Virtual Conference Logo2020 IBSC Virtual Conference

July 8 - 9

IBSC Action Research Speakers

Following the opening session each day, select a 20-minute IBSC Action Research workshop to attend. Learn cutting-edge ideas from boys' educators who conducted primary research in their schools. Below please find the action researchers who will present at the conference. The schedule offers more details on timing and workshop topics.

Session One
PhotoAndrew Doodson

Academic Coordinator - Glengarry Campus, The Scots College (Australia)
My name is Andrew Doodson and I am the Academic Coordinator for the Scots College Outdoor Education Campus, Glengarry, in Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales, Australia. I’ve worked for Scots since 2016 and have a passion for creating programs that allow for student autonomy and freedom of choice. Our campus is designed to afford students a chance to take responsibility for their persons both in a residential and outdoor environment. My action research project for Boys Voice and Choice, was undertaken with the hope to increase such a sense of responsibility in the classroom setting and ascertain whether doing so would increase their curiosity in the subject matter.

Neil Gibbs

Head of Key Stage 3, Physical Education, Aylesbury Grammar School (United Kingdom)
I am PE teacher from Aylesbury in the UK. I have been at my current school, Aylesbury Grammar School for 12 years and in fact, it’s the only school that I’ve taught at. In my time here at AGS I have taught physical education and currently, I am head of Key Stage 3 PE, this role includes the development of the curriculum and overseeing of the assessment process. I am also a self-confessed technology nerd and look to include tech into my lessons at every possible opportunity.

My passion is in the development of and refinement of the curriculum, my department and I teach a broad range of abilities and I am constantly looking for ways to enrich and enthuse the students in PE. I believe that this action research project will enable me look deeper into a range of issues and hopefully develop an exciting change to the Physical education landscape.

Anna Du PlessisAnné du Plessis

Head of Subject: Latin and English Teacher, St. John’s College (South Africa)
Anné du Plessis heads up the Latin Department and teaches English at St John’s College, Johannesburg. When she is not teaching, she loses herself in organising the school’s Student Exchange Programme. She has a passion to investigate ways in which learning can be enriched outside of a classroom and this has led to the annual #JoziYethu programme for Grade 9 students. The aim of this programme is to introduce and explore places and spaces in and around Johannesburg that boys would not normally visit. She loves the opportunities that being a teacher is offering her: to learn while she teaches and to be part of the making of those who will be the changing pulse of the future. Anné is married to Australian husband, Andrew, who is an Environmental Consultant and gifted artist and they have three children.

Coadette LowCoadette Low

Assistant Head of Faculty - Science, & TiC of Agriculture and Agribusiness, Rathkeale College (New Zealand)
Coadette grew up in the Hawkes Bay, before heading to Massey University where she completed a BSc in Animal Science and Physiology. Her career then began in South Australia as a Quality Assurance Officer and Microbiologist in the Meat Industry. After a while Coadette realised that she really enjoyed teaching, so switched careers, and became an Agricultural Science teacher. In 2016, after four years teaching in Australia, it was time to come home to New Zealand. She is now the Head of Agriculture and Agribusiness at Rathkeale College in the Wairarapa, which includes managing the Rathkeale Land Lab, and is a Future Beef Expo Committee member. For Coadette, being an Agriculture teacher is incredibly rewarding. Inspiring and guiding the next generation by sharing her passion for Agriculture - inside and outside the classroom.

Kathryn (Katy) MellorKathryn (Katy) Mellor

Mathematics Teacher, Head of Grade 8 Inquiry Based Learning, St. Stithians Boys' College (South Africa)
Much like an Agatha Christie novel, Katy’s initial intended career path had an unexpected twist that solved everything. After studying a BA Visual Art and a brief stint in the design and advertising industries, she realised that she was actually truly passionate about Mathematics teaching. After a return to university, she made a permanent move into the education sphere. She currently is employed as a Mathematics Teacher at St Stithians Boys’ College in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2019, she took on the role of starting a new Grade 8 IBL programme called “Activ8” which she manages alongside her Mathematics classes. She is fascinated by education research, the design of learning programmes, and innovation in schools.

