Meet Jess McNab Cottrell, our English teacher at Hastings Girls’. Though she comes from a family of teachers, she did not initially plan on a career in education. She spent her early years in Devon, England’s pastoral heartland, before moving with her family to the Bay of Islands in Northland. She loved the contrast between Kerikeri High School and her previous English education.
She left the warmth of the north for the cold of Dunedin, where she studied Film and Media, Psychology and Gender Studies at Otago University. After graduation she took some time out to foster her love of animals and conservation working at Wellington Zoo. But the culture of education in the whānau won out and she took a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching at Victoria University specialising in Health Education, Media Studies and Social Sciences. It was from here she came to the sunny Hawke’s Bay and Hastings Girls’ to take up her first teaching position.
She loves making connections with our girls in the classroom and beyond, as well as the wealth of opportunities provided by this beautiful region she has begun to call home.