in the ICT PD school cluster programme. Her interest in the potential of digital technologies to enrich learning has led to a range rewarding opportunities, including four years as a director on the board of the International Society for Technology in Education.

- Principal Consultant

Brian Hinchco is a principal consultant in our education consultancy team. In this role he will be involved with a range of Cognition’s professional development and support projects.

Brian has worked extensively in New Zealand in a range of leadership roles in the education sector. He was a Ministerial appointee to the NSSAG Reference Group (2008–2012) and with the review of Special Education (2009–2011).

Prior to this role with Cognition Brian was Principal of Papatoetoe Intermediate School. He was the immediate past president of the New Zealand Association of Intermediate and Middle Schooling. In this role he negotiated an international relationship with the Middle Years of Schooling Association of Australia. Brian has completed a Ph.D. investigating the development of middle schools in New Zealand.

- Associate Consultant

Ian is one of New Zealand's most experienced educational leaders, having been Principal of the Christchurch College of Education for eight years and principal of the Otago Polytechnic for seven years. He has worked in senior roles at the Southland and Christchurch Polytechnics before his appointment to the principal's position in Dunedin.

Dr Hall was the Project Director for Cognition Education, leading a major school improvement project for the Abu Dhabi Education Council. Prior to this, he spent six years in the United Arab Emirates, initially as director of the Ras Al Khaimah Colleges (constituent colleges of the Higher Colleges of Technology system). Ian has recently been working on short term projects for Cognition in Nauru and Kuwait.

- Manager, Research and Evaluation

Michael Blewden is the manager of the research and evaluation team within Cognition. The team works across a range of research and evaluation projects for both internal and external clients.

Michael has previously worked in social research and evaluation across many areas of local, regional, and central government. He has held senior positions within academic, public, and private sector research and evaluation organisations. Michael has particularly interests in the intersection between evaluation theory and learning theory. He recently completed his PhD in evaluation which examined how the evaluation process can be intentionally used by evaluators to support learning and development outcomes for stakeholders. 

- Principal Consultant

Pip Arnold joined Cognition in 2010 bringing with her an extensive background in mathematics and statistics education, teacher professional development, curriculum development and assessment. She has been a member of both the Mathematics and Statistics NCEA realignment writing group, and the assessment development team for Mathematics and Statistics. 

Since joining Cognition Pip has project managed the development of material for senior secondary guides – mathematics and statistics for TKI, the Gifted and Talented project and is currently managing the Mathematics Year 1-8 PLD contract. She is also leading the delivery of senior secondary pedagogical content workshops in mathematics.

Pip has recently completed her doctoral thesis – Posing statistical investigative questions.

- Associate Consultant

Jenny has been President, Fellow and CEO of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, a Director of Teaching Australia and International Chair of Microsoft Partners in Learning International Advisory Board.  She has also held positions on the International Advisory Panel for the Registration and Licensing of School Leaders and Teachers for the Qatar Office for Registration, Licensing and Accreditation and the Australian Curriculum Coalition. In these roles she worked with schools and systems in their pursuit of improving student outcomes through quality leadership and organisational improvement.

Jenny is an affiliate consultant for Cognition Education and is an Education Impact Fellow.

- Te Toi Tupu Consortium Manager

Jill has worked in education for over 25 years.

From teaching and then facilitation, Jill moved into contract management and leading teams of facilitators, delivering professional development and learning in schools, predominantly in the Auckland and Northland regions. Jill has a published article about effective facilitator practice.

Jill is consortium manager for Te Toi Tupu Consortium.

- Principal Consultant – Quality Assurance

Kathryn has significant experience in primary and lower secondary schools, having worked in rural and urban schools as a teacher, school leader and a professional learning and development provider. She has been a key figure in needs analysis and programme evaluation in the Abu Dhabi schooling improvement project and has worked in Cognition’s international school reform projects.

Kathryn is currently chairperson of the monitoring group for the Te Toi Tupu consortium which provides professional learning  and development services in New Zealand. This work has extended to an international contract in which she is leading a team to develop a curriculum to support scholarship students in Malaysia.

