Diane is experienced educator with ten years of classroom experience, graduating with a First Class (Hons) Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) Post Primary Business & Enterprise Education from Stranmillis University College, Belfast. Since 2006, Diane has worked in a variety of educational settings including co-educational, controlled schools, integrated and voluntary grammar sector delivering A Level, GCSE Business Studies and careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG).
During her time in the classroom, Diane played a key role in the growth of the Business Studies department at Banbridge Academy. She worked as an examiner for CCEA with the introduction of new A Levels and GCSE specification to bring greater understanding of the marking criteria to her students and colleagues. Diane’s interest for careers was channeled into organising whole school careers fairs at the Academy and bringing awareness of alternative careers pathways to school leavers. Through industry connections and networks beyond the classroom, Diane brought the subject of Business Studies to life – organising key guest speakers and trips to Google, Starbucks and Lidl. Her passion for learning outside the classroom, included leading a trans-Atlantic trip to NYC where students experienced the Federal Reserve, business operations at Macy’s and a tour of PwC’s Madison Avenue.
It was her passion for enterprise education and desire to increase more students’ awareness of their career options that led to her choice to leave the classroom and lead Catalyst Inc’s Generation Innovation programme. Through this role she continued to forge productive links with industry to deliver collaborative education programmes for 14 – 19 year olds, as well as delivering teacher training with CCEA and the Education Training Inspectorate in Northern Ireland around skills for 21st Century employability. Her key achievement was piloting a trip for Year 10 students to attend the world’s leading tech and mobile conference, MWC and YoMo in Barcelona. An eye opening experience to inspire and challenge the young people to consider the potentiality of tech and the complexity of the problems we will strive to solve in the network revolution.