Teachers chalk up awards


Wakatipu High teachers have been granted prestigious study awards.

Social sciences teacher Nicola Profitt has been chosen by the International School for Holocaust Studies to attend a three-week study seminar in Israel in January.

She’ll visit Jerusalem, meet with survivors of the Holocaust – a genocide which claimed about six million European Jews in World War II – and learn from experts in the field of Holocaust education.

“It’s something I’ve always taught, in some aspect, through social science.

“I expressed my interest [in attending] and then I had to write a big whopping application – probably 2000 words.”

Head of English and media studies Amanda Robinson has been granted a 24-week Teach NZ study award by the Ministry of Education (MoE), valued at about $45,000, to complete her Masters thesis in educational leadership.

Robinson, who’s averaged A+ for her papers so far, will study school culture and leadership practices in ‘innovative learning environments’ in four secondary schools, including Wakatipu High, from next May.

She was a staff representative on the team who designed the new Wakatipu High campus, including its open-plan layout.

“It’s a quantum leap but we were well prepared for it.

“To put it frankly, if a school’s got a lot of money they can make it successful, ‘cos there’s time and money to let [teachers] do the job properly, but that’s not the way it is in every school.”

Earlier this year, Robinson also made a shortlist of three for the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching.

Meanwhile, Wakatipu High principal Steve Hall has been awarded a 10-week ‘principal’s sabbatical’ by the MoE.

His sabbatical, which will run between the middle of Terms 2 and 3 next year, will include a short course in educational leadership at Harvard University in the United States.

Hall, who’s been in his post for six years, says “I was absolutely delighted to get it”.

“You have do some study and write a report, but it’s also an opportunity for reflection.”