News Centre

Meet our Student Leaders 16


In the last of this series of articles, finding out about our student leaders, their background, roles and ambitions, we feature our News Centre leaders, Zoe Chou and Shontelle Matano.

After a long wait, we finally get to catch a glimpse of the drive behind Sancta Maria College’s News Centre Team 2019. We are introducing Zoe Chou, the Deputy Editor, and Shontelle Matano, Assistant Deputy Editor and Co-Editorial Assistant for Sports. They have spent the last term successfully leading the team, guiding twelve assistant editors and around forty reporters. Most significantly, under their guidance, the flow and momentum of articles has been maintained, with just over 100 articles published in term 1.

Today, we unveil how Zoe and Shontelle have attained these leadership roles as well as bring to light their hopes for this year’s News Centre.

Behind the scenes is the abundance of hard work we see the pair put in before earning these positions. Whether it’s Academic, Sport, Co-curricular or Special Character – both these students have contributed massively to every single one of these facets of school life ever since they embarked on their Sancta Maria journey in Year 7.

First off, we have Zoe Chou who is a diligent and bright student. She has had experience in many leadership roles before ultimately being the Deputy Editor of News Centre. She has led the Junior God Squad, coordinating events for the middle school members, such as visiting rest homes to sing and have conversations with the people there and making rosaries for people who are in prison.

Zoe has also been a two-time peer support leader where she built a strong rapport with the students, exemplifying her leadership skills. “You can tell they actually took in your words, you can tell that you have helped them develop their friendships.”

She was also a member of the Peace Committee running initiatives such as the Peace Tree and chalking the drains. On top of this, Zoe has numerous academic achievements. She won the Literacy Award in Year 8 and the St Catherine’s Award in Year 10 and 11. Zoe also won the Regional HPPA Speech finals. Her outstanding academic performance has not gone unnoticed as she continues to thrive, gaining 100+ Excellence credits in NCEA Level 1, acquiring the most esteemed academic award in the College, Platinum. Finally, she received Gold Academic Honours in NCEA Level 2. Zoe plans to go on to study Statistics at Auckland University; however, she is also open to the notion of studying Economics or Psychology due to her diverse range of interests.

Shontelle Matano has won the school over with her loving demeanour and her ability to get things done promptly. She too has been a member of Peer Support for two years where her caring nature was illustrated as she gave her time to the younger members of our school. With strong Samoan roots, Shontelle has contributed to keeping the Samoan culture within school alive while also being a member of the Kapa Haka group.

Shontelle is an avid sports fan and has become increasingly skilled over the years at writing the most engaging stories on sports events and athletes. She is no doubt, academically capable, as she has achieved a Gold Academic Honours, two years in a row, at both NCEA Level 1 and NCEA Level 2. She is also a prominent netballer and this is displayed through the Sportsmanship, Player of the Season and Most Improved Netball Awards she has received.

Shontelle has a clear vision of her future. After Year 13 comes to an end, she plans on going to AUT to study a Bachelor of Communication Studies, majoring in Journalism. She has also expressed keen interest to do an exchange to the USA in her last year of study. When she completes her studies, Shontelle will pursue her dream of becoming a Sports Journalist with one of her major goals being to work with the best basketball league in the world – the NBA.

It is crystal clear that both these students have not only committed to Sancta Maria College but they have enthusiastically taken the extra step to enrich College life. Their zest, their hard-work and of course their talent at writing, have allowed the school to recognise them as much-valued students.

For News Centre, one of their main goals, as always, is to publish more articles than we did last year. To achieve this, they have put a system in place to make sure that everybody who wants to contribute gets to write at least one article. “This year we’re going to make sure that everyone who wants to write an article, can write an article.” They have also ensured that every writer is kept in the loop and well-informed about up-coming assignments.

They are also devoted to helping every single writer flourish, especially by mentoring the junior writers so that they will be able to take on leadership roles in future years. However, most eagerly, they want people to have fun writing articles. They want more people to be involved so that they can gain experience while also experiencing the joy of writing for the school community.

Zoe and Shontelle recognise that many unique and talented students deserve to have stories written about their successes. They aim to really delve deep and tell the stories of these students, to put the spotlight on those we may know little about.

They look forward to utilising their skills, time and effort to continue delivering quality, engaging articles for the Sancta Maria College community.

Katrina Chan