Student Executive Team 2024

Kyra Johnson – Champagnat Marist Leader

Kia ora everyone, I’m Kyra Johnson, the Marist Leader for John Paul II High School in 2024. I’m Greymouth born and raised, and have an array of interests including reading, writing, ballet, volleyball and other outdoor activities – even if it’s something as simple as walking the dog. In fact, many members of our kura have probably seen me walking the dog at some point!

From Year 13 I hope to achieve two things: firstly, I aim to create a lasting impact at JPII. From Year 9 I aspired to be a leader, after watching the Year 13 leaders of 2020 in action. This is the effect I intend to leave upon the younger students at JPII, to inspire them to be leaders when they have the opportunity in a few years’ time. Secondly, I will be working towards scholarships for university next year. Although I am not entirely sure what I would like to do at Uni in 2025, I’m looking into a degree in biochemistry at the University of Canterbury or, alternatively, the University of Otago.

Marist Leader is a new position at JPII this year, and replaces the former role of one of the Head Students. To be entrusted with such a position is an incredible honour, and I am focused on carrying out the responsibilities of this position to the best of my ability. “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28).

Ciaran Thow – Mercy Leader

Hello everyone my name is Ciaran Thow, and I am the first ever Mercy leader for John Paul II High School. I was born in Greymouth, I have been attending JPIIHS since year 9 in 2020. I have had the same plans after school since I was in Year Two; that being a journalist. I currently do work experience at the Greymouth Star, and I am loving it so far!

Mercy leader is the other position replacing Head Student at JPIIHS this year, and to be the inaugural leader gives me a sense of honour and responsibility, all while exemplifying the Mercy Values to act as a role model for all our students.

Our head students act as the ambassadors for Catholic character at JPII, supporting the formation of Eucharistic Ministers and encouraging students to explore their faith in a positive and inclusive way

  • Work with school leaders and the student body to support school events
  • Contribute to the planning and organisation of cultural initiatives within the school, including cultural week, cultural evening, Kapa haka group, the school pōwhiri or mihi whakatau
  • Represent the school at formal occasions as required
  • Works with house leaders to promote student participation in key school sporting events e.g. athletics day, swimming sports, cross country, and house competitions/activities
  • Works with other school leaders to promote the improvement of the school environment e.g. recycling, rubbish duty, murals, and the beautification of JPII site
  • Work with other school leaders and local environmental organisations to promote ‘act local, think global’ causes e.g. beach clean-up, community service, environmental innovation awareness at JPII
  • Works with the Pastoral Care Team and Whānau teachers to promote wellbeing initiatives in the school, including Te Whare Tapa Whā
  • Collaborates with other student leaders to achieve positive outcomes for the school and students
  • Shares progress and achievements termly through an article in the newsletter, and a final report for the school yearbook

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Sarah Manoj – Mission Leader

My name is Sarah Manoj, and I am honored to serve as the Catholic character leader for 2024.

This year, my main goals are to change the perspective we have on the Eucharist and mass, strengthen each of our Catholic faiths, and improve the compassion and respect we show as students of a Catholic school.

To achieve these goals, I’ve been encouraging the junior classes to participate in readings and liturgies and encouraging them to share their questions about the bible or eucharist during youth group sessions and our school Masses.

We educate students about how important the Holy Eucharist is, through fun posters created by my committee and the mission team. Additionally, we plan to start fundraising for camps such as Revolution and Antioch as we approach the end of Term 2.

In the future, I plan to invite Bishop Michael and Father Mathew to our school to share their knowledge and experiences about the Eucharist and Holy Spirit with our students.

As a first-generation immigrant who moved to New Zealand from India four years ago, I was raised with a strong faith and surrounded by different types of cultures from a young age. This upbringing has shaped me into who I am today and inspired me to share my faith with the people around me. As Psalm 91 says, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Ella Lysaght – Learning Support Leader

Hello everyone, I am Ella Lysaght the Learning Support Leader for 2024.

I am a year 13 at John Paul II High School and am thoroughly enjoying my time here so far. My future goals are to achieve university entrance and attend the University of Canterbury in 2025 to study law and management. I used to struggle with school, especially in the first year of NCEA (level 1); I lacked motivation and found the adjustment to the increased workload quite challenging. This year I want to combat this issue to ensure other students do not feel like this but feel supported instead.