- Consultant, Te Pouherenga Matauranga

Micheal is of Te Rarawa, Tainui and Croatian descent and brings a wealth of school leadership and management, curriculum and governance expertise to Cognition. Micheal's classroom experience covers both mainstream and Maori Immersion classrooms at year 1 - 8 in decile 1 - 9 schools.

He is a senior consultant within the organisation having led projects both in New Zealand and in the United Arab Emirates. One of Micheal's key responsibilities is to facilitate and lead the organisations' bi-cultural initiatives and approaches.

- Associate

Professor John Hattie is currently the Director of Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, a position he has held since March 2011. He is also Honorary Professor of Education at the University of Auckland. John is the Senior Advisor for Visible LearningPlus, a division of Cognition Education Limited.  John is one of New Zealand's most internationally acclaimed academics. He has been both Professor and Chair of Educational Research Methodology at the University of North Carolina.

Professor Hattie regularly advises governments in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. He has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 500 papers.

In 2011 he was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to education.

- Account Manager, Health Education

With over 20 years’ marketing and communications experience across a number of sectors and roles, Amanda’s work in both agency and client organisations has allowed her to develop a sound understanding of the communications industry as a whole.

Her main role during the past few years has been the strategic oversight of the HealthEd and other associated contracts. Prior to this, Amanda spent four years as an Account Director, specialising in health projects, at Wellington advertising agency GSL Network (now GSLPromotus).   

Amanda continues to build on her knowledge and expertise in health communications, acquiring a deep understanding of and appreciation for health literacy.

Amanda has a Business Studies degree, majoring in Marketing (BBS Marketing, Hons) from Massey University.

- Facilitator

Amy is a consultant for e2e and the Regional Team Leader for Te Toi Tupu 'Learning with Digital Technologies'.

Amy has been a classroom teacher, department manager and facilitator in New Zealand and off shore and brings a wealth of experience to her facilitation work. Amy first joined Cognition Education in 2007 as a Mathematics Advisor for the Qatar school improvement project. She returned to New Zealand to join the Mathematics and Statistics facilitation team at the University of Auckland.

Amy is currently leading the team who work in schools to review the management of eLearning and to implement effective eLearning strategies. In her facilitation practice, she uses a co-constructivist approach to teaching and learning.

- Senior Training and Curriculum Specialist

Ande is a primary trained teacher and has been a principal in New Zealand for 12 years. She has also mentored and coached leaders in New Zealand within schools and for the Ministry of Education Principals’ Development Planning Centre. Based in Abu Dhabi, Andrea provides senior training, specialising in curriculum, to our international clients.

Ande has a Masters in Educational leadership (first class Hons) and has carried out research on leadership development. She has also been an online mentor for Master in Educational Leadership papers. Based in Abu Dhabi, Ande provides senior training, specialising in curriculum, to our international clients.

- Facilitator

Angie has worked in New Zealand  with school leaders to establish best practice teaching and learning using  digital tools to enhance  future focused learning.   She  led the  Educational Technologies Diploma programme at Unitec and was instrumental in setting up e-learning  papers at Masters level. Angie has owned and managed a large early learning centre and is an experienced primary school teacher with experience also teaching  NCEA (Secondary School level) at the Northern Health School.

Angie  has  had 28 books published with a focus on 21st century learning.

Presently, Angie is working as a Learning with Digital Technologies  for Cognition Education . 

- Personal Assistant / Team coordinator – Knowledge and Growth

Anna is a personal assistant to our Knowledge and Growth General Manager and team coordinator to the Knowledge and Growth team.

Anna has been in the private and public sector as a personal assistant and brings a wealth of experience and technical skills to her work. Anna first joined Cognition Education in 2002 as a personal assistant and team coordinator to the Consultancy division moving onto the Business Development division.

Anna manages a high performing team and is dedicated to providing support to all staff and handles a myriad of tasks at once.

