“I attended James Cook between 1994-1997 and I left at the end of 6th Form.
Many things inspired me. When I attended we had something that I would describe as a “home room” or room where you went to before your curriculum started, this class was made up of all different levels of students from form 3 right up to 7th form. I seem to recall the home room teacher as Miss Liptrot.
What inspired me about my home room teacher was she cared so much about everyone in the room. She would spend her own money on things so the class room was more inviting and comfortable, she came across extremely genuine and wanted us all to succeed. I know this as the class played up a bit and when we did this teacher would become very upset and it was disappointment not anger that upset her, seeing that we were not holding ourselves to the same standard she held us too. My friends inspired me, there were people who didn’t have much but you could see wanted a change and they worked very hard to change things for themselves and others who obviously just accepted some things and didn’t try, even at the age I was at, I could see this and it really did make me ask myself which one am I going to be.
I own and operate Manukau Pak n’ Save, South Auckland’s largest retail supermarket that employees over 200 staff.
My advice is don’t let anything define who you are or what you will become. The world is full of opportunities for everyone, it all comes down to attitude. Work to a set of values and maintain your behaviours to these.”