Ms Dawn Miller


We were very sorry to hear of the passing of one of our foundation staff members, Ms Dawn Miller

In 1969 Dawn was employed as a Senior Assistant Mistress and Head of Commerce, she had had teaching experience at Wellsford District High School, Mt. Roskill Grammar, Kelston Girls High School and was Head of Commerce at Rutherford High School. 

She had written a book for commercial teachers and produced her own booklets for class use.

At the end of year report in 1969 Dawn was mentioned as below:

Mention must be made of the Sponsorship Scheme which was introduced at the beginning of the year by Mrs Miller. Nearly half the school joined the scheme whereby each pupil guaranteed to give $1.00 to help relieve the poverty of an unfortunate child in an overseas country. 

In 1979, special thanks were mentioned in the end of year report as follows:

We have a full staff for 1971, with no teacher taking subjects that he or she is not qualified to take. In fact, thanks to the tremendous amount of her own time devoted to the task by Mrs Miller, we have prepared the timetable for next year. 

When Dawn retired at the end of 1986 she had had 18 years of dedicated and loyal service to Massey High School. She taught accounting, shorthand typing, typing, economics, social studies, music and psychology. Her teaching methods were different but incredibly successful. She had a sincere understanding of pupils who found schooling difficult. Her work for ‘Save the Children Fund’ was truly outstanding.

The students interviewed her for the 1986 yearbook.   Here are a couple of questions the students asked her; and her answer

Q: During your teaching career do you feel that the children have changed?

A: I tend to think so but I wonder because on reflection some of the students when I first started out were naughty too.

Q: Do you have any special plans for when you leave teaching?

A: Yes, I’m going to work for my church. I’m doing Save the Children Fund work; I’m doing a licentiate course in theology and I’m going to do more gardening. I’m going to swim every day and get really healthy. I’m not retiring, just leaving teaching.

Q: Do you think teaching methods have changed during your career?

A: Yes, you have to perform more. You have to be more of a television performer to get the attention of the students. Students are not prepared to just sit and listen – they have to be entertained.

On hearing the news of Dawns’ passing, one long serving staff member remarked that she really liked her students, she used to bring her lunch to school in a bucket!

Massey High School wishes to pass on their condolences to Dawn’s family.

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