Founders

Dr John Edwards

John is Managing Director of Edwards Explorations, an Australian-based company focussed on exploring and developing human potential. He has a long and distinguished career in educational research, and has been one of the major research grant recipients in cognitive science in Australia.

He is internationally recognised for his research on thinking and professional growth and learning. He is one of the few top international researchers to have turned his research into award-winning practice in education, elite sport, business and industry. John is also a personal coach to a number of business leaders, elite sporting coaches and players, and school leaders, around the world.

Bill Martin

Bill is the best leader John has encountered in 30 years of educational and business experience in over 20 countries. He has won national awards as a principal in the USA and his services are in strong demand to help schools to make sustained progress. On two occasions Bill has led his staff to create award-winning schools, and these were in challenging areas. Most recently, Monroe High School in Detroit won an award as one of the top high schools in America.

Bill brings a huge store of personal practical knowledge on systems thinking, forming leadership teams, and growing leadership in schools. He has worked in nine different countries, in the education, government and corporate sectors. He is the coordinator of the OUR Education Network in the USA

Coordinators

Mary Wilson

Mary has been involved in education for 27 years in New Zealand. Mary is currently the establishment Principal of a year 1-6 school, Baverstock Oaks School, in Auckland. She has a special interest in: the differing ways people learn, particularly the use of in-depth questioning; high level thinking practices; the establishment of strong learning cultures; learner ownership; distributed leadership; and the use of personal visioning to generate professional growth.

She has been involved in consultancy work with adult learners for a number of years, creating sustainable change and positive attitudes to life-long learning. She regularly makes invited presentations at both national and international conferences around developing strong leadership and learning cultures. Mary is the New Zealand Coordinator for OUR Education Network.

Bitte Sundin

Bitte is the director of a school district in the city of Norrköping, Sweden. The district contains both pre-schools (1-5 years old), primary and secondary schools. She has been engaged in developing schools, first as a teacher in secondary schools, then as a principal. For the last 13 years she has worked both as a director and as a developer of schools. Her main interest is training teachers and principals how to develop students’ thinking skills, and how to organize for that.

Bitte has also worked with teachers training in university, and as a consultant with leadership training. Together with her husband, Professor Bengt Lennartsson, she was convenor of the 13th International Conference on Thinking (ICOT) in Norrköping in 2007, and founder of the online Thinking Schools Network. She is a co-ordinator for OUR Education Network in Sweden together with Fredrik.

Fredrik Höper

Fredrik was Development Manager for the educational authority in Falkenberg and Varberg, Sweden for many years and has recently retired. For 13 years he worked as principal in a combined primary and secondary school. Fredrik is interested in developing schools and to give principals support in their aspirations to improve results. He found the OUR concept the best way to do this. He was also one of the members of the committee who organised the 13th International Conference on Thinking in Norrköping 2007. He is now running his own company and is national co-ordinator for OUR Education Network in Sweden.

Facilitators

(Excl. Founders & Coordinators)

Lisa Wolford

Lisa is currently a Professional Development Trainer for the Adams 12 Five Star School District, located just outside of Denver, Colorado. She works to build capacity of the school system by developing administrators as instructional leaders and teachers as collaborative thinkers who focus on optimising learning for every student. In an era of increased accountability for teachers and schools working with fewer resources, her focus has been on equipping leaders and teachers with the tools tomake the most of every learning opportunity.

Lisa began her career as a high school English teacher and plublications adviser. She went on to become an instructional coach for a large suburban high school before moving to district-level professional development. She earned her B.A. in English from Wake Forest University and her M.A. in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Colorado-Denver. She has presented at local and national conferences in America.

Lindsay Harby

Lindsay is an experienced West Australian principal who has had great success implementing the TDS process into his school. He brings no-nonsense on-the-ground experience with implementation of these processes within the reality of the current Australian context. Lindsay is the first Australian Network principal to have facilitated a number of other schools in successful implementation of OUR Education process. He has also worked with similar processes in elite sports.

Ragnhild Isachsen

Ragnhild has been a teacher since 1971 in both primary and secondary schools in Norway, and is now the principal of Hogsnes school and kindergarten. She has been a school leader since 1995, and has a special interest in leadership and how to build productive learning environments in schools.

In the autumn of 2006, Hogsnes became the first school in Scandinavia to join OUR Network. Since then, Ragnhild has supported the 15 other schools, immigration service and pre-schools in Norway that have joined OUR Network, being an inspirational leader and coach to them all. She believes old dogs can learn new tricks and lives by the motto, "living in the learning pit, and loving it!"

Tony McGruther

Tony is the Director of Leadership Projects (Schools) with the ACER National Leadership Centre. He is also Principal Consultant to the Bound for Success Leadership Development Strategy in Far North Queensland Region. He has been a primary school principal for twenty-five years concluding his career serving as President of the Queensland Association of State School Principals and the Australian Government Primary School Principals Association. His current career focus is in the area of whole school improvement processes.