Our inspiring leaders
Tiana Willis-Baker and Lucy Heron form a formidable partnership as our 2018 Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl, respectively.
Include Emily Couper, Head Boarder, and the leadership team is known as the ‘Three Musketeers’.
Their personalities and skills complement each other perfectly, allowing each to shine as they fulfil their roles representing and advocating for the students of St Cuthbert’s.
Friends since Year 7, they were brought closer together by shared responsibilities when they were appointed to the student leadership roles. Because the three girls work well together, the leadership team is effective and as a result, the College benefits.
The girls work together to strengthen the student community and forge connections that span across year groups. Their overriding objective is to ensure that every girl feels part of the broader St Cuthbert’s community, and through this sense of inter-connectedness, openly contribute to enriching the environment for the future.
Across their time at St Cuthbert’s all three girls have consistently demonstrated the values of the school and continue to make significant contributions in terms of enhancing our culture, celebrating diversity in all its forms, and representing the College externally.
It was these attributes that figured heavily in their appointment, following a rigorous application and voting process.
All Year 12 girls are encouraged to apply for Year 13 prefect positions, across several categories. As part of the application process each girl is asked to list their contributions to the school community and demonstrate why they would be deserving of any of these honours. They then present a speech to their house in support of their application, and students vote for their preferred candidates.
The student’s votes, along with teacher’s votes, are reviewed by the senior leadership team and appointments are confirmed in writing. The wait to receive these letters feels like an eternity to the girls, who have each invested heavily in the process and are on tenderhooks waiting to find out if they have been successful.
The girls are each called to the office to pick up their letter, formally advising them of their prefect position. They also receive a personal call of congratulations from a member of the senior leadership team.
The top six prefects are advised of their qualification to interview for Head Girl.
Looking back and reflecting on the process, both Tiana and Lucy share a sense of pride for what they have been able to contribute to the College.
“When you see all your activities listed on paper, it does make you realise that we are a part of something really wonderful. I came to St Cuthbert’s in Year 7 and got involved in everything. It was my way of getting to know more people, to feel at home within the College, and to connect myself and ground myself within the school community.”
Tiana Willis Baker, Head Girl, 2018
Lucy echoes this, “The more you put in the more you get out. The more involved I got, the happier I was at school. I felt part of the school community. It makes you proud to give back to a school that has given us so much”.
Both girls recognise they are in a position of responsibility and take this very seriously. They represent the College in all aspects of their life. This may range from creating strong connections with Year 9 students to help them settle into Senior School life, supporting our school sports teams, mentoring at Year 9 camp, to hosting a Prefect Luncheon for prefects from other schools around Auckland.
“The most important aspect is looking out for the people I am leading and representing,” Tiana said. “St Cuthbert’s means a lot to me but the most important part is the relationships with people across the school. I aim to treat everyone with kindness. It’s not hard to give quality time and be kind. I’ve seen how much this can mean to the younger girls. It’s about creating a bond that grows over the year. I see their confidence soar with the support of a friendly face.
“Every day this role opens my mind and my eyes to how much bigger the world is. At the heart of it, it is about being the best I can be. I strive to give the best part of me to the role and to the College.
“It is also important to remain consistent across our lives, true to ourselves, and to our values and morals. My parents keep reminding me of this. I ask myself, ‘who is Tiana when no one is looking?’ It is about being authentic and holding myself accountable to the character I have.
“The role itself doesn’t define who I am. Just because I am Head Girl, doesn’t mean that I always get Excellence, I’m just striving to be the best I can be and to stay true to myself. No one can demand more from you than that,” added Tiana.
This dedication, humility and commitment to service will be Tiana’s legacy at St Cuthbert’s. She will also be viewed as someone who has stayed consistent in character, treated people with kindness and brought a real sense of fun to the position of Head Girl.
“I want to come back to St Cuthbert’s in future years and see confident, authentic leaders and individuals and I know our school community is set up to support and nurture this type of growth and development in each girl”.