The winner of EducationHQ's 2016 Unsung Heroes award in the support category, Ransom is like everybody’s mum, making sure every child is well cared for.

The mother of six, has been a teacher aid at four different schools around New Zealand’s lower North Island, and for the past four years she has been a support person at kura.

“I have always been involved as a parent helper, as I had six children of my own that went through kura,” Ransom says.

“I was given a job after helping out and I have had the privilege of getting paid for working with my children.”

Ransom works with children in all areas of social development.

“I have been like a mum to a lot of kids that come from solo parent homes and I have been that person to talk to when they have needed someone.

"I have helped with many activities - sports, kapa haka, and class trips … I do a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff.”

Ransom takes great pride in grooming and says one of her roles at kura is to look after uniforms.

But the caring mum to many goes beyond the call of duty and helps out across the board.

This comes naturally to Ransom, who says she is rewarded by seeing smiles on kids’ faces when they feel and look good.

“My highlight of my time as a support person is watching the kids achieve so much from the start to the finish of their schooling, and watching their personal growth.”  

Anamia King, who nominated Ransom for the EducationHQ Unsung Heroes compettion, says the highly regarded school treasure has been instrumental in making sure 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,” King explains.

“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 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.”

Ransom often starts early in the morning to make sure everything is in order, 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, King adds.  

“Thank you so much Terri - even without an award, you are most definitely our unsung hero.”