The Principal Diaries - Getting ConnectED with our community!

When I applied for the role of Principal of Albany Senior High School, one of the points I covered in my pitch at the interview was my ability and desire to build powerful partnerships and networks for ASHS students:

And finally, I am leader who can build powerful partnerships and networks. 

I have experience in developing productive and warm relationships with local schools to establish a highly effective Kāhui Ako. I bring in depth experience gained as a Projects Pathways and Partnerships Leader and as an Impact Project Guide, having worked with the community and business sector to create rich and authentic learning partnerships for our students. As Education Advisor for the 21st Century Skills Lab and as a board member of NetSafeNZ I have experience that spans across the education and business landscape. I have fostered a vast education, community, innovation and business network that will support the growth and expansion of powerful partnerships for this school and it’s learners. 

As a passionate and confident communicator I can continue to grow the reputation of this fabulous school. 

I have long believed that we have need to blur the line between school and work and have learned, through my own work experience (particularly beyond school), that opportunities are as likely to be the result of who you know, as much as what you know! 

On sharing the idea with my Senior Leadership Team it was great to discover that my DP, Ross Martin and Business Specialist Leader, Lloyd Gutteridge, had also wanted to create a stakeholder network but had shelved the idea some time back, so it was particularly awesome to reignite that passion as well, using my network and energy to stoke the flames!

With a kernel of an idea I placed a cheeky plea for help on LinkedIN. Within hours it was clear we were on to something, with friends and connections across Auckland showing a genuine eagerness to get involved. 

On Wednesday 17th November I hosted a Meet the Principal event and we launched the ConnectED network. The event was an opportunity to introduce the concept and to run a session where our students from the ConnectED Committee led a world cafe as a means of co-designing with our community what ConnectED might be. 

ConnectED aims to be a first of its kind, school / business / community / innovation hub and network which will be based at Albany Senior High School.

The aim of the network is to: 
  • establish a network and talent register that might mentor and support student Impact Projects
  • connect learning across the school with the community and wider world of business
  • host whanau community facing educational events about futures thinking and social business networking
  • so as to establish ASHS as THE ed-innovation hub on the shore! 

ConnectED is already working with The Mind Lab, 21C Skills Lab, Grow North and Shore Junction. We also have a wide range of community members signed up. 

If you are keen to get involved as an individual, community, business or innovation partner please contact me, Claire Amos at We are super keen to hear from anyone keen to co-host events, mentor our students or just basically get involved. 

In the spirit of much of the innovation I have been involved in, it is very much a case of building the plane whilst flying it. Thankfully I have a trusty co-pilot in my Deputy Principal, Ross!

Our next ConnectED gathering is The Mind Lab event - The Future of Education with Frances Valintine on Wednesday 17th October. Go to to register. We are also super excited to be a location for The Mind Lab's Postgraduate Certificate in Digital & Collaborative Learning. The course kicks at ASHS in November.

Stand by for ConnectED updates in Term Four!


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