Despite pleas from her high school biology teacher to pursue a career in education, Low started out in the shearing industry, before completing a Bachelor of Science – Animal Science at Massey University, and later moving into the meatworks in Australia.

“I ended up training the cadets when they came to us for the quality assurance section of their cadetship program, and I spent a bit of time taking stock agents through and teaching them what the slaughter and grading process was,” Low explains.

“It was kind of during that, I thought, ‘oh, I actually really enjoy this’.”

Luckily for the students at Mount Albert Grammar School (MAGS) and countless others, it was a call she answered.

The esteemed educator and Head of Agriculture at MAGS has just been recognised with a NEiTA Apple Award. 

Low says the accolade is “pretty humbling”.

“I wouldn’t have achieved what I have without incredible students loving the subject, but also without the backing of industry and the community,” she explains.

“So, I feel like the award belongs to all of us.” 

While situated in central Auckland, MAGS is fortunate to have an eight-hectare farm which was gifted by the Auckland Savings Bank.

This allows Low to teach agriculture and agribusiness, the subjects she has a real passion for.

“[They’re] such authentic subjects, everything is real, it’s all tangible, the kids can see it, they can taste it, they can hands-on touch it,” Low says.

“I think that’s what makes it super engaging for them, but also for me, because everything is always changing.

“As a teacher I am always learning, I’m always keeping up with new price trends or new innovations.

“And being so connected to the industry, it fills my cup with knowledge.”

Outside of the classroom, Low mentors new agriculture teachers and has been hailed as a “leading light” for other female educators, and also those seeking to pursue a career in that primary sector, which has traditionally been a male-dominated area.

Low is happy to report times have changed since she first began her career, women are much more empowered in agriculture, and this is reflected in the number of female students she sees taking the subject.

“I think that’s kind of testament not just to me, but to everyone who’s inspiring these young women to go and follow their dreams,” she says.