Most excellent, dudes

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Wakatipu High Year 13 student Matt Milliken (right) earns a scholarship award from Queenstown mayor Clive Geddes at the recent Jade Awards ceremony.

Maori teacher Ned Webster (below) and about 30 students – dressed in new black and green uniforms – welcomed Geddes to the second annual academic excellence ceremony on June 24 with a powhiri,
a formal greeting ritual.

Pupils who get 50 credits at merit or excellence level – and whose NCEA certificates are endorsed accordingly – receive certificates, while scholarship students get greenstone pendants. Milliken, Leah Fitzpatrick, Nick Jenkins, Ambrose Kelly, Gwyneth Key and Myfanwy Norton scored scholarship-level awards – that’s four more handed out than last year.

Electricity distributor Aurora Energy also presented Jenkins, co-dux last year, with a $5000 scholarship for academic prowess.

Seventy-eight Level 1-3 pupils received merit awards – compared with 53 in 2008 – while three scored excellence awards.