2013 ISNZ Honours Awards





For service to:

Nicholas Duirs

ACG Senior College

Education in the classroom and beyond

Graeme Worner

Christ’s College

All dimensions of boys’ education

Shelley Ryde

Diocesan School for Girls

Visual art teaching

Les Eagleton

King’s College

Human Resources and staff development

Sue Britton

King’s School

Business leadership

Geraldine Judkins

Southwell School

Literature and library

Ian Torrie

St Cuthbert’s College

Chemistry leadership in New Zealand

Martin Holmes

St Paul’s Collegiate School

Accounting and to athletics and cross country

Brenton Joubert

St Peter’s School, Cambridge

The School community

Distinguished Service Award

Peter Ferguson  For leadership and service to education governance.


Nicholas Duirs, ACG Senior College—Honoured for service to Education in the classroom and beyond

Nick Duirs came to ACG Senior College as a teacher of Music and Geography and began with nothing, not even a functional music stand.  Now the college has students enrolling purely because Nick is the teacher.  He has taught CIE Music, his students gaining excellent marks, even a Top in the World award.  For the past four out of five years ACG Senior College has been awarded Most Outstanding Musical in the Showdown Awards, a major feat for a college of fewer than 300 students, and this success must be attributed to Nick.  Not only does Nick run a busy Music department, he also directs and produces a company-wide show annually, involving in excess of 100 students and five schools. 

A Geography/Music teacher, Nick teaches Music through Geography, adding another layer to his teaching and engaging the students.  He continues to learn – playing five instruments may appear to be enough, but Nick continues to explore all types of music from throat singing to Chinese harp!

Nick is highly regarded by his colleagues as being an exceptional teacher and also someone who contributes widely to the life of the college.

Graeme Worner, Christ’s College—Honoured for service to all dimensions of boys’ education

Graeme Worner is described as a unique and special teacher.  Joining the Biology Department in 1978 he quickly gained a reputation for his commitment to teaching.  Academically, he is respected throughout New Zealand, having had a major role in rewriting the biology strands for the National Curriculum in the 1990s.

Graeme is dedicated to his students and this was very evident during the earthquakes in Christchurch, when he organised classes at his home during the time the school was closed.  He quickly supplemented the college Internet courses and ran morning rotations for different year levels.  In all aspects of his school life, Graeme can relate to the boys on many levels, including sport, travel, politics and a love of the great outdoors. 

We are told that if ever there was an example needed of a career long commitment to an ISNZ school, characterized throughout by integrity, enthusiasm, motivation, collegiality and inspirational academic leadership, Graeme Worner is it. 

Shelley Ryde, Diocesan School for Girls—Honoured for service to Visual Art Teaching

Shelley Ryde was appointed 30 years ago as Head of Art at Diocesan School for Girls and during this time has mentored many students who have gone on to be successful artists in their own right.  She is passionate about her subject and continues to move with the times.  Diocesan was one of the first schools in New Zealand to introduce technology into the Art curriculum and Shelley continually undertakes research and participates both as a learner and teacher in her own subject area and beyond.

Shelley is committed to helping young women develop their passion in the arts and they acknowledge how lucky they have been to have her as their teacher.  She motivates them and is committed to giving them the best possible opportunities.  She generously gives her time to her students outside school and her commitment to them goes well beyond expectations.

Shelley is recognised in the industry as a leader in her field who is asked to share her expertise with others on a regular basis at conferences, workshops or contributing to curriculum development or research.

Les Eagleton – King’s College - Honoured for service to Human Resources and staff development

Les Eagleton has given outstanding service during the eight years she has been at King’s College.  As Director of Human Resources she has responsibility for all aspects of staffing policy and operations, recruitment and selection staff, staff welfare, performance reviews and employment law matters.  She has established an Auckland network of people occupying similar roles to provide mutual support and as the most experienced person in this group she is regularly called upon to advise colleagues on relevant matters.  Les is also heavily involved in professional development activities run by ISNZ and other groups and is regularly consulted on HR issues.

She continually strives to develop her knowledge, understanding and authority in the HR fields, particularly as it applies to schools and is always prepared to look outside her own school to find ways to improve further.

Les is held in the highest regard by colleagues, particularly her senior colleagues who know her work best and she is widely acknowledged as a leader in HR in schools, an increasingly important area within our schools.

