Aquinas College in Tauranga is mourning the sudden death of Year 11 student Andy Kim on February 5.
Writing in the college’s February newsletter, principal Ray Scott stated that the news of Andy’s death “was an absolute shock to us all and hit his friends and family very hard”.
An older brother, Kyle, graduated from Aquinas College at the end of his Year 13 studies last year, and is going to university, NZ Catholic understands.
Mr Scott wrote: “The upwelling of support for Andy’s family from the students, together with the support of staff for students and each other, was a true blessing for the college community at such a tough time.
“There has also been considerable use made of the college chapel over the last week by students and staff.”
Mr Scott noted that a remembrance area had provided a focal point for students to pray, reflect and gather in small groups to support each other.
He added that parents are welcome to use the college chapel if they need to.
Support continued through a liturgy and funeral service on February 9.
Mr Scott also noted that a significant number of students from Aquinas College knew Hamish Rieger, 17, who died after being swept off rocks at Mt Maunganui in January.
A requiem Mass for the Mt Maunganui College student was celebrated at St Thomas More Church. Many Aquinas College students and families attended.
“The beginning of the year has been a difficult and challenging time for us all,” Mr Scott noted.