Otamatea High School drama and english teacher Ona ‘Ofamo’oni, has been selected for the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) National Excellence in Teaching Awards.
Out of the 200 teachers nominated in New Zealand, she is one of 18 national award winners to be announced next February. The awards provide communities with the opportunity to formally recognise and thank outstanding teachers and leaders.
“I am very humbled by being selected,” said Ona. “It does feel really awesome to be acknowledged and I have to likewise acknowledge all of the amazing people in my work and personal life who have modelled teaching for me, as well as the parents and principals who have trusted me with their students.”
Ona has been teaching secondary school for 11 years now. She has previously taught mental health clients, tutored in alternative education and mentored for various tertiary institutions in Auckland and Wellington. She has been at Otamatea High School for 18 months.
“I really love the interactions with students, particularly seeing them take hold of ideas and concepts and take them somewhere I could never have envisaged. I never enjoyed high school myself and I like to support students who may be struggling for various reasons. I’m very passionate about the performing arts so it’s also great to see students light up the theatre with their creativity and get involved in the wider theatre community.”