by NZ CATHOLIC staff
Catholics educators were recognised for their huge contributions to society in this year Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Awarded Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit were Pulotu Arthur Solomon and Maretta Solomon for services to education and the Pacific community.
The couple co-founded the Pacific Peoples Learning Institute, Martin Hautus Institute (MHI), in 1990 in Auckland.
The institute has catered to a growing number of Pacific learners who have not been succeeding in New Zealand’s mainstream education system.
Mr Solomon was governing manager from 1995 to 2012. During that time he made sure that 50 self-funded scholarships were offered to international students from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga
so they would have the opportunity to gain New Zealand qualifications.
Mrs Solomon has been involved with St Joseph’s Primary School’s board of trustees and has held various voluntary roles with St Anthony’s Catholic Church.
MHI has around 300 students a year and is considered a leading learning institute for the Pacific community. In 2012, MHI established an early childhood education centre, Incredible Angels, in Mangere.
Three Auckland Catholic school principals were made members of the New Zealand Order of Merit. They are St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Otahuhu, principal Elizabeth Horgan, McAuley High School, Otahuhu, principal Anne Miles and Sancta Maria College, Howick, founding principal Paul David Daley.
Miss Horgan has worked at St Joseph’s School for more than 40 years and has been principal for the past 22 years, developing its reputation as a high performing low decile school.
She was a member for nine years and chair for two years of the New Zealand Educational Institute Principals’ Council and represented Auckland primary principals on the council.
She is a former member of the Auckland College of Education Council and contributed to the working party that developed the Catholic character review process for Auckland diocese.
McAuley High School students, on the other hand, showed dramatic increases in academic achievements and impressive improvements in NCEA and University Entrance results under the
guidance of Ms Miles. Ms Miles achieved that by improving parental engagement with the school. By engaging with the parents, she found they wanted support themselves so they can help their
children study.
With support from the South Auckland Literacy Trust and ASB Bank, classes in literacy, numeracy, healthy eating, driver licensing, computer skills and tae kwon do were offered to parents free of charge for 10 years.
More than 500 family members were able to improve their skills and gain confidence, leading some into further education, employment or to volunteer for boards of trustees of other schools.
Paul Daley has had a 43-year career in education and has been the founding principal of Sancta Maria College since 2003, a coeducational college for years seven to 13 students in the east
Auckland Catholic community.
Under Mr Daley’s leadership, Sancta Maria has grown and shown high levels of academic achievement.
Mr Daley is a member of the Ministry of Education Advisory Group for Bullying Prevention and Response.
He was involved with the St Vincent de Paul Society in the 1970s, and has been involved with St Mark’s Church in Pakuranga since 1980.

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