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Major Teaching Award for an Inspirational Teacher

27 July 2005

Major Teaching Award for an Inspirational Teacher

Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) Programme Leader of Professional Cooking and Patisserie, Stephen Pope has won a Sustained Excellence Award in the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards announced by the Minister of Education, Trevor Mallard, last night.

Stephen says that while many chefs are renowned for their egos, this is not the focus of WelTec’s School of Hospitality and Tourism.

“I am totally, thoroughly honoured, but shocked. This was a first for me, to win an award that wasn’t based on something I had put on a plate. I do see this not just as an award for me personally but for my whole team of colleagues at WelTec.”

WelTec CEO Linda Sissons says that Stephen has worked with the whole hospitality team to create a centre that is the leader in NZ and respected around the world.

“Stephen is continually setting benchmarks for high performance, in New Zealand and internationally,” says Dr Sissons. “He is enthusiastic about both his specialist discipline area of culinary arts, cookery and bakery; and his students, who excel under his care and attention.

“We’re excited that Stephen has won this award, but not surprised. He is an inspirational teacher, respected by his WelTec students, his colleagues and industry peers,” says Dr Sissons. “It is also an acknowledgement of the important role of polytechnics and institutes of technology in industry training.”

“Stephen’s achievements are many,” says Dr Sissons. “He has developed unique teaching and assessment styles that encourage students to take practical problem solving and critical thinking approaches to their learning. The reward has been having his students consistently placed highly in national and international exams and skills competitions.

“Graduates from Stephen’s programmes are highly sought after by industry, and WelTec Culinary Arts programmes are oversubscribed. Students come from all over New Zealand and from overseas to learn from him.”

The esteem with which Stephen is regarded is also recognised in his appointments as an international judge, and the manager/coach to the New Zealand team for the international Skill Ex competitions. He works hard to stay up to date, spending time in industry and with other education providers both in New Zealand and overseas.


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