Excellent lecturer earns top award

By Sonya Bateson

A Tauranga lecturer has been awarded the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award and prizemoney of $20,000.

Frances Denz, a lecturer and executive director of business education company Stellaris, won the award on Tuesday night at a special awards dinner at the Beehive attended by Prime Minister John Key and Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Stephen Joyce.

Ms Denz started her career teaching skills to people who were starting businesses, many of whom were on the benefit.

After many years, she changed direction and is now teaching a certificate of governance, a course about the different aspects of being a company director.

Ms Denz was nominated for the award and said she had to submit an 8000 word portfolio about the work she had been involved in during her more than 30 years of teaching.

"I've had a very long teaching career so that was quite difficult. It was quite technical and had to be assessed by 12 judges."

Ms Denz was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in last year's New Year's Honours for services to business and said getting a teaching award meant both aspects of her job were now recognised.

"This is the top teaching award there is, which is very exciting. It is very prestigious here and internationally."

Stellaris chairman Richard Prebble said they were delighted at the official recognition of one of their lecturers.

"The award is also recognition that we are providing world class teaching here in Tauranga. Frances has developed teaching techniques that work whether the student has dropped out of formal learning or is a company director wishing to gain tertiary level governance skills."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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