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New job . . . Aisea Fifita is looking forward to new challenges at Waitaki Boys' High School. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Waitaki Boys’ High School teacher Aisea Fifita is a happy man following his recent appointment as assistant rector.

“Happiness” and “responsibility” were two things that came to mind when he first found out he got the job, he said.

The new school year had started out “hectic” but he was enjoying settling into the role.

It could get very busy juggling the assistant rector role and still fitting in two maths classes, Mr Fifita said.

“It is a big task – I enjoy standing in front of the students to teach.”

Originally from Tongatapu, Tonga, Mr Fifita came to New Zealand in 1993 to study science at the University of Auckland.

It was not until he began working and travelling to different places that he found his passion for teaching.

“Teaching was not part of my goal,” Mr Fifita said.

After encouragement and motivation from many people, Mr Fifita decided he would look into teaching, and he returned to the University of Auckland to get his degree.

After teaching at Birkenhead College, in Auckland, he joined Waitaki Boys’ four years ago.

One of the biggest things he liked about the Oamaru school was the education it offered for Pasifika pupils.

“I am passionate about Pasifika education. The focus is to make everybody feel at home.”

Mr Fifita loved North Otago because of the outdoors and the easy “two-minute” access to areas of Oamaru.

The lifestyle also suited his wife and their two sons.

Having a large Pasifika community around North Otago made Mr Fifita feel proud.