Catherine Alvarez follows sister Julianne as head girl at Sacred Heart College

Catherine Alvarez maintained a family tradition by becoming head girl at Sacred Heart College.
Photo: Nicholas Boyack/Fairfax NZ

Catherine Alvarez maintained a family tradition by becoming head girl at Sacred Heart College.

Catherine Alvarez had a hard act to follow at Sacred Heart College.

The 17-year-old has stepped out of the shadow of her high-profile sister, Julianne, to hold the coveted role of the Lower Hutt school's head girl.

What makes her achievement special is that Julianne, who dominated amateur golf in New Zealand and now stars for Washington State in America, held the same role in 2014.

Julianne Alvarez won the Emerging Sportswoman category at the Wellington Sports Awards in 2014, the same year she was ...
Photo: Maarten Holl/Fairfax NZ

Julianne Alvarez won the Emerging Sportswoman category at the Wellington Sports Awards in 2014, the same year she was head girl at Sacred Heart College.

Although Catherine was proud of her sister, she was keen to forge her own identity.

READ MORE:
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* Alvarez heads Wellington team
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Parents Monica and Vergel​ were happy for her to not play golf and have always been supportive no matter what she did.

"My parents have never seen me as a carbon copy of my sister, I am so grateful for that."

The only sport she plays is social badminton.

To win the top job at Sacred Heart, Catherine had to nominate herself. There was then a vote with the final decision being made by principal Maria Potter.

It was a role coveted by Catherine since she started at Sacred Heart. "When you are a year 9, all you want to be is head girl."

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Catherine was a year 10 when Julianne led the school and the commitment she gave it left a lasting impression on her.

As New Zealand's leading amateur golfer, Julianne spent hours on the practice tee but still found time for her school commitments and to study.

The respect she held within the school encouraged Catherine to try to leave a similar legacy.

"The most important part of the job is being one of the girls and knowing you are there for them."

Being head girl is a demanding job and Catherine has learnt that to be successful, she has to delegate.

Being able to call on Julianne for advice had also helped.

"I can go to her and she just says, 'actually that happened to me, this is what you need to do'."

Catherine plans to study medicine when she leaves school.

 

 - Stuff

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