Since 2012 the StAC IT team had been led by Mr Sam McNeill. His resignation, to take up a role as a Senior Education Specialist at Microsoft, meant that our team needed a new leader. I am very excited to introduce Mr Dave Hart as that leader. He will become a contributor to this Blog as he continues the transformational progress begun by Sam, as our team continues the College’s commitment to ensuring both staff and students are equipped to maximise the opportunities presented by technology.
The interview below introduces Mr Hart and his role.
Dave, can you give an outline of your previous roles/experiences?
I have been working in ICT for over twenty years, and predominately within education in the UK. I started out in programming before moving to support and ultimately management and department head. My last ten years in the UK were spent at the University of Oxford, most recently as IT Director of Oriel, Corpus Christi and Merton colleges.
Although I greatly enjoyed my time at the university, I emigrated permanently from the UK to New Zealand in October 2015 for a new personal and professional challenge. The latter came about quickly when I took up the position of Senior Project Manager at CPIT (now Ara Institute of Canterbury). The former challenge came earlier when I had to convince my wife that we should sell our house, quit our jobs, pull our three daughters out of school and move to the other side of the world (not to mention shipping our dog out too)! Happily, my family and I are very comfortable with the decision we made to emigrate and we love living and working in Christchurch. Our dog has also yet to lodge a complaint.
What are the main aspects/responsibilities of your new job at StAC?
Before I joined, I was keenly aware of the College’s reputation as a leader in the area of the effective and transformational use of technology in New Zealand education. To ensure that this reputation continues, a key element of my role will be to focus on looking externally and observing best practice and new technologies that will allow for the continued shaping of a progressive and innovative vision for StAC.
As you might expect, the role also includes oversight of the school ICT network and infrastructure, ensuring that it is fully operational and fit for purpose now and in the future, maximising benefits to staff and students. To assist me in this, I am in the fortunate position in that I have inherited an extremely capable and customer focussed team. This provides a wonderful platform upon which teachers, support staff and students can be assisted to use ICT successfully.
What are the main aspects of your role that you are most looking forward to?
From my very first visit to StAC I was struck by the feeling of community. This is very much reminiscent of my days in Oxford colleges and I feel fortunate to be part of something similar here at StAC. Those years at Oxford taught me to expect that every day at work to be different from the last and they would quite often not pan out at all as planned. That variety is something I greatly enjoy and I am already getting to relish that same experience here.
I am looking forward to building relationships with others in all parts of StAC and beyond to ensure that we continue to use ICT as a tool to enable teaching and learning in an efficient and fruitful manner.
Other than technology and education, what are your main interests?
I am a family man first and foremost, so my main interests tend to be my daughters’ interests! When time permits, I am keen spectator and occasional participant in a number of sports, but mostly these days can only get out for an occasional forest or beach run, or a round of golf. I hoping to increase the frequency of my running over the coming year to the point that I can attempt some reasonable distances, however I am making no firm commitments at this stage!
Here at StAC we are excited to have Dave leading our team, and the experience and ideas that he will bring.