- Consultant

Bronwyn facilitates a range of Visible Learning face-to-face and online workshops in New Zealand, particularly those focused on e-asTTle. She also organises our Visible Learning tours.

Bronwyn also works as a mathematics facilitator and is part of our evaluation team. Since joining Cognition she has been involved with literacy and asTTle professional development and support work both in New Zealand and internationally. This has included working with the New York City Department of Education providing reading support in an asTTle-based professional development programme.

Both national and internationally, Bronwyn has provided professional support and development to classroom teachers and leaders in schools involved in educational reform. 

- Gifted and Talented Facilitator

Brooke Trenwith joined the Cognition consultancy team in 2013 as part of the Gifted and Talented Education PLD, a Ministry of Education contract designed to support Principals and Teachers build their capability and develop effective, robust and transparent GATE programmes.

In her over 14 years of teaching, Brooke has taught students aged 3 to adult and has experience with NCEA at a national level.  She was the Assistant Director of an English Language School (primary) in Taiwan for over two years where her portfolios included curriculum development and teacher training.  Brooke has been a writer for the TKI Gifted and Talented website and her specialist secondary school subjects are Classical Studies, Art History, English and Social Studies.

- Associate

Chris Bradbeer is the Associate Principal at Stonefields Primary School and is a member of Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) New Zealand chapter. Stonefields School is an affiliate school of Cognition Education. Chris has embarking on a research masters program on the subject of pedagogy and classroom spaces and has many ideas, hypotheses, and prospective . Chris is explores how to maximise the use of open learning spaces - mindful of the challenges they present. He is passionate about future school design, e-learning, remote places and Kiva. His own blog can be found at  

- Consultant

Chris Henderson brings a diverse range of skills to his role at Cognition. Chris has a background in international development with a focus on informal education, youth development, and social entrepreneurship. More recently, Chris’ work has also focused on the role of teachers and young people in supporting disaster resilience and recovery practices. In this area, Chris has designed and facilitated youth orientated workshops for UNICEF and UNESCO.

During his time at Cognition, Chris has developed expertise in corporate social responsibility (CSR). He has been involved in the design, implementation and management of CSR projects throughout Southeast Asia, and sees CSR as having the potential to contribute towards improved educational outcomes in emerging economies.

- Education Consultant

Christine has been working in teacher professional development in mathematics and statistics education since 2004.  During this time she has worked alongside school leaders and teachers delivering a wide range of in-depth and flexible mathematics professional learning as well as presented a range of mathematics and statistics workshops, most recently with a focus on overall teacher judgments and moderation. Christine started with Cognition Education at the beginning of 2012 and is currently the Te Toi Tupu Northern Regional Coordinator for mathematics years 1-8.

Recently, Christine completed her Master’s thesis which examines overall teacher judgments in mathematics.

- Health Promoting Schools National Maori Facilitator

Clayton Wikaira ((Te Hikutu / Nga Puhi) is a member of the Health Promoting Schools (HPS) National leadership team, providing national leadership, direction and support for the HPS sector in New Zealand. Clayton has over 14 years’ experience delivering community development projects that successfully improve health and wellbeing outcomes for Maori in both rural and urban setting. Recently he has worked with low socio-economic communities in Northland where there is high unemployment, poor housing, alcohol and drug abuse and challenging health and wellbeing outcomes.

Clayton’s strength is being able to engage with hard to reach Maori communities. He has the ability to engage with Maori, becoming part of their community and leading change that is both empowering and sustainable. He has walked alongside communities, supporting them to develop programmes and strategies that

- Education Consultant

Donna has been working in teacher professional development in mathematics and statistics since 2005. She has coordinated and presented many mathematics and statistics workshops covering a wide variety of topics from pedagogy through to assessment and leadership in New Zealand and Australia. She works predominantly in the Far North where she was born and breed, working in schools with high numbers of Maori students.

Prior to this role her experience includes several years as a general classroom teacher. Donna completed her postgraduate diploma of education in 2010. She has also been involved in School Governance and has been on  school boards of Trustees for 6 years.

