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SOPHIE - Cluster Manager


Kia Ora!

My name is Sophie Excell and I am the cluster manager of the Manaiakalani cluster in Auckland. This is my first year as a part of the Summer Learning Journey Programme and I look forward to the exciting experience! I grew up in Auckland but am currently living down in Wellington while I am studying at Victoria University. I am about to complete my final year of a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Finance and Accounting. Over summer, I look forward to going on adventures with my friends and family. I also can’t wait to go on walks and to the beach with my puppy, Luna! I am so excited to be in Auckland over summer and a part of the Summer Learning Journey 2018! It is going to be so much fun to read all of your blog posts and learn more about you. I will see you all soon!


To learn more about the programme and about me, please watch this short video.


PATRICIA - Blogger


Hi, my name is Patricia Santos and I am part of the 2017 - 2018 Summer Learning Journey team. I am currently doing my Bachelor of Education degree and teaching classes for Portuguese as heritage language. I am excited about the prospect of finishing my degree next year and having my very own class.


My journey in education started with the birth of my first and only child Isabella, who is now 6 years old. Looking back on her arrival in my life I can see that it created a big shift in my perceptions of the world and myself. I have become a much stronger person and most importantly, deep inside myself, a strong feeling to make an active and positive impact on this world was raised.


The decision to become a teacher comes from a genuine belief and passion about upbringing, education and the power of creating your own opportunities.  


I speak 3 languages: my native tongue of Portuguese, Spanish, and English. I am extremely passionate about education, the outdoors, children, animals, healthy nutrition, music and art.


I am looking forward to working with you this summer!


LEE - Blogger

Kia ora,

My name is Lee Wallace and I am a blogger in the Manaiakalani cluster team for 2018/19. I can’t wait to be involved in this Summer Learning Journey and working with you all. I am just finishing my Bachelor of Education teaching degree and next year I will be a teacher at a school in Mt Roskill. I am really looking forward to teaching my own class and helping everybody grow and learn.

I am the proud father of a fifteen year old son, and he now goes to school at Mt Albert Grammar School. When he was at primary school I really got involved with it, and that’s when I decided that I’d like to be a teacher.


I decided to be a teacher because I really want to help my students learn and look at all the different ways of learning about the world. I enjoy travelling - my favourite place to visit has so far been Japan. I also enjoy most sports, writing, music and exploring Auckland. I like cats and seeing how many I can pat in one day! This summer I also want to do a lot of exploring the bush and going on bushwalks.


I’m really excited about interacting with you all this summer - it’s going to be fun!


IZZY - Blogger

Kia ora,

My name is Izzy Easton and 2018/2019 is my first year commenting with the Summer Learning Journey. I have just finished my degree studying to become a primary teacher and am very excited to start my first full time teaching role at a school in West Auckland next year.

I am from Auckland and have lived here for most of my life. I have also lived in Melbourne, Australia and London, England. I live with my partner and our cat Louie. Louie was a stray cat that we rescued at the start of the year. He has since become the most important, and loudest, member of our family.

I love to travel anywhere that takes me on outdoor adventures! I love hiking and being on the water. This summer I am hoping to take a trip to Tiritiri Matangi and visit the bird sanctuary.  I am so excited to read all of your posts over summer about the environment.

I can’t wait to get to know you all!

P.S. In the picture I am wearing my favorite Godzilla t-shirt and holding a kumara the size of my head.