Down Syndrome association award for Leah

From left) Toby Leech, Dominic Mahoney, Leah Holland, Kieran Barker, Tomislav Jurisich, and Marcellin College principal Maria Prescott.

Marcellin College director of learning support Leah Holland has been given the Community Service Award for 2023 by the Auckland Down Syndrome Association.

The award acknowledges her service and leadership. She looks after 21 students with special needs at the college, and seven of these have Down Syndrome.

Ms Holland was acknowledged at the ADSA AGM in Grey Lynn on September 17.

According to the ADSA facebook page, “People like Leah are the shining stars in our community – she is a person who has driven significant and positive impact in the lives of a huge number of students, believing in their capability, and creating the environment in which they can learn, grow, and have high aspirations for adult life”.

The nomination for Ms Holland stated: “Leah, you are a beacon of light in our community, and you make an enormous difference with the work you do. Your impact reaches far beyond the classroom – building positive and meaningful futures for our loved ones. Your strong belief in the capabilities of each student shines bright within your school, your whanau and wider community.”

“Leah fosters the concept of Whanaungatanga in her students – developing a great sense of belonging and identity and feeling part of the school community.”

“Manaakitanga is all about protecting the mana and hearts of others. This value is about the value of treating all others with love, empathy and respect. Leah demonstrates this with all her students. Students and whanau are warmly [welcomed] into her learning hub, and included so everyone enjoys a sense of belonging.”

“Leah Holland is an example of our Marist pillar of the year, Aroaro / Presence, being available to others without expecting anything in return.”


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