Five years ago I entered into a school having no idea of the incredible journey I was about to begin. I soon learnt that I didn’t enter a school, I entered a family.
Naenae College has an amazing atmosphere of family, friends and eagerness to learn that can all be summed up in three words, Te Whanau Tahi. The five basic principles that teach us to value and welcome everyone from any background or with any personality truly define the special culture of this school.
A reflection of our school’s diversity and culture was shown on Multicultural Day this year. As the flag bearers walked through the hall proudly waving their country’s flag, whether there were 1 or 100 people representing that country, there was not one country left without a cheer. This sense of pride in Naenae and my fellow classmates that I felt that day is a feeling I have felt numerous times throughout my five years here. From the classroom to the sports field to the kapa haka stage, the way we support each other is really special; no one is ever left out of the whanau.
Over the years Naenae College has built up a culture of success and this year has delivered nothing less. Our students have striven to be the best in whatever challenges they have taken on and our staff have been there every step of the way. The endless hard work put in to Kapa Haka noho and 6:30am rugby trainings showed the dedication and great lengths our students and staff are willing to go to, to be the best. So I challenge you, no matter what you are doing next year, whether you’re still at school or going off into the big wide world, maintain that drive to succeed and aim to be the best in everything you do. After five years of growing, learning and simply enjoying hanging out with my Naenae family, it is very strange to be leaving. Although I will no longer be a student at Naenae College, I am proud to say that I will always be a life member of Te Whanau Tahi.