February 2022

Make Tonga Your Valentine

Malo e lelei kainga

On 14 February many celebrated Valentine’s Day by recognising their love for each other, however at Lynfield College students and staff celebrated Valentine's Day by making Tonga their Valentine.

The Young Māori and Pacific Pride Leaders along with the Student Exec, encouraged staff and students to get behind Tonga by bringing in a non-perishable item to school. Through the efforts of all who contributed, we were able to gather a large sum of non-perishables to assist Tonga.

These items were collected and distributed to a non-government funded disabled school in Tonga.

We were so proud of how the community supported this initiative and supported not only Lynfield but more importantly Tonga through their hardship.

We were also able to donate to the Red Cross Appeal for Tonga. The school alongside staff raised over $900.

We would like to thank our Lynfield Community staff and students for always recognising the importance of helping others.

Malo aupito. ʻOfa mei he kau taki ʻo e kau taki Mauli mo e Pasifiki mo e Kolisi Lynfield.

tonga a tonga c tonga b

VEX Robotics National Championships 2022

Tournaments are held year-round at the regional and national levels and culminate at the VEX Robotics World Championship each April. The weekend of 12 and 13 February was the VEX Robotics National Championships. This was split over two days as two separate events to keep numbers under 100 on each day to meet Covid guidelines.

On Saturday Lynfield College had one team competing. They are Damon Atherstone Y13 last year, Kaelem Chandra and Ahil Hussain. They were knocked out in the semi-finals, however they were awarded the Think Award for the programming of their robot especially for their consistently good autonomous robot control.

On Sunday we had three teams competing. Team 2915U members Zak Ray, Rielly Moore and Nicholas Belt were performed consistently well all day and completed the qualifying rounds ranked 1st. They continued this throughout the quarter finals, semis and finals to finish as New Zealand Champions and qualify to compete in the World Championships. They were also awarded the ‘Amaze Award’ for the team that built the most consistently high-scoring and competitive robot, and the robot shows high-quality construction and effective programming.

Team 2915F, Evan Huang, Jaidev Bhikha, Didula Semasinghe, Kovid Dev and Faiz Khaja (not in attendance), all Y11, were awarded the Middle School Excellence Award. This award is the highest award presented in the VEX Robotics Program. The recipient is a team that exemplifies overall excellence in creating a high-quality competitive program. The team is a strong contender in numerous award categories and exemplifies dedication, devotion, hard work, teamwork and commitment.

We also need to congratulate Lynfield College Team 2915F on being selected a winner in the VRC Middle School - Make It Real CAD Engineering Online Challenge Sponsored by Autodesk. This year there were entries from 42 states and 17 countries and each entry was reviewed by multiple judges.

Link to our teams (Evan Huang’s) entry https://challenges.robotevents.com/challenge/161/vexu-make-it-real-cad-engineering-online-challenge-sponsored-by-autodesk/entry/10291

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VEX Robotics
Teacher of the Year Award

The recipient of this award is chosen by the students. It is presented to a teacher who shows true leadership and dedication to his or her group of students. The winner of this award continually exceeds expectations to ensure a safe, enjoyable and educational experience for all students. 

Congratulations to Doug Bryan on receiving the VEX Robotics Teacher of the Year Award 2021/2022.
doug award

International Women’s Day 2022

At Lynfield, we are proud to be a school that supports equality. This week student leaders showed their support for International Women's Day by giving 'thank you cards' to staff, creating complimentary bookmarks and encouraging students to sign the #Break the Bias poster.

Most importantly the message of 'appreciate the women in your life' was shared! A huge thank you to Vishwa Jayswal for her leadership in the new Social Impact Co-ordinator role.

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Scholarship Exam Results

The number of students who were entered or chose to sit Scholarship exams in 2021 was significantly reduced because of Covid lockdowns and the disruption to learning these caused. However, six Scholarships were awarded to four Lynfield College students across five subject areas for 2021. These included two Outstanding Scholarships (Design and Biology).

Students who gained Scholarship were:

Isha Ramanlal in Economics, Statistics and Biology (Outstanding)
Eliana Sanvictores in Design (Outstanding)
Benjamin Mason in Design
Aashish Ramanlal in History

Congratulations to all our Scholarship students and especially to Isha Ramanlal, who gained three of the six Scholarships, including one Outstanding Scholarship in Biology and was TOP Biology student in New Zealand.

