Marian Primary's famous five
Marian Catholic Primary School is a leadership hothouse - five former pupils are secondary school head students this year.
Ex-pupils are leaders at Sacred Heart Girls' College, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, St Paul's Collegiate, St John's College, and St Bernard's College in Lower Hutt.
The abilities of Sacred Heart head girl Rhegan Tu'akoi were identified when she was at Marian Primary.
"When I was 6 my teacher at Marian said to me that I was going to be head girl of Sacred Heart. So I've kind of had the idea that it's something I wanted to be all along."
She enjoys the role - despite the hard work - and is delighted to share the experience with her former schoolmates.
"They're all just such good people and it's cool that we all get to have the same position despite being at different schools."
All five students were in the same class in year 8, St Paul's Collegiate head girl Jessica Chanwai said, and she was pleased to hear about her former classmates' achievements.
"I am really enjoying the challenges and opportunities that have been offered to me as a result of being head girl at St Paul's."
The other local ex-Marian student leaders are Waikato Diocesan's head girl Georgie Foot, and Noah Lockett-Turton at St John's.
Lockett-Turton faced a battle to get where he is - a recent Waikato Times article described how a brain tumour diagnosed in year 9 didn't stop him becoming head boy.
Foot spent six "incredibly happy years" at Marian but her final year was the most memorable.
"In fact, Jess, Rhegan, Noah and myself were all together in Mrs Walker's stimulating class. I've always felt as though Marian was a school with such a strong sense of community and belonging."
The farthest afield is Nathan Lindstrom, head boy at St Bernard's College.
"It's a real honour to be among the other head prefects from my year at Marian," he said. "When I found out that there were four others I honestly wasn't surprised, because they're all great people and they all deserved such a huge role."
The students were "chuffed" to share their success with former classmates and it was also a huge buzz for staff at Marian, principal John Coulam said.
"While Marian School has often had a head student or two in any given year, five in one year is remarkable," he said.
"As a community we're proud of these students. They've taken leadership opportunities and they're serving, and that's what our school is about - thinking beyond yourself."
Other high-profile past pupils include Great Food Race winners Libby Buchanan and Elliot Jones, and V8 Supercars driver Scott McLaughlin.
- Waikato Times