Meet the PLD team

Preparing future-ready people

Our experienced PLD professionals give your teams the skills and confidence to get the most from the latest digital technologies.

Jo Nicol - Team Lead

Jo leads the Cyclone PLD team. She is a MoE Accredited PLD Facilitator and has a postgraduate qualification in digital and collaborative learning. She is an experienced History teacher, middle leader in secondary schools and has extensive experience in running school libraries.

Jo is passionate about helping educators create and develop future-focused and student-centred learning environments with strengths in using G Suite for Education and Design Thinking.

Twitter: @jonicolnz
Linkedin: Jo Nicol

Jo’s strengths are:

  • Using G Suite for Education to enhance teaching and learning
  • Digital Fluency across the school community
  • Future-focused pedagogy
  • Design Thinking
  • Social Sciences curriculum design – History
  • Middle Leadership mentoring and coaching
  • Library Development

Brad Thomas

Brad is an experienced Digital Learning Designer, Google Certified Teacher and a MOE Accredited PLD facilitator. He has worked extensively with school leaders and teachers to develop effective digital strategies to support and enhance teaching and learning.

Brad is passionate about supporting others to reach their goals using technology and as a Level Two Google Certified Educator he is passionate about the opportunities that G Suite for Education provide for enhancing student outcomes.

Brad’s strengths are:

  • Digital Fluency
  • Literacy Years 4 to 10
  • Developing a Multi-Modal literacy approach
  • Strategic Planning
  • G Suite for Education
  • Teaching as Inquiry

Anthony Breese

Anthony is a MoE-Accredited PLD facilitator and has been a registered NZ teacher for the past 19 years in the Primary and Intermediate sector. Anthony is passionate about using technologies to enhance student learning, student agency in the classroom using technologies to support literacy and numeracy.

He has skills in Innovative Learning Environments, strategic planning and developing digital learning programme to support students and teachers to enhance learning opportunities. Anthony has strong knowledge using Apple, Google Suite, and Microsoft Education, using Learning Management systems and using studio recording digital music.

Twitter: @slicnz
Linkedin: Anthony Breese

Anthony’s strengths are:

  • MoE-Accredited PLD Facilitator
  • Using digital technologies to enhance teaching and learning
  • New Zealand Curriculum
  • Using technologies to support literacy and numeracy
  • Technology Curriculum delivery – Computational thinking and Design and Developing Digital Outcomes
  • Developing creative and innovative classroom programmes
  • Project learning and integrated learning
  • Specialist in Apple, Google Suite and Microsoft in Education
  • Robotics
  • eLearning and strategic planning
  • Teacher in an Innovative Learning Environment (Flipping the Classroom)
  • Digital Music and Recording

Nathan Scott

Nathan is a passionate, future-focused educator who strives to make a difference for teachers and learners in all aspects of their learning journey. Nathan has been a registered NZ teacher for the past 15 years in the secondary sector teaching Mathematics, Computer Science, and Robotics.Nathan strongly believes that it is best for a learner (at any age) to actively engage with hands-on experiences in learning spaces that are safe for them to experiment and explore; to try, to succeed and to fail.

Linkedin: Nathan Scott

Nathan’s strengths are:

  • Computer Science and Computational Thinking
  • Robotics
  • Digital Technologies: Hangarau Matihiko
  • Digital Fluency
  • Numeracy and Mathematics
  • Office 365 and G Suite for Education
  • Future-focused and student centred learning

Danny Bedingfield

Danny is a trained teacher with over 15 years of facilitating in schools and commercial organisations. He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer, and he is equally comfortable working in the Apple and Google environments. He has a proven track record of designing solutions for clients that will empower users to make the most of technology in their lives.

Danny has a passion for the use of tech in creating inclusive learning for all people. He has designed workshops that have been promoted by the Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand and were well received across the country. Danny’s other passion lies in music and videography. He films and creates movies, often flying drones to get aerial footage that he utilises his Adobe skills to edit and present. Danny has a good sense of humour and believes that learning should be fun, meaningful and hands on.

Danny’s strengths are:

  • Microsoft 365, OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams
  • Change management, 365 adoption
  • Microsoft Office, Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote
  • Microsoft Outlook, working more efficiently
  • Google Certified Educator
  • Adobe Creative Cloud, Premiere Pro and InDesign
  • Apple iOS and Mac OS
  • eLearning and strategic planning
  • Conference presentations
  • Online training and webinar support
  • Learning through multimedia, creating video tutorials

Cyclone Associates

Emma Planicka

Emma is part of the Apple Consultancy Network. She has over 11 years’ experience in education. She has a passion for providing meaningful learning experiences and is strong in both Apple and Google platforms. Emma enjoys working in a collaborative manner to source useful resources and practical ideas.

