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Dreams fulfilled: Rarotonga students celebrate academic achievements

Saturday 9 December 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Education, Features, National, Weekend


Dreams fulfilled: Rarotonga students celebrate academic achievements
Teurukura Tutai is Apii Avarua’s 2023 Dux of the Year. He is pictured with Temaru Tutai (left), Rima Browne and Stanley Tutai (right). TASHI TUTAI/23120817

This week saw more school prizegiving ceremonies held across Rarotonga and the Pa Enua. Today, Cook Islands News presents the senior awards list for Apii Avarua, Apii Nikao, and Papaaroa Adventist School.

Teurukura Tutai, Apii Avarua’s Dux of the Year, had long cherished the goal of achieving the top academic award of Dux.

On Thursday, Tutai felt immense pride and relief upon achieving his long-held goal.

“My parents have always encouraged me to keep working hard if I want to get the Dux award,” said Tutai.

“My sister was the second runner-up Dux in 2007 and my brother was 1st runner-up Dux in 2019, so, I have been determined to get the Dux award for a long time.

“I feel blessed and am grateful to my teachers and family for supporting and helping me.”

Apii Nikao’s Dux of the Year, Tui Ponia, was a student at Avatea School when the school merged with Apii Nikao.

Ponia said she felt completely overwhelmed when her name was called.

“I didn’t think I would get it; I was so shocked I jumped up,” Ponia said.

She felt overjoyed, having desired the award since Year 6. A student at the school since its days as Avatea, she will be attending Tereora College next year.

Ponia encourages students to “continue to work harder, and when people try to distract you or put you down, don’t listen to them”.

“With hard work and determination, you can get what you want,” she said.

Calvyn Valoa, the head boy of Papaaroa Adventist School, received the 2023 Dux of the Year award. Valoa has been a student at the school for an impressive 11 years, starting in Early Childhood Learning (ECE).

In his farewell speech, Valoa stated: “I am privileged and honoured to deliver the final remarks on behalf of all the students. The school has been a big part of my life, being my home for the past 11 years along with some fellow students present today.”

“We will surely miss this school, the friendships made with the teachers and students who will continue to be missed by many. Lots of memories made that would most definitely be cherished deeply.

“Congratulations to all the students who have received awards today a reflection of their hard work. I would also like to acknowledge all our sponsors who have generously given this year, atawai wolo.”

Following are the Schools Senior Awards presentations.

Apii Avarua Senior Major Awards.

Sports Boy Champion – Dalton Herman, Sports Girl champion – Edon Teraitua, High Achiever in English – Ngatoko Rongo, High Achiever in Mathematics – Teurukura Tutai, Top Māori Student – Heivarii Turitoa, Top Student in Science – Reaia Van-Eijk, Top Student in Social Science – Edon Teraitua, Principal’s Award – Grace Tangaroa, Most improved Student – Justin Tapoki, Most Outstanding Student Teurukura Tutai, Special Teacher of the Year Award – Rangi Cowan, Dux of the Year - Teurukura Tutai, first Runner-up Dux – Ngatoko Rongo, Second Runner-up Dux-  Reaia Van-Eijk.

Apii Nikao’s 2023 Seniors Most Outstanding Student Vincent Simpson. APII NIKAO/23120804

Apii Nikao Senior Awards.

Year 5 Marae 4 Overall Academic Excellence: 1st Peirangi Ponia, 2nd Ruby Crawford, 3rd Henry Jonassen.

 Year 6 Major Awards: Intermediate Sports Girl – Aviarna Williams, Intermediate Sports Boy – Thomas Savage, Most Improved Student – Tehoa Samuel, Most Outstanding Student – Taylor-Anne Marsters; 1st Overall and Intermediate Dux – Liana Chan, 2nd Overall Academic Excellence  – Emaraina Puni, 3rd Overall Academic Excellence – Varo Malcolm.

Year 7 Overall Academic Excellence: 1st Halle Herman, 2nd Sophia Forsyth, 3rd Mia Mokai.

Year 8 Major Awards: Best Attendance – Mrs Peters Class Marae 4, Tapere Champion – Tapere Pokoinu, Senior Sports Girl Champion – Tyla Ngaata, Senior Sports Boy Champion – Taianu Williams, Top in Mathematic – Dylan Jonassen, Top in English – Addison Doel, Top in Maori – Etu Teamoke, Top in Preforming Art & Maori Culture – Lia Taio, Top in Topic Studies – Tui Ponia, Most Improved Student – Ordain Ngametua, Most Outstanding Student – Vincent Simpson, Tu Rangatira (Prefect) – Athlyene Savage, Principal Award – Hirinaki Tau. Senior Dux – Tui Ponia, 1st Runner-Up Dux – Addison Doel, 2nd Runner-Up Dux – Dylan Jonassen.

Calvyn Valoa (left) is the Papaaroa Adventist School 2023 Dux of the Year. Valoa is pictured alongside Riroranginui Solomona - 1st Runner Up-Dux and Moari Taikakara 2nd Runner-Up Dux. PAPAAROA ADVENTIST SCHOOL/23120812

Papaaroa Adventist School Prize giving awards

Year 6 Overall Academic Awards: Dux Award - Vincent Teulilo, 1st Runner-Up Dux - Vasiti Daniel, 2nd Runner-Up Dux  - Loywena Teiti; Year 7 Overall Academic Awards: 1st Eila Blundell, 2nd Mahealani Mataio, 3rd Ayden Ngai; Year 8 Overall Academic Awards: 1st Justin Teao, 2nd Tekura Matamaki, 3rd Teina Murare; Year 9 Awards: Overall Academic Awards: 1st Ben Maretapu, 2nd Binda Pathak, 3rd Temoiti Kokoria; Year 10 Overall Academic Awards: Overall Academic Dux 2023 - Calvyn Valoa, 1st Runner Up-Dux Riroranginui Solomona, 2nd Runner-Up Dux Moari Taikakara.