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Top Achievers
Photo by Alan Voyce

2019 Dux & Proixme Accessit

Alan Robertson —

PETER BRYANT MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP is awarded to the Dux of the school Ethan Ng

This is an annual award, established by the Board of Trustees, to acknowledge the outstanding contribution to Burnside High School of the late Dr Peter Bryant, in his role as the chairperson of the Board.

When Ethan joined us in Year 12, their previous school provided a thorough record of all of their achievements while they were a student there. This was a star studded resume including massive academic accolades and top prizes in everything from Cantamath to Mathmatical Olympiad’s with first place and distinction awards aplenty.

It also included medals and distinction awards for Australian Mathematics, Digital Technology, Science, English and Spelling.

They described Ethan as “highly articulate and with a hunger for learning that drives an insatiable quest for knowledge”. They also describe him as having an “infectious giggle” which is confirmed by our staff and students as they report to me that he is “just a nice guy to hang out with” “and he has a warm sense of humour”. At all levels of his schooling he has worked far beyond the expected curriculum level, demonstrating astounding ability to absorb new information.

Earlier this year, Ethan was named New Zealand’s Top School Mathematician - being described as a “once in a generation mathematician”, likely due to the fact that he will only turn 15 next week, and the school he came to us two years ago was Merrin School.

The 47 NCEA credits he has earned this year are exclusively at Excellence level and he is entered for no less than seven Scholarship exams on top of his other SIX subjects.

At graduation Ethan collected awards  including First Place in Chemistry, Accounting and Economics and Excellence Awards for Calculus, Physics and Statistics.

We wish Ethan well for his examinations and future endeavours as he aims for selection in the New Zealand Olympiad Mathematics team before beginning a double degree in Mathematics and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Canterbury.

Proxime Accessit Award 2019

Felix Backhouse

When Felix came to Burnside High School, the enrolment notes supplied, described him as a highly capable, quiet and studious person, and that an advanced Mathematics programme would be advised. He was very serious and focussed on his academic work from the outset and his love of learning was a common observation by all his teachers at both Westburn and his early years at Burnside High School.  While Music has been a passion for him throughout his time at Burnside High School earning him countless awards, his academic dominance has seen him earn top placings in every subject he has studied since 2015, including the General Excellence Award for West Division last year.

He puts his success down to not much more than just doing the work and keeping up with things, however his teachers have described him as incredibly thoughtful and analytical – deep thinking and with a wry sense of humour – he is the one they need to watch when they make a mistake because he WILL pick up on it.

His Cambridge and NCEA results earned are impressive reading. In NCEA, he has amassed 257 credits at Excellence Level, with not many at lower grades and he enters his exams with a clean sweep of 34 Excellence credits at level three behind him. He also will tackle Scholarship examinations in FIVE subjects this year.

Felix was offered a $20 000 Top Achievers Scholarship to Auckland University in 2020, however his intention is to study at University of Canterbury and he has secured Emerging Leaders and High Achievers Scholarships to go there.

We wish Felix well as he embarks on his very impressive and exciting future.