Jeanette Aker

Jeanette Aker has been teaching mathematics for many years. Her positions include HoD Mathematics at Dargaville High School, AP at Kapiti Collge, Principal at Waitaki GHS and Principal at St Oran’s College. Many of Jeanette’s resources have evolved over the years and the Maths to Go series was an opportunity to collate the pieces which have been tried and tested for all types of classrooms and levels of ability. Jeanette has a love of creating and using craft to aid mathematical understanding.

Gordon Campbell

Gordon (BA, Dip Teaching) has been teaching for over 30 years in primary, intermediate and high schools. Over the past ten years he has become involved in developing social studies resources for publication. He has had five social studies resource books published by User Friendly Resources. These books cover a wide range of topics, and are used by students in both Australia and New Zealand. He has also written two Newspapers In Education feature pages for Wellington’s Dominion Post.

Gordon is interested in world issues and the impact they have on us. During 2003 he was granted a Royal Society of New Zealand Science Mathematics and Technology Teacher Fellowship to investigate the settlement of refugees in New Zealand.

New Zealand’s history is another area that Gordon has a strong interest in, and he has written a number of articles, for adults as well as children, dealing with incidents from our past. These have been published in the School Journal and the New Zealand Memories magazine. He is also interested in other places and cultures, and have travelled extensively.

At present he is enjoying the experience of living and working as a teacher in China.


Helen Edwards

Helen was born in Otago, educated in Feilding and went to Victoria University. Qualifications include M.A., LTCL, Dip. Tchg, Dip. TESL and Diplome de Hautes Etudes de Langue et Litterature Francaises (Grenoble).

Her teaching career has been in secondary schools in New Zealand but also included two years teaching in France and England. Colleges where she spent most time were Queen Charlotte College, Otumoetai College and Kapiti College. She specialised in English and French and from this has grown her passion for language and her great interest in and love of it. A stint with students who had English as their second language has reinforced her belief in the need to help all students to understand how our language works.

She retired from full-time teaching in 2001 to spend more time with husband, John, and to indulge their love of travel. She plays bridge, loves walking (especially with new dog, Mocha), enjoys reading, music, petanque, having time to go to shows and visit family.

She joined the Ryan Partnership team initially as editor of the secondary school Cn u rd me? series, then as proof-reader and has now branched out to assist with the writing.


Vivi Fabiano

I’ve always been interested in learning languages from a very young age and decided to study English in Scotland to learn my first foreign language. I qualified as a French teacher in the UK. And as fate would have it, I met my kiwi husband and moved to New Zealand where I started my dream job: teaching my own language abroad. I quickly realized the importance of having a good reference book which would meet all my students’ learning needs: the vocabulary, the grammar and the fun. So I got involved in writing the “French To Go” books!


Jenny May

Jenny May was born in Auckland, but moved to the UK with her family in her first year of high school. After school, Jenny stayed in England to read English Literature and Language at Lincoln College, Oxford University. While at Oxford, Jenny’s particular interests included the novels of Jane Austen, Renaissance literature, and Life Writing.

Upon graduation, Jenny moved back to Aotearoa to take up a two-year post as English Tutor at Christ’s College, Canterbury, where she ran scholarship English classes.

Jenny now teaches English at Burnside High School, Christchurch.


Nadine McKinnon

Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Waiapu te awa
Ko Te Aowera te marae
Ko Te Aowera te hapū
Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi

I grew up in Australia and returned to NZ in 2006 to trace my whakapapa. I was fortunate enough to gain a scholarship from Teach NZ to teach Te Reo Māori in secondary schools. (BA Māori and Dip. Tchg.) With the arrival of our second son in 2012, I took on part time teaching at EIT where I came across the Grammar to Go workbook. I found this an amazing resource and the students loved it, requesting a Māori version. I contacted Anna and jumped on board to create the Māori To Go workbook.


Jill Miller

Jill Miller grew up on a sheep farm in Owaka, South Otago. She trained to be a Primary School Teacher in Dunedin, then headed north to sunny Tauranga where Jill has taught since1989. Jill believes the Primary School Grammar books will greatly ease the workload for busy classroom teachers and provide a rewarding programme for students.


Andy Pook

Andy completed a degree in Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1981 and then spent the next five years working and travelling around Europe, North Africa and the Indian sub continent. In 1986 he persuaded a teacher training institution in the UK to let him train as a History teacher. He then worked at an all boys school in Woolwich in South East London before love in the form of Taranaki girl brought him to New Zealand. Since then he has worked at Kapiti College where he teaches Social Studies History and Classical Studies. He is currently HOD Social Science. In 1998 he completed an MEd Admin degree at Massey University.


Liz Reinsfield

I graduated in the UK in 1994 with a BED Hons in Design and Technology. I have been HOD Technology in several schools (both in the UK and NZ) and was a Beacon Practice teacher in the second round of the national technology education project (which supports the development of high quality programmes and resources). I am currently a teacher educator (at the University of Waikato) and whilst I predominately teach in the Professional Studies in Education Department, I have also taught Technology Education curriculum papers too.

In 2012, I achieved my Masters in Education (First Class) and my research was orientated around the drivers for curriculum change in two technology education departments. I am building on this research to develop my PhD proposal around the impact of leadership on (technology education) curriculum change.

I wanted to write Technology To Go because when I visit schools, the feedback from teachers is that they are still struggling to address some of the requirements of the curriculum. It is hoped that these generic resources will offer some support and introduce the concepts at differing curriculum levels.


Anna Ryan

Born and bred in the Nelson area, Anna attended Mapua School, Motueka High School and Waimea College. University of Canterbury and Christchurch Teacher’s College preceded teaching experience at Greymouth High School, Havelock North High School and, after the family started to arrive, short and long term relieving at Kapiti College. It was during one of these long-term relieving stints that she conceived of the idea of a writeon workbook in English. From this small beginning she has built Ryan Publications up to the successful business it is today. “There is life after teaching!”

Mother of 6, now adult, children and foster mother to a variety of often educationally-challenged youngsters, Anna was also able to bring the parent perspective to her writing and so included the teaching notes to enable parents to help their children.

Marriage to Peter, HOD English, has provided her with a unique sounding board as well as mentor and helpmeet.

B.A., Dip. Ed., Dip. Tchg


Peter Ryan

Peter (B Ed Hons, M Ed Admin, Dip Tchg) has written the ‘Cn u rd me?’ series. He has over 20 years experience in education, the vast majority of which has been spent at the chalk face. He has also spent time as a contractor to the Ministry of Education, educating schools about curriculum changes. Peter has been HOD English for a number of years now at a large secondary school in the lower North Island.


Caroline Wallis

Caroline (BA Hons, Dip Tchng, Certificate in Arts (Expressive)) began teaching in 1996 at Kapiti College armed with an honours degree in Politics and four year’s work at Parliament in the Select Committee Office. She set to work as a teacher of History, Classics and Social Studies. However, after immersing herself in school productions in her first four years she decided that her future lay in introducing and teaching drama, and consequently studied full and part time (with the aid of a study award) over two years studying drama at Massey at all levels up to postgraduate level. Currently Caroline’s school has around 230 students studying drama at all curriculum levels, and is very active with enthusiastic participation in opportunities such as Stage Challenge, Sheilah Winn Shakespeare in Schools and in biannual school shows. Caroline is passionate about the teaching of drama and hopes that her books aid the teacher to not only monitor understanding of key features of the drama curriculum, but also that they provide a means to see a development in social, co-operative and self-management skills


Leave a Reply