Wow Whakamaru, what a year! But let’s start at the beginning….
Kia Orana. My name is Shenell Potoru-Kawhena and I am the Dean of Whakamaru. It has been nice to come full circle, meaning when the Lake system started, I was one of the first Lake Leaders for Whakamaru and now to be a Dean of the same Lake, it feels awesome!
This year has been amazing with our Lake taking out all the Inter-Lake competitions. We came 1st in Athletics, 1st in Cross Country, 1st in Swimming sports and 1st in our new competition, Waiata Wars. We have amazing talented students in the sporting fields being represented at Regional and National levels and taking out quite a few of the top sporting awards at our prize giving. We also have students who are just as amazing in class as well. Our Seniors doing well to take out a few of the top awards and our Juniors are not doing too bad too. Then to finish it off, we have plenty of students who are proud to represent their own culture, our Whakamaru culture but especially our Forest View culture.
I had set a goal for our Lake and it was to positively participate in all the things that you do at school. From your learning in class to your learning outside of class, participate to the best of your ability. If we win, bonus, If we lose, bonus, but at least we can say we participated with our everything.
All of this could not be possible without the help of beautiful people who support this Lake and each other. To Mr Mutua, thank you for making my job easier. To come into a Lake that has been well established and fine tuned was an enormous task, but, with your support, you have helped me to slowly find my way with this Lake. To our tutor teachers, Ms Umaki, Ms Tatham, Mr Treasurer and Mr Kiss, thank you for all your encouraging words and continuous support, your too much team! To our support staff, know that I appreciate every single one of you. And to our students, awesome effort everyone, keep it up.
To those leaving our Lake, our Y13’s, Ms Tatham, Mrs Stokes, and Matua Hayden, Thank you for all that you have done with our Lake. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours and just know that even though you are leaving us, you will always be part of our Whakamaru Koputangata.
Whakamaru Lake leaders for 2019
My experience about being Junior Lake Leader is that I enjoyed working with students, staff and most importantly, my leaders and my Dean.
I enjoyed working with students because they were energetic, they were in the zone and participating in tutor events like sports which I enjoyed.
I learnt that it's alright to step out of your comfort zone and work with other leaders of our school, even though I was quiet at meetings, I still wanted to help out our leaders on bigger events earlier in the year. The new skills I polished up on was learning how to be more organised, learning how to be more prepared and most importantly, learning how to be more responsible.
Good Luck for next year leaders of Whakamaru 2020. Thank You.
My leadership of Whakamaru has been awesome and we have had an amazing year. I am proud to say I am one of the lake leaders for the winning lake Whakamaru. The reason why I applied for the Junior Lake Leader position is because I really look up to Shirley and Denzel who were 2018 Whakamaru lake leader and we came second that year. My journey of 2019 has been excellent because last year we did not have that much people participating and this year we nearly had everyone participate. My experience of Lake Leader this year was the best year for me.
2019 was one of the best years for me as a leader. Being able to have been offered the role of Senior Lake Leader of Whakamaru was one of the many things I was able to tick off my list of things I want to achieve before I leave high school. 2019 taught me how to work with other students in my lake whether we had previous differences or not and try to achieve the best outcome for our lake. Whakamaru has achieved so many things this year and our biggest achievement to me would be when we all stepped up and helped each other in winning the very first lake competition, Waiata Wars. Being able to lead my lake this year was such an amazing experience because being a Senior I was able to have more of a voice compared to when I was a Junior lake leader and I had more fun as well because I not only led my lake with the help of Faith, Jaylis, and Hone I was also able to bond with the year 9 students that came to Forest and helped mentor them when needed. I also loved how they look at me as someone who they can come to if they need support or just to kick back and chill with.
Personally I learnt that there are many younger students that really do picture lake leaders as role models and take in their footsteps in some way. It has made me realise that it isn’t about doing things for yourself, but doing things to help others in need, and be a listening ear to people that need it. I have enjoyed this year so much being a leader. I have learnt a lot of new skills and have re-shaped my thinking as a leader. Thank you Whakamaru.