Daniel Kleinsman is a year 13 student at Tawa College and is this year's head boy (2009). He is an active participant in both college life and the Tawa community. "Sweet as ..." is his usual expression when he's okay with a particular situation.
"Daniel is an excellent role model for younger students," says his principal, Murray Lucas, "and he is regarded as a young man of real integrity and character." A lot to live up to!
Our interview with Daniel is our first with a "young person", but there will be more to come as there are many great "kids" living in Tawa. This week's interviewee is more than 70 years younger than the gentleman who featured on this site two weeks ago. Daniel will turn 18 in April 2010.
Where were you born, Daniel?
Where did you grow up?
At about age 1 my family moved to Invercargill for two years. We were then in Dunedin for two years where I started school. Moved to Tawa when I was five.
What schools have you been at?
Years 2-6 at St Francis Xavier School in Tawa. Years 7 & 8 at Bishop Viard College. Years 9-13 at Tawa College.
What subjects are you doing this year at college?
Statistics, calculus, biology, English, history.
What are you hoping to do when you leave school?
I think I'm going to do law next year at Vic [Victoria University]. I went to the Vic Open Day yesterday [late August]. They talked about the different areas of study. I'm quite keen to do law, maybe a BA in political science as well, like a double degree. I don't know if I'll necessarily be a lawyer though.
What does being a head student actually involve, any particular responsibilities?
It involves a little bit of out-of-school stuff, like with students from other schools, which is great for meeting new people. We have weekly meetings with our prefect team and have organised several big events both for juniors and the whole school. For me I think one of the most important things is just being friendly and getting to know the other students. I try to be a positive example in the school.
What about family?
I live at home with Mum & Dad with an older sister and a younger sister.
What are your interests/hobbies?
In the Tawa College 2nd 11 boys' soccer team. Do a bit of running - did the Harbour Capital marathon in June with some exchange students, from the Stadium to Seatoun and back. Do a bit of tramping with the family. Do a bit of fishing with Dad. "We've just got a two-person ocean kayak - we'll use that to go out fishing a bit." I do things like debating at school - that's good fun. "Music stuff as well." I play the saxophone in Concert Band [at college] and the guitar in Guitawa. Also in Dawn Chorus, Acafellas and Twilight Tones [choirs]. We're travelling to Auckland in two weeks - "I'm looking forward to that."
What do you like about Tawa?
It's a friendly place, easy to meet people. Quite nice and small, independent.
What, if anything, would improve Tawa?
I would say a fast food outlet, but we've just got Subway. A 24 hour McDonald's or something would always be nice too.
What is your favourite dessert?
Probably ambrosia - tastes good and it's easy to make. "It's the only thing I can make myself."
Favourite sports team and/or sportsperson?
Arsenal. I used to follow them more than I do now. Sportsperson - Lance Armstrong. "I follow the Tour de France quite closely."
Favourite musical group and/or style of music?
Maybe The Killers - sort of like soft rock.
Favourite holiday destination in New Zealand?
Been to Onaero [northern Taranaki coast] a few times. "I quite like going there."
Favourite quote or saying?
One that we had on our toilet door for a while: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." [original quote by Marianne Williamson, but commonly misattributed to Nelson Mandela's inaugural address - Ed].
If you could meet any two or three people (alive or dead), who would they be?
Barack Obama - "I've read a lot about him lately."
My deceased grandparents. "I never met my Mum's parents."
What two or three things would you take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
My IPod, a few decent books, and I guess a radio's just common sense.
What is one talent you would like that you do not have?
I wish I could dance well. "I do it anyway in the privacy of my room, just not very well!" At this year's [Tawa College] Formal I had to start the snowball waltz with Josie [head girl] and I mixed it up with a foxtrot. "That was a bit embarrassing."
What is one talent you have that you could not do without?
The ability to communicate things with others, and work with other people.
Any accomplishments/achievements in your life (to date) that give you much satisfaction/pride?
Completing the marathon in less than four hours, and being chosen as head boy.
What are two or three things you would like to achieve in the years ahead?
Eventually like to have a family.
Like to learn another language.
Like to do skydiving.