School principal Rebecca Aitchison-Gill opened the ceremony thanking the students, teachers, parents and dignitaries for attending.
Prime minister Henry Puna talked about anniversaries being a time of reflection, remembrance and acknowledgment.
Puna said he felt a personal connection to the school.
“Not only is one of my brothers named Manuela, but also my older brother Ngereteina Puna was the Education Minister at the time Imanuela was given their licence to operate as a school.”
He also praised Imanuela Akatemia for teaching lifelong Christian principles.
“I’m so pleased schools like (Imanuela) Akatemia are concentrating on not just the academic but on the spiritual, because as Prime Minister that is what we need as a country – solid Christian principles ingrained in our children so they can grow up to be good Cook Islanders.”
One of the school’s founders, Pastor Bobby Matapo, said he and his wife felt the need to look into starting the school after they felt the other schools on the island were not providing the behavioural standards they wanted for their children.
Matapo honoured the late Mike Sadler who passed away before the renovations to the main building were complete in 2005.
“When Mike and Judith moved here from Christchurch and said to me, the Lord has showed me we should be partners, that we talked more about trying to start the school.”
With several former students going on to tertiary education in New Zealand, Matapo said it was a credit to the values learned at Imanuela that had helped their success.
Imanuela Akatemia continues to provide quality Christian education to students aged pre-school to year 13 and it is hoped that in the future the school will become a separate secondary and primary school.