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NZEI Te Riu Roa Honours Contributions to Education

Media Release September 18, 2006
From NZEI Te Riu Roa For Immediate Use

NZEI Te Riu Roa Honours Contributions to Education

The Human Rights Commissioner is among a group of people being honoured by the country’s largest education union for making significant contributions to education.

NZEI Te Riu Roa is presenting a series of awards on Sunday September 24, the opening day of the union’s 2006 Annual Meeting being held in the Wellington Town Hall.

The union has 45,000 members working in every education sector. They are teachers and principals in primary schools. Early childhood teachers. Support staff and special education staff in primary and secondary schools, plus early childhood education services. And school advisers and lecturers in education faculties at universities and Colleges of Education.

Rosslyn Noonan, the Chief Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission, will receive the union’s highest honour, Life Membership.

Rosslyn was national secretary of NZEI Te Riu Roa from 1988 to 1996, a period of major change for the union. She was a key figure in developing the pay parity campaign, which ensured that primary teachers are paid at the same level as secondary teachers, based on qualifications, responsibilities and experience.

She led NZEI when the Employment Contracts Act was introduced in 1991. The Act was aimed at de-unionising New Zealand’s workforce and smaller unions struggled to survive. Under Rosslyn’s stewardship, NZEI ensured support staff continued to have the protection of union membership by amalgamating with the Education Service Paraprofessional Association in 1992. School based clerical workers became NZEI members when the NZ Clerical Workers Union folded.

Rosslyn was also a general secretary of the Kindergarten Teachers Association, and was one of the founders of the Early Childhood Workers Union. These two unions merged to form the Combined Early Childhood Union of Aotearoa which amalgamated with NZEI in 1994.

Professor Terry Crooks is being made an Honorary Fellow of NZEI Te Riu Roa, the highest award the union bestows on non members.

Terry is recognised as a leading expert in student assessment. He is a co-director of the Educational Assessment Research Unit at Otago University, which runs the National Education Monitoring Programme (NEMP).

NEMP has been assessing around 3000 primary students in Year 4 and Year 8 since 1995. The assessments provide detailed information about students’ knowledge, skills and motivation across the curriculum identifying the areas in which their performance is improving, declining, or staying the same. This information is invaluable in enabling schools to improve the education that children receive.

The success of NEMP has played a key role in helping New Zealand avoid the kind of testing regime that many politicians advocate but educators know is damaging to children’s education and undermines effective teaching.

Professor Margaret Carr is being made a Fellow of NZEI Te Riu Roa.

Margaret is a key figure in making New Zealand a world leader in early childhood education. In the early 1990s she was instrumental in the development of Te Whaariki, New Zealand’s Early Childhood Curriculum. This is a ground breaking document, as it was the first truly bicultural curriculum in the world.

Margaret’s work on young children’s learning resulted in an internationally acclaimed book, ‘Assessment In Early Childhood Settings.’ This led to the development of the Learning Stories framework for assessing children’s learning in early childhood education centres.

Two highly experienced teachers, Margaret Ready and Robyn Tataurangi, are also being made Fellows of NZEI Te Riu Roa.

Margaret Ready is acting deputy principal at New Windsor School, in Auckland, and has taught for 32 years. Margaret has worked as a specialist music teacher, qualifying as a resource teacher of music. She has trained more than 20 school choirs in Waihi, Opotoki and Auckland. Margaret has also been involved in the Health Promoting Schools programme for 11 years, which recognises that children’s health and development have an impact on their learning.

Robyn Tataurangi is Assistant Principal at Royal Oak Primary in Auckland and has taught for 41 years. She’s qualified to teach the reading recovery and her expertise in this area is widely recognised. For 10 years she’s hosted tutors from the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia, who were keen to learn about the acclaimed New Zealand programme. Robyn has also been involved in selecting reading recovery teachers.

Fourteen members of NZEI Te Riu Roa who work as teachers, principals and school support staff are being made Fellows of the union. They are:

Kelvin Bennett, principal at Papamoa School in the Bay of Plenty;
Chrissy Brown, head teacher at Casa Nova Kindergarten in Oamaru;
Peter de la Chaumette, assistant principal at St Dominics School in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland;
Suzanne Nimmo, librarian at Castlecliff School in Wanganui;
Jill Merrick, senior teacher at Titahi Bay School in Wellington;
Judith Nowotarski, head teacher at Hawera Kindergarten in Taranaki;
Rebecca Power, senior teacher at Seatoun Primary School in Wellington;
Amanda Caldwell, teacher at Onewhero School in Tuakau;
Eileen Raynel, resource teacher of the deaf based in Hamilton;
Ruth Press, a recently retired special needs teacher based at Taita Central School in Lower Hutt;
Pamela Warner, teacher at Stanley Bay School in Mairangi Bay on Auckland’s North Shore;
Briar Stewart, associate principal at Arataki School in Mount Maunganui;
Fiona Watson, deputy principal at Jean Batten School in Mangere in Auckland;
Janet Woodward, a senior teacher at Woodhill School in Kaipara.


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