New Performing Arts Coordinator at Nayland College, Sarah Luton, has an background of missionary work. She has traveled to Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia.
Janelle Cochrane is a “really active relaxer”. She is Nayland College’s latest member of the international office where she works as a support person. There she cares for the wellbeing of the international students.
Stefan Hervel has joined our school this year as part of the team in the Learning Support Centre, saying he was ready for a new adventure.
Cathryn Bright’s life has been one big adventure, but now the focus is on her career. Cathryn left New Zealand at just twenty-two and worked at a summer camp in the States. This led to backpacking through the Middle East on her own.
Before Amy Cunningham became a teacher she was a musician, bringing cheer to others through her music. She drove all around North America playing up to four shows a week and managed to organise all of it. Miss Cunningham was dedicated to the musical scene for 15 years. “It was really good…and exhausting,” she said.
The main force behind Miss Cunningham’s musical nature was the fact that she grew up in a musical family, watching her grandpa perform on stage from when she was two and seeing her dad always playing guitar around the house. Besides that she was always drawn to sing, “I just started when I was young and I don’t know why.” Apart from singing and playing the guitar Miss Cunningham also enjoys yoga, tramping and camping. “I play outside a lot” she said.
One of the most important things to Miss Cunningham is being a good person. “I think it’s important to feel empathy for others” she explained. When she went to volunteer in South Africa she felt that it had a huge impact on her experience of the world around her as she noticed how happy the people were even though they were struggling.
Miss Cunningham grew up in Canada. She says that it is similar to New Zealand in a lot of ways, often being colder in the winter, being filled with really nice people and having everything you need covered. It’s a “pretty easy place to be” she said.
Teaching social studies fits Miss Cunningham quite well. She said that she was always the type of person to stand back and watch as things happened in front of her. She often tries to understand an issue, analyse it and be critical of it. If she disagrees she will take action and fight against it. “I think it matches with who I am” she said.
In Miss cunningham’s eyes, spending her days teaching isn’t such a bad thing. “You’re never bored, ever, something interesting is always happening” she said, and she likes doing what she is passionate about everyday. However, she admits that it can be hard at times. “When you care about stuff you always want to do your best” she explained.
When Miss Cunningham looks back she says that “the things that made me grow as a person the most, they were always experiences.” She feels that if people don’t know exactly how to get involved in something that they’re passionate about, they should just go with their gut and get into it. “Starting is the hardest part” she said.