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John French wins Marily Scanlon Award

Regulus Address // Issue 1 // May 2022

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At the 2021 Prizegiving, Teacher in Charge of Chemistry, John French, was awarded the Marily Scanlon Award for Teaching Excellence, for his enormously positive impact on staff and students at St Andrew’s College.

John joined St Andrew’s College in 2003 as a Science and Chemistry teacher and was promoted to Teacher in Charge of Chemistry in 2008. He retired at the end of 2021, and during his 18 years at the College, had a significant impact on the success and popularly of Chemistry as a subject. There were three senior classes when he started, and by 2021 there were nine, with a high percentage of students going into fields which require the study of Chemistry.

In 2008, he made a formal proposal to set up a Chemistry Scholarship programme – which proved to be enormously successful with 46 students achieving NCEA Scholarships since then, 24 in the last four years.

Three of John’s students were selected for the New Zealand Chemistry Olympiad team, putting them in the top four students in the country.

Along with his ‘legendary’ knowledge of Chemistry, John’s students appreciated his humour, and ability to see the positive of any situation.

He also had considerable success as a football coach at St Andrew’s, taking the 1st XI Boys’ team to Canterbury competition wins in 2009 and 2018, with the 2009 win even more special with his son, Stephen (OC 2009), as a member of the team. John’s daughter, Sarah (OC 2012), also attended St Andrew’s. John loved working at St Andrew’s and says he misses the students who were a source of inspiration.

The Marily Scanlon Award for Teacher Excellence is generously supported by previous Board member, Jay Scanlon, in honour of his wife, Marily.

John French put the $5000 award towards the costs of travel and entry associated with the Ocean Swim Series – seven long distance open water swims held throughout New Zealand over the summer months.

Teacher in Charge of Chemistry, John French, receives a Marily Scanlon Award for Teaching Excellence.