Dr Michelle Johansson
Michelle is a Tongan educator, theatre-maker, mother and former high school dropout. She serves as Kāuru Kura | Head of School at Ako Mātātupu: Teach First NZ, growing exceptional people to teach in low-decile schools.
She is the Creative Director of the Black Friars, Polynesian performers who are determined to hold courageous perfor-mance and leadership spaces for South Auckland. The company works to re-story Pasifika in the largest Polynesian city in the world, to activate our heritage litera-cies, to grow future leaders and to hold courageous spaces for our young people to walk tall in both of their worlds.
Jay is a former secondary school teacher, who started his career teaching in London before moving to Aotearoa. He went on to lead the social justice organisation Ako Mātātupu, which delivers the Teach First NZ employment-based teacher education programme.
Jay is a PhD Candidate in the School of Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education and Social Work at the Universi-ty of Auckland and holds an MSc in Economics of Education from UCL, and MA in Continental Philosophy from the University of Essex. His doctoral research is on edu-cational equality using a conceptual analy-sis approach drawing on examples of policy and legislation in education.