Students who gained a scholarship are given a monetary award for their university study. The College is extremely proud of these students. They gained top academic awards despite the challenges they faced to their learning in 2021. The College also recognises the work done by the teachers to prepare and tutor these high achievers.

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Isha Ramanlal Benjamin Mason Eliana Sanvictores Ashish Ramenlal

VEX – ‘Make It Real’ CAD Engineering Online Challenge

Evan Huang is one of five finalists in the 2022 VEX – ‘Make It Real’ CAD Engineering Online Challenge Sponsored by Autodesk. The winner will be announced by 23 February 2022.


Autodesk is dedicated to preparing the next generation of tinkerers, makers, designers, and engineers to lead in the future of work. Their technologies allow students to turn ideas and innovations into reality. Entries for this challenge use Autodesk 3D design software to conceptualize and model a new robot component.

During the summer holidays, Evan designed and developed a new kit for VEX Robotic Challenge that adds new functionality and solves a real-world design issues: 8-Post Hex Nut Retainer Kit. See the project detail:


Many thanks to Mr Yearbury (Lynfield Robotics Club coach) for 3D printing the parts during the holidays.

A Special Welcome to Our Year 9 Students

Our new Year 9 students have had a wonderful two days settling in to Lynfield College. They have been working in small Hui mai groups to get to know each other and the school. Activities include creating a class ‘treaty’ and a class identification project.

The finale was an afternoon of tabloid sports which was great fun. Our new students were very successfully supported by our senior peer support leaders.
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Welcome to our New Staff

A mihi whakatau was held before school for our new staff members on Tuesday 1 February.

powhiri 2022

We will be highlighting our new staff over the next few weeks. Here are the first three …

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Larissa Pakura (PKR)

Kia ora e te whānau o Te Kāreti o Pukewiwi. My social studies, commerce, business and te reo Māori students know me as Whaea Larissa. I reside in the Kaipara area with my partner and two daughters who are at primary school. We quite often launch our tinnie (or fizz boat) from the wharf five minutes drive from my house to catch fresh fish (mostly snapper) in what the locals call Old Ships Channel in the Kaipara Harbour.

Thomas Husband (HSB)

Kia ora all, I am Thomas Husband and I am new to the English department this year. I am a first year teacher and previously worked in the TV industry in post-production. I really enjoy watching movies and TV, board games and anything else nerdy. Don’t hesitate to come and have a chat to me when you see me around school, I’ll do my best to remember your name.

Zubin Irani (IRN)

I am a Mathematics teacher having held varied Senior leadership roles in my teaching profession spanning over almost two decades. I have joined Lynfield College as Assistant Head of Faculty for Mathematics and Statistics. Students are my main motivation for wanting to teach Mathematics and I take on the role to inspire and encourage students of all abilities to give their best and work hard to make them overcome the stigma associated with the subject. I look forward to working alongside other teachers at Lynfield college and with whanau to bring about an all-round development of our akonga.

New Year's Honours to Lynfield Past Pupil

Congratulations to Michèle Hawke on becoming a Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

I was a pupil at Lynfield College from 1967 to 1970 and have always been proud of the education I received there. My name is the first on the list (1966) of Margaret Griffen Memorial Scholarships and also appears as a NZ representative for gymnastics.

The school was barely 10 years old when I went there but recognised as having one of the best science departments in Auckland and I benefited from amazing teachers - Lionel Warner, Ian Hayter, John Stein as well as some outstanding English and language teachers. I have always said that Ian Hayter, who I considered an inspirational Chemistry teacher, shaped my life with one lesson at the end of my Year 12. He put a map of the world up in front of the blackboard and talked about Plate Tectonics, which in 1969 was a very new theory and he didn't even call it that. I was not aware he had a Masters in Geology but that one lesson enthused me to study Geology and I went on to do a BSc in Chemistry and Geology and then a PhD in geology. I was fortunate to see him at a school reunion in 1983 and tell him the influence he had had on my life.

 michele hawke
I am always one to celebrate success and am always humble about my own achievements, but thought you might like to know that I was a awarded a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to gymnastics in the New Year’s Honours. My parents taught and role modelled giving back to sport or an organisation and I have followed in their footsteps. While I have learned a lot in my professional life my greatest satisfaction has always been what I have been able to contribute to the communities I have lived in and been involved with, both within New Zealand and in Borneo, Indonesia where I lived and worked for eight and half years.

I would like to wish you and the students all the very best for a productive and successful year amidst these challenging times. I will always be a proud graduate of Lynfield College.

Nga mihi

Michele Hawke CNZM PhD

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