It is not often one gets to write a reference for a person of Murray Gadd’s esteem. It is a privilege to have been asked to do so.
I have known Murray for 35 years, first at Wellington College of Education when I was training to teach and he was a lecturer and latterly as a principal after engaging Murray to provide professional learning and support.
Murray is unparalleled in his professional capabilities. He has a crystal focus on keeping young people at the heart of his work. Many senior educators ‘talk the talk’ but Murray is that rare breed who can ‘walk the walk’. I have seen hundreds of teachers and students affected by Murray’s deep knowledge of the curriculum and his willingness to grow teacher capability by sharing this knowledge and by demonstrating what powerful pedagogy looks like in-situ.
My enthusiasm for the impact of Murray and his work is shared widely both nationally and internationally. Schools clamour to work with Murray such is his reputation.
His PhD is outstanding and has been influential in assisting teachers to develop a complexity of practice that has improved literacy practice and in particular the teaching of writing throughout New Zealand and beyond.
But perhaps that is not his greatest achievement. His personal qualities are legion. He is an open, generous, brave and committed educator. He never fails to’ tell it like it is’. Murray’s alchemy lies in his ability to be forthright without being offensive. It is a gift. I have seen Murray give the most challenging of feedback that is generously accepted by those working with him. Teachers understand that Murray holds integrity in professional practice as paramount and that he does so because young people deserve the very best.
In the education sector, Murray is held in high regard. His seniority in education, his breadth of contribution in multiple senior roles, his award winning PhD and his deep knowledge and respect for liberalism and the wellbeing of young people mark him as such.
I rank Murray as one of a handful of the finest practising educators in our country today. He is, quite simply, a stunning person and professional and I recommend him to you, unreservedly.