Meet the Executive
Arwen Heyworth – President
I have been working at Onehunga High School for twelve years as the Science Technician and Laboratory Manager. I have a BSc in Biological Sciences and a Post graduate Diploma in Secondary Education. I have always loved Science and enjoy being surrounded by other people who are just as passionate about it, every day. I think my greatest asset is my persistence; I will keep working away at something until I get a result. I first put my name forward for the Executive Committee of STANZ because I could see all of the great work that Science Technicians were doing for schools despite poor working conditions, little recognition and often less pay and I wanted to do something about it. I stayed on because I enjoyed being able to make a difference. I think my greatest asset is my persistence; I will keep working away at something until I get a result. I have also gained a lot of experience and knowledge about Health and Safety and hazardous substance management which has been useful in all of my roles. I have really enjoyed working with the talented and driven members of the Executive. My goal is to raise the profile of Science Technicians in education in New Zealand and work towards better and safer conditions in all aspects of our role.
Jane Lieshout – Treasurer
In a previous working life, with a BSc majoring in Chemistry, I was responsible for quality control testing of products as well as producing labels for products and safety data sheets. I have served on various committees, including four years in the President and Secretary roles for the local kindergarten in Australia where we lived for ten years and the PTA of my children’s primary school.Since November 2008, I have been the technician at St Patrick’s College, Kilbirnie, Wellington. It is a Catholic integrated boy’s school with around 800 students and 6 science labs. I like to be involved and kept busy, I thought I might learn something new and meet some lovely people if I joined STANZ Executive committee! This has all come true in the years I have served on the committee so I am happy to continue.
Janice Deverick – Secretary
My background is in immunology and biochemistry research. Since 2004 I’ve been a school laboratory technician firstly at Papakura High School and more recently at Alfriston College. I have an Honours degree in Psychology and Pharmacology and have completed the Otago University HAZX401 paper on hazardous substances in schools. I was Secretary of the Auckland Conference committee, have been a BoT Returning Officer, and love admin work. I also love keeping fit and am a lifelong learner, currently studying towards a Diploma in Te Reo Māori. I have really enjoyed being a member of the STANZ Exec, working with an enthusiastic, supportive and inspirational group, sharing and developing skills, helping our members and promoting our profession.
Monique Arts – Communications Officer
I have been the Science Technician at John Paul College in Rotorua for over 20 years, starting in a very part time position of two days a week to my current full time position. I love what I do! I came to this job from an industrial and pharmaceutical background having spent many years working in labs testing everything from paint to plastic to pethidine. It was a pleasure to lead my fellow Rotorua technicians in hosting a successful ConSTANZ conference where I gained much experience. Following ConSTANZ13 I was approached to become part of the Executive. Initially slightly daunted by what this may involve, I decided to challenge myself and I have been rewarded immensely ever since by the experience. It has been a privilege to work with a talented, knowledgeable and passionate group of people who have achieved a great deal. However, I strongly feel there is still more we can do and I have a strong focus on promoting us as true professionals who deserve recognition and status. I hope to continue to make our voices and opinions heard.
Sarah Garner – Health and Safety
I have been working at Kamo High School now for 14 years, the school roll has changed considerably over time. I started with 1,400 students, dropped to 750 and we now stand at around 1,000. We currently have 9 science labs and 9 teachers.
I didn’t have a science background before coming to Aotearoa, just a love from school. I decided to retrain, so attended NorthTec and undertook the National Diploma in Applied Science. It gave me a great foundation for my present role as a Science Technician. I have also completed the Otago University HAZX401 paper on hazardous substances, and this year I obtained my chemical handlers’ certification. Over the years I have really enjoyed meeting fellow technicians at conference.
ConSTANZ17 was held in Whangarei at my workplace. Whilst it was hard work there was a great sense of satisfaction amongst the organising committee.
Other roles outside school have been chair of a Kindergarten, school BOT member, PTA chair, scout club secretary and I am currently treasurer of a local running club, Hatea Harriers. I enjoy walking/jogging, attending Parkrun and the odd half marathon.
Ian de Stigter – Advocacy
I have been Science Technician at Mt Albert Grammar School since 1999, after development and testing work in wood, gas, and dairy industries. In 2007 I surveyed Science Technicians to establish service factor and the characteristics of our professional workforce, and was the first male elected to the STANZ Executive, serving until 2011 as the first Advocacy Officer. In 2010 I studied and reported on support staff gender equity, funded by an NZEI support staff scholarship. Together with Michelle Kiernan, in 2015 I surveyed and reported on science teaching support through labs and technician hours, and school management of chemical hazards. In 2017, Michelle and I used a survey to report again on the Science Technician role of managing science resources. NZEI efforts to obtain equitable pay rates were then a dominant consideration in these professional studies. I have joined the Executive again so that I can best contribute to STANZ inputs for NZEI progression of gender equity pay.
Sheryl Fitzsimons – Advocacy
I am Science Technician and Laboratory Manager at Nelson College for Girls. I started as Science Technician here in 2005, so now have the longevity of 16 years in this fabulous role. I hold a Graduate Diploma in Laboratory Technology as my highest qualification. I have been a STANZ executive previously and was proud to be the organiser of a special 10th conference celebration, held during the Wellington – ConSTANZ in 2019 for the then current and previous STANZ Executives and ConSTANZ Convenors.
Jasmine Harrison – Newsletter Editor/Web Manager
Since 2016 I’ve been the Science Technician at St Andrews College in Christchurch. This year I’ve been made Lab Manager with a team of two alongside me and like many of you I’m still learning the ropes of this new role. I have a BSc in Environmental Biogeoscience (mostly a mix of soil science and chemistry) and a PGDip in Water Resource Management. Lately, I’ve been one of the busy little bees working to bring you ConSTANZ 21, and I look forward to meeting some of you when we host the conference in 2022. I feel privileged to be able to help the Executive team advance the recognition and progression of our profession.