Congratulations to this year's winners:

  • Leader - Geraldine Malgas from St Mary's School in Auckland
  • Teacher - Karen Hu from Wellington East Girls' College in Wellington
  • Technology - Rob Hargreaves from Mission Heights Junior College in Manukau
  • Support - Terri Ransom from Whakatupuranga Rua Mano in Otaki

Thanks to all of the parents, students and school staff who rallied around their special nominees, showing enormous support. If you'd like to read the winning entries again, here they are:

Leader: Geraldine Malgas - St Mary's School

Nominated by Michelle Jadoo

Geraldine is a dedicated, committed, hardworking Deputy Principal. She has a profound love of education and seeing her students succeed. Her reputation as an outstanding but humble teacher is widely known in the community. Parents often request for their children to be in Mrs Malgas' class.

Recently, Geraldine has secured $60,000 worth of funding for a bicycle track to be built at our school. The track also comes with 40 bicycles, 100 helmets,  a fully fitted container for the bikes and some professional development for the teachers at our school. The bike track will also be used by our local community after school hours and on the weekends. Geraldine also negotiated funding for our school to have a professional cricket pitch laid on our current sports field.

Through all of the funding applications, negotiations and collaboration with various personnel, Geraldine continued to provide high quality teaching and learning experiences for her students, continued to lead our staff through high quality professional development and all of this was done quietly, humbly and effectively. She is a true hero.

Teacher: Karen Hu - Wellington East Girls' College

Nominated by Jenny Way

I believe that Ms Hu should be recognised as a hero because being a Chinese teacher, she isn't well known across the school and I feel as if her hard efforts put into teaching aren't being noticed.

She goes out of her way to make learning Chinese really fun and not only focuses on the language skills but also the cultural side of it. We make dumplings, play board games in Chinese, and she even organised a well known calligrapher to teach us, but all this is only possible because our class is part of the Confucius Institute. The Confucius Institute gives our Chinese classes more funding, scholarships and equipment (eg books, instruments, games etc). Ms Hu organised this all in her own time just so the class could have more opportunities. 

This year and last year she organised a whole day to celebrate Chinese language week. She had to invite guests, invite people to run workshops, provide equipment and make sure the event was running smoothly. A whole day event isn't easy to organise with so many people and it turned out amazingly both times.

As my form teacher, she isn't just a teacher but also a friend you can rely on for guidance and advice. For example, she knew exams were coming up and it was a stressful time so she showed us PPAP (the Pen Pinapple Apple Pen song) in hopes of cheering us up (which worked).

Ms Hu really is an awesome teacher who doesn't get the recognition she deserves. You can see from all these examples that she really cares about us students and goes above and beyond for our learning.

Of course there are other teachers that care, but Ms Hu just goes that extra mile for us and to spread Chinese culture around the school. This is my first time sending in a nomination and my writing isn't the best but I really hope that you can see how Ms Hu is truly a unsung hero.

Technology: Rob Hargreaves - Mission Heights Junior College

Nominated by Ian Morris

Rob has mentored several of our teams of students to success in the IPENZ and Bright Sparks Competitions.

Support: Terri Ransom - Whakatupuranga Rua Mano 

Nominated by Anamia King

Terri is employed to sort uniforms and resources at our kura. She has been instrumental in making sure that our children are adequately prepared for any event be it sports, kapa haka, school uniform and many other everyday happenings. Aside from that, Terri will go over and above making sure that EVERY child in our school has lunch, even breakfast. She travels an hour every day to work and will even stay all hours of the night to wash, dry and iron uniforms for events that our kids need to attend. She packs lunches so they eat during the event, she even packs combs and brushes so they feel good about themselves. 

Terri will start early in the morning to make sure everything is in order so the kids are well prepared for the day and they have a better learning experience.  She cleans toilets, showers children when needed, washes and dries their clothes if they decide to play in the mud, and still has the time to prepare a morning tea for the staff. 

Terri does way more than she is required to do.  She is loving and always fair.  I can honestly say that without Terri going the extra mile every single day (often including weekends), we would not have the freedom to enjoy our jobs ourselves.  Thank you so much Terri - even without an award, you are most definitely our unsung hero.