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NZPF awards $10,000 study grant

NZPF awards $10,000 study grant

- Blenheim principal to study Glasser schools in New York and Michigan -

The New Zealand Principals Federation has awarded the 2006 NZPF Sitech Award to Blenheim principal Murray Hewson. The award is designed to encourage and support school leaders as they engage in high level professional development. Mr Hewson will be using the award to research schools using the innovative Glasser teaching system, and will spend six weeks visiting schools in Michigan and New York.

Pat Newman, President of NZPF, says Murray Hewson is just one example of the great leaders we have in our schools. “Murray is doing fantastic things at Witherlea School. He and his teachers work hard to give their students learning opportunities of the highest calibre. It’s great to be able to help Murray take his professional development to a new level.”

The NZPF Sitech Award is presented each year to a member of the New Zealand Principals Federation. The winner receives $10,000 towards professional development of their choice. Sitech, an audiovisual equipment company with its’ head office in Hamilton, is the NZPF’s business partner for this award. Sitech spokesman Gary Leet is proud to be associated with this award. “We work with a lot of schools throughout New Zealand, and this is one way we can show our support. The NZPF Sitech Award offers principals the chance to complete in-depth research on topics of their choice – research which can ultimately benefit schools throughout New Zealand. We’re very proud to be part of that.”

The Ministry of Education is also supportive of the NZPF Sitech Award, and provides relief costs while the principal is away undertaking professional development. Newman says this is a crucial element of the award. “Without the Ministry’s support, the schools would not be able to meet the relief costs while their principal is away. We are very thankful that the Ministry recognises the importance of professional development in the modern New Zealand education system.”

Newman and Leet will present the award to Murray Hewson at 4.45pm on Thursday 14th December, at the Marlborough Club, Blenheim.

NZPF Sitech Award 2006
- Murray Hewson, Principal, Witherlea School -

Murray Hewson will use the NZPF Sitech Award to research the Glasser education system. Designed by William Glasser, the system focuses on Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management.

“In Glasser schools, choice is the intrinsic gear lever,” says Hewson. “I’ll be looking at the quality relationships within the schools, and what the teachers actually do that allows the students to shine.”

Hewson will research local Glasser-influenced schools, before travelling to Michigan and New York to look at Glasser schools. Hewson will also visit some Harlem schools that have introduced Glasser principles with amazing results. “The Harlem schools have shown huge increases in student engagement using the Glasser system. These students are excited about school, excited about learning. They have fantastic relationships with their teachers.”

There are currently only a small number of New Zealand schools using the Glasser system, although many schools use similar principles. Teachers must undergo training from accredited Glasser instructors. The system requires strong support at the Board, teaching, support and family levels.

Hewson’s aim is to look at the Glasser styles of learning, and encourage other New Zealand schools to use the concepts. His report will be made available to all members of the NZPF, and the Ministry of Education.

For more information on the Glasser system, please visit


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