Joy is an author, publisher and literacy consultant. She runs professional development workshops for teachers throughout New Zealand and internationally. She originally trained and worked as an Occupational Therapist, then in 2000 she completed a Master of Education degree with first class honours at Massey University. She has been working in the literacy field since 1995 and has co-ordinated a number of literacy projects in both primary and secondary schools.
Joy is the developer of the Word Detective range of resources. She has written and published a complete range of spelling resources and has worked with other New Zealand companies (Gilt Edge Publishing, Universal Children’s Audio, Pixelhouse) to increase the range of Word Detective resources to include a series of early readers and sound posters, music for developing literacy skills and digital resources that teach vocabulary and phonemic awareness skills.
Joy was a contributing author to the Ministry of Education publications Effective Literacy Practice Years 1 to 4 and Effective Literacy Practice Years 5 to 8 (Learning Media).
Between 2014 and 2016 Joy led the Shine Research Project which showed it is possible to accelerate early literacy achievement for all students in any school through a small but significant change in approach to early literacy instruction. Joy presented this research at the World Literacy Online Summit in 2020.