Sue Britton, King’s School—Honoured for service to Business Leadership

Sue Britton has been involved with independent education for over 20 years, serving a significant time as Bursar at two independent schools, King’s School for nine years and Southwell School for 11 years.  She has also served on the ISNZ Executive and the ASBA NZ Ltd for Bursars, as well as serving as President of ASBA.

Sue stands out amongst her peers and she is described as a worthy nominee of an ISNZ Honours Award for the value she brings to the profession.

Geraldine Judkins, Southwell School—Honoured for service to Literature and Library

Gerri Judkins has been employed at Southwell School for 14 years and during this time she has built the Library/Learning Centre into the hub of the school.  She has instituted book character days and reads every fiction title that comes into the Library, taking personal interest in every child’s reading journey.  She has been the driving force behind the literature associations in the Waikato and was the winner of the Betty Gilderdale Award last year for services to children’s literature.

One of Gerri’s projects has seen her set up an international communication network, linking children in different schools, nationally and internationally, all creating bookmarks that are made and swapped.  She is a highly committed and motivated teacher who always sets exemplary standards for herself, and then strives tirelessly to attain them.

Gerri is described as loyal and exceptionally professional in all her dealings with her colleagues and is held in high esteem by her fellow librarians, both nationally and internationally.

Ian Torrie, St Cuthbert’s College—Honoured for service to Chemistry Leadership in New Zealand

 Ian Torrie is described as a master teacher.  He has a profound knowledge of his subject area and a commitment to using ICTS creatively to deepen student understanding and to encourage independent study.  Ian has created an explosion in the number of students taking Chemistry at St Cuthbert’s College.  In fact, in Year 13 this year, Chemistry is the subject with the highest student numbers.

Ian’s contribution to the national development of Chemistry as an examiner, mentor and professional development leader has been most significant and this outstanding contribution has been recognized both nationally and internationally.  He has developed the Moodle mPower site for Chemistry with full coverage of all courses, including extensive animations, interactive videos revision tutorials and MP3 files.

Ian is a fine mentor to beginning and younger teachers and is generous with his time, resources and expertise.  His peers regard him with the utmost respect for his inclusivity, his profound love of science and his sense of fun and humour.

Martin Holmes, St Paul’s Collegiate School—Honoured for service to Accounting and to Athletics and Cross Country

Martin Holmes has taught at St Paul’s Collegiate for the past 15 years and has been HOD of Commerce for the past seven years.  He has been TIC of both Athletics and Cross Country since his arrival and is the current Chairperson of the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Athletics.  His commitment, both curricular and co-curricular, is outstanding, both to the school and to wider educational and sporting communities.

Martin is an exceptionally competent teacher who is constantly on a quest to develop and expand his knowledge of his students and their various learning styles and needs.  He always goes the extra mile for each and every student, with whom he has excellent rapport and who all respect the high standards he sets.

He has taken a leadership role in developing National Curriculum for his subject area and is highly respected and sought after for his input at both regional and national level.  Outside of the classroom, Martin’s contribution is way and beyond that delivered by his peers and, amazingly, he has been able to deliver this level of commitment over such a long period.

Brenton Joubert  - St Peter’s School, Cambridge - Honoured for service to The School Community

Brenton Joubert, as a Year 13 Dean, has introduced and fine-tuned an excellent system to give each student a comprehensive reference from the school.  He is the Director of Broadhurst House, which has won the Top House from 2006–2010, 2012 and 2013.  Broadhurst has also won the Recycling Trophy from 2008–2012.

As House Director, Brenton has continually gone beyond the requirements of the school and many times has stepped in after hours to deal with students in crisis.  His students hold him in very high regard be it as Boarding House Master, Teacher or Sports Manager.  He regularly attends Counsellors’ conferences and uses his contact with students in sport teams and also the boarding house opportunities to counsel, guide and motivate.

Brenton is frequently consulted by other boarding school communities throughout New Zealand on boarding matters and his colleagues speak of him as a strong motivator who sets high standards at all times.  He has changed boys’ lives, nurtured and got them through the adolescent years with care, quality and compassion.   Brenton is a positive role model and influence on countless students and colleagues.


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Wednesday, July 3, 2013