During the holidays we farewelled, sadly, a very fine, long-standing teacher of James Hargest College. Tania had been on leave following a liver transplant and was recuperating when she passed away on Wednesday 11 April.
Tania was a staff member here for almost 30 years, with the exception only of a year on Study Leave carrying out a practical project with the Southland Regional Council, and two years as Head of Science at Verdon College.
She had been Head of Science at James Hargest since 2002.
Tania was an excellent teacher. She inspired countless students to go onto further study in the Sciences, to apply for (and receive) prestigious scholarships and special opportunities of all sorts, including the recently established Year 13 Melbourne field trip.
She was a strong, proactive and loyal advocate for the Sciences in many situations, not only in her leadership of the Department, but well beyond Hargest. She was involved in a number of national professional bodies, was a very long-standing mover and shaker in the Southland Science Fair fraternity, and took opportunities whenever possible to “light the fire” of learning with Primary school groups.
Tania was always forward looking and innovative in her teaching and leadership. She continually challenged herself and her colleagues to be on the leading edge of positive change and personal learning and indeed, completed yet another distance-learning qualification just weeks ago, whilst in Auckland hospital. She saw herself as an “early adopter of innovation in Science education, an informed risk-taker” (her words) and her leadership certainly bore this out.
The quality and depth of her contribution to Science education was recognised with the highly prestigious “Prime Minister’s Science Teacher of the Year” Award in 2015. She was rightfully proud of this achievement, and so were we, of her! Tania represented the best of professionals within the NZ secondary education system
We will deeply miss her contribution here at Hargest. We will miss her steady, considered, thoughtful leadership, her inspiring teaching, her courage, her beautiful smile, her warmth and her friendship.
Along with all in the Hargest whanau whanui (wider family), we offer Craig, Tania’s husband, our deepest sympathy and aroha.