Meet the Student Leaders

Head Girl: Brie Benns

Kia ora e te Whānau,

Ko Ruahine te Pae Maunga,

Ko Rangitikei te Awa,

Ko Takitimu te Waka, 

Ko Ngāti Hauiti te Iwi,

Ko Ngāti Tamatereka te Hapū,

Ko Rata te Marae,

Ko Brie Benns tōku ingoa,

Ko ahau te Manukura mō ngā ākonga katoa i tēnei tau.

Kia ora and Talofa, I am Brie Benns. I am Year 13 and I have the privilege to be the Marian College Head Girl for 2023. In Year 9 I nervously entered this school, but was immediately taken in by the most supportive and loving teachers and students. If I could use one word to describe this school it would be inclusiveness. Over the past four years at Marian College, I have experienced and seen the four values of our Kura surrounding the students and staff. This has made the values of Respect, Perseverance, Courage and Commitment key elements of my life and has shaped me to be the Marian Student I am today.

Special Character is the heart of our school. Therefore respect has become a huge priority of mine, as we always acknowledge and respect the students on their own individual faith journey. As a young Year 9 I started my faith journey and continued due to the amount of respect and support I was given. The respect that my faith has instilled in me has allowed me to better respect other students and staff. Sharing the respect and love that Jesus and Mary have is essential to maintain the very special culture of our school. Perseverance and Courage have been two key values I have relied on over my time at Marian, especially this last year. As a Catholic School we are consistently reminded that Jesus is with us in the hardest of times, making the scariest times or decisions the slightest bit easier. These two values create a hard work ethic in our school. The students are always pushing out of their comfort zone to truly better themselves. 

This year Commitment is a key value, which is fitting as we want to push for more involvement. Commitment has aligned with me over the past 4 years as I have immersed myself in every aspect of Marian College and what this school has to offer. I have been involved in many competitive and social activities, for example Netball and Korfball, even a bit of fun volleyball with my mates. Other than sport, I have been in Kapa Haka all four years and committed strongly to the Special Character group. “Come follow me” - Mark 1:17 is the scripture quote for this year. We are excited to encourage committing to Jesus and following all of his teachings, especially as we convert to the new site. 

Seeing this year will be the first hopefully non-covid interrupted year, we are excited to extend clubs and opportunities for the students. We four head students Riley, Jess, Liana and I along with student executive and the staff, are committed to growing each and every student into strong and courageous Mana Wāhine. 

Deputy Head Girl, Senior School: Riley Tyson

Kia Ora e te whānau! 

Ko Riley Tyson tōku ingoa. 

I have been blessed this year to have the role of deputy head girl at Marian College. 

Since I attended the open day as a year eight, I immediately felt welcomed into our whānau and knew Marian was the school for me. Throughout the past four years the students and staff have shown endless support to help me grow into the mana wāhine I am today. I am passionate about the spirit and culture of Marian, therefore I have always put my best foot forward to get involved. I have been in many groups including kapahaka, special character, well-being team, environment group, and a variety of sports. I think getting involved in every aspect of school life is very beneficial, and I want to encourage my peers, particularly the juniors, to make the most of every opportunity. 

As a tight knit community we have strong connections between year groups. This is something I am so grateful for at Marian, and want to focus on building more this year. I love coming to school and being able to have a friendly conversation with teachers and students alike. Our school truly has something so special, and I love representing Marian College. 

As a role model of the school this year I want to support and maintain the kind and connected nature Marian holds. This year we are focusing on our value of commitment. I hope to inspire my peers to get amongst our school spirit, and commit to growing in their faith, and encompassing our school values. I look forward to the future of our college as we move forward to our new home, and for all the incredible opportunities that are to come! 

Deputy Head Girl, Junior School: Jessica Hughes

Kia Ora, my name is Jessica Hughes and I have the privilege of being Marian College's Deputy Head Girl on behalf of the junior school for 2023. 

I was lucky enough to discover Marian College as a year 9 student with the motivation of seeking a school with an emphasis on serving for the common good, and doing the right thing out of love and humility. As a year 9 student, I wasn’t familiar with Catholic practices, which was strange considering most of my life values at the time were very appropriate and fitting alongside values of the Church. I was, however, willing to take on this opportunity of attending a Catholic school and put myself out there to develop and learn more about my faith. I am so thankful that Marian College has given me the opportunity, through countless programs, passionate teachers and prominent school values fitting with the Catholic faith, to help me to discover more about myself and my connection to Jesus, as I continue to grow in understanding what the right choices are for me as a young woman in today's society and how my faith is supporting me through the opportunities I am blessed with. Everyday I am thankful to attend such a highly moraled school, which is willing to support and guide students to be the best Marian girls possible. 

I think it is important as a leader to be realistic in the sense that I am an imperfect human, who everyday strives to achieve more than what is expected though putting myself out there for things which are out of my comfort zone. I have my good days, my bad days, my average days, and many in between. As a 2023 leader of Marian College, I aspire to be a relatable, sincere, hard working role model, who is empathetic toward other students in their points of needing help. I strongly believe in emphasising that a leader should not appear to be ‘above’ the others of the school, yet in fact ‘one of’, who can be there as a proud role model of what needs to be exemplified through various activities of school life and attitude through serving the community and giving back what Marian has previously helped me with. 

I want to emphasise these values as a leader of 2023 to convey what it means to be a part of the Marian whānau. 

Head of Special Character: Liana Borkus

Kia ora whānau,

Ko Huriawa Pā te maunga,

Ko Waikouaiti me Ōtākaro ngā awa,

Ko Takitimu te waka,

Ko Ngāi Tahu te iwi,

Ko Kāti Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki te hapū ,

Nō Ōtautahi ahau,

Ko Liana Borkus tōku ingoa. 

It is my absolute privilege to be Head of Special Character at Marian College for 2023. I have had such a positive experience at this kura and over the past four years I have really felt supported by the Marian community to explore new interests and build on my strengths and my faith. Even as a scared Year 9, I was blown away by the amount of encouragement that not only the staff showed but especially the senior students. At that moment, I was inspired to be like them when my time came and to live like a true Marian girl by following the school values of Respect, Commitment, Courage, and Perseverance.

Due to being brought up in a Catholic family, my connection with Christ has always been pretty present in my life. But since coming to high school, I have faced a lot of challenges that have strained this connection. Many physical, mental, and emotional everyday issues began to arise and my relationship with God was tested. But I found out soon enough just how incredible the special character of Marian is and how it truly is the heart of this school. Every challenge that came my way felt easier with the support of the school and the amazing friends I have been lucky enough to make. The value we are focusing on this year is Commitment, and this pushes me to stay committed to growing in my faith and supporting other students while they start or grow in theirs.

As a leader this year, I seek to give back to those who have led me to become the person I am today. My peers, staff, and my whānau as well as the Marian community are all people who have supported me through my tough times and have inspired me to continue this effort and to pay it forward. I wish to help the students of Marian and aid them in all aspects of school life, including their journey of discovering Christ. Marian College has completely changed my life and filled me with courage and determination to achieve all that I want to as I finish high school and enter the big wide world. I have learnt so many valuable lessons from this kura that I will take with me wherever I go and I firmly believe that the spirit of Marian College will impact everyone who walks through our gates, no matter where we are.