St Cuthbert’s Staff Recognised with Education Awards

4 July 2016



Independent Schools of New Zealand (ISNZ) has awarded two staff members, Miss Lenore Clark in the Junior School and Mrs Christine Furminger at Kahunui, Honours Awards for services to Mathematics and Primary Education and Experiential Learning respectively.


Ms Julie Gifkins had the following to say about Lenore Clark in her nomination:

“Lenore is an innovator and she continues to be a risk taker in learning. With her years of service to our school community Lenore gives back by supporting the Primary Schools’ Mathematics cluster as well as regularly attending Mathematics symposiums. Her expertise in the teaching of Mathematics is recognised in our College and in the greater community of teachers in Auckland. Colleagues view Lenore as an expert teacher and one who exemplifies best practice.”


Christine Furminger has been the co-director of Kahunui since July 2006 and has been a key figure in the planning, development and of Kahunui’s use of experiential teaching where students are empowered to explore, play and discover.


The constant stream of requests to spend time with her from other schools is testament to her high standing within the experiential learning community.


In the words of one of her former students:

“You do an incredible job at Kahunui and nothing would be possible without your compassion to teach us and motivate us to do whatever we desire with our lives. Your dedication to teach students about the outdoors is amazing and everything you do for us and explain to us comes from the heart.”


ISNZ has also recognised Principal Mrs Lynda Reid with an Award of Distinction for her 20 years of service at St Cuthbert’s. She is only the fourth Principal to receive such acknowledgement.


Current Chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools, Heather McCrae, had the following to say about Lynda at her award presentation:

“Her willing contributions have been exemplified by two terms as Chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools.  She has also served on Cross Sector Forums and the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Group as the country introduced a new qualifications system.


“Her ardent support of NCEA in the face of constant critique from fellow principals was testament to Lynda’s outstanding ability to stand up for the beliefs and values that support excellence for all.  Her unfailing focus on achievement and how to create it in classrooms propelled St Cuthbert’s into outstanding results that have set the standard for education in New Zealand.


“Your leadership ethic is exemplified by your incredible strength of character, calm manner and astute attention to detail.  You have led innovations such as the establishment of Kahunui – the outdoor centre – and you put independent schools on the map in leading curriculum innovation.   Your contribution to the professional development of the whole education sector has been exceptional.


“Throughout your many roles as principal, advisor, mentor, and teacher – you have left a legacy of excellence – an indelible contribution to the Independent Schools Network that we wanted to acknowledge. It is with great pleasure that we honour you with this special ISNZ Award of Distinction for your exceptional work and contribution.”


Finally, Mrs Diane McKissock-Davis has been acknowledge in the ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) for her outstanding work in art education.


Colleagues who nominated Diane had the following to say about her impact during her 25 years at the College:

“Diane is an inspirational teacher who provides excellent guidance to students.  She does this by giving them the opportunity to participate in an atmosphere of challenging intellectual discussion.  Under her tutelage students are offered a learning experience which challenges them to reach a high level of personal excellence.  She constantly encourages students to search for improvement.  With her guidance, students have achieved outstanding results both at school and in later tertiary study.


“Diane leads an exceptional department – unified, harmonious, committed to students, dedicated and innovative, they constantly seek to improve and to grow. Diane facilitates the opportunity for members of her department to enter into pedagogical discussion.  Critical analysis and reflective thinking are hallmarks of her department and these traits underpin the teaching and learning process within her department.  She empowers and encourages her staff to the extent that the department challenges the provisions of the Art Curriculum and is at the cutting edge of secondary art education in New Zealand.”


Diane is one of 20 regional recipients from around New Zealand to be presented with the award, selected from just under 300 nominations, and we wish her all the best for the national finals.