The future of Otago, if not New Zealand, looks to be in good
hands if this year's crop of Class Act winners is anything to
The class of 2013 includes pupils on their way to becoming
business owners, academics, rising sports stars, police
officers, air force pilots, doctors, vets, fashion designers,
scientists, environmentalists, lawyers, engineers,
accountants, diplomats, musicians, politicians and even
In Monday's edition of the Otago Daily Times, these
young men and women share what they have been up to, what
their biggest challenges have been, and where they see
themselves in the next 5-10 years.
Among them is Cromwell College pupil Katie Short, who was
blind for half of last year.
The 18-year-old has ocular albinism and the resulting rapid,
involuntary eye movements meant she could not see for six
She could hardly walk, let alone study, but she has soldiered
The teenager is ploughing through Level 3 biology, chemistry,
English, statistics and photography this year and hopes to
attend university next year.
While many of this year's Class Act nominees have been
clearing commitments from their lives so they can have more
time to get their heads down and study in their final year,
Logan Park High School academic prefect Jasmine
Seifert-Simpson (17) has been looking for things to add to
She has NCEA Level 1 and 2 with excellence under her belt and
recently added Level 3 with excellence, all while racking up
a host of other academic, sporting and cultural achievements.
Rather than have ''a quiet year'', she has decided to help
her fellow pupils with their NCEA Level 3 study by discussing
class work and researching academic assignments.
In a similar vein, Otago Girls' High School technology
prefect Jisu Lee (17) is a whizz in information technology
and robotics, and has contributed significantly to the
development of pupils' and teachers' skills in their use by
running various IT training programmes.
The outstanding part of Jisu's achievements is that when she
arrived from South Korea aged 11, the only English word she
knew was ''hello''.
Since then, she has become highly skilled in languages and is
one of the school's top scholars.
As well as dealing with the usual stress of schoolwork,
Kavanagh College pupil Zoe McBride (17) and Mount Aspiring
College pupil Jessica Bailey (17) have recently returned from
the Junior World Championships in Lithuania where they
represented New Zealand in rowing and kayaking respectively.
And a pupil who has reached the highest levels is Cromwell
College head boy David Borrie.
The 17-year-old recently led a three-week expedition to Mt
These pupils will be among the 57 outstanding teens from 29
Otago secondary schools who will be showcased in the Otago
Daily Times on Monday.
They are known as the cream of Otago's secondary school crop,
and will each receive Class Act Awards from Prime Minister
John Key during a ceremony at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery
on September 12.