Top honours for two childhood friends
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.’’