Local Labour MP Jamie Strange took another stride in his career on April 24, graduating with a Master of Educational Leadership through the University of Waikato.
The Graduation Ceremony was held at Claudelands Events Centre in Hamilton.
James (Jim) Bolger, former prime minister of New Zealand and current chancellor, acknowledged the years of hard work the students had put in. He also made special mention of the fact that current Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern graduated from the university.
Mr Strange reflected on his journey and acknowledged the hard work and support of those around him.
"I'm honoured to receive my Master of Educational Leadership, which I began in 2015. I'd like to thank the tutors and leadership at the university; I've really enjoyed my time studying here," Mr Strange said.
"Receiving a Master of Educational Leadership has increased my understanding of our education system, which will hold me in good stead regarding policy making. I am currently on both the Education and Workforce, and Transport and Infrastructure select committees in Parliament.
"I chose these two committees because they are areas that are vital for the growth and development of Hamilton city."
As part of his masters, Mr Strange completed a 20,000 word dissertation on Innovative Learning Environments (ILE) - a growing trend in the educational area. Jamie completed his dissertation while juggling his career as a new MP.
His dissertation was completed in-between trips to Wellington and Hamilton, often while travelling.
"I'd be on Air New Zealand flights with my laptop completing my work; I had to manage my time extremely carefully. I'd personally like to acknowledge my wife Angela; I couldn't have done this without her support."
He believes that Innovative Learning Environments provide a high level of student engagement, creativity and collaboration.
"The teachers I interviewed enjoyed teaching in this new environment; particularly the collaborative aspects."
He acknowledged the fact that every student is different with different learning styles suiting them.
"Some will thrive in an ILE, whereas others tend to do better in a more traditional school structure. Hamilton has a number of excellent schools, providing a range of different learning opportunities for our young people."
Mr Strange's family held a mock graduation at home the night before, so the kids could experience the graduation protocol.
"The kids were extremely excited, so we did a pretend graduation in the lounge. They each pretended to walk on stage, receive their certificate, and give a little speech - it was good fun, the children really enjoyed it."
He joined hundreds of graduates across the country who are graduating with their degrees this week. He celebrated the occasion with his family, friends, classmates and past colleagues in the education field.
"A huge congratulations to all those who graduated across New Zealand this week. Give it your very best, work hard, and don't hold back."
- Video: Duke and Adam Boon