Mari Roughneen

Teacher Librarian, Upper Canada College (Canada)
Mari Roughneen is a Teacher Librarian with 26 years of experience, skilled in teaching and mentoring high school boys. She collaborates with her colleagues on curriculum and support for the development of learning skills. She has expertise in collection development, curation, and wayfinding and with library administration and management. Prior to joining this IBSC Action Research group, Mari engaged in a collaborative action research project which focused on her school’s learning spaces.

Mari has been fortunate to work in public, college and school libraries in Canada, Cyprus, Japan, the United States and Switzerland with learners of all ages. She is interested in how learners engage cognitively and emotionally in libraries. Mari is currently in charge of the Macintosh Library at Upper Canada College in Toronto, where she also advises 10 boys, grades 10-12 and runs a service club.

Greg Ryerson

Middle School Science Teacher, Crescent School (Canada)
Twitter: ryerson_mr

I teach Grade 7 Science and am a Grade 7 Mentor at Crescent School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As a scientist who would normally deal primarily with quantitative data, I have really enjoyed the process of gathering and analyzing the qualitative data that is so important to action research. It has been a wonderful way to stretch and expand my understanding of the research cycle.

My project centres around the development of 21st century learning skills, with a focus on the 4Cs, through the use of a student-generated, personalized action plan.

Raymond Shay

Director of Technology and Summer Programs, Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart (United States)
Twitter: @raytshay

Raymond Shay is the Director of Technology and Summer Programs at Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart -- a K-8, all-boys school in Princeton, NJ, USA. He also serves as the Head Coach of the middle school speech and debate team. Ray has worked at IBSC schools for 16 years and previously was the Director of Web Communications at La Salle College High School (United States). At La Salle, he also coached the high school speech and debate team with students garnering international, national, state, and regional honors. He has been a member of the National Speech and Debate Association for 24 years and has been recognized as a two-diamond coach in the honor society. Ray lives in Princeton, NJ with his wife Cory (also a speech & debate coach) and their 5 children, Georgia, Bronwyn, Declan, Killian, and Cormac.

Casey Torrence

Upper School House Dean and Teacher, St. Christopher's School (United States)
I am a House Dean and teacher in the Upper School at Saint Christopher’s School. The school serves around 1,000 boys from JK-12th grade in Richmond, Virginia, USA. As a House Dean, I work with a group of seven faculty and about eighty boys to build relationships in our house and advisory system. Physics and Calculus are the classes that round out my daily schedule. My classes involve many projects allowing the boys to think critically about how what we learn in the classroom interacts with the real world. I have been married to my husband, Joe, for almost twenty years and am the mother of three girls ages 14,13, and 10. You can find us exploring the river, finding a new bike path, or rock climbing.

John Van Dyk

Head of Senior School, Aquinas College (Australia)
Twitter: @John_W_Van_Dyk
I am a passionate Physics teacher and the Head of Senior School at Aquinas College. Born in Thunder Bay I later fell in love with both a girl (my wife) and Perth, Australia. Hired at Aquinas College as a new graduate Mathematics teacher, I quickly moved to Physics before being Head of Year, then Director of Learning and Academic Studies before commencing as the Head of Senior School. The shift from academic administration back to a holistic focus on boys’ development has been a refreshing one. I have thoroughly enjoyed our action research on engagement through a mental health project. Allowing our boys voice to shape the project was both insightful and inspiring. I am a proud husband and father of two, an active person who is lucky enough to be able to run, cycle or paddle to work.

