Ali, Peter and Toni Stevens are members of one family who all work at ACG Tauranga.
Ali teaches Year 1 and 2. Peter teaches senior Physics and Science to Year 10. Toni is a specialist Early Childhood Educator. The only family member not working at the school is son Fraser who has a Chemistry degree and jokes about going to teachers college.
Working alongside family isn’t new for the trio who have lived and worked in schools in Indonesia and Singapore for more than a decade.
“Our children were there as students with us, so we are used to going to school as a family,” Ali explains.
Foundation staffers at the school, Ali and Peter say they enjoy a number of things about ACG Tauranga: parents want the best for their children, students want to learn, and there is a collegial, family feel among the staff.
“We all work closely,” Ali said. “I look at the changes that have taken place around our school as it has grown, and feel proud to say that I am part of making it all happen.”
And it seems like a natural extension to have daughter Toni join them on staff.
“Like all kids who observe their parents, Toni used to play ‘going to a meeting’ when she was little – now she gets to live her dream!” Peter said. “I am really proud that she won the job which is an affirmation of her excelling at her studies and work experience.”
He said teaching was such a natural fit for his daughter who has always been like a magnet for little children that it was a relief she found a profession so perfect.
As for Toni, who first visited the school in 2015 to help with the physical education dance programme, having her parents alongside her provides a definite sense of support.
But they’re not in each other’s pockets – and even have to take three cars to work.
“I enjoy having them here, especially as they have been here since the start. But we are all so busy and our jobs are very different. It is certainly a different perspective when mum and dad turn into ‘colleagues’.”