St Cuthbert’s College’s teacher Ian Torrie has won yet another award for his work in Chemistry: the Independent Schools of New Zealand service to Chemistry leadership in New Zealand Award. This adds to a score of awards and recognition Mr Torrie has received in his 20 years teaching at the College.
As the former HOD Science and now as Head of Subject: Chemistry, Ian has created an explosion in the number of students taking chemistry. Remarkably in Year 13 Chemistry is the subject with the highest student numbers, while at Year 12 only English (a compulsory subject) has higher numbers.
Under his guidance success rates in NCEA have climbed steadily against national averages – for example, the national GPA for Level 1 Chemistry is 54 and St Cuthbert’s GPA is 81. Ian is dedicated and always willing to help – he is know to run tutorials at 7am to support weaker students or to prepare scholarship students.
Associate Principal Helen Robertson says Ian is regarded with the utmost respected by his peers for his inclusivity, his profound love of science and his sense of fun and humour.
“Ian is one of the finest teaching professionals I have ever encountered,” she says.
In 2009 Mr Torrie won a prestigious award usually reserved for university lecturers – the ABA Books Denis Hogal Chemical Education Award, from the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry. Mr Torrie has previously been a national moderator for eight years, New Zealand Science Teacher of the Year and has received a bronze medal from the Royal Society of Science and Technology.
Mr Torrie could be considered a mentor for his peers due to his commitment to sharing his expertise – he produces an email newsletter distributed to more than 500 chemistry teachers throughout the country, providing information and resources discussing a range of issues affecting the industry.