Pair share kudos for awards with school colleagues

GEOFF LEWIS AND JILL CLEAVE
Last updated 05:00 07/06/2014
 Paeroa College teacher Tina Youngman
SUPER TEACHER: Paeroa College teacher Tina Youngman has earned yet another accolade, this time a National Excellence in Teaching award.

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The hardest thing to get Glynis Knox to do is talk about herself.

The self-effacing assistant principal of Frankton School scored a national first in education circles late last month when she was recognised for her excellence in teaching and excellence in leadership by Education minister Hekia Parata at the biennial National Excellence in Teaching (NEiTA) Awards in Wellington.

Affectionately known as "Knoxy", Glynis Knox grew up in Tokoroa and trained at the then Hamilton Teachers College between 1980 and 1983. She has taught at Peachgrove Intermediate and Rhode St School. She has worked at Frankton for 15 years and became assistant principal in 2012.

Knox holds a significant portfolio of responsibility including working as a fulltime classroom teacher, a senior syndicate leader responsible for a team of six year 5/6 teachers and as assistant principal responsible for leading the localised curriculum and the school's Virtues Character Development Programme.

While her helpful colleagues are more than happy to offer colourful anecdotes, Knox keeps steadily to the book citing the school's commitment to values and virtues. She credits the school for her success.

"The honour for one is an honour for all," she said.

Knox said her greatest passion in education was in "character development".

Outside of school, Knox enjoys reading, shopping and travelling. She has attended education conferences in Australia, the United States and Rarotonga.

Paeroa College teacher Tina Youngman said she was surprised and honoured by the recognition.

"I don't teach for the kudos or awards; I do it for the kids, and the kids I teach at Paeroa College are amazing. I still can't believe I get paid to do this job," she said.

Youngman, who is on maternity leave, is a science and biology teacher and teaches year 12 and 13 biology and year 9 and 13 general science as well as being a specialist classroom teacher and assistant science curriculum leader.

She is also a core member of Positive Behaviour for Learning and has been instrumental in reviving the school Science Department.

Most year 12 and 13 students take biology because Youngman is the teacher, and students are achieving excellent NCEA results that have gone from 50 per cent level 1 pass rates to 100 per cent pass rates in all three external science papers in 2012.

After being nominated for the 2013 regional award, Youngman was one of 600 teachers who took the option of going on to national level.

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She said she had to get three referees to write about her teaching and fill in a personal history about her teaching and achievements.

"We were then judged by a panel of five, which included giving a speech about something we were passionate about. My speech, Teaching to Inspire Successful Learners, is a reflection of my true passion, to make learning a pleasure for kids, to engage them on a level where they get the most out of it," she said.

Youngman, who is planning to be back in the classroom in October as she misses the kids and being in the classroom, said she would like to acknowledge the whole school community in regards to her award. "It takes the support of the whole school, and wider community, to be able to bring new methods to teaching, and Paeroa College is very forward thinking."

- Waikato Times

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