Joy-Farai Mika joins St Paul’s Collegiate School as the new Head of Digital Technology, after moving all the way from South Africa with his wife Lisa, and their three children, Isabelle (7), Ethan (5) and Romy (3).
Initially having accepted a position with the Ministry of Education (MOE) last year, a new variant of Covid-19 struck New Zealand at the same time. With tight Covid-related restrictions and complicated Visa regulations implemented by the government, this ultimately led to a retraction of a job offer due to major difficulties moving the Mika family to New Zealand. Despite the family having sold off their possessions and packed their bags way back then, the international venture wasn't to be.
The family took some time to regroup but still believed that New Zealand was their calling when Joy came across the Head of Digital Technology role at St Paul’s. Unsure of whether the family could withstand another round of regimented governmental rules, Joy decided to bite the bullet and apply for the job. What was the MOE loss became St Paul’s gain.
After a pleasantly quick application and interview process, Joy had a great impression of the culture at St Paul’s making it an easy decision for him and his young family. Despite all the unknowns of moving to a school, city and country sight unseen, he gladly accepted the post.
Joy originally grew up in Zimbabwe and completed his Honours Degree in Computer Science, majoring in Information Systems in 2006 from Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.
After graduating, Joy worked in various IT support roles helping small businesses in Grahamstown. Nine years later, he stepped in to teach a group of Year 13 boys who were struggling with IT programming at St Andrew’s College, a private boys school within the area.
Not long into his stint at St Andrew’s, Joy was offered a short-term teaching contract. It was clear he had a passion for the environment, could easily build rapport with the boys and held the subject expertise needed. The Headmaster of the school witnessed his natural finesse in the classroom and suggested he come onto staff as a full-time IT teacher. Joy agreed, and within a few years was promoted to a Head of Department position. During his first two years of teaching, Joy completed his Postgraduate Certificate in Education to support his computer science background.
Having now met all his new students at St Paul’s Collegiate School, Joy is looking forward to watching them grow within the classroom. Joy strives to make technology fun and aims to leave a meaningful impact on students.
“Seeing teenagers getting ready to leave school is a really special experience. I love hearing from them once they leave school and learning what they have been up to and how they are utilising their skills.”