Harry Wilson’s message is simple — success comes in all shapes and sizes.
The Waitaki Boys’ High School pupil was ‘‘elated’’ to be named dux of his school this year.
But there was more to life than academic, sporting and cultural success, he said.
‘‘Everyone has the opportunity to succeed in their own unique way . . . even just success in your own life in the way you interact with others,’’ Harry said.
‘‘If you see an opportunity to make a difference, just take it because that’s what excellence is in my eyes — it makes the world a better place.’’
Harry, who moved to Oamaru from England seven years ago, always strives to reach his potential. Aiming for dux was a key motivator and achieving his goal was validating.
He was also first in history, physics, biology, chemistry, English 301 and statistics, and took scholarship exams in history, English, biology and chemistry.
Away from the books, Harry is heavily involved in debating and speech competitions, played first XI hockey and croquet and is a St John Youth leader.
He was also very ‘‘honoured’’ to be awarded the Milner Memorial Prize selected by the Waitaki Boys’ Old Boys Association, he said.
Waitaki Boys’ helped shape Harry as a person. All the teachers and school staff were supportive — helping him on his path to dux — and the school accepted everyone for who they were, he said.
‘‘Waitaki Boys’ has an extremely diverse set of students from all different walks of life and I think that’s extremely beneficial. It’s quite an accurate representation of society.
‘‘It’s really helped give me a bit more empathy I suppose towards people’s actions to situations.’’
Harry planned to attend the University of Otago, having received a Leaders of Tomorrow scholarship, to study health science next year.
From there, he hoped to get into medicine.
‘‘I’ve always wanted to have a job where I’m actively helping people and I can see how my actions are directly benefiting others and the challenge of it as well,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m excited I’m looking forward to a new adventure . . .but at the same time it’ll be sad to leave the school too.’’