- Consultant

Dr Kate Niederer is an experienced gifted education researcher, lecturer and practitioner. She has worked at all levels in gifted education, from specialist teaching of gifted children to involvement in policy making and national level research.  Kate was the assistant Director at the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth at Warwick University. She oversaw professional development in gifted education for 21,000 primary schools and worked closely with the Ministry for Children, Youth and Families to deliver tailor made resources in gifted education to schools across England.

In 2011 was Kate was employed by Cognition to support their work in gifted education, and in 2012 was appointed New Zealand Northern regional coordinator for the Te Toi Tupu Gifted and Talented Professional Learning Development programme.  
- Visible Learning Plus Consultant

Shaun joined the Visible Learning educational consultancy team in February 2014. One of his main roles within the team is to operationalise the Collective Impact program and to provide support to our national and international partners.

Shaun has over 20 years’ experience working in the secondary schooling sector in New Zealand, most recently as a deputy principal in a co-educational Y9-13 school in Auckland. His portfolio there included leadership of curriculum and professional development. Previously Shaun has been Head of two English departments and has worked on a number of Ministry of Education contracts around the English curriculum and national assessments.

Shaun holds a Doctor of Education degree specialising in effective practices in teaching writing.

- Associate

Stuart Middleton has a background in English teaching specialising in the teaching of English in linguistically diverse communities. He taught at several Manukau secondary schools before joining the Auckland College of Education where he taught secondary teacher education courses in English and Education. He has worked as a consultant in a variety of countries throughout the Pacific and has contributed to policy development in Great Britain.

After a period as Principal of Aorere College he returned to the Auckland College of Education as General Manager Academic Services prior to taking up his current position. He wrote regular columns for New Zealand Education Review in New Zealand Campus Review in Australia. He speaks and writes on a wide range of educational topics. In 2002 he completed a PhD thesis on the dynamics of transformational change in a tertiary education

- Graphic Design and Videography

A critical feature to the success of the Visible Learningplus  programme is the fidelity of message of the  Visible Learningplus  material to John Hattie’s research. A graduate of Auckland University of Technology’s (AUT’s) Bachelor of Digital Design programme, Elle is responsible for the design, development, adherence to the Visible Learningplus  brand standard and the storage of Visible Learningplus  Collateral. Elle is the videographer for the  videos that complement the Visible Learningplus  training materials. Additionally she coordinates the translation and sharing of the contents of the catalogue with our Visible Learningplus  Partners.

- Education Consultant

Fiona joined the Cognition team in July 2012 and is currently the regional coordinator for Mathematics Years 1-8 based in Central South Region. She has been working in teacher professional development in mathematics and statistics since 2001. For the last three years Fiona has been a senior adviser for the ministry.

Prior to this, she was a regional coordinator and has presented many mathematics workshops covering a wide range of topics. She is passionate about mathematics education teaching and has a particular interest in statistics and catering for underachieving students.

- Facilitator

Ian is committed to empowering young people to make a difference in their lives. Currently, this includes supporting school leaders and teachers to develop policies and practices for future-oriented learning and effective use of digital technologies.

Ian has reviewed, planned and implemented change in curriculum, assessment, teaching, learning and pastoral care and in all sectors of education, from early childhood to tertiary.  As a teacher, deputy principal, academic dean and board trustee, he has drawn on both evidence and research to impact learning outcomes of all students. 

Ian has led projects to introduce communities of practice, online learning environments, restorative practices, systems of appraisal and professional development.

- Manager, Health Education

With over a decade of multi-media publishing in both public and private sectors, James is an experienced relationship manager and key account director.  Passionate about increasing health literacy and reducing health inequalities, he has a deep understanding of health education resource development.

James helped develop Rauemi Atawhai: A Guide to Developing Health Education Resources in Aotearoa, to support more effective and engaging health education materials. He is committed to an ‘Inquiry Methodology’ to establish effective communication strategies that ensure a deep understanding of client, stakeholder and audience needs.

James has managed a number of high profile health and education programmes including Rugby World Cup 2011 for NZ2011 and the Ministry of Education and Smokefree Schools for the Health Promotion Agency.

