Teach First NZ and the Auckland University Arts Students' Association (AUASA) ran an essay writing competition in November with the topic of “What would you change about the New Zealand education system?”
The competition attracted a high number of quality applicants from tertiary students and individuals passionate about education.
The winning essay was written by Deborah Williams from the University of Auckland. Deborah has recently completed a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Writing Studies and Linguistics. Deborah received $500 in prize money (from AUASA), as well as the opportunity to nominate a low-decile school of her choice to receive a further $500 donation. Deborah nominated Otangarei Primary School (Te Kura o Otangarei) in Whangarei.
Deborah grew up in Whangarei and has been heavily involved with the Northland Evangelical Movement as their Programme Director. The Movement runs camps for children from disadvantaged backgrounds in the school holidays. Deborah has met a number of children from Te Kura o Otangarei through her work at the school holiday camps.
Lou Reed, Acting Principal at Te Kura O Otangarei was delighted that her school had been selected to receive the donation and has invited Deborah to the school to speak to an assembly about leadership in 2015.
A ‘highly commended’ award was given to Jeremy Downing, who has recently completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English literature, theatre and film at Victoria University of Wellington. Jeremy is a successful recipient of a Teach First NZ scholarship and will be teaching English at James Cook High School from 2015.