Class Act 2023: Blue Mountain College

Hannah Reid


For as long as Hannah Reid can remember, she has loved the outdoors.

The 17-year-old Blue Mountain College prefect admits growing up on a farm has deterred her from wanting a job working indoors.

An outdoors career seemed like the only logical option when deciding what to do in the future.

"Growing up where I’ve grown up, and going to the schools that I’ve gone to, has set in stone the kind of career I want to have," Hannah said.

"Getting opportunities that not everyone else gets to experience has opened my mind towards it."

Hannah has put in just as much time inside the classroom as she has outside of it to reach her goal. In the classroom, she has earned the top scholar award for NCEA level 1 and level 2.

When she is not studying, her days are filled with commitments as a prefect, student council member, board of trustees representative, Sadd delegate and junior netball coach. Being on the student council and board of trustees are among her valuable service commitments.

On top of all that, she also manages to find time to participate in swimming and competing for the senior A netball team.

Hannah said using her netball skills and knowledge to help younger players was a new and enjoyable learning experience.

Living in Southland has given her a clear perspective on the life she wants.

Next year, she plans to study aquaculture and fisheries at the University of Otago.

Once finished, she hopes to complete a master’s degree in teaching and learning, combining her academics with her love of the outdoors.

Achievements: NCEA level 1 with excellence (2021); NCEA level 2 with merit; NCEA level 1 and 2 top scholar award (2021,2022);  pupil representative on the board of trustees (2023); student council member (2023); Sadd  delegate (2023); prefect (2023); PB4L Rangi Badge (2022); Blue Mountain College senior A netball team (2021-23); Robertson house leader (2023); School Fiordland tramp (2023); junior netball coach (2023); Blue Mountain College cross-country champion (2023); Blue Mountain College swimming competition runner-up (2023); Spirit of New Zealand Voyage (2023); Outward Bound Scholarship (end of 2023); Duke of Edinburghbronze and silver awards (2020, 2022).

Role model: I don’t have a specific role model, but instead look up to qualities of friends and family — being passionate about what you do, determination, hard-work and being kind and friendly. 

Hopes for the future: To study for a bachelor of applied science with a major in aquaculture and fisheries, at the University of Otago, and then complete a master’s degree in teaching and learning.


Paige Nicol


Leadership comes naturally for Paige Nicol.

Whether it is through sports, academia or extra-curricular activities, the 18-year-old is always willing to put her best foot forward.

"When we do group work at school, I quite like being the one in charge to make sure everything is being done to a good standard," Paige said.

"And I like helping people with the jobs they’ve been assigned ... I like making sure that everything is getting done the way it’s supposed to.

"Being co-captain of the netball team and being an umpire — it gives me a similar position, and I like handling that."

Her academic achievements and leadership roles should stand her in good stead for her planned career in human resources or management.

Excellence endorsement in NCEA level 1 and 2 have her well-positioned academically, while roles as a prefect, Students Against Dangerous Driving (Sadd) delegate, Quin house leader and a stint at leadership camp have helped develop the leadership experience she will need.

Her leadership has extended to extracurricular activities — Paige was in charge of planning her school’s formal after-party; a role that was both full of pressure and excitement.

"That was very interesting, calling lots of people, making sure that everything is going to be there on time and we are going to get it."

When she became involved in Sadd as a delegate, she did so because drink-driving was an issue she felt strongly about.

Next year, she plans to begin studies for a bachelor of commerce degree, but has not yet decided between studying in Invercargill, Dunedin or Christchurch.

Her studies will incorporate many of her skills, she says.

"I really like organising and planning at school and economics is my favourite subject. I love it. So, I thought it [commerce] would be a good degree to combine both of them."

Achievements: NCEA level 1 and 2 with excellence (2021, 22); NCEA level 1 and 2 premier scholar (2021, 2022); international pistol shooting club range officer (2018-); Sadd  delegate (2023); senior B netball co-captain (2021-2023); Quin house leader (2023); prefect (2023); leadership camp (2023); Duke of Edinburgh, bronze (2021); peer support leader (2023); GRIP leadership course (2022).

 Role model: My friend Sven Captijn. He is really confident and sure of who he is.

 Hopes for the future: To study for a bachelor of commerce with a major in human resources or management.