Faith Ward

Middle School Librarian, Gilman School (United States)
I am the Middle School Librarian at Gilman School in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Gilman School was established in 1897 as the first country day school in the United States. Gilman enrolls 1,015 boys in kindergarten through twelfth grade. My work in the Middle School includes fostering a love of reading among our students, collaborating with faculty and students to enliven and enrich all aspects of the research process, and making the Library the hub of the Middle School. I love incorporating all kinds of technology into my work with students. I hold two Master’s degrees, one in Library and Information Science, and one in Education as a Reading Teacher. My real joy in life is working with informed, independent, and creative thinkers. I am thrilled to have been part of the 2019-2020 cohort of action researchers, examining student agency.

Session Two
Ashleigh Askew

Grade 8 Curriculum Coordinator, Hilton College (South Africa)
I am an English teacher who specialises in inclusive education. I started my teaching career in 2004 in South Africa and subsequently moved abroad to the UK where I discovered my passion for working with young people who experience barriers to learning whether that be learning, social, emotional or behavioural difficulties. During my time in the UK, I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Inclusive Education at the Institute of Education at the University of London whilst working as Special Educational Needs Coordinator and Safeguarding Lead at a pupil referral unit in South West London.

In 2016, I returned to South Africa to take up a position at Hilton College. My role here involves teaching English and coordinating our Grade 8 curriculum. Our junior curriculum highlights the inter-connection between different subject areas and provides opportunities for collaboration, creativity and problem-based learning.

Kate Cowan

Grade 2 Homeroom Teacher, The Sterling Hall School (Canada)
I am currently a Grade 2 Homeroom teacher at The Sterling Hall School in Toronto. After graduating from OISE with a Bed in primary education, I have spent the last 9 years teaching Grades 1 and 2. Like many of you, I am a life-long learner and recently completed a Masters of Education with a focus in Languages and Literacy while teaching. My desire to continue to learn led me to be a passionate participant in this year’s action research cohort.

I value connection with my students as well as using inquiry in the classroom. The Sterling Hall School’s focus on character education and enthusiasm for innovative practices has allowed me to incorporate my values and passions in my classroom.

When I am not teaching, I love traveling around Canada and the world for outdoor adventures, hiking, scuba diving, and reading.

Nicole Fernandes

Head of Natural Sciences, Saint Benedict's College (South Africa)
I am currently the Head of Natural Sciences at the preparatory section of Saint Benedict’s College and have pledged myself to the advancement of science education in South Africa.

My passion for teaching was only realised during my final year of studying a BSc in Biochemistry and Human Physiology during my time as a practical demonstrator and tutor. Instead of pursuing my Honours in Biochemistry, I decided to follow my passion for teaching and do a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).

My desire to constantly improve as a teacher led to my perusal of a BSc Honours in Science Education. I presented my honour’s research paper titled “Developing science learners’ climate change literacy: a science teacher’s self-study” at the SAARMSTE (Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education) conference.

Moira Gundu
Learning Commons Coordinator, St. Alban's College (South Africa)
Moira Gundu is the Learning Commons Coordinator at St Alban’s College in Pretoria, South Africa. She has worked with governments, schools and universities for a combined 15 years. Moira holds a Masters in Library and Information Science and a Postgraduate Certificate Education.

She is passionate about research and curriculum development, in particular the potential of young people to direct and own their learning and the role of inquiry and access to quality information in the process. She acknowledges the necessity for partners in education to work together in guiding school learners to ask the right questions and expose them to information and opportunities for successful knowledge construction and problem solving. She enjoys spending time with her teenage son, blogging, reading and travelling.

Pauline Herbommez

French Master, Eton College (United Kingdom)
I am currently working as a French master and a deputy Head of Languages in Eton College in the UK. I have been involved in the pastoral side as a deputy House Master and a tutor. With another master, I am also responsible for the environment education.

I have always been convinced that subject teachers not only have the duty of giving young adults the key to further their understanding of that subject but above all they have a crucial part to play in being a role model. We all have a duty of setting examples of empathy and other qualities which will make young people ‘smart’ citizens.

Eton is a place where I am able to do just that, especially within the current difficult times where one is encouraged to demonstrate kindness.

