School heads chosen
Only days after being selected to inspire, motivate and lead, two capable teenagers have been shown their first valuable life skill - how to tie a tie.
Dargaville High School's 2013 head students Andrew McLaren and Graeson Kermode have been selected to fill the shoes of Mitchell Powell and Katie Humm.
Principal David Bargh, deputy principal Takiri Pumipi and year 12 dean Katrina Sylva were joined by this year's leaders to assess three candidates for each position and Mr Bargh says although it wasn't expected, "certainly no-one is remotely surprised" by the choice.
"We are rapt by our decision. This will provide them with the opportunity to stretch themselves and get involved with different opportunities and activities."
Combined, the two 16-year-olds already bring a range of experience, skills and interests to the job.
Looking at taking six subjects next year, Andrew is an excellence endorsement student and extra-curricular is a familiar term.
His role as managing director of Tahi Wai - a venture that won Northland business of the year in the Young Enterprise Scheme last year - provided him with leadership experience.
He is musically talented and as board of trustees representative last year and Fish Factory youth group leader, he is no stranger to positions of responsibility.
Nor is Graeson who learnt all about self-responsibility during her fully funded journey on the Spirit of Adventure earlier in the year. Graeson's passion for sport makes the pair a well-rounded combination. She was a member of this year's UNISS netball team and voluntarily umpires a Dargaville Intermediate netball team. To top it off the community-oriented student is training to be a qualified surf lifesaver by summer.
Her aim is to motivate the students to see what the school has to offer.
"The school already has so much going on - we have wrestling champs and world champ unicyclists - the kids just don't appreciate the opportunities that are out there."
Andrew says he wants to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors.
"All the past head students have been people who inspire the students and I hope to do the same thing through speeches and participation in house events."
He says the aim is to create a "greater sense of community within the school".
Mr Bargh says their can-do attitudes and participation will stand them in good stead.
"If you ask them to do anything they have a receptive attitude. They already have a list of attributes that will make them successful in their lives."
Although they will lead the students next year, the whole school will benefit from their contributions.
"Adults don't have a mortgage on common sense, in fact students tend to have an area of experience that adults don't because of the generation they were brought up in," Mr Bargh says. "This is the first generation where that is really true."