Twitter: @EmmaPlanicka
Linkedin: Emma Planicka

Emma’s strengths are:
  • MoE-Accredited PLD Facilitator
  • Using Google Suite effectively in teaching and learning
  • Digital Fluency across the school community
  • Providing meaningful learning experiences, practical ideas and useful resources
  • Redefining teaching and learning using iPads

Mandy Dempsey

With a passion for innovative teaching and learning, Mandy has over 15 years experience facilitating professional development for teachers and students. Her specialty lies in the use of digital technologies to empower learners and open up new and exciting opportunities for growth. She is an accredited Apple Professional Learning Specialist and MoE PLD Facilitator.

She has recently completed post-graduate studies specialising in digital and collaborative learning and has had involvement with the University of Canterbury in developing resources to support implementation Digital Technologies/Hangarau Matihiko in primary classrooms.

Twitter: @MandyNZ
Linkedin: Mandy Dempsey

Services that Mandy has provided include:

  • Nationwide and Australian  tours of innovative learning environments
  • Teacher workshops (both locally and nationwide)
  • Modelled classroom-based eLearning workshops (teachers working alongside students)
  • Conference presentations
  • Curriculum Development
  • Supporting school leaders with strategic planning and writing tailored PLD programmes
  • Personalised PLD, supporting teacher inquiries
  • Online learning including implementation of learning and student management systems

Rachael Hoddinott

Rachael is a Microsoft Master Trainer and Google Certified Teacher. She has a real passion for technology in the classroom and has helped many educators on their pathway to blogging and coding. Rachael believes in streamlining IT processes to ensure schools and workplaces can work together to get the most out of the environment.

Rachael’s strengths are:

  • MoE – Accredited PLD Facilitator
  • Strategy and delivery of IT processes
  • Microsoft, Google and Apple Ecosystems
  • Coding
  • Numeracy

Alistair West

Alistair is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and has recently completed a Master of Education at Victoria University. Alistair has led the development of ICT strategic planning, professional development and curriculum design in both primary and secondary schools.

Originally primary trained, Alistair has worked as Assistant Principal, ICT Manager, Director of E-Learning, Head of Technology as well as teaching from Year 2 to Y13 with his specialist subjects being Digital Technologies, History and Social Studies.

Alistair’s strengths are:

  • Digital Fluency
  • Office 365 – OneNote, Teams, Sharepoint
  • Digital Technologies
  • Curriculum design
  • Computational Thinking
  • Robotics
  • NCEA programme planning
  • G Suite for Education
  • Innovative learning environments
  • Interdisciplinary planning
  • Coaching and Mentoring

Bevan Holloway

Bevan believes the learning experience for students can and should be better. A 2018 CORE Education e-Fellow, where his research focused on the use of teaching through play in a secondary school, Bevan has deep knowledge of how to enable and support genuinely agentic learning contexts for students. Bevan taught at secondary level and has held HOD and school governance roles.

Bevan takes a strongly relational approach to his PLD work and focuses on working with individuals or small teams who want to put their learners at the centre of their practice.

Bevan’s strengths are:

  • Supporting pedagogy for agency, with expertise in play
  • Strategic thinking and planning


Holloway, B. (2018). “Play: A secondary concern.” Set: Research Information for Teachers, NZCER Press.
Holloway, B (In press). “Living in a small data world: play in secondary school”. CORE Education.

Cited in

Carr, M. Lee, W. (2019). Learning stories in practice. Sage Publications.
Claxton, G. Powell, G. (2019). Powering up students: the learning power approach to high school teaching. Crown House Publishing.

Dr Martyn Reynolds

Martyn is an experienced educator with over 35 years of classroom and management experience including 14 years as a Specialist Classroom teacher, working to help staff reflect on and enhance their practice. He is interested in supporting educators in their thinking about culturally aware pedagogies and management behaviour so that learners, communities and staff all benefit. He has worked in partnership with Māori whanau and his PhD looked at Pacific/Pasifika ideas of success as they play out in schools.

Martyn’s strengths include:

  • Cultural responsive practices based on cultural humility
  • Teaching as inquiry
  • Strategic planning
  • Staff support
  • Classroom observation
  • Consultation as practice
  • Integration of day-to-day technologies into classroom practice
  • Education as a cultural space

Rob Stevenson

Rob is an experienced Primary School leader, recent Dr Vince Ham eFellow and a Kaiarahi for Story Hui. He has worked extensively with Learning through Play, Makerspaces, and co-teaching in collaborative environments. Highly skilled in developing effective digital processes to support and enhance learning, Rob is passionate about supporting others to reach their learning potential.

