On Friday the 8th of September thirteen Pukekohe High School (PHS) Puuhoro students went to the term 3 waananga. This program supports Maaori students who intend to study STEMM subjects through their school subjects and beyond. This was the last school puuhoro event for these Yr 13 students. The three year 13 students that were able to attend were Tyler Hickmott, Willow Phillips and Indi Mc Queen. They were presented to by some successful Maaori mentors, namely Minister Peeni Henare, among others and enjoyed the comradery of Maaori students from across Tamaaki Makaaurau. Many were brought to tears as the final haka was performed to show their appreciation for the mentors and tutors of the Puuhoro program. This cohort (2020 intake) of PHS students has shown dedication and commitment to their academic studies in the STEMM subjects. They are looking to continue their studies in these fields in various tertiary institutes. I have been privileged to support this program and these exceptional Maaori academics through their PHS Puuhoro journey and I wish them all the very best for their future endeavours.
Although their time for in-school tutoring and support has ended the Puuhoro trust program will continue to support them onto tertiary studies, offering student liaisons, mentors, internships, and scholarship opportunities (where possible).
We had two Year 12 students in attendance, Jayden Tanenui and Vahn Waitai. They were entertained by a variety of activities and discussions including some engineering experience (building a catapult). The 2023 Yr 11 students that were able to attend were Chelsea Honetana, Ameria Mc Clutchie-Nesbitt, Streme Clarke, Konner Cowell, Fern Taiapa and Oceana Taaka -Te Kaute. These students all represented PHS with pride and integrity. The future of STEM and Puuhoro is looking bright in their capable hands.
Thank you to Waiki Taiapa and Rawinia Amstad for supporting the Puuhoro program and accompanying us for the day.
I look forward to recruiting next year’s Yr 11 students and supporting these students into meaningful pathways in the STEMM subjects.
Sarah Tonorio (ESS & Sci Teacher PHS)