It requires a broad range of achievement at the highest level to be named Dux and Proxime Accessit at Kaitaia College, and the recipients of those awards last week qualified with ease, both beginning as Year 9 students in 2015.
The Dux trophy was awarded to Jos Spaans, with Samantha Steed Proxime Accessit.
Jos also received University of Auckland and the Nolan Richards scholarships, along with prizes for excellence in chemistry and physics. He won the Joseph Cowie Memorial Cup for general excellence in academic attainment, sport and leadership, and the Te Amo-haere Rudolph Memorial Trophy for encapsulating the kura values of manaaki, achievement, hau kainga and integrity.
Samantha received a Waikato University scholarship, the prizes for excellence in classical studies and history, and the Miller Memorial Prize for excellence in mathematics with calculus.
Jos began compiling his record of academic achievement in Year 9, earning an excellence course endorsement for NCEA Level 1 mathematics. The following year he achieved Level 1 with excellence, including Level 1 history and Level 2 mathematics with excellence. In Year 11 he gained NCEA Level 2 with excellence, Level 1 English and science, and Level 2 geography, with excellence and Level 1 physical education, Level 2 history and Level 3 calculus with merit.
Last year he won two history competitions, gained High Distinction in International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) English, gained NCEA Level 3 with excellence, A+ in a Waikato University academic writing course and A in maths. He won scholarship examinations in geography and history.
He was involved in UN Youth, took part in the Model United Nations Assembly, co-authored a play performed in Kaitaia on Remembrance Day, and was awarded the Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Silver Award.
He served as a tuaka for the McMahon 6 house group, volunteered weekly at the Museum @ Te Ahu, was McMahon House captain this year and received the Kaitaia College honours award.
This year he sat six NCEA scholarship examinations, attended the Sir Peter Blake Trust's Blake Inspire, the Rotary National Science and Technology Forum and Outward Bound.
He was a Far North District Youth councillor this year, was an organiser of the Kaitaia College Climate Change Committee, and was completing the Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Gold Award.
This year he completed two Level 1 mathematics courses at Canterbury University, and next year will begin studying engineering at Auckland University.
Samantha Steed had been involved in numerous aspects of college life since Year 9, winning service half-colours and prizes in design and visual communication, German, health and physical education, mathematics, music and science.
In Year 11 she gained NCEA Level 1 with excellence, including excellence in English, history and science extension, with merit in geography and mathematics extension.
Last year she attended a writers' festival and was elected to the Taha Hinengaro Committee, was involved in the priority learners' programme, whānau group activities and MaiBiz, gaining NCEA Level 2 with excellence, including excellence in biology, classics, English and mathematics, with merit in history and digital technology.
She too was a member of the Kaitaia College Climate Action Group, was "well on track" to gaining NCEA Level 3 with excellence, had gained A+ with a Waikato University WRITE100 paper, and had been awarded academic and service colours.
Next year she will begin studying computer science at Waikato University.