The glass cabinet in the office of Te Wharekura o Mauao is full of trophies.
Some are large wooden carvings and others are in the shape of rugby balls, acknowledging student achievement in a variety of different fields.
The school’s principal, Heywood Kuka, has been in the role since January but has seen the school grow since it opened in 2010. The school was located in Poike and there were 35 students, now it is situated in Bethlehem with a role of 240 students.
“It’s pretty daunting,” Kuka says. “It shows that people are trusting us and this is a viable schooling option for our kids.”
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Te Wharekura o Mauao principal Heywood Kuka. Photo / George Novak