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