Board of Trustees

SuzeSuze Keys, Parent Trustee and Board Chair

I am pleased to be a representative on the Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery Board of Trustees and I look forward to being of service as the Chair of the Board.

My three children are all at Ao Tawhiti; Silas is at the Unlimited campus and Zavier and Leo are at the Discovery campus. Our journey with the school began at Discovery 1 in the city back in 2008 when Silas started as a new entrant. Since then, I have been actively involved in the school, offering regular workshops, homebase support and co-ordinating the Discovery campus’ Pastoral Care group amongst other things. Recently I’ve returned to teaching and have also been relieving on the Discovery campus as well as taking an after school art class.

Previously I have volunteered on the committee of Homebirth Canterbury (as coordinator, secretary, and editor) and I have worked as a copywriter and personal assistant in Real Estate. I enjoy music, dance, arts and crafts and I’m passionate about natural health and the environment.

I am extremely passionate about education, and especially our school and community. I believe the educational philosophy and special character of Ao Tawhiti provides our students with enhanced learning opportunities in a supportive setting while self-directed learning inspires enthusiasm and engagement as well as a greater sense of self and ultimately success.

As a trustee on the Board I intend to support the school to maintain its unique and innovative philosophy and special character going forward, and especially as we transition from two suburban sites back to one in the CBD. It is a remarkable time in the school’s history to be involved and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

I believe our school is, and will continue to be, a leader in “Twenty-first Century Education” for many years to come.

legoracleAndrew Dean, Parent Trustee

Howdy, I’m Andrew Dean, Father of Avery in Homebase Phoenix on the Mcmahon campus.  I do freelance tv/film production for a living which gives me a large amount of free time that I usually spend at the school.  I try to bring my latest hobbies and whimsies to the school to share the excitement with the kids.  Lately that has been building and programming Arduino gadgets.

There are two things that strongly inform my positions on education.  1. Both of my parents were educators, so I’ve seen the sacrifice passion and tears on the other side of the desk and 2. I was fortunate enough to attend a series of creative arts “magnet” schools that, if you kept your core academics on task, allowed you endless time and resources to dedicate to your creative passions.  I very much see the inquiry model at Ao Tawhiti as a mirror of the good parts of how I spent my childhood learning.  Despite being surrounded by gangs and a culture of violence, having something I was good at and being allowed to immerse myself into made me mostly immune to the negative societal pressures around me. I can see it already at work in my son, who is every bit as self confident as he is geeky.  I’m hoping that my time on the board and around the school will help to find and nurture those same sparks of passion in all the Ao Tawhiti kids.

kayhayesKay Hayes, Staff Trustee

Kia ora my name is Kay Hayes and I am the Staff Trustee. I am married to Ian Hayes and we have three children, Millie 9 yrs, Archie 7yrs  and Charlie 2yr. I have been teaching at Discovery 1 and now Ao Tawhiti for over ten years.

I have many passions. I like making and creating things through sewing, knitting and arts and crafts. I spent over 10 years operating two stalls at the Arts Centre market before turning to teaching full time.

I love traveling and have so far lived in about 6 different countries around the world. I was born in England and moved to Christchurch in 1998. Although we haven’t been to many countries lately we do usually spend a few weeks in England every couple of years.

As a staff member and a parent at Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery I am fully committed to our Special Character and the opportunity this gives our tamariki. I am newly elected to the Board of Trustees and I am really looking forward to this new role at our school.

EvanEvan Kidd, Parent Trustee

I am a Parent of a Year 11 student at Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery and have been involved with the school for the last five years. We chose this school with our son as we strongly believe in the special character and philosophy of the school. Every child is unique, student centred learning provides the ability to meet each of their needs to ensure meaningful learning and motivated learners. Our son is thriving in this environment and I am standing for the Board of Trustees as I am committed to ensuring the continued success of Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery going forward.

I work as a Management Accountant at Christchurch Hospital, for the CDHB. I manage the Operational Financial Accounting Team for Christchurch Campus.

I have been involved in Education for the last 16 years, as joint owner and operator of Kiddz Homebased Childcare. Through this I have been involved with the NZ Home based Childcare Association over the last 16 years. I currently hold the position of President of the Association. This role includes advocating at Ministerial and Operational Policy Level within the Ministry of Education.

I currently represent the NZ Home based Childcare Association at the Ministerial Cross Sector Forum which includes all levels of the Education Sector from Early Childhood through to Tertiary, as well as Employer/Employee Organisations.

I am a member of the Early Childhood Advisory Committee which is a policy advisory group on Early Childhood Education to the Ministry of Education.

I see the challenge ahead for Ao Tawhiti is merging into a single site while staying true to our special character. I am committed to using my skills and connections to ensure we are well informed of progress and to ensure this happens in a timely manner. It’s time now to stand up and be strong together as a school to ensure the longevity of Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery.

josiahmorganJosiah Morgan, Student Trustee

Hi, I’m Josiah Morgan – the new Student Trustee for the Board. I came to Ao Tawhiti in 2014 after going to Avonhead Primary and Cobham Intermediate, two more traditional schools. I was attracted not just to the Special Character of the school but also to the ‘vibe’ of the place – specifically the people and the community. I spend a lot of time outside of school learning about art history (I have extensive knowledge of film history and literature especially), and can also be seen regularly performing with various theatre organisations across Christchurch, coming off seven years training with Canterbury Ballet and working with the Court Theatre at the age of six.

I am greatly excited to be working on the Board over the next year as our school moves ahead into becoming an even more unified community.

Tim McKay, Discovery Learning Trust Trustee

I went through both Discovery 1 and Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti as well. Having experienced the pleasure of growing up through the schools, I know how great it can be but also some of the challenges that can arise trying to live to the special character. As such, my primary interest is ensuring that the school lives up to the special character that makes it so unique and exciting. I also believe passionately in the diverse opportunity Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery offers the students. I feel strongly about the board’s role as guardians of this special character, and will strive to protect and enhance it.

Matthew Parrett, Parent Trustee
JohnsJohn Schischka, Parent Trustee

Kia ora koutou

I am a parent of a Year 10 Student – Grace – at Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery and have been involved with the school for nearly 6 years. As a family we chose this school for our daughter’s education as it recognised her uniqueness and therefore is able to provide a child centered education that meets her needs. Kerry and I have been involved in teaching and researching for over 30 years and we really appreciate the special character of the school and how the educational opportunities it offers can continue to be available to as wide a range of Christchurch young people as possible. I am interested in governance structures and how they can facilitate sound operation of schools and other public organisations. I am committed to openness, transparency and good communication in governance particularly relating to the building of the new school.

_SG18701Steven Mustor, Director

Kia ora I’m Steven Mustor, the Director of Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery. I have been in the role since November 2013, and am committed to ensuring that our students are able to direct their own learning while following their passions and interests.

My journey at Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery, started in 2003, when I visited both Discovery 1 and Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti, as part of a professional learning programme I was undertaking as an intermediate school teacher.  I worked at Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti as an LA from 2004 to 2011, and had the joy of supporting students in setting their own goals and developing a plan to achieve them.  I left UPT in 2011 to spend more time with my newborn son before becoming Principal at a small Area School in Southland.

I’m passionate about ensuring that Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery delivers on its special character.  My goal is to make sure that we have systems in place that make personalised learning a reality for every child.  By maintaining an environment where supportive relationships can flourish, I believe we can make every day an opportunity for students to explore their learning and achieve their ambitions.

Currently Vacant, Whanau Trustee