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Monique Gooch.

Waimate High School pupil Monique Gooch was overcome with emotion when she was presented with the dux award at last week’s prizegiving.

The 18-year-old said the prestigious award was something she had been working towards throughout the year.

“The whole night, everyone was emotional about leaving, but I think that getting dux was probably what made me most emotional– it meant so much to me,” she said.

Monique said her friends and family were also delighted with the achievement.

She believed the award was proof of the hard work she had done throughout the year.

While most of the work was done by Monique herself, she had to give credit to the friends and family who helped her along the way.

“I think I’ve had really good support from my family and my teachers,” she said.

“The teachers at Waimate High School are really great – they’re so supportive.”

On top of her studies, Monique was head girl for the school, a member of the student council, and a member of the Rotary Club of Waimate.

She said it was important that pupils set achievable goals for themselves.

“Set a goal and just do your best to achieve that, because everyone has different goals and different abilities,” she said.

“It’s just about doing your best and reaching what is personally achievable for you.”

Next year, she plans to study fine arts at the University of Canterbury.

Beyond that, Monique was not sure where the road would take her.

“I’m very excited. I’m just ready to move on to the next part of my life and go from that.”

Other award recipients included.–
Hannah Dungey (proxime accessit to dux); Joni-Lee Van Kleef (Chairman’s Cup year 11); Emilee Veldkamp (Chairman’s Cup, Harry Joyce Class of 64 Reunion Trophy, Dara-Rose Morton Cup for all-round excellence in performing arts); Catherine Nichol (Kennedy-Nuttall Cup); Angela Caisip (Russell Crossan Cup); Jacob McKinlay (I D Schrader Cup); Tom Fletcher (Batchelor Cup); Shakyra Tipu-Taylor (Bryan Briggs Trophy); Kennedy Fernandez de Souza (Ken Dawson Cup); Angela Caisip (Ko te Wananga o te Matauranga Taonga); Lucy Roberts (Citizenship Cup for special contribution).