Opunake High School's Beate Weir was quite surprised to discover she had the best academic year in 2010 as her name was read out as dux.
Taking on geography as a subject for the first time this year, to go with English, biology, history and physical education, the 18-year-old considered fellow pupil David Abplanalp to be the strongest contender.
But finishing top in every class this year, Ms Weir went one subject better than her schoolmate, who was named proxime accesit.
"My friends give me a bit of grief, they say I study too much," she laughed.
It was a fine end to her education in Opunake, starting at Pihama Primary School before its closure, and then Opunake Primary School.
She is now heading to Wellington to study a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in classic studies and history.
A keen reader, these are her favourite subjects.
But she is keeping her options open on a career.
With family in Wellington, she is looking forward to her time there.
She said it was important to acknowledge her teachers in Opunake who got her this far by drive and encouragement.
Also dedicated to sports, she has been a Taranaki women's rugby representative and has been on many surf team tours.
She is a paid lifeguard of the Opunake Surf Life Saving Club.
- © Fairfax NZ News
What do you think of the proposed alcohol policy?Related story: Push to close bars at 2am