Don't settle for mediocrity when fantastic might be just around the corner, Garin College Year 13 students have urged their peers.
Multi-talented final year students Giorgia Leonard and Hamish McIntosh were handpicked by principal John Boyce to make the guest address at Garin College prizegiving last week.
Giorgia, who plans to study nursing at NMIT, said she was a bit nervous to present the address but she was fine once she rehearsed.
She was excited to represent her classmates with a speech that she had creative licence with, she said.
Students at other bigger schools might not have the opportunity that Catholic schools offered, she said.
The principal chose the two students because they best represented excellence in their fields, she said.
"We were really fortunate enough to be a sample of the year group," she said.
While Hamish really wanted to be chosen, she was worried she was in trouble when she was asked to meet at the principal's office, she said.
Principal John Boyce said the American model would have the valedictorian, but in New Zealand this was not how things were done.
"We want to celebrate our students who are all-rounders, and Hamish and Giorgia best exemplified that."
There was no definitive criteria, he said. Hamish was good at everything art-related while Giorgia excelled in the sports and Christian fields, he said.
Giorgia liked to play netball, adventure racing, touch rugby and running, while Hamish liked musical theatre, drama, dance, photography, visual art, and debating.
Hamish, , who will attend the NZ school of dance in Wellington next year, said the other students were more or less happy that the two had been chosen.
"Everyone has been pretty good about it."
Writing the speech together proved to be pretty funny, he said.
The two collaborated, via an online shared document, to create a speech that highlighted opportunities, excellence and having fun, he said.
Hamish quoted Albert Einstein with the words, "life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you have to keep moving".
He said life was about aiming high and working hard. "What's the point in being mediocre when fantastic is just around the corner?" he said.
Even KFC's Colonel Sanders, armed with his chicken recipes, faced thousands of "nos" before he had that life-changing yes, he said.
"That one yes changed the empire of the fast food industry."
The pair formed part of a team of 10 head students that represented sports, arts, Christian, learning, house and Maori affairs.
The school implemented an ethos of shared leadership, Hamish said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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