Class Act 2023: Gore High School

Gabrielle le Roux


As a surfer, it was only natural that Gabrielle le Roux would take a keen interest in the ocean. So it is no surprise she is interested in becoming a marine biologist.

The ocean is the 17-year-old’s happy place, where she can connect with nature.

She has spent a lot of time surfing at Colac Bay, Oreti Beach, Curio Bay and Orepuki.

"I got my love of the ocean and surfing from my dad, who taught me how to surf, so learning more about [the ocean] has always been something I’ve been interested in. It is such a huge part of our world that we still don’t know all that much about."

Marine biologists need a good understanding of animals as well as the ocean. To that end, the Gore High School pupil has spent three years working at VetSouth where she has learnt a lot about how to work with and care for animals.

"Although ocean life is very different from your average dog and cat, I still feel experience working around animals in general will be helpful."

She loves to surf because it allows her to get outdoors and connect with nature.

She surfs competitively and has won competitions across Southland and Otago.

This year, she won the U18 girls’ division at the Southland Scholastics surf competition and won the U18 and open women’s sections at the Colac Bay Classic.

"The excitement of catching a good wave or taking a big drop is one of my favourite parts."

Despite the surfing, Gabrielle still has time to focus on her schoolwork.

She has achieved NCEA level 1 and 2 with excellence and is aiming to achieve the same for level 3.

Next year, she is looking to study marine biology at the University of Otago.

"It’s not set in stone. I’m still deliberating, but this is looking like my best option."


Achievements: Deputy head girl (2023); excellence endorsement in NCEA level 1 and level 2 (2021, 2022); academic excellence in NCEA level 1 and level 2 (2021, 2022); deputy house captain for Cargill (2022); winner of the Southland Scholastics surf competition U18 girls’ division (2023); winner in the U18 and open women’s divisions in the Colac Bay Classic (2023); fifth place at the Canterbury Surfing 
Championships (2022).

Role models: My parents. They are very hard-working and kind people. They’ve always given me the best opportunities in life and are passionate about my education.

Hopes for the future: To potentially study marine biology at the University of Otago.


Nathanael Ure


Curiousity killed the cat, but Nathanael Ure’s curiosity may well improve the day-to-day lives of many people.

Since he was a young boy, the Gore High School deputy head boy has been curious about how the world works.

This curiosity has flowed into a lifelong obsession with new technologies and a desire to be around them.

He sees technology as a tool to positively change peoples’ lives and has made it his goal to be part of that change.

"I looked at the capabilities of new technology and thought it would be great if I could be one of the people making a difference that benefits other people."

There is no better way to do that than creating the technology and processes yourself, he says.

Nathanael's ability is evident in his academic achievements and involvement in his high school's extracurricular activities.

He has achieved NCEA level 1 and 2 with excellence and is aiming to achieve the same for level 3.

Working in teams is an area in which Nathanael excels.

During his time at school, he has been a member of the Gore High School First XI, a leader at Camp Columba and has helped organise this year's prefects' variety concert.

He wants his future career to have similar team-like environments.

"The ideal [job] is to be working in a team of people with the goal of making a positive difference in the way the world works."

Next year, he plans to go to the University of Canterbury and study either chemical and process engineering or chemical science.

"Hopefully this leads to an occupation where I am surrounded with cool technology and the development of new processes."


Achievements: Deputy head boy of Gore High School (2023); NCEA level 1 endorsed with excellence; NCEA level 2 endorsed with excellence; leader at Camp Columba (2022, 2023); Fleming & Co Cup first place in senior boys’ cross-country (2022); Gore High School First XI (2022); touch rugby (2019, 2020, 2022); participated in the Southland Athletics (2019).

Role model: Reid Polstra.

Plans for the future: To study chemical and process engineering or chemical science at the University of Canterbury.