Two Waikato University lecturers who say they were "born to teach" received National Teaching Excellence Awards at a ceremony at Parliament last night.
Te Kahautu Maxwell, a senior lecturer from the School of Maori and Pacific Development, took out a new category – sustained excellence in teaching in a Kaupapa Maori context.
Dr Alison Campbell, a senior lecturer in the Biological Sciences Department, received a sustained excellence award.
They were two of 11 tertiary teachers to receive the awards from Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce. Each teacher also received $20,000.
Marty Vreede, a senior lecturer in Printmaking at the Quay School of the Arts, Whanganui Universal College of Learning, took out the Prime Minister's Supreme Award.
Mr Maxwell, who has worked at the university for 16 years, said he was "humbled" by the award.
"I feel there are many other Waikato Maori academics who are more worthy than I was," he said.
However, the judges said Mr Maxwell was a "dynamic and energetic teacher who sets high standards for his learners".
Mr Maxwell said he accepted the award on behalf of his Waikato University mentors and was pleased the university was being acknowledged for its pride in Maori culture.
Dr Campbell, who has worked at the university for 14 years, said she was "really "rapt" about the award. "I love teaching. I get a real buzz from it."
She fell into teaching, straight after completing her Massey University degree, when she was unable to get a job as a researcher. Palmerston North Girls' High were looking for a biology teacher at the time, so Dr Campbell gave that a go despite having no teaching qualification.
She spent eight years teaching there – gaining her teaching qualification as she went – before getting her PhD and heading to Waikato University.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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