Our head prefects share with us their experiences at Saint Kentigern College and reflect on 2021.
Message by College Head Girl – J’adore Harris-Tavita
Joining the Saint Kentigern community in 2015, I didn’t know what to expect. I had no idea of the journey that I was about to embark on and the significant amount of growth that I was going to go through. Reflecting on my time at both the Girls’ School and the College, I am beyond grateful for the endless opportunities, memories, and learnings that have made up the last seven years of my schooling life.
Over this time, I was faced with many challenges that I am proud to have overcome. In my early years, my first challenge was adapting to a completely foreign environment and getting used to a ‘normal’ that strayed far from my own. It was initially difficult for me to express my Maori and Pasifika culture as I was unsure as to how it would ‘fit’ amongst my peers. However, with the support of my Maori and Pasifika community and many staff and students, I witnessed our culture grow within Saint Kentigern as it was shared, appreciated, and celebrated. In future, I hope to see every culture embraced within the wider community as it adds copious value to people’s education.
Another massive challenge that I faced was finding balance in the many opportunities and responsibilities that I had. From the multiple practices and games for premier sporting teams, to the end of year exams that we studied hard for – the past five years have been the biggest juggling act I have performed. I discovered how Saint Kentigern remains true to its Mission Statement: to provide education which inspires students to strive for excellence in all areas of life for the glory of God and the service of others. This mind-set, ingrained in me from my very first day, enabled me to build my work ethic, resilience, and gratitude.
Finally, the biggest challenge that was faced by not just me, but all of us: COVID-19. The past two years have been completely unorthodox. Full of uncertainty, postponing, and cancelling of precious and traditional events, COVID-19 was the greatest roadblock that I struggled to overcome. Nevertheless, it was during this period that I experienced the most personal growth ever. I have come to appreciate the little things in life. I have learned the difference between “essentials” and “non-essentials”. I am loving everything and everyone that I already have in my life even more.
Every student at Saint Kentigern has their own story with their own challenges and experiences. The most important part of my journey was the people who helped me: my teachers, who showed great kindness and encouragement toward me; my friends, who were always there for me, even if it was accompanying me to the tuck-shop; and my family, for their unconditional love and support with anything and everything that I do. It is important that I acknowledge everyone who has played a role in my journey no matter how big the impact because “he aha te mea nui o te ao?” What is the most important thing in the world? He tangata. It is people.
2021 College Head Girl
Message by College Head Boy – Harry Lowe
It would be an understatement to suggest that this year was a tricky one. Both students and teachers deserve a pat on the back for persevering through another challenging year while embracing distance learning which became our routine for some time. In saying that, 2021 was full of fond memories. We were fortunate to have completed a majority of our house events and enjoyed the fun of house competitions. We were also able to return to school to cap the year off and reconnect with one another before the summer holidays.
I am very grateful for the seven years that I have spent at Saint Kentigern College. Moving from a relatively small primary school, my transition to college took a bit of an adjustment. Unlike my brother who is two years older, I probably didn’t fit in like a glove at the start. However, I discovered with time that this is a very special school. It is full of colour and provides moments of joy every day. The teachers are passionate, caring and unbelievably committed. They have a gift of challenging ideas, encouraging abstract thought processes and providing you with essential learning tools whilst connecting with each student on a personal level, and positively mentoring each of us. Our cohort of Year 13 graduates are eternally grateful for the endless guidance we have received.
With the warm encouragement from family, teachers and peers, Saint Kentigern has provided me and my peers the courage to take risks and explore new possibilities. I have certainly learned to push myself and I am pleased to have participated in the rock band programme over the past two years. I encourage students to open themselves up to new co-curricular activities and relish the opportunity to acquire new skills, undertake new responsibilities and meet new people. As an honest reflection, I often find it difficult to muster the courage to try something new, however, when I do the outcome has almost always been rewarding. I am grateful for this shift in mindset and will take this lesson with me in my journey forward.
The buzz of youthful energy is what I will miss most. The lunchtime stories, the before-school training, the after-school rehearsals, the friendly banter in the classroom, the determination to push through academic and sports challenges; all represent the camaraderie of students who have the privileged to be shaped and united by the Values of Saint Kentigern. This environment is distinctive to our school, so I urge students to take it in their stride and embrace this unique culture.
I have had many remarkable experiences over the years. Some highlights include AIMS games in Year 7 and Year 8, a trip to Tongariro in Year 10 and the many wonderful learning experiences I have gained and opportunities to grow not only this year but throughout my time at Saint Kentigern College.
I wish all of you a fantastic Christmas with plenty of family time in celebration of another unique year. May the Saint Kentigern community remain strong in the years to come and continue to demonstrate the vibrancy which characterises the College.
2021 College Head Boy