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Early childhood teachers honoured at awards

24 June 2004

Early childhood teachers honoured at teaching awards

Early childhood teachers enjoyed a first at this year's ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) regional presentations, held at Parliament today (subs: 24 June).

These teachers joined their primary, intermediate and secondary school colleagues for the first time since NEiTA was established in New Zealand in 1996.

Four early childhood teachers were presented with a Regional Award at today's ceremony, along with eight primary/intermediate and eight secondary teachers.

NEiTA Foundation chairman, Terry O'Connell, was full of praise for the early childhood teachers, saying their inclusion in this year's Awards has been enthusiastically supported by parents and early childhood centres throughout New Zealand.

"The early childhood education sector has come a long way with a growing international acknowledgement of the importance of the early years to a child's development. The increase in professionalism in the sector has prompted us to recognise and honour early childhood teachers alongside their primary and secondary colleagues."

Mr O'Connell praised all the Award recipients for their inspirational and tireless efforts in making a difference to their students' lives.

"NEiTA is essentially the 'People's Choice' award of teaching. Teachers can feel proud to be nominated and selected for these awards by the very people they influence, shape and inspire every day," he said.

The twenty teachers today received certificates and plaques.

In November, six of these teachers - two from each category - will be presented with a National Award. This will take place in their local community, giving the schools the opportunity to honour their teacher on their home patch.

Three of the six will also be awarded a professional development grant of $2500, with one receiving an additional $2500 to put towards their teaching development.


Media backgrounder

What are the NEiTA Awards?

The National Excellence in Teaching Awards were launched in New Zealand in 1996 by the ASG Friendly Society. ASG is a non-profit organisation of New Zealand and Australian parents planning for their child's academic future.

The Awards aim to recognise and honour excellent teachers from our local communities, to recognise and highlight excellence in teaching and to encourage students to enter the teaching profession.

This year a category for registered early childhood teachers has been added to NEiTA.

Who nominates the teachers?

The NEiTA Awards are 'people's choice' awards - candidates are nominated by secondary school students and parents of early childhood, primary/intermediate and secondary pupils - essentially the 'consumers' of New Zealand's education services.

This year over 450 teachers from throughout New Zealand were nominated for a NEiTA award. From the nominations four early childhood, eight primary/intermediate and eight secondary teachers were selected for a Regional Award.

How are the Regional Award recipients selected?

The 20 Regional Award recipients are selected by assessing the initial nomination, additional material submitted and the teacher's 'self portrait'. The independent selection panel is comprised of educationalists, parents, student teachers and school trustees.

How are the National Award recipients selected?

The 20 Regional Award recipients will make presentations to the NEiTA selection panel on a topic of their choice, illustrating their teaching methods and practices.

Short-listed teachers are invited to submit a written paper to assist the selection panel to determine the six National Award recipients (two early childhood, two primary/intermediate and two secondary).

In addition, three National Award recipients (one early childhood, one primary/intermediate and one secondary) will receive a professional development grant of $2500. One will go on to receive an extra $2500 to add to his or her professional development grant.

The National Awards and grants will be presented at the teacher's school in November. These ceremonies will give the schools the opportunity to honour and celebrate their excellent teacher in their local community.


The ASG Friendly Society has pleasure in announcing the following Regional Awards for 2004:

Early childhood
Laine Tipi - Leataata O Tupulaga O Le Pasefika Pre-School, AUCKLAND
Lesley Pohio - Akarana Avenue Kindergarten, AUCKLAND
Christine Chittock - Lucknow Kindergarten, HAVELOCK NORTH
Maree Orland - Casa dei Bambini Foundation School, CHRISTCHURCH

Bronwyn Fennessy - Waokoikoi School, GORE
Maureen Truman - Karoro School, GREYMOUTH
Bernadette Lawlor - St Josephs School, QUEENSTOWN
Tricia Hodgson - Springbank School, KERIKERI
John Catmull - Glen Eden Intermediate, AUCKLAND
Rachel French - Purakanui School, DUNEDIN
Rosie Simpson - Taikura Rudolf Steiner School, HASTINGS
Elfrida Dhanaraj - Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate, AUCKLAND

George Pomana - James Cook High School, AUCKLAND
Richard Gardiner - Burnside High School, CHRISTCHURCH
Elliot Lavey - Massey High School, AUCKLAND
Gillian Thomas - Wellington College, WELLINGTON
Kiri Turketo - Penrose High School, AUCKLAND
Robyn Restieaux - Macleans College, AUCKLAND
Barbara Stewart - Rotorua School for Young Parents, ROTORUA
Jo-ann Ecroyd - Rotorua Girls' High School, ROTORUA


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