Tatiana Staples is a leader both in and out of the classroom. The Stoke School student is the most recent recipient of the prestigious Sir Peter Blake Young Leaders Award.
The award recognises students who show leadership in making a positive change towards a better future for our communities and planet.
The 10-year-old was stunned to win the accolade.
“I’m overwhelmed, very surprised, but I feel great.”
Tatiana was awarded for her willingness to help junior students as a senior monitor, serve on the school board of students, and help lead the kapa haka.
Like her award’s namesake, Tatiana has a passion for the environment and is frequently seen picking up litter, not that she considers it as an act of leadership.
“That’s just the right thing to do. why wouldn’t everyone do that?”
Principal Sarah Davies says Tatiana stands out for all the right reasons. However, Tatiana certainly doesn’t see it that way.
“I’m just a normal average student,” she says. “I just try and be myself, responsible and kind to others and don’t judge people by their looks.”
Tatiana says she tries to demonstrate the values of her school every day, the most important being ‘one whanau.’
“This means to work together because teamwork is the dream work.”
The young leader has also been commended for her efforts to educate students about healthy diets and arrange lunchtime activities to improve their fitness.
Mother Kim McGettigan says her daughter is a blessing to have.
“She takes everything in her stride, she is just the coolest kid to have around, I’m very proud of her.”