The Garin College dux has attributed hard work and a good attitude to her success.
Year 13 student Ashley Booth took home the dux award at Garin College's end of year prize-giving last week.
Her mother, Esther Booth, said she was wonderfully proud of her daughter and her achievements.
"She has worked just so hard, putting in the long hours and dedication.
Her father, Robert Booth, said being dux had been something Ashley had had her heart set on at a young age: "Put it this way . . . I have never had to tell Ashley to go and do her homework."
The Otago University medical school hopeful said while she had certainly worked hard, the win was a surprise.
"There were so many strong people in my year group. There was an amazing set of people.
"I was not really an academic student and I really never thought of myself as such."
She decided to get stuck into study once she started college, she said. "If you study really hard and try your hardest in every subject you will see the results, it's simple," she said.
The nationally-ranked pistol champion said time management was a big concern for her in 2013.
It would prove to be a valuable skill to have in the lead up to attending university, she said.
Attending the "muffin club" - an initiative created by principal John Boyce to entice the school leaders to attend weekly meetings before school - was a highlight of her year.
Ashley, 18, was one of 82 year-13 students to receive their final goodbyes in a school of about 500 students.
Mr Boyce said every student receiving gifts should receive them humbly as some people might not have had the fortune to be recognised.
"In a Catholic school we aim to be aware of people's expectations, but we are more aware that we were created by our God and we are unique individuals. At Garin, we encourage children to find their true purpose and what they were created to be."
Nelson and Richmond mayors Rachel Reese and Richard Kempthorne attended the prize-giving.
Ms Reese said the event was quite inspirational. "It was wonderful to see all the students getting acknowledgement for their involvement in the school and the wider community."
- The Nelson Mail
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