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Rector's Assembly Address

Leavers' Assembly // Friday 14 February 2020

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Nau mai, haere mai, tena koutou katoa. 

At this morning’s special assembly, we recognise top achievements of NCEA for 2019 and once again I am delighted to welcome back a large number of our Year 13 leavers to receive their Level 3 Excellence Awards and Scholarships. 

All award recipients today have much to be proud of as these awards are the result of a great deal of commitment and sustained effort.  Welcome to parents and guests this morning who have joined us to celebrate your achievements, also to Mr Richard Holyoake representing the Board of Governors and Old Collegian Thomas Yee, Head Boy of 2008, who will also present some awards and address us later in the assembly. 

Before we move to our academic awards, I want to acknowledge a particularly spectacular achievement from the end of last year after school had finished.  Our First XI cricket team, for the first time ever, secured their position as one of six regional finalists in the Gillette Cup – the premier competition for Secondary School boys’ cricket.  The Gillette Cup competition has been held for 30 years and for most of these years St Andrew’s College has been unable to secure a place in the final over the strong Christchurch schools.  But all that changed last December.  The competition, held here in Christchurch, saw St Andrew’s come up against a strong and unbeaten Hamilton Boys’ side on the final day.  In a remarkable show of strength we had a convincing win by 167 runs.  St Andrew’s is the first co-ed school to win this coveted trophy.  Rhys Mariu named the player of the Tournament and Zak Foulkes was St Andrew’s College’s MVP player.  

No one could have been more delighted than Mr Mike Johnston who has coached our First  XI for the last 19 years.  I am now going to ask the team (several of whom were Year 13 leavers last year) to come forward to be congratulated and to receive the coveted Gillette Cup.  Their names will be read by Mr van Florenstein. 

A huge thank you to Assistant Coach Mr Robbie Frew, Manager Mr Peter Darling and Head Coach Mr Mike Johnston.  Mr Johnston was presented at the end of year staff function with a special Rectors’ medal – an initiative I introduced at the end of last year to recognise exceptional achievement in any field.  Mr Johnston is the first to be receive this medal and I am delighted to represent it this morning.  It is interesting to note that Mr Johnston has also recently been selected into the New Zealand Over 60’s cricket team – congratulations Mike. 

Two other recent exceptional achievements are Beach Volleyball and New Zealand Secondary School athletics.  Recently two Year 13 students, Kate Allan and Marijke Hinton, along with ten other of our top beach volleyball players, attended the Secondary Schools’ Championships at Mount Maunganui.  They played an exceptional tournament winning their way to the final against Otumoetai College from Tauranga.  They lost this final by a narrow margin coming away with an incredible silver medal.  Congratulations Kate and Marjike – outstanding! 

Last weekend two of our present students had remarkable success in the demanding Coast to Coast multisport event.  Molly Spark (Year 12) competed in the mountain run.  She placed first in the female school category and 16th overall.  Henry Spark (Year 13) did the whole two-day event as an individual, easily winning the Secondary School event by 47 minutes and coming a remarkable 15th overall out of 268. 

We will formally recognise their achievements at the Founders’ Day Assembly, but in the meantime let’s congratulate Molly and Henry. 

Finally, before we move to academic awards, we will recognise 11 students who achieved podium finishes at the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships in Wellington last December.  I ask them to come forward to be recognised by Mr van Florenstein.  Please hold your applause until all students are gathered together.

Bronze medals for third place in New Zealand:

Tapenisa Havea (Year 12) – Senior girls’ shot put
Mitchell Corkery (Year 10) – Junior pole vault (equal with) Torin Ward (Year 10) – Junior pole vault 

Silver medals for second place in New Zealand:

Claudia Knight (Year 13) – Senior girls’ high jump
Ayrton Shadbolt (Year 13 last year) – Senior boys’ steeplechase 

Gold medals for first place in New Zealand:

Eva Pringle (Year 13 last year) – Senior girls’ steeplechase
Maia Anderson-Broughton (Year 13 last year) – Senior girls’ 200m
First in 4x400 mixed junior relay - Sienna Stowers-Smith (Year 10); Nikkita McIntyre (Year 10); Michael McCaskey (Year 11) and Couper Killick (Year 11).  

This now brings us to our Premier Academic Awards from NCEA and Scholarship 2019.  We will begin with Levels 3 Awards – most of which will be presented to leavers of 2019 who have returned to be here this morning.  Overall there were 72 Level 3 Excellence Endorsements and 5 of these were Year 12 students. 

Receiving an Excellence Endorsement and a $500 Board of Governors’ Scholarship are the students who achieved 50 Excellence credits from a combination of internal and external standards. 

I invite Mr Richard Holyoake member of the Board of Governors to present the cheques and certificates, along with our guest speaker Thomas Yee. 

In addition to the $500 received for an Excellence endorsement, the next group of students will receive an additional $500 for gaining three subject endorsements at Level 3.

Last week we received notification of students who gained New Zealand Scholarship awards from the 2019 Scholarship examinations.  This is the most challenging New Zealand Academic award and 9800 students participated in these exams.   

39 scholarships were gained by St Andrew’s College students, which places them in the top 3% of New Zealand students in that subject.  An Outstanding Scholarship places a student in the top 0.3% of New Zealand.  Achieving a Scholarship comes with a monetary prize from the government.  Three scholarships earn you $6,000 over three years, with extra money attached to Premier and Top Scholar awards.

Of the 39 awards, three were Outstanding:

6 x Chemistry
6 x English (including 1 x Outstanding)
5 x Geography
4 x Physics
4 x Calculus
2 x Classics
2 x Agriculture & Horticulture
2 x Health / PE
1 x Technology (ICT) (Outstanding)
1 x Drama (Outstanding)
1 x each for Statistics, Biology, Accounting, Economics, Music and Painting

We would like to acknowledge these students this morning.  We also acknowledge their teachers who put in extra time to prepare students for these challenging exams.

This now brings us to a Top Subject Scholar award. Mackey Johnstone with his outstanding scholarship and perfect score has achieved the top subject scholar award for the top candidate in New Zealand for Technology (ICT).  Congratulations to Mackey and your teacher Mr Phil Adams for this incredible achievement. Mackey will be presented with this award by the Prime-Minister or Governor General in May. 

Well done to all our Leavers of 2019.  We wish you well as you head off to university and look forward to hearing of your further successes.  Thank you for joining us today. 

It gives me great pleasure to introduce this morning’s Head Boy from 2008 Thomas Yee. Thomas, or Tomo, as he was known back then, was fondly remembered by students of that time as a “larger than life” character who liked to talk about “The Big Love”.  He was at St Andrew’s College for 13 years – beginning in Year 1.  After finally separating himself from his beloved school, Tomo attended the University of Canterbury where he graduated with a Double Major in Accounting and Marketing, with a B.Com with first class honours.  His post-graduate thesis explored consumer forgiveness towards celebrity endorsers and was published in the Journal of Marketing Management in 2017. 

Post study, Thomas secured a position as Account Director at NOVO Strategic Advertising and Design, providing strategic marketing advice and client management services.  Clients include the All Blacks, ANZCO Foods, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Lincoln University and Sport Canterbury. 

Thomas looks after his well-being by remaining connected with one of his passions, basketball, and he is currently President of the Canterbury Chinese Basketball Club.  He is also certified as a Marriage Celebrant so it’s good to see that his references to the “The Big Love” at St Andrew’s has come in handy. 


Christine Leighton

Leavers' Assembly // Friday 14 February 2020

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