Girls’ School Graduation Dinner
December 02, 2016 at 2:42 PM
The Year 8 girls will embark on a new journey next year but their chapter at the Girls’ School has almost come to an end. They have received their Leavers’ Scarf, their Candle at the Carol Service and they have marked the end of their primary school years at their Graduation Dinner, held at Sorrento in Cornwall Park last night. Now all that remains is a final week at school, finishing with Prizegiving.
Principal, Ms Juliet Small, warmly welcomed all the guests followed by President of the Old Collegians Association, Mr Andrew Morgan, who gave the sponsor’s address. He encouraged the girls to reflect on their time at school and to keep in touch through the Old Collegians Association as they go through life.
Old Collegians’ Representative and 2013 Head Girl of the College, Ms Sharnika Leleni told the girls it is important that they keep challenging themselves, so that they reach their potential. Using a quote from Hillary Clinton, she said, ‘Always aim high, work hard and care deeply about what you believe in. When you stumble, keep the faith and when you’re knocked down, get right back up, and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or should not go on.’
Head Girl of the College, Sydney Fraser Congratulated the Year 8 girls on completing their final year. She said, ‘Even though it seems a bit scary moving up in the world, just know that there are some exciting times ahead for you all.’
Deputy Chapel Leader, Anna McKenzie blessed the main course. Following this, the girls mixed and mingled, seeking signatures on their white and blue Graduation Bear.
The guest speaker for the evening was international netball player, Ms Maria Tutaia. Ms Tutaia’s netball career has seen her play for the Auckland Diamonds, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, Northern Mystics and the Silver Ferns.
Ms Tutaia was ‘interviewed’ by Year 8 teacher, Mrs Jill Wahlstrom, who had compiled a list of questions from all the Year 8 girls. These included, a typical training day, sacrifices made growing up to become a great sportsperson, hobbies, challenges faced and advice on reaching goals.
From a very young age, Ms Tutaia had a high level of achievement in netball. Making the Auckland U21 team at the age of 15, she faced many challenges but she said ‘I trained my butt off - it’s about determination and not changing yourself for others. People will love you for who you are.’
The girls asked for guidance on reaching goals, whether academic or within sports. Ms Tutaia quoted her father, ‘If it is meant to be, it is up to me’. A final piece of advice from Ms Tutaia was, ‘Most importantly, listen to your mum and dad. But at the end of the day, you are in charge of your own destiny, don’t let anyone get in the way.’
Head Girl, J’adore Harris-Tavita, thanked Ms Tutaia for taking time out of her busy schedule to join the girls on their special night, sharing her experiences and advice.
With the night coming to an end, Ms Small concluded by saying to the graduating girls, ‘be the best that you can possibly be, continue to make the most of opportunities, remembering all the advice and support provided to you over the years. You are well prepared for the challenges of secondary education and you can move forward with confidence and enthusiasm to make the most of all opportunities that lie ahead.’
Ms Small also offered wise words for the parents, but said, ‘As you are no doubt coming to learn, raising teenagers is like trying to nail jelly to a tree!’