Our People

Our People

Joanne Bentley


Joanne Bentley

Teacher - Social Science 

Joanne is a New Zealander, from Northland. She is a Social Science and English teacher, with experience in Teaching English as a Second Language.

Joanne has taught at Matamata College and Kaitaia College in New Zealand, as well as working in educational administration and as a First Aid Instructor. She has taught overseas for a number of years, in Fiji and Brunei.

Her interests including travel, photography, cooking and handcrafts.

Kerry Ann Boyle


Ms Kerry-Ann Boyle

Teacher - Design, Photography and Art History

Kerry-Ann gained her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree majoring in Photography and Printmaking at Canterbury University and her Masters degree from The University of Auckland in 1998.

In 2003, she joined ACG Senior College as a teacher of Art and Photography. In 2004 she introduced the Cambridge AS History of Art programme. Prior to ACG Senior College, Kerry-Ann taught at Epsom Girls Grammar School.

Since 2012, Kerry-Ann has taught Design for The University of Auckland and AUT University Certificate in Foundation Studies programmes delivered by ACG NZIC and ACG Norton College, respectively.

Steven Chen


Mr Steven Chen

IT Support

Steven joined ACG NZIC as an IT Support technician. He was an international student from China and came to New Zealand in search of a better education. He holds a Bachelor in Computer and Information Sciences from AUT University.

Steven’s interest in IT led him to a career in the field of IT. His work in a college in China has included IT support, development, management and teaching. As a speaker of the Chinese language, Steven also assists senior managers with student services.

Steven enjoys outdoor activities such as travelling, camping and hiking, getting in touch with nature as well as learning about different cultures.

Karen Elcock


Mrs Karen Elcock

Teacher - English

Karen teaches English at Norton College and is Assistant English Faculty Coordinator. She holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Glasgow. After graduating, she taught English in Spain, before returning to the UK to work as a Research Officer at the European Centre for Traditional and Regional Cultures.  She managed European language and training programmes for young people and helped to establish exchanges between young European artists.  This work encouraged her to train as a teacher and for many years she was a high school teacher of English and also taught English on short courses for overseas students.

In 2007 Karen relocated to New Zealand and taught at Waitakere College in West Auckland.  She completed the CELTA qualification in 2010.  Karen loves working with international students and gains enormous satisfaction from seeing them successfully complete their studies.

Joanne Forde


Mrs Joanne Forde

Teacher - English

Joanne is an ESOL teacher who has taught in a number of language schools in Auckland over the past 13 years. Born and educated in New Zealand, Joanne qualified as a physiotherapist from Otago University in the late '70s. After marrying Greg she then spent a number of years raising a family in NZ, Tasmania, France and North Africa.

Joanne is fluent in French, has learnt some Algerian Arabic and is currently learning Te Reo Maori.

Joanne really enjoys meeting past international students who have integrated into NZ and successfully made it their home. She sees the benefits of Language Learning and keenly passes on her motivation and passion to current students. Joanne also shares aspects of the Maori culture to enable students to embrace it, and therefore understand the indigenous people of New Zealand better.

Michael Graham


Mr Michael Graham

Faculty Coordinator English/Teacher - History, Culture & Society and Tertiary Studies

Born in the South Island of New Zealand, Michael completed his Bachelor degree at Waikato University, majoring in Geography and Economics. He also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in 2nd Language Teaching.

Michael began his teaching career in the early 1980s before moving to Japan, to teach English, in 1991. He returned to Auckland in 2008 and began teaching at ACG Norton College in 2010. Having lived for many years in a different cultures he understands the difficulties faced by students living and learning in a foreign culture, and he strongly believes in the importance of helping every student to attain their full potential by treating them as an individual. 

Michael is excited by the potential new technologies offer to assist student learning. He enjoys the opportunity that teaching at ACG Norton College provides to interact with students and staff from many different cultures.

