In 2006, Ohangai School celebrated its centennial. During this commemoration, funds were raised by the committee and entrusted to the Winifred Knight Trust. This donation was to establish a $1,000 teaching scholarship, supporting a senior student from Hawera High School to study for a teaching career.

Ohangai School is steeped in history spanning more than a century and has been witness to incredible transformations. From its humble origins as a farmhouse to its evolution into a vibrant country school, it has remained a cornerstone of the community.

First Ohangai School House built in 1910

During the 75th jubilee in 1981, Mr. R.T. Amoore, the Principal, shared insightful words that continue to resonate today.

“The future will be what we and our children make it. Success, failure, wealth, poverty, good health, poor health. It’s up to us. We must look at the strengths of our children. We must take what they have and build on it. We must develop confidence in, and knowledge of, their strengths and build a positive community of future citizens.”

In 2015, the Winifred Knight Trust was transferred to the Foundation becoming our first Named Fund. For 25 years, the Trust supported various educational, community, cultural and recreational needs in Taranaki.

Today, the Taranaki Foundation proudly continues this legacy by awarding grants through our annual funding round, aligning with the WKT’s purpose. The Ohangai School Centennial Teaching Scholarship holds particular significance, especially in light of the school’s closure in 2012.

Taranaki Foundation CE, Josh Hickford, says, “The ripple effects these scholars provide as they move forward with their careers will benefit their communities and families for years to come.”

Ohangai Centennial School Teaching Scholarship Recipients:

Te Paepae o Aotea school graduates Rebecca Smythe and Hayley Gavin are the most recent recipients of the Ohangai Centennial Teaching Scholarship from the Winifred Knight Trust. Rebecca Smythe, expressed her gratitude for the scholarship, highlighting its role in easing the financial burden of university studies.

Rebecca Smythe

“I am enrolled to study a Bachelor of Primary Education and am very excited to become a Primary School Teacher. In terms of my career, eventually becoming a principal is a potential long-term goal, but for now, I am going to focus my energy on working towards being an amazing teacher.”

Rebecca’s passion for teaching stems from her desire to positively impact the lives of others, aiming to create an environment where learning is both enjoyable and engaging. With a history of leadership roles during her high school years, Rebecca showcases her commitment and potential for future teaching success.

Hayley Gavin

Hayley Gavin received an offer of a place for a New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5) at New Zealand Tertiary College. The diploma is equivalent to the first year of the Bachelor degree and she plans on doing this when she turns 20 and qualifies for it.

“Being awarded this scholarship means a great deal to me, I have dreamt of becoming a teacher for as long as I can remember and receiving this support will help me on my way to making this dream come true. Having this extra funding is a huge relief to me and will allow me to fulfil any course related costs during my first year of study.”


Ohangai Centennial School Teaching Scholarship – Past Recipients:

Bryn Parry
Ellen Hicks
Anitra Roberts
Monique Towers
Morgan Cowper
Nicole de Bruyn
Kelly-Anne Foskin
Elyssa Urgino
Sam Harvie
Josh Bird

As we reflect on the story behind the Ohangai Scholarship, we are reminded of the transformative power of generosity and the enduring legacy it leaves behind.

Reference: Ohangai School Centennial 1906-2006 and Districts’ History, Russell A. J. Standing