Helping students to believe in themselves was one of the key components behind the nomination for a special award at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology’s end of year function.
The institute hosted its annual Christmas lunch and Staff Awards at the Tauranga Racecourse last week.
Marg Apiti and Matu Pene were jointly awarded the Chief Executive Award – Student Choice for their work as tutors on the New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Skills (Level 2).
The 19-week foundation skills course provides students with the first steps towards a new career or tertiary study – giving them a look into developing their numeracy and literacy skills, providing study and job pathway guidance, goal setting, digital media and a whole lot more.
In the nomination, Marg and Matu were commended by an unnamed student for their commitment to all of their students.
“Right from day one we have been made to feel that our class is another whanau for us; that our teachers genuinely care and they have shown this time and time again – not just said it – they feed us home baking, they organise our transport, they give us their time endlessly but best of all they told us that they believed in us. In us!
“I didn’t think anyone could believe in me but now thanks to my teachers and my classmates here at Toi Ohomai I have come to believe in myself. I feel strong and confident of my future. I am going to be a teacher.”
During the presentation, chief executive Dr Leon Fourie says while criteria for the award stipulated that only individuals can be nominated, he was willing to make an allowance because the pair were so outstanding.
“What also made this nomination stand out for me, is that I’d had the privilege earlier this year of joining this class and saw everything that this student has written about – in action.”
Award-winning chef Peter Blakeway was awarded the Chief Executive award. Dr Fourie says although new to teaching, Peter hit the ground running and has no intention of slowing down.
“A well-known professional in our local and national culinary industry and a big part of the Tauranga community, Peter is quickly developing an outstanding reputation as an educator at Toi Ohomai.
“No matter how crazy the idea, Peter’s first response is always ‘Count me in’. Not that this comes as a surprise to those who know Peter. To be honest, many of the ‘out of the box’ concepts are often his.
“Peter has the upmost respect for his colleagues and most importantly his students. Anyone that has attended one of Peter’s culinary events would agree that his class sets a high standard. Peter puts everyone ahead of himself and therefore when compliments are forth-coming Peter pushes his learners and his peers to the front.”
A full list of awards:
Excellence in Teaching and Learning – Staff Choice Award winner: Megan Ruha.
Excellence in Teaching and Learning – Student Choice Award winner: Nancy Collins.
Sustained Excellence in Research and Enterprise winner: Bachelor of Creative Industries Team
Excellence in Sustainability winner: Barry Dawe
Excellence in Student Engagement and Experience winner: Jo Dawson, Keryn Spencer and Jess Nichols.
Toi Ohomaitanga Values awards
Manaakitanga (awarded for upholding and strengthening the mana of others and our communities) winner: Ramari Raureti.
Toitutanga (awarded for being courageous and humble in our pursuit for excellence) winner: Doug van Kolck.
Whanaungatanga (awarded for building and nurturing relationships and connections) winner: Ray Ellis.
Kotahitanga (awarded for uniting in our shared purpose) winner: Debbie O’Connor.
Chief Executive Award winner: Peter Blakeway.
Chief Executive Award winner: Marg Apiti and Matu Pene.