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Kawerau pupil stunned to win leadership award
2 August 2017
Kawerau pupil stunned to win leadership award

Tarawera High School student Mackenzie Karekare was surprised to receive a rare honour - a Sir Peter Blake young leader award.

The 13-year-old received the award for her leadership on the netball court and in the classroom.

Principal Helen Tuhoro said the award was given based on all-round leadership qualities.

"It was across all areas of the school and particularly in the classrooms."

Mackenzie's support of other students as well as leadership won her the award, Ms Tuhoro said.

"When students are struggling or not coping with things, she supports them.

"She is a very humble student and probably wouldn't recognise herself as an emerging leader."

Mackenzie said she was stunned to win the award, which was announced at a school assembly.

"They started describing who the person was who'd won it, and then said my name."

She received a medal, a certificate, a book and a pair of red socks for winning the award.

"I was told I won the award because I'd shown a lot of awhina and respect for our teachers and students and I'm always keen on giving teachers an extra helping hand."

Mackenzie was also selected as a junior prefect on the day she was announced as the Sir Peter Blake award winner.

She was also captain of her school netball team, and was selected for the Whakatane representative team.

The Year 8 student said she would like to be a lawyer when she left school, although her favourite subject was maths because she liked the challenge.

Mackenzie's teacher Charyl McNicholas said Mackenzie was multi-talented.

The Sir Peter Blake young leader award was given to only one student in Years 5-8 at each school.

Tarawera High School, which took students from Year 7, began giving out the awards just last year.

The criteria for receiving the prize includes taking on extra duties and doing them well, and having their own leadership style.

Ms Tuhoro said this year's decision to give the award to Mackenzie was not difficult.

"Mackenzie was head and shoulders above the next candidate."

Source: Rotorua Daily Post 

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