When you look at the different names on a list of school prizewinners you realise how many talented children there are out there.
Often teenagers make the pages of the newspaper for the wrong reason, but this week Hawke's Bay Today has begun running the prize lists of some high schools and colleges in the region. We started with Flaxmere and Iona colleges on Monday, had Hastings Girls' High yesterday and Taradale High School in today's paper. We are doing this as a community service and we encourage other high schools and colleges in Hawke's Bay who have not submitted their prize lists, to do so to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will attempt to publish all of them during the next few weeks, along with profiles of the school dux.
It is quite interesting to look at the lists of names even if you don't know anyone. Some children are all-rounders and pop up in many different categories. They are obviously gifted and will make a success of what they do. They, like the school dux, deserve recognition. Then there are some students who have won only one award and you know that they and their families will be just as proud as the multiple winners. You would like to think that that person worked hard to achieve what they did and will spend the summer holiday with a smile on their face. Prizegivings are wonderful occasions for those who deserve it to be recognised. It is a time for parents and siblings to bask in the glow of their child or brother/sister's achievements.
I think in the first few years of school it is important for certificates to be tailored to suit the child's achievements and for those certificates to be given to all the children at some stage during the year.
But as you get older and win awards, it is good to know that that award came about because of sheer hard work.
At this time of year it is not only the award winners who can be proud of what they achieved. All those students who achieved what they set out to achieve, or did better that they were expect to, deserve praise.
The hard work is behind you, now enjoy the break.