Eleanor Wichman has the world at her feet.
The 15-year-old was yesterday named Dux of Nukutere College, and next year heads off to finish her schooling at Tereora.
Wichman has placed first in her year at Nukutere ever since she started – and last year, she topped every single one of her subjects.
For principal Delaney Yaqona, a science teacher, a particular point of pride was her topping science.
Like any science teacher, he’d love to see his top student continue in the sciences – the world needs more women pursuing science, technology and maths.
But he doesn’t want to put any pressure on her: “Her challenge is, she’s good at anything and could do anything. She’s still making her mind up and whatever she chooses to do, I know she’ll be very successful at it.”
Yaqona says: “She’s one of those students that you get in a generation, who is destined for really big things.”
As well as the academic subjects, Yaqona says Wichman also excels in sports (she represented the country in badmintom), in religious studies and cultural activities.
The Y10 students who graduated yesterday have stuck with the school through some tough times, after the school buildings were destroyed by fire.
“This was an emotional day,” Yaqona says, “in particular for this year group because most of them started in year 7 and stayed through all our difficulties like the fire – we had only half a school standing.
“We appreciate their faith in us.”
Academic Honours for Year 11
Dux of Nukutere College, science, English, geography, physical education: Eleanor Wichman
Maths, commerce: Ngatupuna Eliu-Thompson
Cook Islands Maori: Anna-Marie Henry
Religious education, digital technology: Shyrlls Nicholle Evangelio
Te Tama Aruaru Trophy: Metua Vaiimene, most hardworking student in the inclusive education unit who has made significant progress and development through the year.