Top hon­ours for two child­hood friends

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

As another year comes to a close, so do school days for many se­nior stu­dents.

The se­nior prize giv­ing marks the fi­nal chap­ter for the year 13s and two child­hood friends have ended it with a bang by re­ceiv­ing top hon­ours at the Mata­mata Col­lege Prize­giv­ing.

Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dent Tayla-Jay Dearlove re­ceived Dux, while 2016 head boy Daniel Lans­daal was awarded Prox­ime Ac­ces­sit.

The two friends are both one day apart in age, in fact, they even spent their first few days of life to­gether in the same ma­ter­nity wing in Mor­rinsville.

From there, they at­tended Wairere Pri­mary School, now col­lege and will both at­tend the Uni­ver­sity of Waikato.

Their fam­i­lies know one another well and both live in the same area.

The sim­i­lar­i­ties stop there how­ever, as Tayla-Jay will work to­wards a Bach­e­lor in Teach­ing, with Daniel pur­su­ing Com­put­ing and Math­e­mat­i­cal Sciences.

Both stu­dents are in­cred­i­bly hum­ble about their awards, but are nonethe­less ex­cited to have been se­lected.

‘‘It came as quite a shock,’’ said Tayla-Jay.

‘‘I put a lot of hard work in over the year, It was a nice sur-

‘‘I put a lot of hard work in over the year, it was a nice sur­prise and a nice way to end the year.’’

prise and a nice way to end the year.

‘‘It’s quite spe­cial. I don’t hold my­self above oth­ers, I have done well in my stud­ies, but so have oth­ers, like Daniel too.

‘‘It was so awe­some to see ev­ery­one up there get­ting their awards.’’

Tayla-Jay says she doesn’t usu­ally get emo­tional, but could feel tears in her eyes when her name was an­nounced for Dux.

She heard she wasn’t the only one shed­ding tears.

‘‘Ap­par­ently mum was tear­ing up too,’’ she said.

Prior to the awards night, both stu­dents re­ceived letters to say they would re­ceive awards, but not which ones.

They thought it would be awards re­lated to their work as school lead­ers.

While Tayla-Jay says re­ceiv­ing Dux never en­tered her mind, Daniel, who was a year 11 Dux re­cip­i­ent and sec­ond in year 12 too, was hope­ful to to get the tri­fecta this year. ‘‘I was hop­ing for a top spot. ‘‘All my hard work has fi­nally paid off. It’s a con­fi­dence boost - mo­ti­va­tional.

‘‘It means you know you can achieve great things and con­tinue to strive for it.’’

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