Hāwera High School graduate Josh Bird is the most recent recipient of the Ohangai Centennial Teaching Scholarship from the Winifred Knight Trust. The $1,000 Scholarship is awarded annually to a first-year university student from Hāwera High School and is gifted on the successful completion of their first year of study.

Josh had a busy final school year, juggling deputy head boy responsibilities and his academic endeavours, alongside teaching swimming and music, supporting younger athletes at the Hāwera Athletics Club, taking on roles in Hāwera Repertory Society and being part of the Hāwera Brass band.

“I have been teaching ever since I can remember and have always found a love for it, from teaching swimming lessons for the past four years to volunteering teaching music, drama and art in the community,” says Josh.

He is studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Contemporary Art at Wintec so he can pursue his dream of being a secondary school art teacher.

“I hope with my degree to come back to Taranaki to teach art at a local school and pass on my knowledge to future generations.”

The grant comes from the Ohangai School Centennial fund through Taranaki Foundation’s Winifred Knight Trust, which was originally established by retired Hāwera school teacher Winifred Knight when she passed away in 1991.  Administration of the Winifred Knight Trust was transferred to Taranaki Foundation in 2015, and the Foundation has continued to honour her wishes, using income from the fund to support education and community projects in South Taranaki.