A Southern Hawke's Bay farmers' daughter who became a pioneer in private institution teacher training has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours which were announced on Monday.
She is former schoolteacher Lois Chick, who lives mainly in Christchurch with husband and retired schoolteacher Graham. But they also have a Napier home which they bought in Ahuriri two years ago. Brothers and cousins still farm in Hawke's Bay.
Chick co-founded the New Zealand Graduate School of Education in Christchurch in 1996, and receives the MNZM, as does school co-director Kevin Knight, also of Christchurch.
The daughter of Norsewood farmers Eddie and Anne Ellison, she went to Norsewood School and Dannevirke High School in the 1970s, before heading - by train, she notes - for Ardmore Teachers' Training College, near Papakura.
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In almost 50 years in the teaching industry, she has taught at eight schools including Norsewood and Napier Intermediate School, as well as special schools in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Ultimately she headed for Christchurch where she was ultimately involved in establishing what was one of New Zealand's first privately run, teacher-training operations.
It's a competence-based course focusing on more individual training and mentoring, with up to 100 students from two intakes a year, and a training team of 20 full and part-time teachers, several of whom are otherwise employed as school teachers.
She has headed the training of about 1600 primary and secondary teachers, more than 97 per cent of whom gain teaching appointments in the year following graduation.
She continues as a co-director at the school, where, according to a citation, she helped develop a detailed system of criteria for effective practice as well as tools designed to measure and assess teacher effectiveness.
Her expertise in special education and learning saw her chair the Board of Trustees of two residential schools and she also conducts performance appraisals for boards of trustees in Canterbury.