Palmerston North Girls' High School's 2007 dux Julie Zou, was the best year 13 mathematician in New Zealand last year.
Ms Zou was awarded one of eight premier awards, and two of 27 top subject scholar awards, by Governor General Anand Satyanand and Education Minister Chris Carter in a ceremony at Government House today.
The awards were for the top performers in the 2007 New Zealand scholarship examinations.
Her subject prizes were for mathematics with calculus, and statistics and modelling.
Ms Zou is studying environmental engineering at Auckland University this year.
Girls' high principal Melba Scott remembered her as an outstanding allrounder, multitalented and with exceptional abilities in mathematics.
While in Year 12, Ms Zou set up Maths Zone - a lunchtime drop-in centre in the school's mathematics department, open to anyone who wanted help with maths, or who wanted to explore different ideas in maths.
Mathematics was her passion, and she shared it enthusiastically with others. She was the school's mathematics prefect last year.
Looking over Ms Zao's school record, Ms Scott said she was in the top band in all her subjects, every year. She completed the secondary school maths curriculum in year 12, and did university maths papers in her maths time in Year 13.
As well as her dux award last year, she was awarded the school's Beverly Livingstone Cup for Citizenship. She was also the top ICAS Mathematics achiever in New Zealand, and she was awarded a University of Auckland scholarship - $5000 a year for three years - for her academic excellence. She also won the school's Trust Scholarship for Academic Excellence - $2000 a year for three years.
Ms Scott said Ms Zou was also a keen debater, and was a member of the school's concert band and symphonic band. She fundraised for several charities in her spare time.
"She was one of those students who made a difference in the school.. She will be long remembered here," Ms Scott said.
The other Premier Award winners presented today were: Alissa Hackett, Wanganui High School; Chen Liu, Rutherford College; Chuan-Zheng Lee, Mount Roskill College; James Ruddell, Saint Kentigern College; Rafe Hampson, Wellington College; Samuel Bookman, Saint Kentigern College; Zabin Farishta, Lynfield College.
Premier awards are worth $10,000 a year for three years, as long as students maintain a B grade average in tertiary studies. To win one, students must gain at least three scholarships at outstanding level.
The Top Subject Scholar Award is worth $2000 a year for three years, with the same conditions, given to the top performer in each subject.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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