Hero photograph
Year 13 Leavers' Dinner 2020
Photo by PNBHS

Year 13 Leavers’ Dinner


Thank you to Old Boy Mr. Mitchell Alexander, who was the guest speaker at the recent PNBHS Year 13 Leavers’ Dinner.

Mr. Alexander attended Palmy Boys’ from 2010 to 2014 and was in Gordon Club. He played football throughout his time and represented the 1st XI in his final year. He featured in three senior productions – South Pacific in 2012, Whistle Down the Wind in 2013 and Guys and Dolls in 2014.

He was in the SOAP Choir in 2012 and 2013 and the Stage Band in 2014. In 2013 he had the opportunity to head to Germany as part of the PNBHS German Cultural Tour group.

After leaving school Mr. Alexander attended the New Zealand Broadcasting School before moving to Wellington. He has worked as the Wellington reporter for The AM Show and is currently a reporter based in the Press Gallery for Newshub.

In his presentation, Mr. Alexander described his pathway through school and beyond and the challenges, failures and successes he has experienced along the way.

He explained that while at school he struggled with a lack of confidence. In Year 11 his parents encouraged him to audition for the senior production, which he did with much trepidation. Mr. Alexander’s audition was successful and he went on to be involved in three senior productions. This experience gave him a huge amount of confidence – to the extent that he believes he would not be doing what he does now without it; the opportunity to be involved in the senior production was literally life-changing for him.

He had a very powerful message about failure – it isn’t fatal or final. Mr. Alexander shared several disappointments of his own in Year 13 and explained how he was able to put this in context and use it as motivation to overcome both these challenges and those that he has subsequently faced.

He encouraged the leavers to take on challenges and, if things don’t go to plan: 

“Keep on pushing until you get what you want. If you have an idea, stick with it, show your passion and people will get on board with you.”

He also emphasised the importance of a good attitude and explained that the importance of manners and having high expectations of yourself are two of the most important things he learned from his time at PNBHS. Mr. Alexander explained how vital it is to make a good first impression; being respectful, courteous and enthusiastic is essential.

“Whatever impression you make people will remember you for it. Make it a good one.”

Mr. Alexander encouraged the leavers not to panic if they do not have a set plan for the future: “You either know or don’t know about next year. Don’t stress.” He explained that there are many opportunities available if you “put yourself outside your comfort zone and try new things. Don’t close the door on opportunities.”

His advice was to take a step back, spend some time figuring out your interests and how you can follow those into a career.

We hope our Year 13 leavers enjoyed their last formal school event. Thank you to the catering staff at College House for providing a superb venue and meal for the Leavers’ Dinner. We wish our Year 13 leavers all the best for the upcoming examinations and for their journeys beyond school.