Big changes com­ing up

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Just one exam left each, and then here comes sum­mer.

Ed­die Cal­la­han and Nani Kirk, Mana Col­lege’s head boy and girl, have worked ex­tra hard this year, jug­gling so­cial, sport­ing and aca­demic re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, on top of their du­ties as school lead­ers.

A lot has been ex­pected of them – and, go­ing by the way they’re hailed in the school grounds, they’re highly thought of by fel­low stu­dents.

Ed­die said he was hon­oured to be asked, about this time last year, if he would be head boy.

‘‘We had the in­ter­views, and when I was asked, I didn’t even think about it, I just said ‘yes’. It was a cool feel­ing.’’

Nani was much the same, ‘‘over­whelmed’’ to be able to fol­low in the foot­steps of a cousin, a past deputy head boy.

Both took to their tasks with ma­tu­rity, recog­nis­ing that while they were still equal with other stu­dents, they had to set a stan­dard.

‘‘ No one treated us any dif­fer­ently,’’ Ed­die said, ‘‘ but I think as a head stu­dent you have to have that bal­ance – you need to re­late to ev­ery­one and also be a role model, a leader that peo­ple will look to. You need to be hum­ble, so­cial and never a snob to oth­ers.’’

Both took NCEA Level 3 and, with one exam to go this week, they were con­fi­dent – but not too cocky – that they had done enough to plot the next stage of their fu­tures. Nani took in­for­ma­tion technology, mu­sic, te reo Maori, statis­tics, English and busi­ness stud­ies.

On top of aca­demic work, there was march­ing, Cook Is­land danc­ing and kapa haka. Also a keen net­baller, sport had to take a back seat this year as as­sign­ments and ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties piled up.

‘‘I had to pri­ori­tise what was im­por­tant. I was re­ally so­cially ac­tive this year but I had to learn to say ‘no’ to things.’’

Ed­die’s sub­jects were IT, cal­cu­lus, de­sign, busi­ness stud­ies, statis­tics and English. He was named dux at the re­cent prize­giv­ing, fill­ing him with pride af­ter a year in which he se­ri­ously knuck­led down.

‘‘I knew this was my last year at school, and I knew I had one shot, so I went hard and re­ally pushed my­self.

‘‘ There were days when my mates wanted me to come out and I had to say ‘nah’, but it was worth it.’’

He played on the wing for the suc­cess­ful Sec­ond XV rugby side, which de­feated a num­ber of First XV sides this win­ter. It was his first ven­ture into team sport af­ter plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence in the boxing ring.

Ed­die and Nani are likely to at­tend the same lec­tures in 2011 at Vic­to­ria Uni­ver­sity, study­ing for a Bach­e­lor of Com­merce and Ad­min­is­tra­tion. They will com­mute for lec­tures and try to take up part-time jobs.

Both have still to de­cide on a ca­reer.

Ed­die is mi­nor­ing in ac­coun­tancy, while Nani will mi­nor in law, and both ex­pect that a busi­ness de­gree will open doors.

‘‘I’d re­ally like to start my own busi­ness one day, hope­fully here in Porirua,’’ said Ed­die. ‘‘I’m not too sure do­ing what; that could come in time.’’

Nani would also like to live and work in Porirua.

‘‘And I want to help my fam­ily in the Cook Is­lands.’’

Al­though both will still be liv­ing in Porirua, near friends and fam­ily, leav­ing Mana Col­lege for the fi­nal time won’t be easy.

‘‘It will be hard but I don’t think it will be the end of my in­volve­ment with the school,’’ said Nani, who has a brother at Mana and three other sib­lings due to at­tend.

‘‘Mana has al­ways been so wel­com­ing, and I’d love to be able to give some­thing back in the fu­ture, maybe men­tor­ing other stu­dents. It has been a safe place, and now I’m out in the big, wide world. Scary.’’ They’ll miss the teach­ers, too. ‘‘The teach­ers at Mana know how to re­late to you, and adapt – they can be se­ri­ous and fun at the same time,’’ said Ed­die.

‘‘I’m def­i­nitely go­ing to miss be­ing here.’’

Last days: Nani Kirk and Ed­die Cal­la­han say col­lege helped to shape their lives. Both will be liv­ing at home but at­tend­ing Vic­to­ria Uni­ver­sity in 2011.

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