BEANZ Membership

All professional educators who have an interest in Biology Education in New Zealand are encouraged to become members of BEANZ.


Erica Jar – President

Erica joined BEANZ in 2016 as a regional representative for the West Coast and in 2020 became one of three BEANZ executive members with a curriculum development portfolio. She now lives in the Wairarapa and is a biology teacher at Solway College. Erica has been a teacher for 14 years, retraining after returning from the United Kingdom with a wealth of knowledge of the biotechnology industry. She has a keen interest in ecology and is kaitiaki of Solway College’s QEII native forest restoration project. By consolidating the work currently underway, Erica looks forward to continuing to connect all biology teachers to BEANZ and each other, regardless of their location in Aotearoa New Zealand. A focus for 2022 and 2023 will be to provide quality resources for all biology teachers to use, as NCEA and NZC changes begin to take effect. This can only be done with the good work of the BEANZ volunteers, both on the executive committee, regional representatives and within the biology teacher’s community.

Chantal Hillier – Senior Vice President

Chantal is a HOD of Biology, teaching full time in her school in Otago. She joined the BEANZ executive in 2018 and has worked in the junior vice president and president’s role navigating the organisation with clarity, balance and positivity through the NCEA change package, curriculum refresh, pandemic, network of expertise funding rounds and becoming an incorporated society. She has sought to build membership, promoting strong ties with other associated organisations and stakeholders. Chantal is a strong advocate for distributed leadership in a volunteer lead organisation and encourages all BEANZ members to be actively involved in whatever capacity. She has also worked to promote equity, connecting those isolated or new to teaching with support through the offering of scholarships and online resourcing. Chantal continues her work as a BEANZ member and in her BEANZ Senior Vice President’s role she is always carefully looking for the best emerging directives that will support BEANZ members.

Allan Smith – National Administrator

Allan retired at the end of 2018 from a 46 year teaching career, including teaching science, senior biology and physics, Head of Biology and Head of Science experience, convenor of the 2005 Biolive national conference, holder of a Royal Society Teacher Fellowship in 2007 (sponsored by the Cawthron Institute), and a year in 2001 teaching senior biology and science in a private gymnasiet in Stockholm Sweden. His last 15 years were at Nayland College in Nelson, during which he was the inaugural Regional Representative for BEANZ for Nelson / Marlborough. Although retired, he retains a contact with Cawthron, working as a laboratory assistant part time. Allan’s tasks are to relieve some of the more onerous tasks carried out by BEANZ exec members (all busy teachers like you!), including newsletters, recording minutes, monitoring BEANZ emails and responding, membership lists, registrations, payments and such like.

Linda Haycock – Curriculum Representative

Linda is Head of Science at Green Bay High School. Living and working on the edge of the Waitakere Ranges in Auckland, Kaitiaki of the forest is important in her daily life. Spending her free time on her boat in the Bay of Islands and the Northland coast, she also has strong ties to the sea. Linda has a checkered past, career-wise; a wigmaker, a nursery worker (that’s plants, not children), water and sewage testing technician (Auckland Regional Council), seaweed research and teaching technician (Auckland University), and finally a teacher for just over 25 years. As a pilot school for the new NCEA Level 1 Science, she has embraced the new pedagogies involved in student centered teaching, with a focus on the values of Mātauranga Maori in looking after our taonga. She enjoys putting together activities and units of work that can be adapted for local curriculum, and to put a different spin on teaching foundational knowledge.

Penny Daddy – Curriculum Representative

Penny has been an enthusiastic BEANZ member since its inception, becoming an Auckland Regional rep in 2013 with Mike Stone whilst at St Cuthbert’s College and is currently on the curriculum support team of the executive. She was part of the team that wrote the supplementary notes for senior biology when NCEA was brought in. Has enjoyed presenting workshops on various topics over the years, but especially sharing how we can put the fun back into teaching Human Evolution. Now working as HOD Science at Nga Tawa Diocesan in the lovely Manawatu with Dr Heather Meikle and loving acting as the conduit for information amongst Biology educators in the region. She lives in Kaitoke on the outskirts of Wanganui in a wonderful 3 acre garden called Shurinji and hosts open gardens in her spare time. Penny shares this with a menagerie of rescue ducks, doves, chickens, 2 dogs, 3 cats and a husband, Andrew who puts up with it all.

Kenneth Loh – Assessment Coordinator

Kenneth is currently the Curriculum Leader of Science at Ormiston Senior College, Auckland. He has been a longtime fan of the assessment resources that BEANZ develops and decided to join the exam writing team in 2016. In 2018, we managed to rope Kenneth into becoming our Assessment Co-coordinator.
He is responsible for leading the production of our annual Level 3 Biology BEANZ Exams, along with some of our new assessment resources, such as the BEANZ Scholarship Biology Paper and NZQA QAAM tasks. Kenneth has always enjoyed being involved with resource development, and hopes to give back to the Biology community, in this way.

Dr Nic Rawlence – Tertiary Representative

Dr Nic Rawlence is the director of the Otago Palaeogenetics Laboratory. His research projects include:
*Impact of humans and climate change on New Zealand’s terrestrial, coastal and marine fauna.
*Evolution and phylogeography of New Zealand’s extinct avian fauna.
*Southern hemisphere biogeography.
*Fisheries induced evolution.

Peter Sutton – Treasurer

Peter had a teaching career spanning nearly 40 years, in a variety of schools in various parts of the motu, mainly teaching Biology and Science but also Physics, Computer Studied and Education for Sustainability. The last 20 years he held positions of Head of Faculty for Sciences at two of these schools, the last being Marlborough Boys College. In addition this core business he has also had a variety of roles including timetabler, network manager, national biology moderation panel member, NCEA marking panel leader and participation in a variety NQF and NCEA assessment guide writing groups. Since retiring from full time teaching in 2015 Peter has been working in the digital fluency professional development space, firstly for Microsoft and currently as PLD facilitator. For the last eight years Peter has been the BEANZ treasurer over an exciting period during which the organisation has matured from an energetic standing committee of NZASE, to a well-structured and resourced independent professional association that has become increasingly effective at supporting the biology teachers of Aotearoa.

Ben Himme – Website Coordinator

Ben is a full-time Biology teacher at Woodford House. In his spare time he develops  his own website for Science & Biology Teachers – (voted Interface Magazines Best Digital Resource 2015).  Ben is passionate about teaching Biology and was awarded a runner-up prize in the 2014 Warehouse Stationary NZ’s Most Inspiring Teachers competition. Ben also chairs the Hawkes Bay Science and Technology Fair and enjoy riding Vespas and collecting Lego in his spare time.