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Photo by Joe McMenamin

Head Boy report 2016

James Jessop —

It hasn’t really hit me yet that soon I will be leaving a special place of which I have proudly called my home for the past five years. Every day I arrive home from Naenae College, I feel even more connected to the people and part of Te Whanau Tahi.

I am so grateful and incredibly humbled to serve as Head Boy for this year. I am even luckier to be working with an amazing Head Girl, a committed prefect team and the Senior New Zealander of the year, Mr Russell. Responsible student leadership is essential to the creation of success here at Naenae College and I am personally proud of the legacy we have left that can be easily built upon by future leaders. The wealth of opportunities here on offer at Naenae College are unimaginable. I have had the pleasure and honour of serving as a sports captain on numerous teams, being part of championship winning sports teams, being pushed in extended academic programmes and getting shipped down to Outward Bound of 21 phenomenal days. Experiences like these have given me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and personal connections with my peers and I undoubtedly believe that I am leaving Naenae College a much better and determined person than which I arrived.

There’s no other way of looking at it, it’s a very special place. The depth of talent and potential waiting to be exercised is incredible. I am surrounded by people who are the Youth MP for Rimutaka, the Hutt Valley Young Leader of the Year, a New Zealand Junior Softballer and the list goes on. This is just proof that actually yes, you can move mountains here. Experiencing the diversity of culture and ideas builds your character and each year my appreciation for Naenae;s unique atmosphere strengthens. There are people here embracing this and taking every opportunity that comes their way, I encourage you to strive to do the same. Step outside your comfort zone once in a while. It gets easier the more you do and with each opportunity taken, your eyes will be opened just the little bit wider. Have patience with this transition as it does not happen overnight. I spent the entirety of Year 9 not knowing where my place was nor did I step out and embrace the opportunities on offer. Hang tight, push yourself and aim high, you never know what you might achieve on your way.

It’s been a fantastic journey and I thank all of the teachers and volunteers here for the countless hours they put into marking papers, coaching teams and organising events. This place does not function without your commitment and determination. You have motivated me to keep pushing to assert my influence and the influence of student leadership for the best of the school. Don’t ever take these people for granted, work with them, they are your opportunity and in many ways, you are theirs. Massive congratulations to the class of 2016, some of us stuck it out to the end and some of us didn’t but that’s okay. We are all going in different directions and I know that each and every one of you has the potential to do wonderful things with your life. Thank you for the unforgettable memories and I look forward to hearing of your success in the future.

Just remember; Amo, Koruru, Tokomanawa and Maihi, we’re not just a family but we’re Te Whanau Tahi.

James Jessop - Head Boy