Monday, June 26th, 2017.

The new Head Boys, Head Girls and prefects

Excelsior Academy has chosen its new Head Boy and Head Girl – and they are so good they named them twice!

James Stephenson and Rene Kotlar are joint Head Boys while Stephanie Downs and Rudeyna Nashih are joint Head Girls after the interview panel decided they couldn’t choose between them for the top roles.

A supporting team of prefects has also been selected to work with pupils and staff – Jessica Sinton is Prefect for KS4 transition, Zahra Mollaie Prefect for WEX/UCAS, Nuhu Kejamn is Prefect for Mentoring and Grace Jecco Obi Prefect for Academic Intervention.

The successful candidates all had to apply for the top posts.

They were interviewed in Excelsior’s Milecastle Room by a panel headed by Claire Goodwill, Excelsior College Principal, Welfare Manager Donna Harrison and current Head Boy and Head Girl Najeeb Kalandari and Anam Rauf.

Donna said: “We decided that we just couldn’t separate the candidates for Head Boy and Head Girl so we thought ‘why not just appoint both as joint Head Boy and Head Girl?’

“We also decided to have two lead appointments due to the nature of the role and to ensure the students had a balance between this and their studies. We couldn’t choose between the two – they were the most difficult decisions we’ve had to make!

“All of the candidates were outstanding, they are truly amazing ambassadors for Excelsior College and this was the reason we decided to offer them each a role drawing on their strengths.

“The successful candidates all had to apply for their positions, attend interviews, answer questions and explain why they were best suited for the roles – and we thought they all performed so well under pressure.”

Stephanie said: “We had to write an application form saying why we wanted it and what things we would change.

“There was a practical question to plan an event to show that we could do it. I said I thought there were things that people wanted changing but didn’t think they could tell people about, didn’t know who to speak to, and I thought I could do that for them.”

Rene said: “I applied because I thought it was a good opportunity to help support people in life in college. I was surprised to get Head Boy and even more to find out I’d be working with James.”

James, who is presently Deputy Head Boy, said: “I was very happy to get this with Rene, to work together will be very effective – we know each other really well. It’s about putting ideas forward that students would like – it’s not really about our opinions, it’s about the school’s.”

Rudeyna echoed her friends’ aims to speak for pupils across the academy. “I said that I wanted to be the voice for students in our college, to be someone that can say things they want to say but might not be confident enough to say. Being confident is a big part of being Head Girl.”