Emma Stevens was born in Christchurch and raised in Whanganui. A graduate of Christchurch Teachers' College, Emma holds a MEd from Victoria University. 3 Much of her teaching career has been spent working with indigenous students in NZ, Australia and Alaska. She was voted Sydney's Child Teacher of the Year in 1994 while teaching at an alternative school in Sydney, Australia. Her way of life changed completely when, divorced and in her late forties, she met online, the principal of an Inupiaq school in the Arctic Circle, Alaska. The couple married, and Emma spent the next six years working beside her new husband in the icy wilderness of bush Alaska. Emma and her husband now live among orchards and vineyards just outside Nelson, in the South Island of New Zealand, where the winters are mild and the summers are long.