Top Academics in Area Overcome Tough Year of Lockdown and Online Learning – The Gisborne Herald



Posted on November 27, 2021 at 12:37 p.m.

Gisborne duxes ready for the next chapter in life.

Four Gisborne students have gone through a tumultuous year of lockdowns and online classes to become their school’s top scholar, or dux.

All of them have gone to four different universities for the next chapter of life.

Sabine Lapointe, from Gisborne Girls High School, will travel south to become a scarf at the University of Otago, where she will study neuroscience.

This year, Sabine has been an avid rower, served on her school’s debate team, and plays cello and percussion in the high school orchestra.

“It’s been a full year,” she said.

Somehow, she managed to fit into a three-week course at Outward Bound in Anakiwa, at the top of the South Island.

“It was pretty special.”

Lytton High School’s Matt Cuckow heads to the capital to study computer science at Victoria University, hoping to enter the tech scene.

“The salary outlook is pretty good, but I also like computers,” he said.

Matt did a few coding projects in high school, making games and playing many video games himself.

Outside of the classroom, Matt is involved with Lytton’s Electronic Sports Club by playing Valorant, a first-person shooter similar to Counter-Strike. This is the first year that the club has existed.

Jack Keepa from Gisborne Boys’ High School goes to Waikato University to study business.

“I’ve been hooked on it since I studied business in grade 11. I feel like it fits who I am. I am quite competitive with my sport so I can translate what I do in sport into business and vice versa.

Jack saved lives in surfing and swimming, won gold medals in swimming and set New Zealand records while in school.

“It has been a difficult year in 2021. Most of my business was canceled, so I was able to rectify my academic affairs instead. “

Liam Mackay from Campion College will study Biomedical Sciences at the University of Auckland, with the intention of becoming a doctor or pharmacologist.

“The health issues at Gisborne inspired me,” Liam said.

Liam was an avid school debater, soccer and volleyball player, competing in the latter at the National Championships in Auckland where his team finished fourth.

The top scholarship recipients, or duxes, for 2021 from Gisborne’s four main high schools are, left to right, Liam Mackay of Campion College, Sabine Lapointe of Gisborne Girls ‘High, Jack Keepa of Gisborne Boys’ High and Matt Cuckow of Lytton High School. Photo by Liam Clayton



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