Spotswood College celebrates a busy and successful year

At the recent Senior Prizegiving expectant senior students along with their parents and families packed the school’s hall to celebrate a great night of awards for a busy and eventful year. 

Staff wore their black formal gowns with a blaze of colour showcasing their individual academic achievements, as they were welcomed to the stage by a rousing karanga.

Principal Mark Bowden opened the ceremony by summarizing 2013 in a formal speech with some of his comments in italics below.

Spotswood College began the year encouraged by the NCEA results our students gained in 2012.  Average Level 1, 2 and 3 results for our school all increased representing a significant improvement on 2011 outcomes. 

 However, in the list of things that make me proud to be the Principal of Spotswood College, academic achievement is but a part of the interrelated attributes that contribute to developing good people, or as our vision statement says “Developing young people of good character with the skills and knowledge to contribute to our 21st Century Global Village.”

Amongst a multitude of academic awards the following students shone out for their high levels of effort and ability:-

Jasmin Warren and Lucy WilsonOverall Top Scholar for Academic Excellence in Year 11 – Erin Barrett

Overall Top Scholar for Academic Excellence in Year 12 – Sarah Messenger

Overall Top Scholar for Academic Excellence in Year 13

Dux – Lucy Wilson

Proxime Accessit – Jasmin Warren

 Too often in thinking about schooling, education and assessment are regarded as synonymous; they are not.  When exploring the purpose of education, parents, teachers and the wider community, invariably identify 3 key purposes:-

  1.               growing ‘good’ people
  2.               engaging young people to participate and contribute to their community
  3.               equipping young people with skills, knowledge and attitudes for employment.

 In growing good people at Spotswood College our E TŪ work (E TŪ is our Positive Behaviour for Learning project.  E TŪ is about standing up for Education, Taking Part and Unity) remains a priority platform for our vision of constant and meaningful school improvement. 

 Mr Bowden identified the contribution the arts and sport make to Spotswood College.

“Student involvement in cultural productions has again highlighted the talent of our musicians, dancers, actors and Kapa Haka group as they have participated in school, regional and national competitions and performances.  Student participation in sport is also steadily rising.  It was rewarding to see many families and students celebrating sporting success at the recent sports prizegiving.”


Ngati Te Whiti Hapu Award – Tane Leong

He Tohu Rangatiratanga – Faith Simeona and Wakaia Tamehana

Kpa Haka Awards –  Ebony Wherahiko

–        Wakaia Tamehan

–        Te Hanakore Manutonga


Waitere Family Cup – Tegan MacDonald

New Plymouth Little Theatre Trophy for Best Stage Performance of the Year – Olivia Preston

“Liz Murray Cup” for contribution to Drama – Monique Flaszynski

Eichstaedt Trophy for Contribution to Dance – Graceyn Potroz, Kiara Quirante and Taryn O’Donnell

Kyle Gilmore Memorial Award for Public Speaking – Laura Anderson

First in Senior Speech  – Kristina Pui

First in Alt English Senior Speech   – Phillip Bailey


Trina Cowley Trophy for Sporting Excellence – Brooke Carter

The Hale Sportsperson of the Year Trophy- Faris Petty

The Nick Banks Trophy – Top College Team Sports Award – Faris Petty and Jaymz Tito

Spotswood College was well represented at The Young Achievers Awards held recently.  Students were rewarded for their hard work and efforts over 2013.

Music Award – Winner – Abby Christodoulou

Super Student Award – Highly Commended – Sarah Messenger

Arts Award – Winner – Sophia Smolenski (student 2012)

Arts Award – Highly Commended – Hayley Mapley

Mayor’s Choice Awards – Winner – Catherine West (student 2012)

MC’s for the Spotswood College senior prizegiving were the outgoing Head Girl, Laura Anderson and Head Boy, Tane Leong.  A highlight of the evening was their joint speech which was very humorous, emotional and inspirational.

Laura said “We started as year 9’s thinking we knew all about life only to find out now that we are still learning every day.  This school and all the people in it have helped shape me into who I have become today.  I’m so proud that I can stand here having finished my time at Spotswood knowing all that the school has given me.  Though I’m excited to be moving forward in my life, I’m also sad to leave the place that has become a second home, behind.”

Tane said “I remember walking through the school gates for the first time.  I was about 4 foot nothing, with a bowl cut, shaking in my school uniform two sizes too big.  Spotswood College has been my home away from home.  Through my time here I feel like I’ve grown as a person, expanded my horizons and found out what I’m truly capable of.”

Faris Petty (1)Hayley Mapley (1)Laura and Tane deputized the new Head Girl, Hayley Mapley and Head Boy, Fairs Petty by presenting them with their badges.  Kaitlyn Koboski and Monique Flaszynski were named as the Deputy Head Girls with Jaymz Tito and Michael Mischefski named as Deputy Head Boys.

Tane summed things up by saying “To all the senior students returning to school next year, enjoy your time.  Find things that you are passionate about and pursue them.  To the prefects of 2014, I can’t think of a better group of people to lead the student body next year and I’m sure you guys will make the school proud.  Make sure you take your time, breathe and just enjoy the ride.  It’s a fast one!”

Laura finished their speech by saying “Today will never come again. Be a blessing, Be a friend, Explore, Dream, Discover, and never stop moving forward.”

The last word goes to Principal Mark Bowden: To students leaving today – we wish you well.  It has been a pleasure to be part of your journey from childhood to adulthood.  Thank you for your contribution to our school through the multitude of learning, sporting, cultural and social activities that you have participated in over the past five years.

 My sincere thanks to all staff for their work during 2013.  Thank you for working to meet the needs of individuals while also working to improve our school as a whole.

 I would like to thank all the board members for their contribution in helping make Spotswood College a great learning environment.”

 No reira, tena koutou tena koutou tena tatou katoa

This article was published in the Oakura Take A Moment in the December issue

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