- Visible Learning Plus Consultant

Jayne-Ann has been in the Visible Learning team for three years, working in Australia, USA, the UK and New Zealand. She has been involved with the development and delivery of all Visible Learning materials.  Prior to joining Cognition she had 30 years’ experience in schools in New Zealand, in both the State and Independent sectors.  She has extensive knowledge of the New Zealand curriculum, the NCEA and the International Baccalaureate qualification systems.   

- Education Consultant

Jeanette Saunders joined Cognition Education in 2013. An experienced facilitator and former HOD Mathematics at St Cuthbert’s College, Jeanette has worked with teachers through Mathematics Associations, NZAMT Conferences and for EQUALS. Committed to promoting learning by thoughtful teaching, to making mathematics and statistics accessible to all students and to working beside teachers, she has been involved in curriculum, assessment and resource development throughout her career. Most recently she has worked on resources for Level 2 statistical inference and in 2011-2012 Jeanette and her Year 13 students participated in a University of Auckland statistics TLRI to trial resources for teaching bootstrapping inferences and randomisation tests.

- Consultant

Kate joined Cognition in 2011, and is currently a consultant in the Visible learning Plus team, working in Australia, USA, the UK and New Zealand. She has been involved with the development and delivery of all Visible Learning materials. Prior to joining Cognition Kate had  extensive classroom experience in both the primary and secondary sector and is a literacy specialist. She has a proven record in leading schools in an evidenced-based change process and was a facilitator in the New Zealand Literacy Professional Development Project from 2004-2010.  She is also well known throughout NZ schools for her ‘Chunk, Check, Cheer’ strategy and approach to reading and spelling. 

- Materials developer

Kate’s role as a materials developer for Cognition Education follows fourteen year’s experience in educational publishing.  Kate has edited and written a wide range of curriculum materials and professional learning materials for the Ministry of Education, Learning Media, Lift Education, and Careers New Zealand.  Her interest in connecting research and practice has developed through her close involvement with several significant research and development programmes.  This work gave Kate the opportunity to participate in research into the classroom and school-related factors that raise the literacy achievement of Pasifika students. 

Kate began her career as a teacher at Porirua College and the Correspondence School.

- Analyst and Evaluator

Kathryn has over six years’ experience conducting research and evaluations in the education and health sectors. Kathryn’s experience includes both quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches. Her specialist areas are designing tools and conducting analyses to measure the impact of educational programmes and policies. She has undertaken voluntary work in Thailand and Ghana further developing her experience and building upon her knowledge of international education and development.

Kathryn is an Analyst and Evaluator at Cognition. She leads components of evaluation delivery, such as the approach and methodological design, data collection, analysis and reporting to produce effective evaluations that meet the needs of Cognition’s clients.

- Team Coordinator

Before joining Cognition, Katrina was based in Christchurch and worked for the New Zealand Institute of Management Canterbury Inc. as Training/Project Coordinator. Katrina is experienced in planning event, education workshops, and mastered the art of multi-tasking. As the Visible Learningplus  Coordinator Katrina is responsible for supporting the smooth running of the Visible Learningplus  team and an irreplaceable member of the Cognition staff. She is dedicated to providing support to all staff and juggles numerous requests at any given time.

- Leadership advisor – Nauru Schooling Improvement Project

Kevin joined Cognition Education in March 2013 as the Leadership advisor in the Nauru schooling Improvement Project. Prior to joining Cognition Kevin has held 3 principal positions in New Zealand.

Headmaster of Hadlow Preparatory School, Masterston Scots College Primary, Wellington St Michael’s Church School, Christchurch

Kevin is currently on leave from his role as principal of St Michael’s. Kevin completed his Bachelor of Arts from Canterbury and Massey Universities and finished his Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Administration from Massey. He has been a member of the Executive of the Independent Schools of New Zealand. 

- Mathematics Facilitator

Kim began working in Teacher Professional Development in mathematics in 2011. During this time she has presented on a range of topics from place value to pedagogy, including presenting at PMA and MAV.  Kim has a special interest in combining the arts and mathematics across all her work.