Rob believes it is more important now than ever before for students to experience learning environments where there are opportunities to communicate, collaborate, create, think critically and develop curiosity. His pedagogical approach has a strong focus on enabling life long learning and the skills to thrive in our changing world.

Rob’s strengths are:

  • Learning through Play
  • Makerspace
  • Collaborative practice
  • Project-based learning
  • Digital Fluency
  • Narrative Assessment
  • Teaching as Inquiry
  • G suite, Apple and Microsoft Education

Lynne Thomas

Lynne is a MoE-Accredited PLD Facilitator. She has worked extensively in ICT advisory and facilitation roles to develop digital strategies and effective pedagogy for future focused learning and teaching. She uses the Spiral of Inquiry framework to structure collaborative professional learning and development.

Lynne’s strengths are:

  • Learning with digital technologies
  • Working with school leadership teams to develop their digital technologies strategic planning
  • Teaching as Inquiry
  • Digital fluency and Digital citizenship
  • Using Google Suite to transform learning and teaching
  • Providing practical ideas and useful resources

Tracey Pacheo

Tracey is a MoE-Accredited PLD Facilitator, specialising in digital fluency and blended inquiry. She has worked with multiple schools with the focus on engaging, enhancing and deepening learning using digital technologies. Most projects will also involve curriculum design, providing students with authentic opportunities for critical thinking, blending inquiry models with digital technology.

Tracey has been delivering content from the new digital curriculum for many years with experience and skills in computational thinking and designing and developing digital outcomes.

Tracey’s strengths are:

  • E-learning reviews and development of strategic e-learning plans
  • Hands on workshops and PLD specific to year levels
  • In class PLD sessions, modelling best practice
  • Collaborative integration, blended inquiry and critical thinking
  • Computational thinking
  • G-suite, Chrome Apps, Web tools, iPad Apps, Blogging, LMS, Digital portfolios

Kate Brown

Kate is passionate about supporting schools to design a Local Curriculum that meets the learning needs of the students and community, is relevant and engaging, and builds students’ conceptual understandings.

She is MoE Accredited to deliver centrally-funded PLD and works with schools to create the best possible curriculum relevant to the needs and interests of the students.

She is an accredited trainer from the Dr H. Lynn Erickson Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction Institute. Kate has many years’ experience as an educator and curriculum developer in New Zealand and international schools overseas.

Twitter: @EduKateNZ
Linkedin: Kate Brown

Kate’s strengths are:

  • Local curriculum design
  • Concept-based curriculum

Rachel Chisnall

Rachel is a Microsoft Innovative Educator – Fellow, and a Surface Expert. She is a passionate educator who is looking to break the mould of traditional schooling. In pursuit of this she co-founded #scichatNZ, learned to code in Minecraft and has had an awful lot of fun. Rachel strives for practical ways to improve student engagement and outcomes.

Twitter: @ibpossum
Linkedin: Rachel Chisnall

Rachel’s strengths are:

  • Collaborative planning and teaching
  • Office 365 training
  • Inquiry Learning
  • Supporting pedagogical change
  • Digital Fluency
  • Coding and Robotics

Anjela Webster

Anjela is an experienced Education Advisor, supporting organisations, schools and kura around educative approaches in fostering online safety, citizenship and wellbeing. As an educator Anjie has held a number of leadership positions, and has taught across different levels and subject specialisation. She completed her M.Ed (Hons) with a focus on the online space and it’s many opportunities and challenges, and worked in an advisory role with Netsafe for a number of years.

2019 Springer Encylopedia Teacher EducationCybersafety, Advice for Teachers
2019 Netsafe From Literacy to Fluency to Citizenship: Digital Citizenship in Education

Cited In:
2018 Netsafe Online Hate Speech
2019  Netsafe Exploring New Zealand Children’s Internet Access, Skills and Opportunities

Anjela’s Strengths:

Fostering Online Safety, Citizenship and Wellbeing

  • Leadership – Effective practice for SLT, leaders, pastoral teams and BoT
  • Wellbeing and online incident management
  • Review and design – policies, procedures (in relation to legislation and regulatory requirements)
  • Staff capability and confidence
  • Learning approaches and resources for all levels
  • Connecting effectively and partnering with whānau
  • Student voice – scoping and sharing
  • Student agency in initiatives and learning
  • Bespoke projects