Teachers play an extraordinary yet understated part in the lives of children. That’s why ASG NEiTA supports communities in their effort to thank teachers for the education of our children and for being a tremendous positive influence in their lives.

Over the last 25 years, more than 40,000 teachers have been nominated by the community across Australia and New Zealand.

Hearty congratulations to the 18 national recipients of the 2018 ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards.

2019 ASG NEiTA New Zealand Recipients

Early Childhood

  • Aimee MacAskill
  • Auckland University, Auckland

    Aimee is fiercely protective of the tamariki in her care and takes great pride in watching them develop signs of independence and competence as they head off on their school journey when they leave the early childhood centres under her care.

    Over the last 23 years, Aimee has learnt to juggle between interacting with children with humour; sporting a crazy wig, funny shoes and using 10 different voices to read one book; while wearing a very serious thinking cap while planning for their development and documenting their learning.

    To Aimee, leadership meant nothing more than something the ‘boss’ did. That was before she was asked to take on the leadership role in a large childcare centre in central Christchurch. Eighteen years later, she understands the complexity behind the roles and responsibilities of a leader after, as she puts it, “probably making all the mistakes you can imagine and learning so many wonderful things along the way.”

    Her advice: “If we all acted with more kindness and love in education, the world would be a more beautiful and loving place.”


  • Lee Tibble

    Royal Oak Intermediate, Auckland

    Lee takes pride in providing a fun and safe learning environment for his students, some of whom come from backgrounds where people have given up on them. This makes Lee even more determined to show his akonga that they are worth it and that every individual deserves the right to have someone who is willing to not give up on them.

    Lee’s class is not just about the curriculum. Building and fostering relationships with his students and their parents are the most important part of teaching.

    With this in mind, he shares his life experiences and about himself with his students, regularly contacts parents to update them on class activities, trades stories with his students about their weekends, and even brings in his dog to school to interact with the students. “All this fosters trust and respect and ensures the environment is one where students can and want to learn.”

    He believes that a good teacher isn’t a teacher at all, but a facilitator. His advice to new teachers: “Break the rules. Take risks. Have fun.”

  • Renu Sikka

    Henderson Primary School, Auckland

    Being a child’s advocate and helping them realise their potential gives Renu great joy. She believes that this can be achieved when the school, parents and community form a meaningful, authentic, respectful partnership in a culturally responsible way that focuses on improving the child’s educational experiences and learning outcomes.

    Renu has helped students achieve their goals by helping them to take responsibility for their own learning and developing individualized pathways to suit their needs. She believes that for many students, a passion for education is often ignited by an inspiring teacher. At the same time, true to the Maori principle of 'Ako', Renu finds that students teach her too.

    Her advice to new teachers who find themselves struggling at the end of the first school term: hang in there. “Almost every one is struggling. You only feel the way you do because you care so much. Don’t leave. We need teachers like you. Things will get it better. You can and will make a difference.”

  • Catherine Broman

    David Henry School, Tokoroa

    Over four decades of teaching, students have constantly been on Catherine’s mind. She is inspired by them and often catches herself thinking of ways to help them make progress. My students know they can depend on me and I know I can depend on them. We have each others’ back, Catherine says.

    She says that though she is closer to the end of her career than to the beginning of it she intends to keep learning. This attitude has helped her stay abreast of the technological trends in education and society and use it with confidence to keep her students engaged in the classroom.

    For instance, she uses the Night Zookeeper, an online writing tool to motivate her students to write. This initiative has been met with great success. Students who once disliked writing now love it.

    Her personal goal is to keep working at improving the teaching of comprehension and understanding while promoting a love of reading among students.

    Her advice to new teachers: don’t worry when things go wrong. Learn from it, fix it or move on, but don’t let it eat away at you.


  • Carl MacIntyre

    Cornerstone Christian School, Palmerstone North

    Carl feels with those who struggle to succeed in a normal classroom environment. When learning needs, social difficulties at home or school make education harder for some students, Carl goes out of his way to spot individual needs and to help students overcome challenges.

    He designed a dyslexic/Irlen screening system in order to better support students whose learning disabilities interfere with their learning. Carl believes that identifying and supporting unique student learning needs, providing for the holistic wellbeing of learners and fashioning career pathways for them are essential to produce young adults equipped and inspired to creatively impact our world.

    Carl has also helped to create the Cornerstone pastoral care model—Life Lab—through which student groups have a teacher (coach) who is responsible for their emotional, spiritual, social, physical and learning needs, ensuring that no student is isolated, instead they are well supported.

    Carl is the recipient of the 2019 ASG NEiTA Founders’ Award for Leadership.

  • Christopher Waugh

    Mount Aspiring College, Wanaka

    Chris believes in the judicious use of technology to transform his classroom for 21st-century learners.

    He introduced the ‘You Choose’ ‘student course selection scheme, under which teachers develop learning programs and present it to student cohorts at the start of the year. Students then select their course and teacher for the year based on the presentations.

    His second classroom innovation is to enable students to present their work on blogs, ushering a transparent means of publishing and sharing classwork.

    He is currently working on the ‘Unlock Achievement’ project that will replace traditional testing in the school with access to digital credentials that students can unlock at any time on their educational journey. This will allow students to build a portfolio of credentials, allowing them to curate their learning, improving student agency, and supporting resilience as it allows them to ‘try again’.

    Chris is the recipient of the 2019 ASG NEiTA Innovation Award.