My involvement as a student leader has mostly been working in committees which are beneficial in a litany of ways such as involving the student body and inspiring future leaders. So far, we have worked on getting to know each other, creating learning support posters, offering learning support during whanau literacy times and have begun developing plans for the future. Moving forward we will work on talking to some year 8’s from St Patrick’s that are coming to JPII or those that want some firsthand information on high school. I feel as though this is beneficial to the future of John Paul II students as the transition from primary to secondary can be quite daunting and they may not know what to expect. I am looking forward to collaborating with other student leaders to cover all aspects of learning support and create a bigger team to tackle certain tasks while also developing new and innovative ideas. I am looking forward attending a leadership course in Christchurch early April and hope to bring back some deeper insight into how to improve myself as a leader.

I believe that school is something students should value as it can open a lot of doors for success in the future. I hope my leadership can bring some enjoyment to school in alignment with the Catholic values in the school.


Zak Klempel – Academic Leader

Hi, I’m Zak Klempel, the academic leader for 2024

Our parents send us to school to learn, and out of the many things I learnt over my time at school is that for some students, school is difficult. At the other end there are those students who aren’t challenged at school, one might say, school is too easy!

I’ve always wanted to learn, but sometimes it feels like I’m sucking my nice roast dinner through a straw. Meanwhile, I watch people around me struggle with things being difficult. I have always helped my peers where I can, but now, as Academic Leader for 2024, I can help do so much more.

We now have a group of seniors tutors who work with juniors once a week to help them prepare them for the numeracy tests they will have to pass to sit NCEA. My academic committee and I have been designing activities for the tutors to help the juniors with during this time, and we seek to create more engaging tasks at a variety of different levels to meet everybody’s needs. I have been working with Mrs Francis and Mr Steggles to make this happen and I intend to continue increasing the support I can provide to all students at our school, this is merely the beginning. I understand it will take time to develop initiatives that can make a real positive difference.

This year I want to help the people who struggle, the people who excel, and also the people in the middle to all be able to get the most they can out of school and be successful. As somebody who has struggled with getting extension, this is going to be a big focus for me this year, hopefully establishing pathways for students to work toward scholarship in subjects, but I intend to help everybody. On my own, there is only so much I can do, but as a leader, I do not have to do this alone. There are so many great students in our school who can help make a difference. When I finish JPII at the end of the year, I don’t intend it to be the end of the impact I make, but rather the beginning. I seek to create a legacy that can be continued and built upon by the leaders I leave behind, so that in the future, we can create a truly great learning environment for everybody.

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Pyper Murphy – Pumanawa

Tēnā koutou, my name is Pyper Murphy and I am the Pumanawa leader for 2024.

As Pumanawa, my goal is for Māori culture to become more evident around our school – bringing more Māori culture around the school and recognising and celebrating Māori events.

This year, the school has put in place something called ‘committees’. Each leader has had to come up with their own committee which students join. Having committee’s enables leaders to have the help that they need from the students in the school to organise events and functions during the year. My committee is called the Māori culture committee. My committee’s purpose is to bring my goal of embracing Māori culture in our school to life. Our first initiative for this term is a whanau class korowai competition. A korowai is a traditional Māori woven cloak which is worn as a mantle of prestige and honour, and also holds great significance in Māori culture. The competition involves each whanau class working as a group to create their own korowai made out of natural materials. These must be worn by a member of each whanau and will be judged at the end of this term. After the competition has taken place, all of the korowai will be kept and displayed around the school. The korowai become memorabilia for each whanau class, and for our school.

The whanau class korowai competition is just one of the exciting things happening this year! My committee and I have already begun planning for the upcoming events next term. Keep an eye out for what we’ll bring to the school next!


Jude Paneda – Sports Captain

Kamusta everyone, my name is Jude Paneda and I am one of the Sports leaders for 2024. I work beside Jess Stevenson who is the other Sports leader. We have plenty planned for this year and have already run heaps of activities. I enjoy being physically active myself.

At my time at John Paul II I have participated in and represented our school in various sports. Being passionate about sports and staying active I want to use my leadership role to motivate and inspire others to participate in all of our schools sporting opportunities.

I ran bootcamp recently under supervision of Ri, which I really enjoyed. Bootcamp is made up of actions and exercises from boxing, basketball, touch, and netball.

Not only have I run sports events at school, but also team building activities that students do to win house during period 4 on Friday. I organised a bridge building competition that ran smoothly with Saints coming out on top – their bridge was able to hold all the weight. Last week I worked alongside the house spirit leader Jakob, and organised a teacher vs student basketball game. Once that game had finished we begun our inter-house basketball competition. Each house group made teams to compete.

