When Katrina Coyle was named the Rotorua Girls' High School dux in 2006, she had her life planned out, complete with a successful career as a high-flying doctor.

But 10 years on, Mrs Coyle, nee Veysey, says her priorities have done a 360, finding purpose on a completely different path.

"After four years of uni and a battle with depression my priorities changed and I began to question who I was and what I was doing.

"I realised there was more to life than 'get a good job, find a husband then work until you die'. I discovered God and now I work for my church and feel like I'm making a difference."


Mrs Coyle works as an events manager and youth pastor in Auckland. She said the decision to ditch her career as a doctor was initially met with some shock.

"My parents were pretty shocked when I told them but the reality is, when I was at high school, I didn't know what my passion was. I was good at science so I tried to make that my passion but it never truly was.

"I am a very different person to who I was when I won dux 10 years ago."

Katrina Coyle nee Veysey (right) with classmate Adele Pascoe. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Katrina Coyle nee Veysey (right) with classmate Adele Pascoe. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

She said looking back, she had one regret from her time at school.

"Our youth group had one in Rotorua when I was at school. I knew about it but I never went. If I had gone maybe I would have discovered who I was much sooner.

"Other than that, I loved my time at Rotorua Girls' High School."

Mrs Coyle and her husband have just bought a house in Auckland and are looking to start their own family.

"Past the immediate future, I've learnt not to make too many plans. You never know how your opinions and priorities are going to change. Right now I'm happy I can help people in my job and I'm happy with my life. Things are good."