Class Act 2019: The Catlins Area School

Logan Bird is the 2019 Class Act recipient for the Catlins Area School.

Logan Bird
Logan Bird
Logan Bird

Given his wide-ranging interests, it is perhaps surprising Logan Bird has any time left for his beloved football.

The Catlins Area School head boy (18) likes to relax by engaging with the beautiful game in any way he can.

''I play left back for South Otago High School, and I've really enjoyed playing for New Zealand secondary schools, even though we lost 2-1 last time.

''It was still a great experience to play at that level.''

The Manchester United fan fills in any spare time with televised Premiership and European football, and holds up Barcelona ace Lionel Messi as his football role model.

On a more personal level, however, grandfather Ian Thomson is his inspiration.

''He's a retired cockie - a hard worker and just a funny bloke.

''He gets on with everyone. That's something I try hard to do.''

Alongside his considerable academic achievements, particularly in science, Logan has consistently embodied his school's philosophy of ''tenacity''.

A first-class all-round athlete and sportsman in swimming, athletics and running, he can just as often be found keeping a friendly eye on the area school's youngsters.

''I set up a House Day, the idea being to create camaraderie between the different years within each house.

''In an area school, knowing and being able to interact well with the younger pupils helps prevent things like bullying, and brings everyone together.''

For a young man so invested in school, it's no surprise to learn he aspires to become a high school teacher when he leaves.

Little surprise either that, hailing from the beautiful Catlins, he leans towards matters ecological.

''We need to start acting now on climate change. It's been amazing to work with Doc on a sea lion conservation project recently, but it just brings home how vulnerable our native species are.

''There's a lot of work to be done.''

Achievements: Head boy (2019); NCEA levels 1 and 2 with merit; school awards for biology, social sciences, year 12 services to school and community and representing the school’s ethos (2018); Area Schools Leadership Camp; Spirit of Adventure; National Area Schools Tournament; 1st in swimming sports for many years; most conscientious sportsperson award (2018); many top-three placings in cross-country; 1st in athletics (2018), many top-three placings across all years; most valuable soccer player for two years; house captain (2019); board of trustees student rep (2018, 2019); developed whole school activities to benefit pupils and charities; House Day founder; coached and refereed years 7-8 touch team; National Area Schools Tournament rep (2016-19); competed in Otago Swimming Champs; South Otago High School 1st XI soccer team (2016-19), won division (2018); Kapa Haka leader; Anzac Day rep; Japan cultural exchange; Chorale choir; Doc sea lion behaviour and threat management project.

Role model: My grandfather. He’s a hard worker and funny bloke.

Hopes for the future: To become a high-school science teacher.

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