We are very pleased to introduce you to two new staff members who joined us at the start of Term Three – Mr Matthew Gleeson is the Head of Mathematics and Mr Hama McNeill (Matua Hama) leads Māori studies. We gave them both some quickfire questions to find out a little more about them.
Pictured left to right: Mr Matthew Gleeson and Mr Hama McNeill
Q: How long have you been with us at Long Bay College?
Matua Hama: “Approximately a month. I only found out where the gym was the other day.”
Mr Gleeson: “In 2006, a much younger version of myself first walked up the driveway of Long Bay College as a new Mathematics teacher. Ten years later I walked down the driveway to further my professional learning at another school. Now, I am very excited to be back and pleased to see how the school has progressed.”
Q: What does your role involve at LBC?
Matua Hama: “Any opportunity to share Te Reo Māori and I’ll take it. I’m also spending my time looking to celebrate all the things about Māori and Pacific Island students’ achievements at Long Bay College and where I can develop this further.”
Mr Matthew Gleeson: “I oversee the Mathematics Faculty, so I get to lead and work with a range of teachers and come up with some of the big ideas for how we can move forward as a faculty, as well as working with my staff to grow and develop their ideas and passion for Maths. It’s exciting to encourage staff and students to think outside the box and come up with new and innovative ways to learn Maths and to make Maths fun. I am really excited to see what developments I can make.”
Q: Tell us a little about yourself
Matua Hama: “I like to play ninjas and build forts with my five year old son, Elijah, but if he’s busy, then I’ll try and get on anything with two wheels. Or eat.”
Mr Matthew Gleeson: “I was born in Auckland but raised in New Plymouth. I have a twin brother, a younger brother and an older sister. Taranaki was where where my passion for the outdoors and the environment came from. During my schooling and university years, I participated in swimming, surf lifesaving and scuba diving. More recently, I have branched into stand-up-paddle boarding and kayak fishing.
Q: What led you into a career in teaching?
Matua Hama: “I had a tutoring job while at university and I loved it. So I carried on.”
Mr Matthew Gleeson: “I was always going to be a teacher, every since I was little. Teaching is my passion and it is hard to think of what I would do if I wasn’t able to teach.
Q: Tell us about your Atawhai group
Matua Hama: “My Atawhai group are the coolest people. I enjoy learning about how talented, bright, motivated and empathetic they are. It’s intimidating how neat they are.”
Mr Matthew Gleeson: “This year, I have the pleasure of adopting a wonderful Year 12 Atawhai class. I’m also the manager of an enthusiastic Girls 2nd 11 Hockey team.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Matua Hama: “The fantastic staff who put up with me, brilliant and down-to-earth students and the view of the bays when I ride to school.”
Mr Matthew Gleeson: “Seeing students grow into independent, passionate, inspirational and ambitious young adults. We as teachers are grateful to be given the responsibility to guide and walk with young men and women in their five year journey as they find their path through high school.”
Q: Tell us about the teaching experiences you have had in your career to support your role?
Matua Hama: “I’ve been very fortunate in the work I’ve done. Perhaps the privilege to explore different passions has given me a very full life, so I come to the classroom with experiences and a full bucket.”
Mr Matthew Gleeson: “In my journey to become the Head of Faculty Mathematics and Statistics, I have had the experience of being a swimming coach, a Dive master, a volunteer for DOC, an teacher and an assistant Head of Department.”