Leadership positions involve responsibility and the student leaders of Tereora College say their duty is to contribute to the school with the aim of enhancing the persona of the national college.
Deputy head boy Tamarua Marsters said their role as leaders includes setting a positive and influential standard for pupils.
“As student leaders, we need to make sure we lead by example. The students won’t respect us or listen to us, if we are not being good role models. If we set the standard, the students will follow,” Marsters said.
Deputy head girl Susan Williams said helping enforce the school rules and regulations was part of their responsibility.
“It is difficult because the school students don’t exactly like being told what do to.
“The way we go about enforcing the school rules has been looked at and developed.
“We want the students to understand that we are their friends, not their enemies. So it is critical that we win them over when approaching them.”
Another student leader Sinano Vaeau said the leaders’ mannerisms also affected the student’s responses.
“If we are nice about it, and show respect to them, then they will do the same to us.”
Learning is of course a significant part of the school experience and Williams said the leaders aimed to build a more active and fun learning environment.
“We want to create a mind set in the students where they are passionate about learning and come to school because they want to, not because they have to.
“Some students reach Year 11 or 12 and want to drop out because they are not enjoying school anymore, but we want to work with the teachers to encourage these students to continue to pursue education and strive to be the best they can be.”
Head boy Temaeva Mateariki said part of their role as leaders was to bridge the connection between the students and the teachers. “Having interaction and a healthy relationship between the students and teachers helps develop the student’s passion to come to school.”
The leader leaders are helping support the school’s First 15 rugby team which is travelling to Hawaii this month.
Student leader Chemyana Mackenzie- Hoff said the leaders had presented a proposal to principal Tania Morgan about organising a school mufti day to raise funds for the team.
“We surveyed students in the school and gathered information about their thoughts and then presented it to Mrs Morgan.
“The proposal was accepted, and through the mufti collections, money was raised as a contribution from the student body which went towards the rugby team,” Mackenzie- Hoff said.
The leadership team said they were working on other proposals including a school gala day and a movie night.
Williams said the purpose of these initiatives was to provide “bonding moments” for the students, and keep the school experience exciting.
Marsters said they received a little criticism, but most of the students wanted to support the initiatives.
“What we do is for the students, not ourselves.”
Williams said the team’s goal was to empower youth to stand up as future leaders.
“There seems to be difficulty getting students who are willing to be school leaders and we want to change that.
“I think the school students see it as a burden not as an opportunity to help better the school.”
Each of the Anau heads is working with the student leaders and councillors to support their efforts to take the school to the next level.
Morgan said she was proud of the student leaders and councillor team and the work they were doing to support the school system, pupils and teachers.
Student leaders are: Head boy Temaeva Mateariki, deputy head boy Tamarua Marsters, head girl Tia Henderson, deputy head girl Susan Williams, June Willie, Chemyana Mackenzie-Hoff, Sinano Vaeau, Vainelisa Tetu-Aroita.
Councillors: Tereinga Vainepoto, Temata Karika, Teumere Tairi, Benjamin Murare, Matangaro Emmanuela, Rochelle Mareta, Florentyna George, Miimetua Upoko, Thomas George, Charley Shane, Kiana Puna, Lani Wigmore, Tori Sosene, Pauliasi Vaomotou, Tuvaine Taio, Ethan Tutai and Lynn Mataroa.