Taupō-nui-a-Tia College was spoilt for choice with this year's potential head students.
Senior manager Stephen Fowler said 16 students came forward to take part in the student leadership selection process with very strong candidates for the head student positions. Last week the following students were named: head girl Rhea Paalvast, 17, head boy Boaz Mellor, 17, deputy head girl Lilli-Lee Tupe, 17, and deputy head boy Taine Hakiwai, 17.
Earlier in the term the students attended leadership camp where they undertook team building, appointed house leaders and formed the student led school committees. Then 16 candidates spoke to an entire school assembly where whānau, community members, and a significant amount of former students attended to support them. Interviews followed before the 2021 head students were announced.
"Every one of the 16 applicants was deserving. The successful students have a good mix of abilities and personalities and have shown they work well together as a team," said Stephen.
Rhea Paalvast said her goal for 2021 in her role as head girl, was to emphasise the school's cornerstone values, and said she would like to wrap kindness around the whole school. She also hopes to inspire the junior students by being a role model.
"I really want to help make those connections between the junior students and the senior students."
Head boy Boaz Mellor says he offers a voice for everyone, for students across all the year groups.
"I am pretty out there and approachable. I make an easy bridge for everyone."
Last year's head students started a Big Brother programme, and Boaz says he will be promoting the scheme where Year 9s who are struggling to fit in socially or academically are buddied with a Year 13 student who provides mentoring.
Lilli-Lee Tupe is the deputy head girl and says it's a privilege to represent the school and be a person who can set a standard for their school culture. Her goals for the year ahead are to get involved with school life and take every opportunity that comes her way.
Deputy head boy Taine Hakiwai is looking forward to a good year with the leadership team and hopes to maintain and build on the school culture.
He really hopes to bring the Year 9s into the school culture, a sentiment echoed by the other head students.
"To the junior students we are saying 'welcome', we are friends to you and not scary," said Rhea.
Lindisfarne College head boy hails from Taupō
'Hotly-contested' is how this year's head boy Zac Maulder, 16, described the 2021 selection process. At Lindisfarne College, boys who want to be prefects next year apply in the fourth term, students and staff get to vote, and then the principal makes the appointments. Two or three other students were after the top job and Zac says he is excited about the year ahead.
"It's going to be busy, but I am ready for the challenges ahead."
Zac said his focus was on helping other students as much as he can and wanting to be a good role model throughout his entire school life.
"I want to keep hitting that bar of expectation set by the 67 head boys that have gone before me."
When the prefect team met, Zac said they talked alot about alignment, having a sense of culture, and of brotherhood. He said they want to show what it is to be a good man.
"It is part of our motto, to be men of quality."