ABOUT THE LSN NETWORK
The team behind the Learning Support Network
MANDIA MENTIS - MASSEY UNIVERSITY
Kia ora koutou, Ko Mandia Mentis ahau.
I’m an Associate Professor at Massey University, where I coordinate postgraduate programmes in Inclusive Education and Specialist Teaching. I’ve worked as a teacher and educational psychologist in primary, secondary, and tertiary levels across special and inclusive education settings in New Zealand and overseas. I am currently co-director of the Equity through Education Centre, and supervise research into issues of diversity. My interests focus on how new digital technologies are changing the places and spaces where we work and learn and are starting to blur the boundaries between formal and informal learning. Life-long and life-wide learning shape our professional identities and practice, and it is these aspects that excite me in working with the team to design and facilitate this SENCO / SL:LS network of expertise.
JO ARNOLD - MASSEY UNIVERSITY
Kia ora koutou, Ko Jo Arnold ahau.
I am a lecturer at Massey University and also the National Coordinator for the Learning Support Network. I have been in education for twenty-five years and have worked as a teacher in numerous schools in New Zealand, Singapore and England. During my career, I was a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) for fourteen years as well as a Deputy Principal. I have also been a Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) for five years where part of my role was to work alongside and support SENCO/ Leaders of Learning Support in my local schools. I have a Masters in Specialist Teaching and a have a passion for inclusion and equity, and for children and young people to have a sense of belonging within their educational setting. I am looking forward to communicating, collaborating and connecting with Learning Support Leaders and SENCO across the country, both online and face to face, through this initiative.
WENDY HOLLEY-BOEN - MASSEY UNIVERSITY
Kia ora koutou and a warm welcome to the Network of Expertise.
I work at Massey University, in the Institute of Education and primarily on the Specialist Teaching programme. I have worked as an educational psychologist in the US as well as New Zealand, and have a passion for strengths-based, ecological and relationship-centred approaches to supporting teaching, children and whānau. I’m also very interested in supporting teacher wellbeing, including the ways they bring the personal to the professional and integrate work, life and study. I recently completed a PhD exploring the professional identity and wellbeing of teachers and developed a framework for supporting their fierce practice through stance, supports and stamin
GWENDA FINDLAY- MASSEY UNIVERSITY
Ko Hikurangi te maunga, Ko Waiapũ te awa, Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi. Ko Horouta te waka. Nō reira, tēnā koutou katoa.It is very humbling and a great honor to work with an awesome team of people as the Kaikōtuitui Māori, for Te Kōtuinga Tautoko Ako. I have worked in Education for twenty-five years. I initially trained as a teacher at Waikato University through the Whānau Rūmaki Programme. From there, I have worked in kura in the Waikato, Ngāti Tũwharetoa (Lake Taupo region), and Ngāti Porou (North Island East Coast) areas, and in Tũranganui a Kiwa (Gisborne). I have also taught in Aboriginal Native schools in Kalgoorlie Western Australia. Following that, I worked in Youth Justice for ten years as a Pou Arahi (Youth Court Lay Advocate) in the Gisborne Youth and Rangatahi Courts, a Restorative Justice Co-ordinator for Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Porou in the Gisborne District Court and as a Cultural Report writer. I also worked for Te Rūnanga o Tūranganui-a- Kiwa as a Youth Justice Manager at Tūranga Ararau. As someone who was born with a speech impairment, and also instrumental in raising my nephew who is a Takiwātanga Taonga (Autistic), I’m really excited to start this new journey alongside whānau, hapũ and iwi, for the direct benefit of our tamariki.
NICOLA LEETE - MASSEY UNIVERSITY
Kia ora Koutou, Ko Nicola Leete ahau.
I am a lecturer at Massey University, primarily working interprofessionally within the Specialist Teaching Programme. My professional background is in both law and education. During my teaching career, I worked for a number of years as a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at secondary school level. My passion for working in learning support led me to complete my Masters in Special and Inclusive Education. Since then, I have been teaching in the tertiary sector, providing professional development to teachers working in a range of settings across Aotearoa. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to connect and collaborate with you through the Learning Support Network of expertise.