Mark Haines


Mr Mark Haines

Executive Principal, NZ International Schools
Teacher - Chemistry

Mark is a Science teacher and Principal of ACG Pathways Campus. Mark is a Kiwi who completed his Bachelor of Science at The University of Auckland before training to be a teacher. More recent qualifications include a Master of Science from Curtin University and Cambridge RSA TEFL Certificate.

Having taught in an ESL environment overseas for 8 years, Mark has a passion for international education. He acknowledges the privilege of overseeing the AUT University Certificate in Foundation Studies, the University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies and ACG English School.

Mark enjoys music and sport and is keen to see students get involved with activities outside the classroom. He wants students to excel and achieve their goals and even exceed their expectations. Mark welcomes all students to ACG Pathways Campus and wishes them the very best for their future.

Karen Holland


Mrs Karen Holland

PA to the Principal

Karen joined ACG New Zealand International College as Receptionist and the Principal’s Personal Assistant in 2010.  She has many years of experience in Office Administration in a wide variety of Secretarial and PA roles.  Prior to joining Academic Colleges Group, Karen spent 9 years as the Administration Assistant to the Director and Dean of International Students, at one of West Auckland’s Secondary Schools.

In her role as Receptionist for ACG New Zealand International College, Karen enjoys assisting students from a variety of different cultural backgrounds; with general enquiries and greeting and welcoming visitors to the Pathways Campus.  As well as providing Personal Assistant duties for the Principal and Campus Deputy Principals, she is responsible for Administrative support to the teaching staff.

Cecillia Jansz


Mrs Cecilia Jansz

Teacher - English

Cecilia Jansz embarked on her teaching career after achieving a distinction from St. Margaret’s Teachers Training College in Mumbai, prior to graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and psychology from the University of Mumbai. She has since taught various subjects at Pre-Primary, Intermediate and Secondary levels.

After migrating to New Zealand in 2001, her first employment in Auckland was with ACG English School. She was subsequently seconded to ACG Norton College in 2004. On successfully completing CELTA, Cecilia has taught English for Academic Purposes and enjoys every minute of it. A dedicated, resourceful and goal-driven educationist with a solid commitment to the social and academic growth and development of every student, she wants all of them to be successful learners. Cecila always aims to create a classroom atmosphere that is stimulating, encouraging, and adaptive to the varied needs of students.

Christina Jowett


Ms Christina Jowett

Assistant Principal/Teacher - English, Social sciences

Christina has worked in the public and private education sectors in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Pacific Islands Countries, Canada, the USA and Mexico.  She is passionate about excellence in teaching and learning, and the development of pathway opportunities to enable all students a degree of success in their future study and the labour market.

Christina’s qualifications include a Master of Arts (Hons) University of Auckland, Bachelor of Arts University of Auckland, and a Diploma of Teaching and Diploma of Education University of Auckland. Additional qualifications include SAI Lead Auditor (Management Systems Auditing, Workplace Teams; Conflict Resolution and Negotiation, Quality Management & Assurance; Management Systems), which she has used to manage quality assurance to university level, covering all aspects of quality system audits, performance analysis, development implementation, curriculum design and compliance.

Her interests are reading, music, travel, and sailing and scuba diving with family and friends.


John Matthews



Mr John Matthews

Teacher - Economics

John is an Economics teacher.  Born in Sydney, Australia, he moved to New Zealand after teaching several years in Sydney. John holds a Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in Economics) from the University of New South Wales.

John has taught in many varied schools and colleges throughout New Zealand, from Whangarei to Dannevirke. John enjoys working with people from different cultures. He spent some time travelling in India and China as a self-employed educational agent. He settled in Auckland 10 years ago. 

Katya Mitchell


Mrs Katya Mitchell

Teacher - English

Katya Mitchell (BA, DipEd) has recently joined ACG Norton College, having spent seven years in the Middle East where she taught English, Literature, Drama and ESOL. She is currently doing her MA (English) through Massey University.