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Jessica Stevenson – Sports Captain

Hi everyone, my name is Jess Stevenson and along with Jude Paneda, we are the sports leaders for John Paul II for 2024.

I love sports and it has been a key highlight of my time at John Paul. Going on trips for school competitions for badminton, volleyball, or touch and playing hockey during tournament week have inspired me to be a part of the change and become leaders.

We are working together to create a great sporting environment for every student to enjoy. We look to enhance the sporting rivalry throughout the school with many competitions taking place every couple of weeks. Working alongside Ri, who organises bootcamp, we provide sports every Friday for all the students to enjoy.A teacher vs student volleyball afternoon was a great success at the end of last term, that got everyone involved.

Improving Athletics Day and the cross country was a goal of ours that we think made the days better for everyone. Last term Jude and I designed and created a sports hoodie that we are just finalising, these will be available for students to purchase later in the term. Coming into the winter, sports are beginning to become a focus for students so having training and exercises for those who are in school teams will be important. Promoting and celebrating our sporting achievements is a priority for 2024. This term we are hoping to organise a ski trip with our committee!

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Jonathan Chapman – Environment Leader

We are oh, so very lucky as students, to be able to enjoy the wondrous landscape that is the West Coast, albeit it’s rainy patches, we live in a beautiful area that I really admire.

As the Environmental Leader I strive to instill my peers with a sense of care, for the place we know and love.

As the new environment leader for JPII in the coming 2024 year I am already immensely proud of the quick strides and activism presented through my committee, with some students already exhibiting exceptional leadership qualities. I’m thankful the student base this year is so helpful and keen to take action against strife, for the betterment of our school and community.

Already this year, we’ve embarked on a journey of environmental stewardship. A major highlight was our impactful beach cleanup, where students and teachers came together to restore the beauty of our nearby beach. Once again, It’s so heartening to witness the enthusiasm and dedication of our community members as we work side by side to make a visible difference.

Additionally, the Environmental Committee has been hard at work sealing captivating murals that have been unused for years. Not only will they adorn our school walls but they will also serve as a visual reminder of our commitment to environmental awareness and activism, how we can use the unused resources we have to make our school just a bit nicer. While just being geometric designs, these murals show the power of collective action.

However, we are far from done. As we set off into the next term I intend to kick our efforts up a higher gear, with many projects and initiatives just on the horizon. Together, we will continue to innovate, advocate, and lead by example in creating a greener, more sustainable future for our school and beyond.


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Dome Wiedermann – Hauora Wellbeing Leader

Good day to you all, my name is Döme Wiedermann and I am from Europe.

Coming from overseas has been and still is a challenge I face every day. I do not have the same quirks or mindset that many of you possess, but that won’t hold me back. I have come a long way from Hungary to your greenish town in New Zealand. I hope to use the things I have learned and apply them to the ones I picked up from this school and all of you!

My main plan is to create opportunities for you to broaden your horizons – as I had to – so you will have an advantage, like no one else! You might see me in different events, projects with the other leaders, or events that my team and I have put together. I believe with an open mind and respect, we can reach the goals we want to achieve!

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Jakob Walker – School Spirit Leader

Hi, I’m Jakob Walker, the School Spirit leader for 2024.

As the School Spirit leader, I am dedicated to elevating school spirit, increasing event participation, and enhancing house competitiveness.

Having spent my entire high school journey here, I have deeply valued the many opportunities in sports and extracurricular activities. My goal is to organise a wide array of engaging events alongside my fellow leaders, including sporting events, spirit week, and overall events that will foster a sense of unity and pride among our student body.

Additionally, I am committed to broadening event offerings and actively seeking student input to ensure inclusivity and representation. Through the promotion of friendly house competitions and collaborative efforts, we will ignite a strong sense of school pride and camaraderie.

Together, let us work towards creating a vibrant and tightly-knit school community.

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Our Multicultural Leaders:

  • Act as the cultural ambassadors for the multicultural body at JPII
  • Uphold the Catholic character at JPII
  • Contribute to the planning and organisation of cultural initiatives within the school, including cultural week, cultural evening
  • Liaise with Te Tai Poutini West Coast Multicultural Council to promote diversity and inclusion
  • Represent the school at formal occasions as required
  • Collaborate with other student leaders to achieve positive outcomes for the school and students
  • Shares progress and achievements termly through an article in the newsletter, and a final report for the school yearbook

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