Class Act 2023: Mt Aspiring College

Jessie Winter


Caring for others is Jessie Winter’s dream and she plans to do exactly that — through medicine.

The 17-year-old aspiring doctor does a bit of everything.

Working hard from a young age, Jessie has always kept a busy schooling schedule, exploring a range of different opportunities.

Recognised as a talented netball player, Jessie shares her knowledge of the sport by coaching younger teams at school.

She has a deep fascination about the cause and effect of medical problems on the human body. It is a fitting interest for someone who wants to make a difference by becoming a doctor.

She hopes to be a person anyone would feel safe and comfortable around.

She came to the decision to pursue medicine ‘‘quite easily’’ after thinking about what she was interested in and seeing how her mother, a doctor, loves her job and loves helping people.

Throughout her schooling at Mount Aspiring College (Mac), Jessie has had a strong interest in science. This has been reflected in her NCEA excellence endorsements in Level 2 physics and chemistry.

She is a keen singer and has been a member of the school choir since 2019, representing the school in the Big Sing three times.

To achieve her goals, Jessie will continue to work hard in school, stay curious, stay true to herself and live a balanced life.

Jessie is thankful for her supportive family and school who have encouraging her to take opportunities and develop her morals and aspirations.


Achievements: NCEA Level 1 and 2 with excellence endorsement; NCEA excellence endorsement in all Level 1 subjects; NCEA Level 2 excellence endorsement in PE, physics and chemistry; all-round year 12 pupil (2022); blues awards in sport, academic, arts and 
service (2022); joint head pupil (2023); senior A netball (2021-2023), captain (2022, 2023); senior A volleyball (2021, 2022); senior A mixed touch rugby (2023); Upper Clutha netball U16 (2021); U18 Central Lakes netball team (2022, 2023), went to nationals (2022), co-
captain (2023); talented netball player recognition (2020-2023); highest achiever in netball umpiring zone theory; coach of year 7 and 8 netball team (2022); netball trials umpiring (2023); coach of year 10 social team (2023); leader at children’s holiday camps (2022); 
choir (2019-2023), Big Sing (2019, 2021, 2023); Mac service committee (2022); academic committee (2023). 

Role models: Her parents; for their support and intense love of their children and for always pushing her to reach her potential. 

Hopes for the future: To pursue her dream of supporting and loving others by becoming a doctor. 


Clarke West


Enjoyment is at the heart of Clarke West’s dream of becoming a rock star.

The accomplished 17-year-old knows how to keep his passion from turning into a chore.

The talented musician and Mount Aspiring College pupil cannot get enough of the ‘‘buzz’’ he gets from playing live.

He has performed throughout the South Island with his band, the Powder Chutes. This year, he and his band even opened the Gibbston Valley Winery summer concert, which featured ZZ Top and the Stone Temple Pilots, playing to a crowd of 16,000 people.

Beyond high school, Clarke plans to work hard to keep advancing his musical skills to ensure success in the music industry.

He is considering going to university, but says music is the only career he can imagine pursuing.

His band have already seen some success, releasing an EP that gained more than 120,000 streams across different platforms.

They have also released a single that made it to No9 on the official New Zealand music charts.

Although reluctant to take up the guitar, Clarke discovered his love for the instrument after his mum made him try it when he was in year 6.

He has won the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand musicianship award twice at the Smokefree Rockquest competition.

Music appeals to him because it is a way for him to express himself.

He likes to maintain an optimistic outlook on life, approaching challenges with a sense of humour and rarely lets his emotions best him.

Being in the Powder Chutes has had a massive impact on his life, he says.

The band members are strongly supportive of one another, picking each other up when they are down.

He loves the feeling he gets from performing in front of an energetic crowd, especially when his band are ‘‘locked in’’ on the same wavelength.


Achievements: NCEA level 1 and 2, merit endorsement (2021, 2022); Powder Chutes’ single played on the Rock FM and Radio Hauraki (2023); Powder Chute opening for New Zealand band The Feelers in Oamaru (2022); placing third twice and second once in the Smokefree Rockquest regional final, third (2019, 2021) and second (2022); Festival of Colour, Elephant Talk songwriter/performer (2023); accepted as a student for Martin Goulding, of England, one of the world’s top guitar teachers (2022-2023); Mac choir member (2020-2023); Mac choir senior leader (2022, 2023); lead guitarist in school production Fame. (2020); playing at Wānaka lakefront on New Year’s Eve (2020, 2021, 2022); performing more than 60 times throughout the South Island (2021-2023); Mac achiever, music (2021).

Role model: Musician Dave Grohl.

Hopes and plans for the future: To pursue his passion of creating music and become a success in the music industry.