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Penrhyn prizegiving: ‘Lagoon highway’ to success

Saturday 17 December 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Education, Local, National

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Penrhyn prizegiving: ‘Lagoon highway’ to success
Omoka School students Sangaia Andrew (middle) with twins Easter Marsters on the left and Rose Marsters on the right. Picture: APII NAPA/22121506

Schools on the largest and northernmost atoll of Penrhyn, also known as Tongareva, had their prizegiving day ceremonies delayed due to the principal of both schools Apii Napa having to cross the immense ‘Lagoon Highway’.

The two villages of Omoka and Tetautua lie on opposite ends of the atoll and each of these has a school.

Napa travelled to Tetautua village to organise the awards presentation, then crossed back again for Omoka school, this week.

At both school events, Napa stressed the need for parents to help the school with its programmes, noting the mission statement: “Teachers, parents and students working together”.

Penrhyn school sponsor representatives at Omoka School: BCI Cathy Teamoke and Vodafone Group - Manongi Latham. Picture: APII NAPA/22121507
Penrhyn school sponsor representatives at Omoka School: BCI Cathy Teamoke and Vodafone Group - Manongi Latham. Picture: APII NAPA/22121507

People took heed of the principal’s request and both Omoka and Tetautua took time out from home and work to attend, observe, support and contribute to the successful prizegiving days.

Napa would like to acknowledge both the Omoka and Tetautua School PTA (Parents Teachers Association) committees for supporting the event by purchasing new academic trophies and cash prizes for the students.

The children enjoyed delicious food and dessert treats after the awards ceremony, leaving school smiling and happy.

“I’d like to acknowledge my staff for being patient with me and my expectations, because I want what’s best for our children,” said Napa.

Council member Matara Akatapuria and Year 7 awardee for Tetautua School, Ngarima Faira. Picture: APII NAPA/22121508
Council member Matara Akatapuria and Year 7 awardee for Tetautua School, Ngarima Faira. Picture: APII NAPA/22121508

“And to the parents, families and villages of Omoka and Tetautua, meitaki poria for your support of this year’s Penrhyn Schools programme.”

All the overall academic recipients were awarded a trophy, a cash prize sponsored by the school’s committee, a gift pack by Bank of the Cook Islands and CITC, and a top-up voucher by Vodafone Cook Islands.

Napa would like to acknowledge and is grateful for the support of their sponsors: Bank of the Cook Islands – Vaine Arioka, Mii Joseph and their team and local agents on Tongareva, Cathy Teamoke and Nancy Andrew and Vodafone boss Philip Henderson and staff, and local agent Manongi Latham.

She would also like to acknowledge Gaye Whitta and Jane Wichman of CITC. “Our prizegiving was a success for our children with your support.

“I pray as we await to invite Jesus into our homes this festive season, that he will bring good tidings of hope, faith and love. Most importantly, love,” said Napa.

Tetautua School Overall Academics 2022: Year 1: Tepuakura Faira, Year 2: Nohorangi Faira, Year 3: Parehenua Mamia, Year 4: Matareka Teaurere, Year 6: Ruaiti Solo, Year 8: Tihana Teika, Year 9: Retire Gifford; Special Award: The recipient of the school committee award is nominated by teachers for a student who is an all-rounder and hard-working at school, home and the community. This was awarded to student leader and Year 9 student Patrick Mamia.

Omoka School Overall Academics 2022: ECE: Natoeokura Taime, Year 2: Penikira Viniki, Year 3: Petero Marsters, Year 5: Thomas Taime, Year 6: Ngametua Viniki, Year 7: Tuane Ivirangi, Year 8: Alan Joseph, Year 9: Abba Taime, Year 10: Hauroaarii Tonitara. The Special Award for a Year 10 pupil went to student leader Veronica William.