Dux has big plans for fu­ture

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News - Lau­rilee McMichael

When Emily Clu­nie was a shy year nine stu­dent, her English teacher, Iggy Gloy, took her aside and told her that she could one day be Dux.

It proved pre­scient. Last Thurs­day Emily was called onto the stage at Taupo¯-nui-a-Tia Col­lege, had the col­lege ko­rowai draped around her shoul­ders and was awarded Dux 2018. One of her friends, Akira Petersen, was named Prox­ime Ac­ces­sit.

As well as Dux, Emily was also awarded first in physics and chem­istry, joint first in me­dia stud­ies and bi­ol­ogy and won a science tro­phy and a li­brary award.

She was par­tic­u­larly de­lighted with the li­brary award, given to a stu­dent li­brar­ian or the per­son who has con­trib­uted the most to the li­brary over their years at school. She says school li­brar­ian Alyson Mur­ray is one of her favourite col­lege staff and “just so awe­some”. The pair also es­tab­lished a stu­dent book club to­gether.

Ear­lier this year, Emily learned she had been awarded a Uni­ver­sity of Auck­land schol­ar­ship worth $20,000, re­mov­ing money wor­ries for her first year. Emily has en­rolled for a bio­med­i­cal science de­gree and hopes it will lead into ei­ther medicine or op­tom­e­try.

“I al­ways had that path in mind when I came here [to col­lege] and the science teach­ers here are amaz­ing. It’s re­ally helped that pas­sion for bi­ol­ogy blos­som.”

But it was Miss Gloy, an English and dance teacher, who first got Emily think­ing she could be­come Dux.

“She sat me down and said ‘you could be Dux of this school and you could get Schol­ar­ship in English’, so I got moved for­ward a year in English and last year I got English Schol­ar­ship.”

Get­ting her English NCEA cred­its a year early meant Emily had more time to con­cen­trate on her re­main­ing five sub­jects.

She kept on top of her work by start­ing exam re­vi­sion early.

“I can’t re­lax un­til I have ev­ery­thing out of the way so if teach­ers set home­work or you have an in­ter­nal I have to go home and do it be­cause I’m just wor­ry­ing about it. I don’t have a set plan but I just like to get ev­ery­thing done and out of the way so I can move onto the next thing. I al­ways start study­ing [for end of year ex­ams] be­tween the term two and three hol­i­days be­cause you get to this time of the year and you’re com­pletely over­whelmed be­cause you’re try­ing to re­vise stuff you’ve learned in term one or two. So I like to re­vise along the way so I don’t for­get ev­ery­thing I’ve learned.

“I put in a lot of ef­fort be­cause I know what I want to do and I know that it re­quires hard work.”

Emily says she’s mo­ti­vated to work hard.

“I re­ally love be­ing in a class­room and find­ing some­thing new, whether the teacher has gone on a tan­gent and I’m hear­ing about a dis­ease in the fam­ily or evo­lu­tion and why the ho­minid bone struc­ture changed. I just love learn­ing and that’s why I’m look­ing for­ward to uni­ver­sity.”

Emily has five ex­ams plus three Schol­ar­ship ex­ams to sit be­tween Novem­ber 13 and Novem­ber 27. Be­sides her five school sub­jects she is re-sit­ting Schol­ar­ship English to see whether she can gain an Out­stand­ing mark and is also sit­ting Schol­ar­ship his­tory and bi­ol­ogy. But she took time to savour be­com­ing Dux and says it’s a nice way to top off year 13.

Photo / Lau­rilee McMichael

Taupo¯-nui-a-Tia Col­lege dux Emily Clu­nie (right) with school li­brar­ian Alyson Mur­ray, who she says has been “just so awe­some” to her.

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