Māori & Pasifika Mentor, Y11 Dean
All about the people
Sarah Molisa joined Marsden in 2009 as an Early Childhood Educator in the Preschool, quickly becoming a firm favourite with our tamariki. Today our Preschool students still enjoy her company, but her role has extended into both the Primary and Upper Schools. Sarah now teaches Te Reo Māori to Preschool, Primary and Year 7 – 10 students, and PE and Health to Year 7-10s. 2021 also saw her take on the role of Māori/Pasifika mentor.
“My main aim in the role of Māori/Pasifika mentor is to provide a sense of wellbeing and community for our Māori and Pasifika students. I want them to feel like they have a place at Marsden and that their families have a voice too. We are developing this community through whānau hui and regular meetings, and my office is a place where students can come and chat. As a Māori/Pasifika community we are looking at ways to strengthen relationships across all areas of the school and enable our students and staff to develop themselves as learners and teachers alike.”
Alongside her role as student mentor, Sarah also has a huge influence on the hauora of students through exercise - as a PE teacher, basketball and netball coach, and as a staff helper on our Duke of Ed tramps and school ski trips.
Sarah’s love of sport started young. She represented Canterbury in athletics, basketball, gymnastics and netball, continuing basketball on at senior women’s level in Wellington. She also played basketball for the NZ Māori team at The Pacific Games. Sarah is now a member of the High Performance Women's Coaching team, and was invited by Basketball NZ to attend the NZ Womens’ Tall Ferns team selection camp. She was also recently appointed as NZ U17 Women's Assistant Coach.
Zest for life
Sarah’s key character strengths are humour and social intelligence, and with the energy she puts into everything she does, we are sure that ‘zest’ is on her list too!
“I often recognise when students need some support and I use my humour to help them through, so they feel safe and relaxed enough to share what is going on for them. I love the pastoral care at Marsden. It’s like no other school. We know all of our students, we care about them and always go that extra mile. The community is so supportive of each other and we celebrate the great things we all achieve, no matter how big or small. Even in these COVID times Marsden is a school that provides service in many ways both within and outside our own community, that is the type of character we value and celebrate. He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. A proverb that is often overused but the message is what makes it so important. We are all about people.”