071119 SN 0116 Drew Porter Ashburton College webDrew Porter, Ashburton College’s top Year 11 student for 2019. Photo Sue NewmanWhen her name was called as the top Year 11 student for Ashburton College, no one was more surprised than Drew Porter.

She knew she’d put in a year of hard work, but winning both the top scholar award and the top scholar in English prize were an unexpected reward.

“I enjoy school and had really good teachers this year and I suppose I do work hard and put a lot of time and effort into study, but this was a real surprise, I didn’t really think I’d get this,” she said.

English is her favourite subject, and next year she’ll be adding maths, biology, chemistry economics and geography to her study list. A

nd while she won’t be focused on prizes at the end of that year, Drew said taking out the top Year 12 scholar award would be a great goal to work towards.

School is not the only thing on Drew’s agenda as when she’s not studying she’s heavily involved with St John.

This year she was selected as a member of the South Island team to compete in the national championships and that involved many hours of study and practical work.

It also meant her favourite sport, netball, had to be shelved for the year.

“I was away nearly every weekend at the start of the year as part of the Auckland competition,” she said.

Drew finished in 5th place as an individual and was part of the South Island team that finished 4th in the event.

While she still has another two years of secondary study, Drew is looking ahead to life after school. Currently she’s considering law as a career option.

With exams still to complete, she is looking ahead to the summer holidays and hopes she can boost her cash reserves with work on the family farm.

By Sue Newman © The Ashburton Guardian - 8 November 2019

Gemma Taylor 2019 CollegeGemma Taylor, winner of the Thistle Masonic Lodge prize for citizenship at the Ashburton College Year 11 prizegiving. Photo Sue NewmanGemma Taylor might be one of the busiest Year 11 students around, but she still finds time to give back to the sports she loves.

The Ashburton College student is this year’s winner of the Thistle Masonic Lodge scholarship for citizenship, earned through a long list of achievements both on the sports field and in the classroom.

It’s a prize with a difference, in that students are nominated and undergo an interview before a winner is found.

Gemma was one of eight students nominated and faced a string of questions from a two- person panel where she had to state what she had done for her school and her community.

She was also asked if her fellow students were asked to describe her in three words, what they would say.

And she’s proud that those three words were smart, responsible and respectful.

When it comes to achievements, Gemma gives new meaning to the word busy.

She is a member of the school’s 1st IX football team, XV rugby team, softball and volleyball teams, plays tennis for Aoraki, sails for the college and is a member of the school’s cricket team.

And out of schools she plays football and sevens in the Mid Canterbury women’s teams, plays softball for Fairfield and coaches under 16 softball, coaches a mixed football junior team and coached the girls Koru football team that was placed second in a national tournament.

In Years 9 and 10 she was awarded the top scholar prize and says she enjoys school and study and this year also won the top history prize.

And there won’t be any rest next year, with a full academic schedule – biology, chemistry, physics, classics, English, maths and PE and a trip to Indonesia on a Wallacea Trust school research expedition to work on forest carbon dating and a marine survey on the agenda.

By Sue Newman © The Ashburton Guardian - 7 November 2019

20191106 160508David Jones - NBS, Aidan Elvines and AshColl Chairperson Peter Gluyas.Recently I had the pleasure of talking to Aidan Elvines who is this year’s recipient of the NBS AshColl Alumni sponsorship.  

Aidan definitely embodies the aims set out in the Alumni tenet - “to show commitment to the College” ie be a good role model and apply themselves not only academically but in sporting, cultural and mentoring roles as well.  She was not only fully involved in the life of the College over her 5 years but also busy making sure others were getting the most out of their time there.  From her Orange House captaincy which she mentioned as a “real highlight”, to her captaincy last year and this of the girls rugby first XV.  As well, she also “surprised herself” by winning the Y13 Girls cross country.

Another major sporting involvement has been rowing. Ten to twelve trainings a week has honed Aidan’s focus and she was justifiably proud of herself and her quad team for getting fourth in this year’s Maadi Cup.

Aidan first found out about the NBS AshColl Alumni Scholarship through a teacher who persuaded her to apply for it and the $1,000 funds will be well used for course fees once she has zeroed in on her career path.  At this stage, Aidan plans to work during 2020 to “get some funds behind her plus  obtain some life experience” and to give some serious thought to which career path she wants to pursue.  At this stage, either secondary school teaching or the Police force are beckoning.  Her principal motivation here seems to be because she genuinely wants “to help people”.

Aidan’s favourite subject was Classics aided by teacher Mrs Hampton who “knew her subject so well plus her down-to-earth teaching style”.  Aidan can see this interest continuing and would definitely love to visit Greece and Italy some time in her future.

During her Year 9 and 10 years, Aidan’s mother tried to persuade her to take sewing as a good back-up subject.  Aidan wasn’t at all keen!  She tried to tell her mother this wasn’t needed and to prove her point she “whipped up a pair of shorts in about 10 minutes, but on first wearing they promptly fell to bits”!  Fortunately her Mum  will be around for any mending Aidan might need done.  

Aidan’s primary years were spent at Longbeach, followed by Ashburton Intermediate School  both small in comparison to Ashburton College and she found her first day there “terrifying”.

Aidan is very grateful to both NBS and AshColl Alumni for the scholarship funds received.

By Shirley Falloon © Ashcoll Alumni - November 2019