Hawke's Bay's favourite teacher Janene Maloney gets the best out of her students video

Simon Hendery/FAIRFAX NZ

Janene Maloney of Mahora School in Hastings is the Hawke's Bay regional winner of the Favourite Teacher Awards.

FAVOURITE TEACHER AWARDS: From the Christchurch quake tragedy to Parliament's select committees, we're travelling the country to meet some of New Zealand's best teachers.

When Alexia Culley received her Mahora School "black cap" it was a proud day – one the Year 6  Hastings student was delighted to share with her teacher, Janene Maloney.

Black caps are an acknowledgement of maturity for final-year students at the school and Alexia says the "great achievement" came about with Mrs Maloney's support and encouragement.

Janene Maloney of Mahora School in Hastings with year 6 student Alexia Culley, who nominated her for the Hawke's Bay ...

Janene Maloney of Mahora School in Hastings with year 6 student Alexia Culley, who nominated her for the Hawke's Bay section of the Favourite Teacher Awards.

Her teacher "kept on pushing me as I kept on pushing myself to attain my goal to get my black cap," the 11-year-old said. "Mrs Maloney is a very cool teacher and I love being in her class."

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Following Alexia's nomination, Maloney has been named the Hawke's Bay winner of the Favourite Teacher Awards, a partnership between Stuff, TVNZ Breakfast and Matilda, the Musical. The overall winner will be named on Sunday.

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It is an accolade Mahora School principal Rohan Pearse said was well deserved.

Maloney built "special relationships" with her students, setting high expectations but offering strong support to help them with their learning, he said.

Alexia said of her teacher: "Whenever I have a problem, she always brings me into the office and asks me what's wrong and fixes it – in a nice way."

Maloney said she was humbled to be recognised in the awards.

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Helping Alexia and others achieve their black cap goal involved a "team effort" where students, school friends, teachers and family all worked together to offer support.

"It's a great credit to her that she achieved that," she said.

"The greatest gift that we can give our children is just empowering their self-belief. Our moto is 'Piki haere – keep on climbing'."

Alexia's grandmother, Lyn Culley, praised Maloney's efforts in helping her daughter meet the criteria for winning her black cap, a goal she said the 11-year-old had been determined to achieve this year. "She's a really cool teacher."


Northland: Jenny Bassett
Auckland: Bex Rose
Bay of Plenty: Scott Feisst
Waikato: Richard Lloyd
Hawkes Bay/East Cape: Janene Maloney​
Taranaki: Sue Gunn
​Manawatu/Whanganui: Heidi Lutz
Wellington: Matt Johnston
Nelson: Trina Wilkinson
Marlborough: Robyn Anderson
Canterbury/West Coast: Carmen Street
​South Canterbury/Otago: Di Anderson
Southland: Elaine Forde

 - Sunday Star Times


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