Dio Principal recognised with Distinguished Service Award for Education


Dio Principal recognised with Distinguished Service Award for Education

It is with delight we announce that our Principal, Ms Heather McRae, is the recipient of the ISNZ Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Service to Independent Schools of New Zealand and the Wider Education Sector.

Each year the Independent Schools of New Zealand (ISNZ), the organisation representing private schools throughout New Zealand, calls for nominations for the ISNZ Honours Awards. These Awards give recognition to staff – be they academic, support staff and others – who stand out above and beyond what might reasonably be expected as part of their employment. Successful candidates demonstrate an outstanding commitment and dedication to their students, not necessarily in a classroom setting. They must have five years of service or more within an ISNZ Member School and be a role model for students and their peers to enhance the values of independent schooling. They must also demonstrate service and a contribution to the wider community.

Each year consideration is also given to worthy recipients of an ISNZ Distinguished Service Award. 

In the history of the ISNZ Honours Awards Scheme less than 10 such awards have been presented.

The 2021 annual conference was to include the Honours Awards Ceremony, with the Distinguished Service Award to be presented by the Honourable Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education. With the cancellation of the conference, this is no longer possible. Included below is the citation ISNZ had prepared to be be read at the ceremony.

Citation: Heather McRae: Outstanding Service to Independent Schools of New Zealand and the Wider Education Sector

This year we have one ISNZ Distinguished Service Award and we’re delighted to acknowledge Heather McRae for Outstanding Service to Independent Schools of New Zealand, and to the wider education sector.

Heather took up her position as principal of Diocesan School for Girls in 2009. Right from the outset Heather has embraced and embodied the independent school movement and its place as an integral part of the wider education sector.

She served on the Association of the Heads of Independent Schools from 2010 until its disestablishment in 2019 and, served on the ISNZ Board from 2011 as a board member and board chairperson from 2016 until the end of last year. In her capacity as board chair Heather most recently oversaw the restructure of the ISNZ governance model.

 With her vast experience in international education and her principalship in both the state and private school sectors, Heather understands and actively promotes the need for collaboration and collegiality across the wider education sector. She is the first to put her name forward to contribute to the Government’s education goals and, as such, has served on numerous reference and advisory groups.

We congratulate Heather on her recent appointment to the Curriculum Advisory Group established to support the new Ministry of Education Curriculum Centre. The Advisory Group will help the Ministry provide strengthened and inclusive curriculum leadership and expertise.

 Heather, it is a privilege and a pleasure to work alongside you  and we thank you for your outstanding service to education.


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