Sebastien Lajoie

Learning Strategist, Selwyn House School (Canada)
I am currently a Learning Strategist at Selwyn House in Montreal. In this role, I help individual students, teachers, parents and administration to develop strategies that improve learning opportunities. In the interest of having a broad systemic scope, I work with Kindergarten to grade 2 and with grade 9 to 11.

I began my career as an ESL teacher in Tokyo after which I taught History, Social Studies and French in Melbourne, Australia. When I returned to Canada, I taught at anl independent school specializing in Autism, ADHD, Anxiety and other learning difficulties. It was an eye-opening and rewarding experience.

I have a specialist certification in Special Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from OISE. While I am no longer in the classroom, my background has helped me to understand the needs of different stakeholders.

Andrew McBride
Deputy Principal, Westlake Boys High School (New Zealand)
Twitter & Instagram- @westlakepodcast
Andrew is Deputy Principal at Westlake Boys High School, Auckland, New Zealand. Andrew grew up in the North East of England and taught in the UK for 5 years before moving to New Zealand in 2012. His major roles at Westlake Boys are focussed upon Pastoral Care, Mental Health and Character Education. He is also involved in coaching Football and has been involved with international teams at FIFA World Cups.

Helen McDonald

Director of Academic Growth, Berwick Grammar School (Australia)
Helen McDonald is the Director of Academic Growth at Berwick Grammar School. She is a teacher of Physics and passionate about engaging students in quality and meaningful learning. She has worked in a range of schools in Australia and internationally in a range of leadership roles including Deputy Head of School - Teaching and Learning. She is a Physics Curriculum consultant and has been the writer of a number of Victorian Physics curricula. She is an author of physics related education articles and has presented at a range of educational conferences. As an educator of boys and a mother of two sons, she is sensitive to the needs of adolescent boys in negotiating contemporary challenges.

Caroline Miller Dengler

Director of Learning Services, 5-12, St. Paul's School for Boys (United States)
As Director of Learning Services, 5-12, Caroline coordinates learning services programs in the middle and upper school divisions for the St. Paul’s School for Boys. In addition to an educational background from St. Lawrence University (B.A Sociology) and Johns Hopkins University (M.A in Special Education Mild to Moderate Disabilities; CAGS in Mind, Brain, and Teaching), Caroline has experience as an administrator and advisor to students and teachers; she has also served in learning support programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Sheppard Pratt Forbush School (an outpatient autism program), and West Nottingham Academy (a co-ed independent school) before joining St. Paul’s. Currently, she is entering her third year as a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University and her area of research is academic self-regulation and student-teacher relationships within the program’s Mind, Brain, Teaching specialization cohort.

Carly Nathan
4th Grade Lead Teacher, Town School For Boys (United States)

Carly Nathan has taught at Town School for Boys, San Francisco, CA for four years. After graduating from Pitzer College with a B.A in Psychology and Spanish, Carly worked as a Resident Teacher in 1st and 3rd grades through Town’s New Teacher Institute. Following this two year program, Carly earned her M.Ed. at UC Berkeley with a California credential in Multiple Subjects. She returned to Town, where she has just completed her second year as a Lead Teacher in 4th grade. Carly values connection with her students, cultural competency, and developing critical thinking skills in the classroom. When she is not teaching, she enjoys hiking along the California Coastline, traveling to new places, and reading historical fiction.

Dan Wightman

English and English Language Teacher, Scotch College (Australia)
Born and schooled in the North-West of England, Dan studied English at Lancaster and completed his P.G.C.E. at Manchester University. Following a four year stint teaching there, he moved to the UAE, lured by the prospect of more warmth, less rain and a bit of adventure. His next shift took him to Melbourne Australia, where he has worked for the last twenty years. From an academic perspective, a passion for language, both from a literary and linguistic perspective, has been central to his ongoing interest in teaching. Outside of the classroom he enjoys spending time watching sport, reading and generally going along with all the things required of a suburban dad.