Our story begins with our founders and their dream to reimagine what learning could be, and how it could be delivered in the 21st century.
They worked with a global team to develop the Liger Learning © model. This model was first piloted in Cambodia at the Liger Leadership Academy.
Now, as its reputation and impact continue to grow, we begin a new chapter by establishing a sister school – Liger Leadership Academy New Zealand.
We invite you to join us as we seek to empower our learners to change the world around them.
Our mission is to create socially conscious, entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow. They will be able to unleash the potential that lies within themselves, and contribute to the world around them.
We provide a rigorous and meaningful programme that combines a comprehensive, internationally competitive education with an innovative STEM and entrepreneurship curriculum.
Our focus is on educating secondary students from Years 8 - 13.
To hear the full story from our founder, click here.
We focus on establishing and developing a set of Core Values in all our learners; values that everyone affiliated with the Liger Leadership Academy strives to live by in their daily lives and interactions with one another and with the world at large.
Being honest and having strong moral principles
Being responsible for taking care of something considered worth caring for and preserving
Being able to decide definitely and firmly
Being able to recognize and enjoy the good qualities of someone or something
Being hopeful and having confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something
Being clever, inventive, or resourceful especially when designing new things
We believe in the power of education to change lives and in the unlimited potential of our learners to make an impact on the world around them.
Our team comes from around the world. They bring a diverse range of experiences, passions and skills. As educators, we think of ourselves as futurists. We need to, as best we can, predict what the future lives of learners will be like and boldly build learning environments to support that future.
We are passionate, innovative and just a little bit quirky.
Our learners are inspired by a global network of partners - both individuals and organisations - who support us to deliver outstanding educational opportunities for our learners. We also work extraordinarily hard to recruit and retain an exceptional, diverse, committed staff.
TREVOR GILE Founder
With a double major in Finance and Management from Washington State University, Trevor spent the first seven years of his career in Chicago and London with investment banks.
He and his wife Agnieszka then moved to Poland and founded several new businesses, including Liger Investments Limited, which applies advanced technology to trading in the financial markets.
Trevor’s experiences in the developing world were a motivator to leverage his success with Liger Investments to pursue an innovative model of international development aid that he had been formulating since his time at university.
His experiences with development, poverty, entrepreneurship, and technology came together to form the vision for the Leadership Academy.
AGNIESZKA TYNKIEWICZ-GILE Founder
Graduating from Kazimierz Wielki University in Poland, Agnieszka has a degree in Interior Design from Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. After years of working for acclaimed interior designers, in 2001, Agnieszka and Trevor took a sabbatical and traveled the world with the goal of seeing the most remote places on the planet. This experience greatly influenced her later design work under her own brand Signatura Remi & Gile which she successfully ran for over a decade in Krakow.
A Licensed Italian Farmer (IAP) and Founder of the Terre di San Giustino Vineyard in Italy. She shares her time between her responsibilities as the President of the Liger Charitable Foundation, composing boutique wines in Tuscany and being a mother to her two children – Sophie and Alex.
JEFF HOLTE Education Director
Jeff is an innovative, creative educator with nearly 40 years of experience as a teacher, principal, technology director, school director and designer of pioneering learning models.
Originally from the United States, Jeff has lived in Qatar, China, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cambodia, working in the field of education since 2006.
He has been with Liger since 2013 and is passionate about education and the promise it provides to the learner, the community and the world.
DANIEL COOPER Head of School
Originally from Christchurch, Daniel has spent 16 years of living and working in international schools across Asia and Europe - most recently at the United Nations International School of Hanoi. Across these travels, Daniel has strived to create learning experiences that are personal, authentic, and meaningful for every learner, empowering them to maximise their potential.
Daniel joined our team in June of 2022 as the Head of School, bringing his extensive wealth of experience and expertise to our Academy. His philosophy smoothly aligns with Liger’s Learning model which recognises the potential and power of all learners.
ADAM STURMAN Facilitator
Adam hails from Rangiora located in North Canterbury although for the last seven years he has been travelling globally as a member of the Think Global School where he has been part of a team that has developed, and subsequently implemented, a new project-based curriculum. He is a New Zealand trained teacher whose interests include a wide range of adventurous outdoor activities as well as most sports. Adam is excited about being a member of the Liger team and having the opportunity to help create a supportive and innovative culture that encourages authentic learning experiences that allow for students to have more voice and choice in their learning.
ROWENA SPEED Facilitator
Originally from Tauranga and inspired by the outdoors, her life is centred around connecting with two things, people and nature. Rowena is a trained physiotherapist and teacher. As an educator, she sees her role is to help learners find experiences that push them just far enough outside of their comfort zone for growth and to introduce tools for reflection. She's put this into action over the last 6 years at an innovative project-based learning school which she travelled the world with. Through this, Rowena has seen the amazing things learners can do if you give them freedom and opportunity, and she hopes to do this at home. That’s why she was drawn to Liger Leadership Academy.
SHIRA FEIFER FACILITATOR
Shira is an educator and lifelong learner. Her teaching philosophy is centered around creating inclusive learning environments and creating and building strong relationships with learners rooted in trust, communication, and collaboration. She is particularly passionate about teaching literacy and supporting learners in seeing themselves as readers, writers, and creative thinkers. Originally from San Diego, California, Shira enjoys hiking, camping, doing yoga, reading, spending time with friends and family, and cooking.
MAX CADY FACILITATOR
Max was on the founding team at Liger Cambodia in 2012, where he worked for three years as a Learning Facilitator and Technology and Innovation Coordinator. Following this experience, he then enrolled at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and graduated with an Ed.M in Technology, Innovation, and Education in 2016.
Max is passionate about integrating collaboration, play, and curiosity into education. He enjoys thinking about new ideas and dreaming up projects and learning opportunities.
NICK FOSTER FACILITATOR
Nick is a father, teacher, engineer and perpetual tinkerer. Teaching is his calling and he is especially passionate about mathematics, technology and engineering. He and his wife, Cassie, have three children and a faithful dog called Nala. Nick loves exploring the outdoors – either walking, running or riding trails. He is motivated to create an environment where Liger learners thrive through meaningful projects that create a positive impact in their community
JUDI KEAN OPERATIONS SUPPORT
Originally from Scotland, Judi now calls Queenstown home and lives here with her husband and two children, Henry and Olive.
Judi brings to the team years of experience in high level customer service and has extensive experience with all administrative tasks including scheduling and correspondence. Judi is on hand to assist both learners and parents with their journey at the Academy so please reach out to her if you have any questions.
A lover of the outdoors, Judi spends her spare time enjoying the many trails in the region.
The Liger Leadership Academy is a for impact school, operated by a not-for-profit charitable trust. In order to be sustainable, we seek support of like-minded individuals and organisations who understand and endorse what we do.
The Liger Leadership Academy is for students who have the potential to be socially conscious entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow. We believe that financial means should not be a barrier to the right students to attend our programmes. Our scholarship fund ensures that this is the case. We thank our partners, donors, and friends of the school who support this vision and are contributing towards this fund. As we grow, so too will our scholarship fund and with it, the chance for us to support more learners to make a difference to their world. Every cent that goes into the Liger Leadership Academy goes towards making that difference.
Liger Leadership Academy NZ Limited and Liger Leadership Academy Foundation are registered charitable entities under the Charities Act 2005 with approved donee status. This means you can claim a tax credit (for individuals) or a tax deduction (for companies) on your cash donations.
LIGER LEADERSHIP ACADEMY FOUNDATION
Charity Registration Number: CC58289