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Head Students of 2022

Jamie McDermott
Catholic Cathedral College
Head Student

Kia ora, it is a privilege to serve our kura this year as a Head Student. After spending two years at a Catholic primary school in Aotearoa, I joined our Catholic Cathedral whānau in 2018. My faith journey has not been the smoothest. During my earlier years as a Catholic, I was lost in my path. As someone who attended Mass just because I always have, I began to doubt my faith. However, Religious Education that taught me more about God and his kingdom, and retreats full of opportunities to connect with myself and God and our whānau with an abundance of love, have shone a light on my path back towards God.
This year’s theme is ‘Hākarameta’ – Communion. Our College’s diversity, faith, and family spirit is like no other, and I hope to bring every one of our whānau members into communion, and enable them to experience the amazing diversity, family spirit, and love I have experienced, despite the current hardships we are facing due to the pandemic. Coming together as a community may be difficult, but it is times like this that we must show support and love to each other as one family.

Michael Borello
Catholic Cathedral College
Head Student

Kia Ora, Talofa Lava, and Malo e lelei. I am one of the Head Students for 2022. I believe faith is my own personal journey in getting closer to God. I am honoured and grateful to receive one of the Head Student roles for Catholic Cathedral College 2022. Ever since I came to Te Waka Whakapono in 2018, I have always looked up to the past Head Students and aspired to be like them, to put myself out there and show the younger students that to me, being a leader isn’t about the pedestal or the title, but being a beacon of hope for other students who are struggling. Throughout my journey at our Kura, I have had ups and downs and have faced fears I didn’t even know I had. Being the only born and raised pupil from South Africa was definitely challenging at first, but once I understood my relationship with God, I was able to fully embrace all of Cathedral’s cultures like my own. I understand the pressures this year has to offer, especially with having to adapt to the new rules revolving around Covid-19. This year I want to focus on being a servant leader, to help our younger students and guide them through this very cloudy journey. By putting my faith in God, I understand that we don’t receive what we want but we receive what we need,
and I am willing to put 110% into our Kura this year to create unity in these dark times before my high school journey finally comes to an end.

Emily Berry
John Paul II High School
Head Student

Emily has attended our school for four years. She is a keen sports person and academic. She has represented John Paul II High School and the West Coast in multiple sports, as well as coaching and refereeing in rugby and league. Emily has participated in the Bishop Lyons competition, Caritas events, Kapa Haka, and the Duke of Edinburgh award. Emily is looking forward to providing leadership to the student body and being a voice for all students. She is committed to working constructively and openly to develop the student leadership team. An area she is keen to focus her leadership on is the development of whānau time in the mornings, to encourage a greater spirit of connection between the year groups.

Riley Fairhall
John Paul II High School
Head Student

Riley has attended John Paul II High School for four years. Riley is a very good all-rounder, keen on his sports as well as academic challenges. Riley has been involved with many school leadership roles in the past including Student Council, House Leader, and last year he was the Student Representative on the Board of Trustees. He also attended the Marist/Champagnat Leadership Camp last year. Riley is looking forward to encouraging and supporting positive behaviours and activities, in and out of school. Riley will also be focusing on good communication with the school senior leadership team, to ensure everyone supports each other to benefit the school.

Jasmine Rosengrave
Marian College
Head Girl

It is an absolute honour to be named Marian College’s head girl for 2022. When I walked through the front gates of Marian College as a Year 9 student, a path of growing my faith began to form. This path was unique to me, as is everyone else’s. To this day, I’m still figuring out the part God plays in my life, but it is definitely a journey nurtured through the school environment. Both students and teachers have always given me unconditional love and support, which stems from the strong spirit of special character we have here at Marian. Our scripture quote for the year reflects this: “Love one another as I have loved
you.” (John 13:34.) Marian teaches above all that servant leadership is one of the greatest gifts Catholics can give to the world and I’m proud to say that I am part of a community that holds the quality of ‘giving’ in the name of a loving God in the highest regard.

