Jack and Peggy McDonald’s creativity and teaching expertise led to the creation of a variety of student journals (or exercise books, as they’re known in New Zealand). Beginning with a math program, Jack and Peggy kept adding to the Clever Kiwi collection. They built a successful business, which they sold in 2019
to Geoff Spong, a fellow Kiwi who was committed to supplying school children with high quality products.
Elizabeth Thuestad, a retired American teacher traveling through New Zealand, spotted the books in February of 2016, back-to-school time in that part of the world. She loved them on sight and bought one of each, filling her suitcase with them. An email to Jack, a few years spent working out details and adapting the books for
American students, and February of 2020 saw the debut of Clever Kiwi USA!
That’s what was supposed to happen, anyway. Coronavirus quarantine in the spring of 2020 brought with it quiet time for reflection, and with that, a new opportunity for Elizabeth. Geoff Spong, the powerhouse behind Clever Kiwi’s expansion into the United States, decided to focus his attention on other pursuits. Geoff sold the parent company, and the reins of Clever Kiwi USA are now in Elizabeth’s hands.
So a New Zealand company has an American offshoot, a retired teacher is becoming a businessperson, and Clever Kiwi lives on!