Rotorua's 2017 dux recipients:

Nikora Wade
Nikora Wade

Nikora Wade
Rotorua Boys' High School

What does being named dux mean to you?

Dux litterarum is the recognition of not just one's academic talent, but the dedication, determination, and resilience of one's character. The road wasn't easy. I have wanted to be dux ever since I started at Rotorua Boys' High School. I failed many times, four to be exact. So I guess this award has been the result of hard work and perseverance over the past five years. I could not have achieved this without the support of my friends, family, and my teachers. It is a very humbling feeling to be dux.

Advertisement

What are your plans for next year?

I plan to head off to the University of Auckland following my predecessors Tristan Thomas (dux 2016) and Jack Potaka (dux 2014) in studying Health Science.

What would you say to others striving for dux?

If you are aspiring to become dux, like I said before, it does not come down to academic talents alone, it also requires dedication, determination and resilience. I want to be an example to those that feel like their dreams are unattainable. I too felt like I was never going to attain my dreams, from Year 9 to Year 11 I would not have been considered as an academic student and I had little sense of direction. However from Year 12 to 13 I had found my place and my confidence grew. I believe that if you want it enough, you will succeed.

Georgia Williams
Georgia Williams

Georgia Williams
John Paul College

What does being named dux mean to you?

Winning dux at JPC was such a surprise. It has been so incredible to see everyone work so hard this year and I am just really proud to have been awarded this.

What is your secret for academic success?

Just work hard and believing in yourself, I think that is the best way to achieve your goals.

What are your plans for next year?

I am going down to the University of Otago, studying health science with the hopes of getting into medicine in my second year.

What would you say to others striving for dux?

I think the key is just working hard and maintaining a positive attitude. Keeping on top of things helps minimise your workload. Also, don't get too stressed, which can be pretty hard at times but it's important to remember to take breaks and relax.

Jordan Hewlett
Jordan Hewlett

Jordan Hewlett
Reporoa College

What does being named dux mean to you?

I was stoked to win, I didn't think I would end up getting it as there were a few others vying for the award.

What is your secret for academic success?

For me it was about putting in a lot of hours studying and double checking with teachers to make sure I was on the right track.

What are your plans for next year?

I will be going into the Defence Force to become an air force pilot.

What would you say to others striving for dux?

Anybody can achieve dux, it ultimately comes down to how badly you want it and how dedicated you are to doing the work to achieve your goal.

Paddy Baylis
Paddy Baylis

Paddy Baylis
Rotorua Lakes High School (joint)

What does being named dux mean to you?

Winning dux means a huge amount to me, especially sharing it with Ethan, and it was an incredibly powerful moment to have the haka performed for us when we were announced as dux. My brother was also dux so that was a big motivator. It is an amazing feeling to have achieved this goal.

What is your secret for academic success?

Being a national swimmer meant I left the house at 5am and got home at 7pm most nights so I didn't have much free time. This meant when I did have free time with study I had to make sure I was completely focused and productive the whole time as well as in class.

What are your plans for next year?

My plan for next year is to either study law at Victoria University or to go to the United States and attend a university there while swimming for a college team.

What would you say to others striving for dux?

I would say to put the hours in study-wise and make sure the hours are focused because results don't come without hard work which is something I've learnt throughout high school both academically and in swimming.

Ethan Wait
Ethan Wait

Ethan Wait
Rotorua Lakes High School (joint)

What does being named dux mean to you?

While at the start of this year I didn't strive for dux, it is good to know that all my efforts have been recognised and appreciated by my superiors.

What is your secret to academic success?

Good time management skills. If you get on with assignments the day they are handed out you will never find yourself studying into the early hours of the morning, plus you will have time to correct any mistakes.

What are your plans for next year?

I am planning to go to Victoria University to do a Bachelor of Science majoring in chemistry and biotechnology.

What would you say to others striving for dux?

Don't focus on the end goal, just focus on making every day in class count.

Sophie Jansonius
Sophie Jansonius

Sophie Jansonius
Rotorua Girls' High School

What does being named dux mean to you?

Being named dux was a very big achievement, it was about being recognised for all my hard work over the last five years. I felt extremely honoured.

What is your secret to academic success?

Choosing subjects and topics that genuinely interest me. This way I enjoyed what I was learning and knew I could take my learnings to the next phases in my life. I also believe having a balanced lifestyle has really helped. I always kept focused on school work, social life, and sports, and have kept these aspects in balance.

What are your plans for next year?

My plans for next year are to get into the Massey University Veterinary Science programme. My passion for both animals and science has driven me to study this course.

What would you say to others striving for dux?

Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Just enjoy your time at school, and always strive for the best, and if you don't get the highest grade it is okay, because one assessment grade does not determine you as a person. However, you should always try your absolute hardest!