Katya is not new to the Academic Colleges Group. She started her teaching career at ACG Senior College, and later worked at ACG English Language School as well as ACG Strathallan College, where she became Curriculum Leader for the Strathallan Reception Programme and Dean of International students.

Born in Russia, Katya moved to New Zealand after completing her university studies. She has a number of personal interests, including classical piano, literature, motorsport, and travel. The experience of living in the Middle East gave her unique opportunities to explore that region, and helped her develop an understanding and appreciation of Arab and other cultures.

Phillip Morris


Mr Phillip Morris

Deputy Principal

Phillip is a self-proclaimed ‘Westie’ and has lived all his life in West Auckland. He has a BSc in Geography and Mathematics from The University of Auckland and an Auckland Teachers College teaching qualification. 2015 is Phillip’s 41st year of teaching.

Phillip was one of the first teachers to teach Computer Science in a High School environment, leading the way in using technology in the classroom, curriculum and administration.  At Massey High School, he was Senior Dean and Executive Administrator.

In 2002 Phillip was appointed Assistant Principal at ACG English School.  In 2006 he became Director of the English School and later took on the responsibility of the day to day running of ACG Norton College and ACG Business School. In 2010, Phillip became Campus Deputy Principal at 345 Queen St. Phillip has a strong and passionate interest in using technology in the classroom.

Jorinde Ottaway


Ms Jorinde Ottaway

Manager Student Learning Centre

Jorinde manages the Student Learning Centre and her duties include managing Library resources and ID card systems, running Orientation programs for the English School and general administration assistance for staff and students.  Jorinde coordinates a diverse range of Social Clubs and Activities which students can participate in during their time at ACG.

Jorinde has a B.A degree from Auckland University specialising in languages and majoring in English. Jorinde is a qualified teacher and has 12 years teaching experience in public high schools and primary schools.  Jorinde also has worked extensively in marketing and office administration positions.

Jorinde’s ability to speak several languages and her past teaching and office experience combine to provide a range of helpful services to ACG staff and students.

Jacques September


Mr Jacques September

Teacher - English

Jacques has been involved in secondary teaching since 1983. His teaching experience primarily involves the Social Sciences and First and Second Language teaching. For eight years he served as marker and sub-examiner of Grade 12 Language papers in South Africa. Prior to immigrating to New Zealand, Jacques held various senior management roles (Head of Department – Languages, Deputy Principal, and Principal) at WCED schools.

Since mid-2001, Jacques has been involved in the international student industry. He was appointed as ELT staff-member at ACG English School in January 2002.

Jacques's association with International Foundation Programmes commenced in June 2004 when he was seconded to ACG Norton College. He teaches a range of subjects to students doing the AUT University Certificate in Foundation Studies.

Jacques is a dean of ACG Norton College. His academic and professional qualifications include a BA, BA (Hons), Higher Diploma in Education (UNISA) and CELTA.

Andrew Stafford


Mr Andrew Stafford

Teacher - Mathematics

Andrew joined Norton College after two years at The University of Auckland where he taught in the Mathematics Department and gained a Master’s degree in Mathematics Education. Prior to this he taught Mathematics at Cashmere High School, Christchurch, and Avondale College, Carmel College, Manurewa High School and ACG Senior College, in Auckland. He also taught for several years in Brentwood, Essex in the UK.

In 1998 Andrew was awarded a Mathematics and Science Teaching Fellowship, spending the time creating Mathematics teaching resources, and in 2012, an Independent Schools Honours Award for Service to the Wider School Community.

Born in Rotorua, Andrew Stafford was educated at Rotorua Lakes High School and completed a BSc degree at Canterbury University. He has had involvement with examination marking with both the University Bursaries Examinations and as an observer on the marking panels for AS and A2 Cambridge Mathematics examinations in England.

Julie Tait


Mrs Julie Tait

Programme Manager ACG Norton College

Julie trained at Auckland Teachers College in 1972. From 1975 to 2000 she taught at Manurewa High School and was involved in coaching many sports teams.

