Class Act 2019: St Kevin’s College

Seth Humphries and Rata McMullan are the 2019 Class Act recipients for St Kevin’s College.

Seth Humphries
Seth Humphries
Seth Humphries

Seth Humphries is a self-described ''hands-on kind of guy''.

Last year, the 17-year-old St Kevin's College head boy took a mechanical engineering course, working with small motors and cars, and something clicked.

''I fell in love with working on cars,'' Seth said.

''And now that I have a car of my own, all I do is tinker with it.

''Usually, I break stuff and then have to fix it. Or I'll be trying to fix something that's not broken - and then break it and actually have to fix it.''

Seth also loves planes, and when he finishes secondary school, he has his sights set on joining the Royal New Zealand Air Force where he wants to get a start as an aircraft technician.

Seth is also an athlete and a student leader at school.

He loves rugby and has played for the school's first XV on the wing for the past three years.

Upon arrival at St Kevin's College, he found his feet as a sprinter too.

''As soon as I came to St Kevin's, it flourished.

''I went from not being very athletic, not very active, to becoming just a bit of a freak of nature on the sprinting track.''

Seth identifies with his Ngati Kahungunu heritage and has acted as the school's haka leader for each of the past five years, receiving two Maori leadership awards - both the Manu Pounamu Award and Manu Tuakana Award - in 2017.

Seth takes his service to others seriously - he has served in both student leadership roles and service clubs.

He has spent time as a rugby coach for under-13s and under-12s.

He has spent the past two years as a student mentor.

Achievements: Head pupil (2019); NCEA level 1 and level 2; Ara level 2 engineering course (2018); North Otago rugby (2018); St Kevin’s College 1st XV Rugby (2017-19); school sprint champion (2018); overall athletic champion U16 (2017); Aoraki athletics (2015-19); top 5 junior athlete (2016); South Island athletics (2017, 2019); Town v Country rugby (2015-16); junior basketball (2015-16); Otago track rep (2016); Manu Pounamu Award (2017); Manu Tuakana Award (2017); Bishop Shield (2015-16); school haka leader (2015-19); Mandarin excellence (2016); helper for Andrew (2018); Leo’s Club (2018-19); student council (2015); hostel student council (2015-16); St Joseph’s School rugby U13 coach (2018); North Otago rugby U12 coach (2018); student mentor (2018-19).

Role model: Michael B. Jordan.

Hopes for the future: To make my way up the ranks in the Royal New Zealand Air Force.


Rata McMullan
Rata McMullan
Rata McMullan

With so much going for her this year, Rata McMullan's biggest challenge is deciding what direction her future will take.

The 18-year-old St Kevin's College head girl has not firmed up plans for university next year. But she knows she has options.

''I'll figure it out,'' she said.

She is an outstanding academic leader at school, particularly in mathematics and science.

University next year could involve pursuing mathematics, chemistry, physics, or engineering, she said. She is already doing well in a University of Canterbury mathematics course.

But she also has an artistic side. She is a sculpture and fabric student, a member of the St Kevin's College philosophy club, and has designed the service badges that other St Kevin's College pupils aspire to have.

She also plays the violin and has been a member of the Oamaru Youth Orchestra for the past two years.

Rata also has a passion for her fellow pupils and the community.

She is environmentally active, she has been a member of the Waitaki District Youth Council for the past two years, she has been on the school's formal committee and the docere committee which works on school policy; and she is a peer mentor.

Somehow, she has also found the time to vice-captain the school's first XI hockey team.

''This year has been extremely busy, but these are all things that I am passionate about.

''They're all things that I want to hold on to,'' she said.

Achievements:  Head girl (2019); NCEA levels 1 and 2 with excellence; excellence endorsement in level 2 maths (2017); excellence endorsement level 3 maths (2018); school service to mathematics award (2018); studying mathematics at the University of Canterbury (2019); 1st in level 1 science, art, geography and level 2 maths (2017); 1st in level 2 chemistry, art and level 3 maths (2018); North Otago hockey (2015, 2016); 1st XI girls hockey (2015, 2017, 2018, 2019); hockey tournament week (2016); Jenny McDonald Cup winners (2018); captain of girls hockey development team (2016); hockey leadership team (2018, 2019); vice-captain 1st XI hockey (2019); cross-country U16 winner (2017); archery (2017); Oamaru Youth Orchestra violinist (2018, 2019); Confucius Institute trip to China (2017); school philosophy club (2015-19); bronze, silver and gold St Kevin’s service awards; Waitaki District Youth Council (2018-19); justice awareness group assistant leader (2018); World Vision group (2018); Caritas group (2018); year 9 teacher aide (2018); Street Retreat (2018); formal committee (2019); docere committee; peer mentor (2019); Outward bound course (2018); Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver, finishing gold (2019); Project Jonah course (2019), registered marine mammal medic (2019).

Role models: I’m inspired by the people around me.

Hopes for the future: To pursuing learning and knowledge.

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