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.


 Monique Arts – Past President

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.


  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.


 Jacqui Alcock – Secretary

I have been in my current role as Laboratory Technician/Manager at James Hargest College in Invercargill for nearly 3 years. I have an honours degree in chemistry and have worked as a research chemist in various field for over 10 years. During this time I was also involved with implementing safety protocols within our working area.  I am now a working Mum but still passionate about science and really enjoying my role as lab technician. I have been saved many times by advice from the STANZ forum so would like to give something back by joining the committee.


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.


David Cook – Health and Safety

I have been a Science Technician for 13 years progressing last year to Laboratory Manager. In a previous term on the STANZ executive I acted as Communications Officer and maintained the Sci-tech talk mailing list. As a teacher earlier in my career I have a different take on some aspects of the role of Science Technician and I am always willing to give advice based on my past experience.


  Janice Deverick – Newsletter Editor/Web Manager

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.