News Centre

Meet Our 2022 Prefects 4: Academic Prefects

Andrea Araza (Year 9)

In this series of articles, we find out about our student leaders, their backgrounds, roles and ambitions. Today we feature our Academic Prefects, Stella Cranwell and Reuben Cooper.

Stella Cranwell and Reuben Cooper are taking on this year with a passion for learning. As Academic Prefects, they work with students and teachers to help develop the academic character of our SMC. They are responsible for mentoring and supporting the next generation of student leaders at Sancta Maria College.

Reuben says the reason he wanted to become a prefect was because of his uncertainty with the school (when he first started) until he found comfort in people he trusted. He said, “I’ll never forget the kindness shown to me by the 2016 school leaders who helped me fit into school life. It was their example that inspired me to try to do the same for younger students of 2022.”

Stella wanted to become a prefect as it was her goal to give back to the school. She faced many challenges growing up but had wonderful support from several teachers and students which helped her develop into the person she is today. “For me, being a Prefect is one way that I am able to use the challenges I have experienced and the acute perspective I have gained, to benefit the function of the school as a learning facility.”

Stella is the type of person who enjoys expanding her knowledge. Her hobbies reflect her passion towards learning new things. The humanities, particularly history, cultural anthropology and politics are subject areas she feels fulfilled in doing. Her enthusiasm towards these subjects is evident in her success with them; she was awarded with an NZQA scholarship in history and overall runner up in MUNA. Outside of an academic environment, she participates in organisations such as Dear Em and UN Youth.

Reuben has a passion for being active. Outside of school, he loves to cycle and actively participates other sports. He also likes to keep up with the news and current events to practice critical thinking, as well as evaluate the ethical choices of those political leaders around the world.

Both Stella and Reuben have many goals this year as academic prefects. They would like to provide a form of peace for the students sitting the NCEA exams within the next few years, especially with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic. They are also aiming to bring in a few out-of-school speakers to encourage and inspire students on different career paths available in the future. Their goals are to add efficiency and effectiveness to the academic programs already in place through tutoring and NCEA workshops. They wish to bring more awareness of mental health as Academic Prefects since they understand the importance of not allowing for academic life to interfere with student wellbeing.

Some advice that Stella and Rueben would like to share to the future prefects is to use your initiative and carry yourself with an open mind. Look for spaces where your voice and leadership could improve as it is a crucial part in being a prefect. Bringing initiative does not necessarily mean to be loud in the open. “Leaders who lead from behind the scenes are just

as powerful as those who are standing on the podium, but it is important to know when to switch between the two.” Those who want to become future prefects need to take pride in themselves, in their school community and aim to make the people around them happier through their actions.

Reuben added “I would like to say a big thank you to the school for handing me this opportunity to help shape the culture of our school. I wish everyone at Sancta Maria College a productive and happy 2022!”

Stella added “I would like to thank the school for this opportunity, and I hope to live up to your expectation. I encourage younger students to reach out to Reuben and I if they have any questions, need help, or have any of their own initiatives.”