Class Act 2019: Dunstan High School

Lotte Rayner and Tom Mullally are the 2019 Class Act recipients for Dunstan High School.

Lotte Rayner
Lotte Rayner
Lotte Rayner

Lotte Rayner's perseverance and infectious positivity has helped her set exemplary standards in sport, cultural and academic fields.

''It's not fun when you're not positive,'' she said.

The 17-year-old Dunstan High School deputy head girl comes from a strong kayaking family and has been prolific across both slalom and freestyle events.

She has represented New Zealand since 2016, when she first made the junior development squad for the slalom.

She has competed at three world championship events, comprising two junior world championship appearances in the canoe slalom and a respectable seventh place at the 2017 World Kayak Freestyle Championships in Argentina.

Lotte has won numerous national and secondary school titles in the sport.

She said she could not go past her parents, Gordon Rayner and Mary Tritt, as her No1 role models.

''Mum and Dad have been very supportive and loving.

''They help out a lot.''

She is a member of the Central Otago Whitewater Club.

In 2015, she placed fourth at the New Zealand figure skating nationals.

Lotte is also an ice-skating volunteer coach during the winter and coaches kayaking to children in the summer.

As the kayaking season winds down, Lotte is preparing for her NCEA level 3 exams.

She has also immersed herself in drama and music. Last year, she played the lead role of Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, which was a highlight, she said.

Lotte scored another lead this year as Maria in The Sound of Music.

She has been a member of the school jazz band, Jazz Stanza, since 2016.

Last month, she travelled to Timaru for The Big Sing Cadenza with the Dunstan High School choir, of which she has been a member since year 10.

She is a guitarist/bassist for indie rock outfit Serenity, along with three other Dunstan High School pupils. They have released two songs via Spotify and filmed a music video for their song Amelia.

She is considering study at the University of Otago next year and becoming a teacher.

''I've had some epic teachers. It looks like a super fun job.''

Achievements: Deputy head girl (2019), NCEA level 1 with excellence, level 2 with merit; contribution to performing arts award (2018); New Zealand canoe slalom junior development squad (2016-17); Jackson Kayak little shredder squad (2015-17); canoe slalom national performance squad (2018-19);  junior world championships (2018-19); 7th at U18 women’s World Kayak Freestyle Championships (2017); NZ K1 and C1 U18 women’s canoe slalom national champion; top all-round paddler at NZ secondary schools event (2019); U18 women’s national freestyle kayak champion (2016-18); U18 C1 women’s secondary school champion (2019).
Role model: My parents.
Hopes for the future: Considering teaching.


Tom Mullally
Tom Mullally
Tom Mullally

Dunstan High School head boy Tom Mullally's extensive accomplishments have led him from the science lab, to the lake waters and beyond.

The 17-year-old is able to prioritise tasks which has allowed him to manage a busy workload, including head boy duties which come up at any moment, he says.

Tom remembers being inspired by some of his neighbours who had occupied leadership roles at Dunstan High School.

''Being head boy was a big box ticked off.

''One of my old babysitters was head boy and I looked up to him and thought that would be something pretty cool to do.''

He was also encouraged by another previous head boy who shared Tom's passion for science and hockey.

Having put in the groundwork as a keen science pupil through exemplary NCEA marks and as recipient of the Pioneer Energy year 12 science scholarship last year, he is well set up for when he departs for the University of Otago next year to study health science.

''I definitely want to do something science-based in the future. Maybe pathology after doing medicine.''

Tom is also an avid rower and representative hockey player, and has been on the hockey turf his ''whole life''.

He was named MVP for the Central Otago under-15 hockey team in 2017 and as a member of the Dunstan first XI won a silver medal at the 2016 and 2018 South Island hockey tournaments.

He has also made waves in rowing. He has competed at four Maadi Cup regattas and earlier this year won a bronze medal in the men's open coxed 8-plus at the National Rowing Championships.

''It's been a good opportunity for me. All those years of training and I had a medal to show for it.''

His creative outlet has been in music as a jazz drummer and pianist.

''It's different and relaxing compared to some of the heavier subjects - it doesn't feel like I'm doing school work.

''If I'm doing science homework, I can take a break and go play the piano.''

He has been the drummer of the Dunstan jazz ensemble Jazzstanza since 2016 which had a track released on the music streaming service Spotify last year.

Achievements: NCEA levels 1 and 2 with excellence; Pioneer Energy year 12 scholarship (2018); contribution to junior school community award (2016); contribution to junior school music award (2016); National Rowing Championships men’s open coxed 8+ bronze medallist (2019); 1st XI hockey team; South Island hockey tournament silver medallist (2016, 2018); South Island Rowing Championships under-15 octuple and under-15 quad skulls silver medallist (2017); Central Otago under-15 hockey team MVP (2017).
Role models: Former Dunstan High School head boys.
Hopes for the future: To study health sciences at the University of Otago.

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