Friends, staff key to success
Waimea College dux Annelise Brown will miss her friends, teachers and Nelson's warm weather when she goes to Otago University next year to study health science.
Annelise, 18, received the ASB Award for Dux at the college's senior prizegiving yesterday, attended by senior students, staff and parents.
After the prizegiving, Annelise acknowledged the role of her friends and teachers at Waimea College in her academic success.
"It's a great school. I've made so many good friends and had so much good support from the staff.
"I'm excited about studying at Otago next year but I'll also miss this school and the warm weather.
"It's going to be a bit scary leaving home."
Annelise said she planned to study health science next year and hoped to get good enough marks to be accepted for medical school.
Michelle Westley was named Proxime Accessit, or second to the dux, while Casey Gousmett and James Vanner received the Principal's Award for Academic Excellence.
The General Excellence Award for Boys was won by Simon Parkes and the General Excellence Award for Girls was won by Helena Roughton.
Guest speaker Canterbury University Professor Jason Tylianakis presented all the major academic awards.
Principal Larry Ching said he invited Prof Tylianakis to be guest speaker to emphasise the importance of academic achievement.
Mr Ching said he was impressed with the high quality of the academic achievements of the students this year and Annelise's grades were outstanding.
Senior students given the message
Guest speaker at Waimea College's senior prizegiving, Canterbury University professor Jason Tylianakis, had three key messages for senior students.
Prof Tylianakis, who has a doctorate in terrestrial ecology and is the youngest appointed professor at Canterbury University, encouraged students to set their own goals, appreciate the value of education and work hard to achieve their goals.
"Don't let other people set your limits," he said. "Decide what you want to do and go after it."
He illustrated the value of education by saying it not only opened doors to employment opportunities, it also paid off financially.
He said tertiary graduates earned $14,000 more a year on average than people who didn't complete tertiary studies. But Prof Tylianakis said the bottom line was hard work.
"Don't follow the path of least resistance. Decide what you really want and spend all of your time and effort to achieve that goal."
Prof Tylianakis also acknowledged that parents and teachers played a key role in students' academic success.
He asked the students to give their teachers and parents a round of applause to show their appreciation.