Head Prefects' Messages

Head Girl
Maddison Herdman

My name is Maddison Herdman and I feel very privileged to be Whakatane High School's Head Girl for 2017.  Throughout my schooling, from Ohope Beach School right through to my final year at Whakatane High, I have gained valuable leadership, communication and life skills that I feel will benefit me, whatever I pursue in the future.

During my time at this school I have noticed the strong influence the senior students, in particular the prefects, have on younger students.  Seniors are important role models for others to follow in the future. It is an ongoing priority for me to place a strong focus on increasing positive youth participation within the school. Groups such as Interact, Enviro and the health committee make sure students’ voices and thoughts are not only heard and acknowledged, but acted on. By allowing many students to have an input we provide them with basic leadership skills that they can build on and we show that we listen to and support them.

It is daunting that I am in the midst of my final year; I feel very humbled and lucky to have made the adjustment from childhood to my current age here at Whakatane High School, and have so many amazing memories and experiences.  These have developed from the variety of astounding opportunities made available to students here and have been a significant part of my journey, as I have constantly been encouraged to step out of my comfort zone.

I was involved in the school production of Footloose, helped organise a Box City to raise money for Syrian refugees as part of the 40 Hour Famine and have been a part of the Whakatane High School Student Council for the last three years. I am currently the St John Youth Regional Cadet Of The Year. I am looking forward to staying involved with multiple sporting groups such as adventure racing and completing the year as the captain of the Whakatane High School 1st XI hockey team.

I have shared my experiences here not because they are unusual but because they are possible for anyone.  I encourage all students to enjoy their time at Whakatane High School because, if you take as many opportunities as are on offer, you will thrive.  Aim high, stay motivated and get involved!


Head Boy
Elliott Jenkins

My name is Elliott Jenkins and I have the privilege of being the Head Boy at Whakatane High School for 2017. I began my journey at Whakatane High School five years ago following in the footsteps of both my mother, Mia, and brother, Lenny, as they both attended Whakatane High School.

I came from small primary and intermediate schools, and at first I was intimidated by the new pathway I had chosen through a larger high school. However since stepping through the gates on the first day all those years ago, I have never looked back. The friendly nature of the staff is contagious and creates an extremely positive and welcoming environment for students.  

I consider Whakatane High School to be one big family. The community atmosphere of the school reminds me of what I experience at home. This atmosphere is upheld by both the students and staff. Teachers offer continuous support and are encouraging and motivating so that students reap the benefits from these hard working teachers.

Last year we had seventeen students represent New Zealand or gain national podium finishes in their respective sports. On top of this, seven students gained NZQA scholarships, two of them being “outstanding scholarships”. Eight students gained scholarships to their respective New Zealand universities, the top valued at $45,000. Three former students are currently studying at American Ivy league universities; Brown, Princeton and Yale, while another is in his first year at The University of Michigan. Eight former students have competed in the Olympics gaining three gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals. I think these achievements outline a spirit to achieve and excel in school that is transferred into life. This spirit lives on through all aspects of Whakatane High School from the sports field to the music rooms, to the classroom. For me it highlights the pride that is associated with being a Whakatane High School student.

 I hope you all enjoy exploring our website and I encourage you to come and visit our school.  

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