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Introducing Lara Penfold

Posted on 22/09/2015 by
Introducing Lara Penfold, ITC's new Academic Services Co-ordinator

Introducing Lara Penfold, ITC’s new Academic Services Co-ordinator

Originally from England, Lara Penfold recently joined the friendly ITC team as our new Academic Services Co-ordinator. She tells us a little bit about herself, why she moved to New Zealand, and what she hopes to bring to this role. 

I moved to New Zealand with my family in May 2015 from England after many years of wanting to experience living in another country. We looked at a few options, but the more we researched about New Zealand, the more interested we became in the country, the variety of cultures and the working opportunities available.

As a child I grew up in a guest house, owned by my Mum and Dad. It was always very busy with different guests coming and going, I remember helping out with serving breakfasts and dinners, checking people in, cooking and preparing for functions, cleaning rooms and helping guests with directions and information about the local area.

Having travelled to a variety of places throughout England and Wales, I have also travelled quite substantially internationally too, visiting places such as Thailand, Australia, New York, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Egypt and now of course New Zealand. In each place I have had unique experiences and hold wonderful memories.

After school I studied dance and performing arts at a top college in London, after that I worked as a professional actor, dancer and stage manager for a short period before taking further qualifications to teach. From here I built up my own dance school and successfully entered students for formal examinations in dance, putting together regular shows to raise money for local charities.

In 2013 I began working in Special Education and found it very rewarding, sometimes working with quite violent, emotionally complex and socially excluded young people. It helped me to understand how people learn, their motivations and what holds people back in reaching their full potential. It was a very nurturing role, where I learnt so much about people and myself.

I feel that my role at ITC is a new chapter in my life, a new direction for me to bring the skills I have learnt over the years and be part of a great team, and to improve and learn new skills within education in New Zealand. Education is an important tool which can help to improve your life by growing as individuals, experiencing new opportunities and giving back to others by guiding them onto a good path.

Education has definitely changed my life and set me on a path I never expected. I believe that you never stop learning, no matter how old you are. Travel is such a great way to expend your own personal experiences of life and the lives of others.

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