2020 Scholarship Recipients

These scholarships are set up to advance NZEI's strategic direction "Leading the Profession" by providing an opportunity for early childhood education and support staff members to enhance their skills and knowledge within the workplace and in education generally.

There are up to ten scholarships of $6000 available each year; four for early childhood members and six for support staff members working in schools.

This year, Early Childhood scholarships are awarded to:

Stuart Macann

Stuart is a kindergarten teacher member at Taitoko Kindergarten. His successful proposal was titled "Poutuarongo Reo Maori". Research within his kindergarten whanau identified support for including more te reo and tikanga Maori in the curriculum. Discussion at an early formal level are taking place about launching the kindergarten as a bilingual /bicultural ECE service. He will use the scholarship to continue his journey in an immersion te reo Maori environment at Te Wananga o Raukawa in a part time capacity. He aims to complete two further papers in the degree programme. The learning will equip him to continue delivering a curriculum that is culturally responsive to Maori.


Rachel Taylor

Rachel is a kindergarten teacher member at Pioneers Nursery. Her successful proposal was titled "Successfully completing and achieving a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership (ECE)". She has enrolled in in the diploma course to further her leadership skills and to inspire current colleagues. She wants to take up a leadership role in future where she can make a difference and continue to be a learner herself. Choosing to study with Te Rito Maioha will strengthen her leadership by adding a bicultural focus which will support a sustained and shared understanding of what it is to be a culturally responsive practitioner; developing her knowledge about Maori leadership will also assist her to articulate the learning needs of tamariki.


Cathy Dykes

Cathy is a Kindergarten teacher member at Papamoa Coast Kindergarten. Her successful proposal was titled "Promoting the importance of becoming a fully qualified, bilingual teacher in Early Childhood Education''. She is already in her second year of study and will complete her degree at the end of 2021. The learning she has completed so far has reinforced her understanding of the importance of learning about New Zealand's cultural identity and her aim is to learn to speak te reo Maori more fluently to make a difference in her teaching practice. She will share with support staff sector the knowledge gained promoting the importance of having a bicultural qualification.


Cara Baigent

Cara is a kindergarten teacher member at Central Kids David Henry Kindergarten Tokoroa. Her successful proposal was titled "Child Centred Play Therapy - Postgraduate Certificate". The course she will continue training in is provided by a local organization called Child Play Works. The course is a specialised way of working therapeutically with tamariki based on theory and an extensively researched model. The presenters have qualifications and years of experience as play therapists and working with children experiencing trouble in their lives. She has already completed stage 1.


And Support Staff scholarships are awarded to:

Silei Hala

Silei is a support staff member at Te Papapa School. Her successful proposal was titled "Koe toe fakamalohi ange 'ae fengaue 'aki fkako moe ngaahi famili tonga'ihe 'ulaki ta'u 'ae hiu 'ae tamasii pe taahine kihe'ako (Strengthening Learning Partnerships with Tongan Families in the first year of School" The aim of her project is to strengthen learning partnerships with the Tongan community and, in doing so, impact positively on the literacy achievement of Tongan students during their first year at school''. She will concentrate initially on family engagement at transition to school but will also continue until the children turn six years of age.


Herman Arp

Herman is a support staff member at Mangere College. His successful proposal was titled "Pasifika Teacher Aide Project for Secondary School (PTAPSS)". He will use the scholarship to write a handbook using as a benchmark the Pasifika Teacher Aide project for Primary and Intermediate Schools written by Rae Si'ilata. He aims to create a nuanced and innovative "Best Practice" supporting education framework for the actual educational needs of Pasifika high school students particularly post Covid19 lockdown and in the ever-changing technological world.


Lauryn Matenga

Lauryn is a support staff member at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Horouta Wananga. Her successful proposal was titled "Kotahi Atu - He Takiwatanga (Working together - For children with autism)". Her aim is to design a framework to help create individualised profiles for children with autism in a mainstream environment. The profile will focus on identifying individual needs, strengths, learning goals and behaviour management protocols to ensure continuity of support and service to the autistic child.


Louana McCormack

Louana is a support staff member at Opaheke School. Her successful proposal was titled "Knowledge and Empowerment". She will be continuing the Bachelor of Library and Information Studies having already completed a Certificate in library studies. The papers she will work towards include "cultural competencies in the information environment" and ''Te Ao Maori in the information environment''. Being able to to support Maori and Pasifika students by using culturally responsive practices learned from her studies will foster acceptance and will encourage and build relationships between tamariki, herself and the wider local community of Opaheke.


Brittany French

Brittany is a support staff member at Te Kura a Rito o Newton. Her successful proposal was titled "Creativity at school". She will use the scholarship to pay for part of the course fees for the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Therapy at Whitecliffe College of Art and Design. The focus of the course is to enable graduates to use their creativity to help others and will equip her with the skills to empower tamariki, especially those who struggle with managing emotions.


Michelle Warner

Michelle is a support staff member at Fraser High School. Her successful proposal was titled, "Management of Chemical Hazards". As a science technician a key part of her job is the preparation, handling, storage, and disposal of chemicals. While she has studied chemistry at a tertiary level her intention is to learn more about hazards, legal requirements and dealing with lapses in containment of hazardous chemicals. To achieve this she is enrolling in an Otago University paper "Management of Chemical Hazards''. This will strengthen her ability to contribute to the sector by increasing her competency and accountability in her role and through achieving additional skills and training. It will also open access to a career pathway.