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Education: Takapuna Grammar School

Wonderful recent student achievements

From Shotokan, English and Cycling, to Fashion and Pole-Vaulting…the multi-talents of our students is a source of great pride

“Putting on the …… talent”

Think The Great Gatsby and Hollywood glamour, the theme for this year’s Fashion Show was 1920s “Putting on the Ritz”. The scene was set with a montage of vintage film, courtesy of Media Department TIC, Mr Dan MacQuillan, old-style street lamps, signage, and red drapes to frame the stage. This was the 9th annual fashion show for the school and, as MC Pippa Wetzell explained, over the years the event has raised more than $60,000 for Starship Hospital.

Student designs mixed seamlessly with collections by designers from Coop, Ruby, Liam, and Echo, as well as stores North Beach and Modes and formal hire Frank Casey. Adding to the glamour of the student designs and local stores and labels, were Can- Can and Charleston performances by the dance students, a quartet rendition of “Mercy” and a stage thumping trio of numbers from Lorde. While the first half highlight was Gigi Alvarez, Carla Newton, Tom Fraser and Roberto Panovski’s “Mercy”, the opening of the second half by Lorde was electrifying.

Technology teacher, Ms Deb Woodward, has led this event for several years and never ceases to amaze with her organisation, leadership and clever eye. This is one of the absolute highlights of the TGS calendar. In less than two hours the sold-out auditorium had been “royally” entertained and totally impressed by the breadth and depth of talent the students displayed.

A medal winner
Katherine Jacobs (Year 9) has achieved the top mark in New Zealand for the recent International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) English examination for Year 9. This is an examination taken by school students which assesses their reading and language skills in a range of contexts.  She will be awarded a University of New South Wales medal for her achievement, in a November ceremony. Gaining one hundred percent in this competitive examination is an achievement to be incredibly proud of, as students from over 20 countries including Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and the USA participate each year.

A black belt
Local boy, Theo Sawyer (Year 9), gained his First Dan (Black Belt - Shotokan) at the recent Japan Karate Association seminar/grading held recently at St Cuthbert’s College.  Theo took part in his first Shotokan competition as a purple belt at aged 10 and won a silver medal at the JKA Auckland Tournament in 2010 along with other members of the Devonport Dojo at Devonport Community House.  He is learning Japanese and hopes to visit and tour other Dojos in Japan in the near future.  His sensei, David Eaton, who has been teaching JKA Shotokan Karate for over 25 years and is a 5th Dan Black Belt, is very proud of Theo’s achievement. Theo has been training in Shotokan since the age of 8, spurred on by his Dad, Brett, who is a 2nd Dan black belt himself. Theo’s goal is to represent his country at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, assuming that the Japanese will choose to include this sport.

Pedalling their way to medals
A 42-strong road cycling competed at the recent New Zealand Secondary Schools Individual Cycling Champs held in Auckland, and came home with seven Gold A grade medals, six Silver A grade medals, one Silver B grade medal, three Bronze A grade medals and 26 other Top 10 placings.

The stand-out riders were U20 rider Harry Elworthy (Year 12) who won Gold in the Hill Climb and Criterium and Silver in the General Classification, and Adam McPheat (Year 9) in the U14 boys’ category with a clean sweep of all four medals in his age group. (Full Takapuna Grammar School results can be found on our school website under Cycling.)

Flying high
Eliza McCartney (Year 12) is a rising star in the pole vaulting scene. She competed in the IAAF World Youth Athletics Championships in the Ukraine, qualified for the final and exceeded all expectations by gaining fourth place. She is the latest recipient of the Phil Clark and Peter Ayton Achievement Award. Phil and Peter have set up a number of scholarships to acknowledge the successes of students in a wide range of school activities and Takapuna Grammar School would like to acknowledge the ongoing support from Harcourt’s Real Estate.

by Channel Editorial