St. John’s College’s student leaders have set a focus for the year of caring for everyone in the school in everything they do.
Jonty Unwin has been appointed Head Boy of St. John’s College with Jaden Murphy and James Bar as his two deputies.
Jonty said it had been a pleasant surprise to be chosen and he had been inspired by “memorable” head boys in the past.
“Ultimately I think from year nine being a prefect was a goal and something to aspire to.”
Jaden said he had been surprised to be appointed Deputy Head Boy and that it was a “massive honour”.
“I wanted to be Deputy Head Boy because I believe I can be a role model for students, in particular Maori, Pacifica and sporting students. I also believe I have a lot of ideas to better our school and now in this role, I can begin implementing those ideas.”
“I also hope to bring more of a cultural side into the college in-terms of kapa haka and waiata.”
The leaders had all been through a process to become a prefect, starting with applying for the position. A shortlist was drawn up and then the would-be prefects had to explain why they thought they would be suited to the role.
Some of those shortlisted went on a leadership camp earlier this year called Marist Youth Leaders, followed by the school’s Year 13 camp.
Five students were interviewed for the role of Head Boy, with Jonty getting the role and James and Jaden becoming his deputies.
For the leaders, the focus for the year is quite simple – to provide support to all students.
“As a house, also as a Year 13 cohort, we're looking to focus on always leading by empowerment rather than leading my power. So as a group we're focusing on supporting everyone, not just in our Year 13 group, but around the school,” says Jonty.
James says they want to leave a real strong foundation for the year 9's and the juniors.
“We understand that it's hard to make such a massive change in one year. So, our plan is to lead by example and then show the juniors and the other students what's possible and how to be good leaders.”
“I think one of the benchmarks is school pride and having pride in the school and striving for excellence in everything you do.”
Jonty says they are also trying to get everyone involved “and getting everyone to know the meaning behind our school songs, our haka and other songs that we use for powhiri”.
James believes singing is also an indicator of the culture in the school.
“When you sing loud it's impressive and it shows school pride. And when people can't really be bothered and then it's like no one really cares. Yeah, we just want people to have fun.”
St John's College Hastings principal Rob Ferreira said it was not an easy task selecting the head boy and deputy head boys.
“We’ve got a very strong leadership group in this year’s contingent, so we felt selecting two deputies was appropriate.
“They are a fine group of young men who are very keen and excited to lead. We are expecting high standards of them and I am really looking forward to working with them this year,” Mr Ferreira said.