To the roughly 130 boys in the Rotorua Boys' High School hostel Scott Mayhew is like a second dad. Little do they know, Mayhew is actually inspired by them.

The school's hostel director has been awarded the Outstanding Leadership in Boarding Award by the New Zealand Boarding Schools Association.

Mayhew was nominated by the school and said he was humbled by the award.

"I was taken aback a little bit, I don't do this for that sort of stuff but I'm very grateful I'm able to do what I love to do and get recognised for it," he said.

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Year 13 student Rangitukehu Eruera, 17, has been boarding at the facilities since he was a Year 9 student and said Mayhew was like a second dad.

"He looks after us and he's not scared to growl us. He deals with all the problems. He's the man," Rangitukehu said.

Te Hemara Gardiner-Toi, 17, had been boarding for three years and is a Year 13 at the school. He said Mayhew inspired the boarders to be leaders.

"There are heaps of leaders in the hostel because of him," he said.

"I think if I hadn't met him I'd be late to class all the time and not take it seriously ... He's trying to get everyone to pass."

Rotorua Boys' High School hostel director Scott Mayhew was awarded an outstanding leadership award. Photo/Stephen Parker
Rotorua Boys' High School hostel director Scott Mayhew was awarded an outstanding leadership award. Photo/Stephen Parker

Mayhew said the job was challenging but rewarding.

"You take on many roles as part of the hostel ... I provide a constant presence, they know I'm going to be there for them."

Mayhew has been at Rotorua Boys' High School for 10 years and has been the hostel director for four.

Why does he stay?

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"It's the opportunity to hang out with the kids while they chase their dreams. When you see someone leave and go on to do some cool stuff, you know you had a part to play in that.

"You had some part in helping them achieve so much. It's really inspiring."

Mayhew said his job was about creating better men.

"Hostel life teaches them life skills, time management, resilience," he said.

"We provide leadership in terms of developing skills with other people and other boarders."