In 2000, Julie joined ACG Parnell College as a Mathematics teacher and Faculty co-ordinator. In 2002 she moved to ACG Strathallan as a Dean and Mathematics teacher. In 2003, she was appointed Assistant Principal, then Deputy Principal in 2006. The roll grew from 180 students in 2001 to 1100 in 2010, which included international students.

Julie also taught Year 10 IGCSE Mathematics with the majority of students gaining an A*, and a student gaining 'Top in the World'

Julie's current position at ACG Norton College is Programme Manager for international students enrolled in the AUT University Certificate in Foundation Studies. She enjoys working with students of many nationalities, guiding and supporting them in their choice of degree for future studies and helping them settle in to ‘life away from home’.

Christine Taylor


Ms Christine Taylor

Teacher - English

Christine has a Bachelor of Education from Victoria University, Wellington, a Diploma in Teaching and a Certificate in ESOL. She has worked as a consultant, advisor and teacher in NZ, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Malaysia.

Christine worked for Cognition Education as an English Advisor with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative to improve the standards in government schools in school reform.

More recently, Christine worked as a consultant for the International Baccalaureate (IB), Singapore, collaborating with other consultants in leading the facilitation and provision of school-based pre-candidacy services and support to state secondary schools in Malaysia, which involved delivering face to face professional development for teachers.

Christine enjoys travelling, meeting people and spending time with family and friends, The Arts, fitness and outdoor pursuits. Being aware of and sensitive towards young people working towards their future is inspiring and rewarding. 

Michael Towler


Dr Michael Towler

Teacher - Economics and Mathematics

Michael primarily teaches economics and mathematics. Before joining ACG, he taught within the business and management discipline in the UK Higher Education sector, particularly within operations management, decision making and strategic thinking. Prior to teaching, he worked as an R&D Scientist and R&D Manager.

Michael has a BSc(Hons) in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, a BA(Hons), an MBA, a PhD in Physics, Diplomas in Economics and Statistics, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

Loretta Verry


Mrs Loretta Verry

Teacher - Mathematics/Statistics

Loretta was born and educated in Auckland and trained as a Physical Education and Mathematics teacher. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at The University of Auckland with a Statistics major. In the 1980s, Loretta travelled and worked in Europe. She has taught at a number of Auckland schools. As part of her Physical Education role, she coached many sports teams. Loretta is an avid basket-baller and loves water sports and skiing.

Loretta was a Mathematics National Examination marker in the 1990s. In 1997 she took up her first teaching position at ACG teaching Mathematics at Senior College. In 2001 she started teaching calculus and statistics in The University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies delivered by ACG NZIC, and she has continued to work part time at ACG NZIC and ACG Norton College, taking time out to have her two children. Loretta enjoys the variety of teaching foreign students.

Debbie Williams


Mrs Debbie Williams

Faculty Coordinator Accounting/Teacher - Accounting

Debbie is the Faculty Co-Ordinator for accounting for ACG NZIC and also teaches in ACG Norton College.

Debbie began her career in the private sector, gaining her CA (Chartered Accountant) qualification. She is a member of CAANZ (Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand). Debbie has taught accounting at secondary school and also Small Business Accounting to adult students. She is passionate about accounting education and loves teaching the international students that come to ACG.

Debbie is particularly interested in using different technologies to enhance students’ learning. Her commitment to education extends to voluntary roles as the Auckland Branch Chair for NZCETA and the Secondary Schools’ Representative on the Education Stakeholder’s Group for CAANZ. In her spare time Debbie enjoys reading and going to concerts, the theatre and the movies.



ACG Education Meet our new Principal for ACG Parnell College, Mr Russell Brooke who joins us today: https://t.co/fxGH1QqzC9
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ACG Pathways Campus

Address: 345 Queen Street,

Auckland, New Zealand


Phone:+64 9 307 5399

Fax: +64 9 377 7125