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‘You need to be strong enough to stand up for what is right’

Saturday 24 February 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Education, National


‘You need to be strong enough to stand up for what is right’
Titikaveka College Head Girl, Raelyn Brothers with her mother Naomi Mataio Ru and her niece Olivia Matata. MELINA ETCHES/24022313

Titikaveka College and Apii Rutaki Primary School held their annual prefect investiture ceremonies, where student leaders were encouraged to be strong, brave, and selfless in their roles.

Titikaveka College has a new principal this year, Raewyn Morgan from Aotearoa New Zealand.

Yesterday, the smallest college on the island with a roll number of 79, held its annual prefect investiture ceremony, well-attended by proud parents and guardians.

In her welcoming address, Morgan said: “As a leader you need to be strong enough to stand up for what is right.”

“You need to be brave to set the example for your peers.

“You need to be fearless in the face of challenge, but you never have to do it alone.

“All of us are gathered here today to show you we support you.” The principal said they are ready to guide the new student leaders through their journey.

Morgan expressed her pride in having the prefects represent and lead the school and looks forward to an exciting year filled with events and joy.

In his speech, head boy William Robertson said they aspire to provide a better, safe school environment for all students.

“We hope to drive with dedication, grace, integrity, honesty and responsibility to bring on the best outcome for our school, our students, teachers and community,” said Robertson.

“A great leader will always lead people towards a better future.

“Leadership is all about selflessness.

“It is about thinking about the goals of society before personal goals.

“A good leader will always lead by example and will always be focused on his or her goals.”

Robertson encouraged the students not to be afraid of failing but instead to be willing to “fail big and grow an even stronger foundation”.

“Always remember that dreams without goals are just dreams, and don’t inspire to make a living, inspire to make a difference,” he said.

Robertson acknowledged that leaders will face challenges but must persevere, learn from their mistakes, and come back stronger.

He expressed gratitude for his supportive parents Upokomaki and Guy William Robertson and teachers “for believing in me”.

Head girl Raelyn Brothers expressed her honour and excitement to be chosen to lead the girls.

Having served as a prefect last year, she plans to leverage her experience to contribute to the school’s betterment.

Mechatronic engineer and former Miss South Pacific, Joyana Meyer Finch, a former prefect of Tereora College, also addressed the prefects.

“True leadership means leading by example, inspiring others through your actions and lifting them up in times of need,” said Finch, now a children’s book author.

Reverend Panu Rouru blessed the students. Titikaveka MP Sonny Williams and Terry Utanga, representing the Ministry of Education, also attended the investiture.

This year, the college has introduced new courses, including level one arts and visual arts, level one geography, agriculture and horticulture classes, and hospitality.

Titikaveka College 2024 Prefects: Head Boy – William Robertson, Head Girl – Raelyn Brothers, Jacob Toa, MacFan William Rani, Reif Arnold, Amos Rimamotu, Leandra Piniata, Jehanne Rea-Monga and Miracle Puia.

Apii Rutaki, the smallest primary school of 75 students with the biggest heart situated on the west side of the island, also celebrated their Year 6 student leaders’ investiture yesterday.

Head leader, Marius Maoate, said she felt great taking on her new role and was excited to do her best to help out the students and the teachers.

Prefect Joshua Turaganicolo said: “I have to be responsible and lead the school well.”

Year 6 teacher, Tatari Mitchell-Ngatoko, was proud of her student leaders embracing their new roles.

“Their responsibilities are to help out the teachers in the school with the routines and being responsible inside the classrooms,” Mitchell-Ngatoko said.

“Our student leaders are to show good examples for our little ones – someone for them to look up to.

Apii Rutaki 2024 Prefect Leaders: From left: Marius Maoate – Head Leader, Jazeladi Andrew, Katetubeta Katuke - Assistant Head Leader, Joshua Turaganicolo and Maxwell Metuataopu Mare (Absent Ikurangi Tiro). Front left: Glassie Matata – PTA chair, Nio Mare, Ititau Mare, Tinomana Tokerau Ariki and Apii Rutaki principal Margaret Teiti. MELINA ETCHES/24022303

Apii Rutaki’s investiture was attended by Tinomana Tokerau Ariki, well-known Papa Nio Mare and his wife Ititau Mare, and Apii Rutaki Parents Teachers Association chair Glassie Matata.

Apii Rutaki 2024 Prefects: Marius Maoate – Head Leader, Jazeladi Andrew, Katetubeta Katuke - Assistant Head Leader, Joshua Turaganicolo, Maxwell Metuataopu Mare and Ikurangi Tiro (absent).