Class Act 2023: Tokomairiro High School

Jenna Griffin


For Jenna Griffin, there is nothing she is more passionate about than making positive changes in the lives of young children.

Jenna’s goal to become an early childhood educator was heavily inspired by the passion and love her father, Shane Griffin, has shown for his job.

"My dad has had many setbacks in his life, but I admire how none of them have stopped him from persevering with life and accomplishing his goals," Jenna says.

His fortitude has inspired her to follow her goals.

Jenna wants to teach children in the early stages of their lives as she believes this is when she could have the biggest impact.

Other factors have also shaped her passion for early childhood education.

Her involvement in activities such as Outward Bound and the Māna Wāhine leadership courses have provided her with a solid foundation to pursue her chosen career.

Jenna’s activities, sports and jobs have led to her spending a lot of time around young children.

"I have spent a bunch of time with younger children, whether that was when I have been babysitting them or just playing around with them.

"I get so much joy out of working alongside them, guiding them and teaching them."

Next year, Jenna plans to head to the University of Otago to take the next step towards her goal.

She will study a bachelor of teaching and specialise in early childhood education.

"When it came to making the decision of what I wanted to do, this felt so easy and right to me."


Achievements:  Otago Collier Hockey most valuable player (2018), South Otago representative netball (2018) , South Otago U16 girls’ touch rugby representative (2019), Otago U16 mixed touch team (2020), Tokomairiro High School silver badge recipient for touch and netball (2020), Royals Open Women touch team member (2022), Level 1 Tokomairiro High School prizegiving first in geography (2021), intermediate girls’ athletics champion (2021), Catherine Weir Mana Award for excellence in kapa haka (2021), Level 2 Tokomairiro 
High School prizegiving first in outdoor education (2022), attended Outward Bound (2022), attended Māna Wāhine leadership course (2022), Tokomairiro High School peer support leader (2023), Tokomairiro High School head student (2023).

Role Model: My dad will forever be my biggest role model no matter what.  

Hopes for the future: To go to the University of Otago in 2023 to study a bachelor of teaching and specialise in early childhood education.


Camrin Stephen


Joining the Milton Volunteer Fire Brigade was a decisive moment for Camrin Stephen.

The 18-year-old Tokomairiro High School head pupil has always enjoyed helping other people. He believes becoming a volunteer firefighter will help him build important skills such as resilience and teamwork that will help him throughout his life.

"I enjoy helping others and volunteering is a very good way for me to express that."

Getting this experience was a big step for Camrin.

"I have never played sports outside of school before. So meeting new people and forming new relationships is an important life skill which helps me work successfully with the team at the brigade."

He believes the high-pressure situations experienced during callouts will help him learn to deal with future work and life pressures.

At school, Camrin has enjoyed maths, especially statistics.

This has sparked a love of the world of finance.

"I have always loved money ... and I would love to understand it.

"I think my work in maths would help me with the number side of the financial work I hope to do."

Camrin has explored a lot of options, from accountancy and financial analysing to stockbroking.

"I would like to spend time in each of these positions to truly understand the work behind them."

This will provide the interesting and challenging work he is seeking.

Camrin says his parents are his role models and inspire him.

"My mother’s determination to provide the best education to her class and my father’s drive to create a successful business have shown me how to be a good person."

Camrin hopes to study for a bachelor of commerce at the University of Otago.

After completing his study, he hopes eventually to start a business.

"Selling what? Making what?

Doing what? I really don’t know. But I would love to create a successful company."


Achievements: Tokomairiro High School head pupil (2023), Tokomairiro High School Peer Support Leader (2023), Community Volunteer Firefighter (2022-present), NCEA level 1 endorsed with merit (2021), level 1 Tokomairiro High School Prizegiving First in Geography and Food Technology (2021), level 2 Tokomairiro High School Prizegiving First in History, Mathematics with Statistics and Physics (2022). 
Role Models: My parents. My mum is a school teacher at Milton Primary School and my dad founded Toko Trailers a few decades ago.
Hopes for the future: Study at the University of Otago towards a bachelor of commerce degree. I am unsure what I want to major in, but I would love to work in the world of finance.