Briana Grace
Roncalli College
Head Student

Kia ora koutou. I am proud and excited to be appointed as one of Roncalli’s head students for 2022.
Roncalli College provides students with amazing opportunities and has a strong sense of family and community, which I both value and enjoy. The support I have received from my teachers, parents, and our parish has helped me, and will continue to help me, grow in this role I feel so privileged to hold. This year, I hope to demonstrate servant leadership and role model our College’s Catholic values. My interests outside of academic studies include fitness, a variety of sports, baking and service/advocacy. Next year I hope to attend the University of Canterbury to study Physical Education, Te Reo, and Theology, with the intention of becoming a secondary school teacher.

Navaneethakrishna Sridhar
Roncalli College
Head Student

When I look back at my four years at Roncalli, I look back on the number of memorable academic, sporting, cultural and recreational moments at the school I have been involved in, all of which have helped me develop a great bond with the school community and whānau. These memories and achievements would not have been possible without the endless support provided by our teachers and my friends during my endeavours at Roncalli. I feel that this year, I have the opportunity to give back to the school and show my gratitude, by being a positive role model, serving and empowering others to become the best version of themselves. In regards to my plans beyond school, I am keeping my options open.

Jared Talanoa
St Bede’s College
Head Boy

Before coming to St Bede’s College, my understanding of faith was going to church every Sunday and attending youth group every Friday. Since attending the College, I have learnt that faith is so much more than attending Mass every weekend. I have learned that faith is not only what we say in Mass and in our prayers, but what we do to put our words into action, reflecting our school motto ‘Fide Et Opere’ meaning ‘By Faith and By Work’. Along with other students, I have had the opportunity to deepen my faith and to put it into action such as Friday morning Benedictions, celebrating Mass as a whole school throughout the year, Sunday boarders’ Mass that is open to the community and other students, the SVO (a student led volunteer group which aims to go out into the community to help and provide for the less fortunate), and the Sacramental programme. This programme aims to help and guide students through the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. Being provided with the opportunity to deepen my faith has inspired me to go out into the wider community to do the same. This has led me to be a core team leader for the North Parish youth group. I hope to have the same impact on the youth of the North Parish as St Bede’s College has had on me, and provide them with a deeper understanding of faith and how significant it is.

Jack Coulthard
St Thomas of Canterbury College
College Captain

I am blessed to be named the College Captain of St Thomas of Canterbury College for 2022. I feel even more excited to have the other 16 members of the leadership team around me to help create a clear and well constructed vision for the college. Together we came up with the mission statement of “Be the culture, Be the brotherhood, and Be the change.” I believe that this mission statement not only serves the old and its traditions, but also welcomes the new and exciting future our college has ahead. I also feel grateful for all of my family who continue to look out for me and push me to achieve my potential.
The teachers, staff, and coaches at school who all serve as admirable role models I can turn to for knowledge, advice, and laughs, and all seven hundred of the current boys who attend school who give me a sense of family, home, and brotherhood. At St Thomas’, not only do we work on educating the minds, but we make sure that everyone who enters through the school gates leaves with an educated heart.

Niamh Aitken
Villa Maria College
Head Girl

I am very privileged to have been selected as Head Girl for Villa Maria College for 2022. One of my favourite things about Villa is our special character and the Mercy charism at the heart of our College. Our Catholic faith creates a strong sense of belonging amongst the students and we actively seek ways to be of service to the community. At home, my family celebrates our Catholic faith by attending St Peter and Paul’s Church, Halswell. Being a proud Catholic is important to me because of the good morals and values my faith has instilled in me. I hold the College’s Mercy values close to my heart and enjoy being able to give back to the community in a range of ways, including tutoring junior students and umpiring netball. While we were hoping that Covid restrictions would be lifted this year, we will continue to adapt and find innovative ways to remain connected. I want to label 2022 as ‘the year of resilience’. My goal is to help each Villa student to stay positive and motivated through these unprecedented times. I also challenge myself to reinvent school activities so that they can go ahead safely under the Covid
Protection Framework. I am thankful I have been entrusted with this role and will strive to ensure Villa Maria College remains a positive and happy place to be.