Waimate High School dux Kaye De La Cruz considers the school to be her home away from home.
The 18-year-old was named the school’s top academic achiever for the 2016 year at the senior prizegiving last month, and admitted to being a little surprised when her name was read out.
“I have mixed feelings. I’m happy but I wasn’t really expecting it. But I guess my effort this year has been worth it.”
Originally from the Philippines, Kaye moved to Waimate with her family when she was 9.
Next year, she will relocate again, to Dunedin to further her study.
Kaye will work towards a bachelor of science degree, majoring in geography, at the University of Otago.
Kaye believes it is the right fit for her.
“I have an interest in our natural environment and I wanted to further my study about it, especially volcanoes and glaciers,” she said.
“I only found out it’s what I want to do in my last years. I suppose it was doing physics in year 11 – I found that stuff interesting.”
When she has completed her university studies, Kaye plans to either do post-graduate study or apply for a research position.
She has fond memories of her time at Waimate High School but, while she will miss the staff and her fellow pupils, she looks forward to what the future holds for her.
“It’s always been my second home and I just really like it there.”
Other major awards – Hannah Dungey (Margaret Allen Cup for all-round excellence in sport); Jayden Gould (Past Pupils Association scholarship); Rici Mlcochd’Dree (academic excellence); Lucy Roberts (Past Pupils Association scholarship); Dallas Thompson (Schrader Cup for all-round excellence in sport); Kasi van Kleef (Class of ’64 Reunion Trophy for special contribution to the school).
Year 12: Ella Bray (Past Pupils Association scholarship); Nic Burke (Past Pupils Association scholarship); Niamh O’Donnell (Dr Wylie Memorial Prize for application to study, academic excellence); June Pfister (Past Pupil Association scholarship); Claire Rollinson (Batchelor Cup, all-round excellence for sport and academics); Isaac Williams (Dr Wylie Memorial prize).
Year 13: Marcus Anderson (Norman Kirk Memorial Trust scholarship); Lisa Caird (Bryan Briggs Trophy for positive contribution to pre-employment); Kaye dela Cruz (ANZ Bank prize, Dempsey Trust scholarship); Rhiannon Dungey (RSA prize, leaders of tomorrow scholarship); Eilish Gardener ( Dempsey Trust scholarship); Susanna Morton (PTA prize for all-round excellence); Hamish Sheddan (PTA prize for all-round excellence, Batchelor Cup for all-round excellence in sport and academics, leaders of tomorrow scholarship); Dilraj Toor (proxime accessit to dux, special contribution to the school, leaders of tomorrow scholarship); Zara Wilson (Fonterra scholarship, Dempsey Trust scholarship).
2017 leaders – Niamh O’Donnell (head girl) and Daniel Buckingham (head boy).