Annabel Logan, from Paraparaumu Beach School, has been presented with a Sir Peter Blake Young Leaders Award.
She was given the award, which acknowledges young people whose outstanding leadership uplift the school community, at a school assembly on Tuesday last week.
"I was so surprised and happy as well," the 12-year-old said.
She sensed something was up when she saw her parents Stephen and Helen Logan in the audience.
And when some attributes were being read out, she thought "that sounds like me".
Her citation said: "Annabel is a respected student leader who is respectful, trustworthy, mature and caring.
"She is well respected by her peers.
"On the student leadership team Annabel shows initiative, is forwarded thinking and is a problem solver.
"She has a calming influence on those around her and is unflappable.
"Annabel is also a hardworking, academic student who shows initiative, sets goals and works hard to achieve these.
"She is always pushing herself to take on new challenges, and won't give up until she achieves these."
In school Annabel is a member of the school kapa haka group and a voluntary key organiser for the school 40 Hour Famine.
Outside of school she plays a number of sports and has made the Kapiti Netball Year 8 development team.