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Meet our Student Leaders 2: Deputy Head Prefects – Special Character

In this series of articles, we get an inside look at our prefects – their backgrounds, roles and ambitions. For our second one, we feature our Deputy Head Prefects, Erica Lim and Oliver Tamayo.

Oliver was surprised and delighted to be selected for the role of Deputy Prefect of Special Character, and is clear on his mission this year: “I want to show the special character of this school to everyone I can,” he says.

“Being honest, I was scared to be a leader because I know there are massive shoes to fill from previous leaders, but someone told me each leader brings something new to the table and you don’t have anyone’s shoes to fill but your own. I do also feel extremely blessed and excited to be a leader at our school because it’s nice to give back.”

This year Oliver has taken physics, calculus, English, digital technology and religious education with the hope of completing a Bachelor of Aviation to become a pilot: “I can’t wait to fly a plane again and hopefully get into the Air New Zealand Engineering workshop.”

His academic goal this year is to receive the Scholars Badge Award (for gaining 4 course excellence endorsements) for NCEA level 3 and possibly a scholarship. He would like to balance his sporting and gaming life on top of achieving high standards in his studies this year.

Erica has continued taking hard tech since year 9 as she enjoys the subject and it makes her happy. She loves seeing her creations go from the beginning stage to completion and watching her designs come to life after a lot of hard work in preparation. “I’ve always been into DIY and art and crafts so it’s an awesome way for me to do something that is already a hobby of mine as an actual subject,” she says.

Both Oliver and Erica are actively involved in extracurricular activities, not only within the school but outside as well. They are both involved in their parish youth groups which helps to strengthen their faith.

Erica has a passion for sports and over her time at Sancta Maria College she has got involved in football, netball, volleyball, hockey and other one day events. She also gave debating a go for one year where she made amazing memories and had the chance to interact with people from other schools.

Sports in particular has taught her many life lessons that cannot be gained elsewhere. Determination, sportsmanship and empathy are just a few skills Erica has developed through her sporting experiences. These values have shaped her into the person she is today. “What I have learned from sport is that although you fail you have to get back up,” she says.

She has also taken part in athletics, both in and out of school. Oliver plays football too and he has an interest in the 40 hour famine. He takes part in the special character side of our school by getting involved with school masses and the Stella Maris competition.

Oliver and Erica’s goals as leaders this year are to set a good example for other students at our school and to draw everyone to serve in different ways as they believe that is why God has put us on this Earth together.

They would like to see more excitement around school masses as it is what makes our school so special and unique. They hope to see our school as a safe place for everyone to be able to share and express their faith.

To those who are aiming for prefect roles next year, Oliver says, “I would advise the upcoming students wanting a prefect role to go out there, exit your comfort zone and be proactive in sports, committees and let your voice out but in a subtle and kind way. Being respectful and kind as well is another quality that I think is important for an upcoming prefect to have. This is because by being respectful and kind, you are able to show Jesus to everyone you meet.”

Erica agrees that kindness is so important and she adds, “Don’t be afraid to share your talents, immerse yourself in school life, get to know people outside your friendship group and in different year levels, and to be helpful to those around you.”

We wish Oliver and Erica all the best with the duties and responsibilities that come with being a deputy perfect at Sancta Maria!

Sydney Causer