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First-year student takes top prize for year

Published: Thu 8 Aug 2013 11:23 AM
8 August 2013
First-year student takes top prize for year in Faculty of Education
Top student: University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford presents Shirralee Hohaia with her award.
Shirralee Hohaia has won the University of Waikato Alumni Association Prize for Excellence as the top first-year student in the Faculty of Education for 2012. Shirralee is studying for a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) at the University’s Tauranga campus.
“My initial response to winning the award was that hard work does pay off,” says the mother of four. “I feel honoured that I can be an example of that to my family and friends, and hopefully inspire them.”
It has always been important to Shirralee to be a good role model for her children and to show them that they can be successful in any career path they choose with determination, hard work and perseverance.
“They have definitely seen a lot of all three the past year-and-a-half. When the time was right for me to further my own learning, all I knew was that I wanted to make a difference somewhere, somehow. Teaching seemed the obvious choice,” she says.
With Tapuika, Te Arawa and Ngapuhi affiliations, Shirralee says some of the things she enjoys most about her studies are the challenges that come with managing her time, and being organised.
“I also like thinking of creative ways to begin assignments that will catch the attention of the reader. I enjoy the fact that I get to exercise my brain.”
And as for the future, Shirralee says she is in two minds as to whether to further her education by doing honours if she is invited, or get straight into teaching.
“My passion lies with teaching juniors and I would love my first position at a school to be in that age-group. My aspirations are to eventually become a lecturer, so further studies feature somewhere in my future,” Shirralee says.
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