Win­ning team­work

North Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - CAITLIN WAL­LACE

A blend of team­work, en­thu­si­asm and teach­ing style has won An­drea Thomas and Ray­nard Hag­gie a Kiwi Can Out­stand­ing Leader Team award.

The two Huntly res­i­dents work with stu­dents from Huntly West Pri­mary School, Melville Pri­mary School and For­est Lake School

They at­tended the Graeme Din­gle Foun­da­tion Ex­cel­lence Awards at Gov­ern­ment House in Auck­land where they rubbed shoul­ders with politi­cians.

While they each work with other lead­ers in the Hamil­ton schools, the 26-year old pair say their team­work at the Huntly school was the main con­trib­u­tor to win­ning the award.

‘‘I think it’s just the work­ing re­la­tion­ship...for us, we can just bounce off each other,’’ Hag­gie said.

It was a shock to re­ceive the award, they said, and while it was a val­i­da­tion of their suc­cess it wasn’t the main mo­ti­va­tion to stay in the job.

‘‘We don’t get into it to get an award, we do it for the kids,’’ Hag­gie said.

Every Thurs­day and Fri­day the lead­ers work with groups of stu­dents at the Huntly school.

Each term they base their ses­sions on a dif­fer­ent value, at the mo­ment it is re­silience.

‘‘They’re just ev­ery­day val­ues ev­ery­one should have and peo­ple take them for granted,’’ Hag­gie said.

‘‘Most of the time when we are do­ing these lessons, it ties in with what they’re learn­ing in school.’’

Hag­gie said while they led the ac­tiv­i­ties, stu­dents were en­cour­aged to find so­lu­tions on their ac­cord.

It’s also about tai­lor­ing their com­mu­ni­ca­tion style based on who they are work­ing with.

Thomas said the North Waikato stu­dents re­spond dif­fer­ently to those in Hamil­ton

‘‘You’ve got to be on point all the time, if we’re show­ing en­ergy, they are go­ing to repli­cated that, they re­ally feed on the en­thu­si­asm.’’

The stu­dents have be­come ac­cus­tomed to hav­ing the men­tors in their lives, so much so that they are open and hon­est with them, Thomas said.

Thomas said it also helped be­ing si­t­u­ated in the same com­mu­nity.

‘‘I see them af­ter school and in town, I think it’s good to see them out­side of the class­room, they see us just as nor­mal peo­ple.’’

The Graeme Din­gle Ex­cel­lence Awards hon­our and cel­e­brate out­stand­ing young New Zealan­ders across all of the Foun­da­tions pro­grammes through­out New Zealand and has been run­ning for al­most two decades. It’s been five years in the mak­ing and on Thurs­day, the Te Awa Great River Ride Perry Bridge will open to the pub­lic. See P3


An­drea Thomas and Ray­nard Hag­gie at the awards.


Kiwi Can lead­ers Ray­nard Hag­gie and An­drea Thomas with some of the Huntly West stu­dents they work with.

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