Chair of the Board, Sarah is currently the foundation Principal of Stonefields School in Auckland. She is a passionate, forward thinking educator and has a real commitment to improving outcomes for all learners.
She has held leadership roles in a number of schools. As both a teacher and leader, she has a particular strength in building change momentum, developing collective vision, building teacher effectiveness and re- envisaging future schools. In July 2021, Sarah was appointed Chair of the Ministry of Education Curriculum Advisory Group.
Melini Fasavalu has the new position of Emerging Director. Melini hails from the villages of Salua and Faleū on the island of Manono, Samoa. Her family migrated to Auckland in the early 70s in search of a more prosperous future. That dream has steered her professional journey of 25+ years of teaching and leading in South Auckland schools. Melini is currently the principal of Waimahia Intermediate School and is actively involved in her aiga and community.
In July 2021, Melini was appointed to the Ministry of Education Curriculum Advisory Group.
Tim is the Deputy Chair. Tim is a chartered accountant, company director and community leader. He is active in professional, business and community affairs both as a chartered accountant and businessman, providing advice to a diverse range of businesses and community organisations. Tim is a director on several private companies and acts as a trustee on a number of large not-for-profit trusts.
His specialities include – business valuations, governance, business turnaround and business transformation.
Paora Puru has ancestral lineage to the Manawhenua iwi (tribes) of Tāmaki Makaurau: Te Waiohua, Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua and Waikato-Tainui. He brings a strong passion for raising Māori achievement across education, health, economic, social and community development. Paora is currently leading, supporting and working across a wide range of sectors, youth employment, professional learning development facilitator, Early Childhood Education advisor, iwi governance and iwi operational representative for both Local and Central government, ambassador for the Men’s Health Trust, procurement social outcomes enablement specialist and also a hospitality and tourism business owner.
Gary is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and a former Chief Executive of Auckland Council Investments Limited, a Council Controlled Organisation whose role was to manage over $1.5 billion of Auckland Council's major equity investments. Previously Gary was Chief Financial Officer at Watercare Services Limited. He currently serves as a director and trustee on several Auckland based entities. He has extensive Treasury, investment and financial management experience in New Zealand and overseas and is a Fellow and former member of both the Board and Council of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Finance Professionals New Zealand and formerly chairman of a predecessor organisation, The New Zealand Society of Corporate Treasurers.
Our Executive Officer, Raewyn has a varied background in strategy, policy and project management roles in local government and the "not for profit sectors in New Zealand and UK. In these roles she has had a long history of successful working with the education sector and academics from early childhood, schooling and tertiary sectors across of variety of research, community development and advocacy projects; as well as undertaking organisational and policy reviews for not for profits, government and local government agencies.
Candis brings extensive experience to the Cognition Education Trust.
A Chartered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, her recent directorships include Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, Niger Holdings Ltd and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. She has also previously been chair of the Investment Committee at Public Trust, and chair of the Investment Committee at the ASB Community Trust Board (now Foundation North), board member of Philanthropy New Zealand and director of Auckland Council Investments Ltd.
Candis was made an Officer of the Order of New Zealand in 2001 for her services to health education and a Companion of the Order of New Zealand in 2107 for services to the arts.
Adviser to the Trust on Educational Matters
A former principal of Epsom Girls Grammar School and Board Member of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority for several terms.
Since 2005 Margaret has held a number of leadership and management roles in the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland. Much of Margaret's recent work has been focused on the implementation of the New Zealand Curriculum (2007), and professional learning for principals and other school leaders. Margaret's professional career has been marked by her leading contributions to curriculum design, particularly in the field of English, and qualifications reform. She has a long-standing commitment to the on-going development of curriculum, pedagogy and qualification systems that support young people to succeed at school, and to develop capabilities for their on-going learning beyond school.
In 2005, Margaret was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for her services to education.
Prof. John Hattie
Adviser to the Trust on Academic Matters
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.
Adviser to the Trust on Auckland and New Zealand schools serving Low-Decile Communities
Soana Pamaka became Principal of Tamaki College in 2006. She was the first person of Tongan descent to become a High School Principal in New Zealand. Prior to her appointment as Principal, Soana was head of the History Department at Tamaki College, a Dean and a Deputy Principal. Under her tenure as Principal, both roll numbers and academic success has steadily increased at Tamaki College. She is also an Advisor to Teach First NZ, a member of the Board of Te Papa in Wellington and also a member of the Board of Tamaki Regeneration Company. Mrs Pamaka is a pillar of her church, a wife and a mother of four teenage children and a highly respected leader in her community. In June 2018 she received a Blake Leader Award.