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Winning teamwork
North Waikato News, Waikato  by Caitlin Wallace
01 Nov 2017
General News - page 1 - 404 words - ID 867106668 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 475.00cm2

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.

Caption Text:
Kiwi Can leaders Raynard Haggie and Andrea Thomas with some of the Huntly West students they work with. CAITLIN WALLACE/STUFF
Andrea Thomas and Raynard Haggie at the awards.
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