‘This place has real peo­ple’

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON -

Holy Fam­ily School deputy prin­ci­pal Gina Le­faoseu on why she loves her job, her com­mu­nity and what she does to re­lax.

Porirua’s Holy Fam­ily School deputy prin­ci­pal Gina Le­faoseu re­cently won a SunPix award for lead­er­ship in ed­u­ca­tion. The awards are a lead­ing fo­rum to ac­knowl­edge Pasi­fika suc­cesses na­tion­wide and Le­faoseu is de­ter­mined her school will keep suc­ceed­ing.

What’s the best part of your job?

Teach­ing the stu­dents. They’re just so in­no­cent and real. I’m bi­ased be­cause I’ve been here for the whole time, but the kids are so amaz­ing. They know what’s real, what’s im­por­tant, their sense of value is amaz­ing and that’s what keeps me here.

What makes this school spe­cial?

We have 180 stu­dents, 85 per cent Pasi­fika, 12 per cent Maori and Burmese. I love the fact that we’re so di­verse. They bring a real warmth and rich­ness from their cul­tures and that comes from their fam­i­lies. A lot of our stu­dents have the most amaz­ingly sup­port­ive fam­i­lies, which is won­der­ful. I was born here so feel like this is my home.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I didn’t have any idea. Once I was in it [teach­ing] I re­alised this was for me, I know how to do this and I couldn’t imag­ine do­ing any­thing else be­cause I would prob­a­bly find it bor­ing.

If you could have three peo­ple to din­ner, liv­ing or dead, who would they be?

Nel­son Man­dela be­cause to me - re­gard­less of poverty, re­gard­less of race - he was a per­son who over­came ev­ery­thing. I still be­lieve as a teacher you have to have high ex­pec­ta­tions of peo­ple de­spite deciles or back­grounds. The other guests would be one of my grand­par­ents and my dad who has passed away.

What’s your favourite part of Porirua?

Can­nons Creek. This is the place I know, this is the place I grew up. Peo­ple value whats real. This place has real peo­ple, real com­mu­nity and val­ues what’s real - not ma­te­rial stuff. Our kids are the most giv­ing kids.

Where can we find you in the week­ends?

I’ll be do­ing noth­ing in par­tic­u­lar. When I go home I’m just sit­ting there with my fam­ily and with my feet up re­lax­ing. The job has long hours and it’s tir­ing so it’s nice to not do much.

What’s the plan for the school in 2017?

We’ll be de­vel­op­ing, evolv­ing, fix­ing any­thing that isn’t work­ing. Our vi­sion here is par­ent and stu­dent driven, they’ve cre­ated the kind of teacher they want to see.

What do you want for Christ­mas?

My daugh­ter asked me and I said I just want a minute to just sit there and have a mo­ment. Maybe some sleep - I’d love to have some sleep.

- In­ter­view: Vir­ginia Fal­lon

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.