Prior to this role, her experience includes fifteen years as a general primary teacher, with leadership roles in numeracy, literacy and music.

- Design and Brand Manager

Kimberley has a background in architecture, and long standing interest in all aspects of design. She  has six years of marketing and freelance design experience, and has been involved in a variety of projects and areas including web building and IT management.  Kimberley develops design and styles for the overall corporate brand, and the subsequent brands beneath.

Kimberley acts as webmaster for both company websites, and  is our inhouse design & brand manager and web designer. 

- Graphic Designer

Kristin joined the Cognition Design team in 2013 after graduating from Massey University with a  Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication Design, Hons.).

Involved in the development and implementation of design concepts for Cognition’s Professional Learning and Development and Marketing print materials and design for print. Kristin’s thoughtful development of the design concept, eye for detail means that she is well suited to the wide variety of material she is involved in developing, including still photography. Kristin loves being given a new design challenge and we are inspired by the results.

- Mathematics Facilitator/Consultant M2M

With a broad range of teaching and leadership positions in Primary Education within both New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Lisa brings a wealth of experience to teacher professional development at Cognition Education.  Through her recent experience as a facilitator in the field of mathematics, she worked alongside teachers and management teams to support the development of sustainable practices,  increased content knowledge and effective pedagogy in order to improve student achievement.

Lisa has presented at mathematics symposia, conferences, workshops and to parent/whanau groups. She has developed and delivered tailored professional development modules for schools and has a particular interest in numeracy and learning with digital technologies.  She is currently studying at post-graduate level.

- Facilitator

Lynne Thomas' role as a facilitator is to raise the e-capability of leaders and teachers to use digital tools and practices for continuous improvement. She has an enthusiastic interest in the use of current and emerging education technologies to promote effective learning to improve outcomes for students. She has previously worked as a Primary teacher, ICT teacher,  ICTPD facilitator and ICT Advisor.

Lynne has worked extensively in New Zealand and internationally in teaching and ICT advisory roles. She worked for a number of years for Cognition in the Middle East, working with education reform projects to establish new schools; supporting the development of ICT with and teachers, to improve their practices.

- Consultant, PMP

Maria is a qualified project manager with the PMP credential and holds a Bachelor of Teaching degree. She has a strong background in managing the development of digital resources, most recently for Arts Online and the Positive Behaviour for Learning programme, but also for websites across TKI  between 2003-2008.  She has extensive experience in managing quality assurance processes in the development of educational resources, both print and digital, including sector consultation and feedback. Maria also has expertise in current user testing methodologies and gaining authentic audience feedback, including working with teachers, students and external stakeholders and has worked in this context both in  NZ and internationally. 

- Education Consultant – Math2Measure

Marie has been facilitating teacher professional development in mathematics and statistics since 2001 and joined Cognition Education at the beginning of 2012. Over the past 13 years Marie has worked extensively with many schools across Auckland to develop effective mathematics teaching as well as focusing on effective pedagogy, assessment and leadership, and intervention programmes to accelerate learning in mathematics. She has also presented internationally at MERGA and written maths resources for teachers. Prior to this role, Marie was a primary school teacher both in New Zealand and England.

- English/Literacy Advisor & Team Coordinator Nauru

Maureen has forty years of education experience in New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands, Samoa and Nauru.  She has been a teacher, deputy principal, languages (Maori and English) advisor, and a School Review Officer.

Much of Maureen’s experience has been in bilingual education. She facilitates professional learning workshops and has facilitated literacy projects for the NGO; International Reading Association as Chair of IDOC.

For Pan Pacific South East Asia Women’s Association, Maureen has set up community reading clubs.

Maureen has experience in curriculum and teacher resources writing, and has presented and published on the international stage. She also writes children’s stories.



- Health Promoting Schools National Coordinator

Natalie previously led the Health Promoting Schools team at Auckland District Health Board, as well as the performance management of a multidisciplinary cluster of health professionals in schools within the Tamaki region. Prior to this, she worked in other health promotion and public health roles within the school setting across two district health boards.

Having achieved a Master of Public Health with Honours, she brings strong Public Health and Health Promotion knowledge to the team at Cognition, as well as proven experience in team leadership.

- Senior Training and Curriculum Specialist

Ros is an educational practitioner with over 30 years experience and expertise at both primary and secondary levels in curriculum development, assessment, pedagogy and school review. She has been involved in establishing three new schools, each based on sound research with regard to excellent practice.  Her curriculum work has encompassed the New Zealand Curriculum, the Queensland New Basic Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate. 

Ros’s role in establishing the new schools included developing school self review processes, setting and evaluating key performance indicators and establishing systems to gather and review data to evaluate teaching and learning practices. She uses this experience, with a strong focus on school reform, to provide invaluable assistance as an education consultant in the Middle East.


- Mathematics Advisor Nauru

Sheree joined Cognition in August 2012.  She comes with a solid blend of teaching, management and leadership skills. She has more than 15 years primary school experience including AP and DP positions. She has a strong background in coaching and mentoring; having been both a tutor teacher and PRT facilitator. Prior to moving to Cognition, Sheree worked for the University of Waikato as a mathematics facilitator.

‘My desire is to see that teachers have the necessary content and pedagogical knowledge in mathematics to teach with passion and confidence, while maintaining their own and others cultural integrity and creativity’ 

- Consultant, Instructional design & Evaluation

Simon has long experience in the instructional design, development and publication of learning materials for teachers and students. He also has strong understandings in evaluation and professional learning for educators and has led or supported a range of investigations and research or evaluation-focused projects. His most valuable skill is translating research and pedagogical knowledge into smart tools for students, teachers and in-service teacher educators. He applies his curriculum and discipline knowledge, particularly in the areas of mathematics, technology, the arts, assessment, literacy, early childhood education, and evaluation, to the development of effective resources. He is also skilled in the analytical review of professional documents.

- Consultant

Therese Ireland-Smith brings a breadth of expertise, energy and leadership to our team, particularly in the secondary school sector. From early childhood to tertiary institutions, she has fulfilled roles in teaching, research, advocacy, international educational advisory, national curriculum leadership, governance, senior management and recent principalship. Therese also has experience in research and evaluation: recent involvement includes leading research in communities with low rates of ECE participation, managing a national leadership service and development of a national strategic framework. 

As part of her role in Cognition, Therese has evaluated special education provision and was the Project Manager of a BOT training and support contract for 680 schools in the North Island, New Zealand.

- Data Consultant

Tista Lythe brings with her over 10 years of experience in education, research and evaluation and quantitative data management and analysis.  Her extensive background for both private and government institutions has led her to focus on quantitative data.

Tista Lythe is currently a data consultant for the Visible Learning plus team. It is her role is to manage and analyse all quantitative data. In addition she is heavily involved in product and tool development. She has also been one of the main contributors to the Visible Learning Feedback survey which is based on John Hattie’s research. Tista administers and manages the survey for the Visible Learningplus team. 


- Consultant

Tracy comes from a varied secondary education background, including National Certificate of Education Achievement (NCEA) roles. Tracy’s expertise revolves around the use and integration of digital technology in teaching and learning.

Tracy currently represents Cognition as the project leader for a number of New Zealand Ministry of Education contracts. She was previously the project leader for the national blended e-Learning and digital technologies guidelines projects. Tracy provides Cognition with a unique background and strong leadership qualities.

- Education Consultant

Vanitha has been a primary teacher and mathematics lead teacher for 12 years, with a strong focus on supporting Maori and Pasifika students. She has been a mathematics coach and facilitator. Vanitha also co-leads four mathematics leadership communities. She has a wide knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts and is up to date with relevant research.

Vanitha is a mathematics and statistics facilitator for Cognition. She is passionate about mathematics education, particularly mathematical language and communication, challenging and extending students’ thinking, and developing a positive attitude towards mathematics. 


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