Premier Scholarship Award winners 2018

For 2018, 11 students gained Premier Awards. These students achieved at least four New Zealand Scholarships subjects, including three or more at Outstanding level.


Rusell Boey

St Andrew's College

Outstanding Scholarships: Calculus, Chemistry, Economics, English, and Statistics

Scholarships: Physics

Russell was Dux of St Andrew’s College in 2018. That same year he competed in the International Chemistry Olympiad, held in Prague and Bratislava, where he won a bronze medal and achieved the highest score of a New Zealand entrant. He also earned New Zealand’s top mark and a gold medal in the 2018 International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) competition. A keen creative writer, Russell won the secondary school division of the 2017 Sunday Star Times Short Story competition, and he inspired and supported many young writers as Head of Writing at St Andrew’s College. Outside of the classroom, he was a member of his school’s chess club and played badminton as a member of the boys’ A team. This year, Russell is studying at the University of Auckland, with a goal of pursuing postgraduate study to become an astrophysicist.


Andrew Chen

St Kentigern College

Outstanding Scholarships: Calculus, Economics, Physics, and Statistics

Scholarships: Chemistry, English and Geography

Top Subject Scholar: Statistics

Andrew was Academic Prefect and Dux in his final year of college. He has represented New Zealand at international academic events, including the International Mathematics Olympiad three times, where he gained a bronze medal, and at the London International Youth Science forum. He has completed a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and won first place in the New Zealand Senior Mathematics Competition. He was also a Youth MP for Hon Nikki Kaye. Andrew was a member of the premier debating team that won the Auckland Regional Debating championships in 2018, and represented Saint Kentigern College on the Howick Youth Council. He is currently working towards a Bachelor of Science at the University of Auckland and is interested in specializing in mathematics or computer science. Andrew hopes to make a positive contribution to the information sciences profession.


Patrick Dowd

Hamilton Boys' High School

Outstanding Scholarships: Chemistry, Physics, and Statistics

Scholarships: Biology, Calculus, Classical Studies and English

Patrick was Deputy Head Boy of Hamilton Boys’ High School and has completed the Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. He was Top in School in years 11, 12, and 13, which led to him being awarded Dux in his final year. Patrick is an avid runner; he has won multiple medals in 400m, 800m, 1500m, and cross-country at a regional level. He placed third in the 800m at the 2018 New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Championships and has been selected to represent New Zealand at the Oceania Area Championships in June this year. Patrick is currently studying at the University of Otago for one semester before moving to Abu Dhabi to study Mechanical Engineering at the New York University campus. In the future, he hopes to help invent and refine sustainable energy generating technology that can be incorporated into the infrastructure of third world societies.


Tikshan Ghoorah

Rangitoto College

Outstanding Scholarships: Chemistry, Geography, and Health and Physical Education

Scholarships: Biology, Calculus, Classical Studies, English, and Statistics

Tikshan was elected as Deputy Head Boy in his final year of college and was awarded Dux of Rangitoto College. He attended the New Zealand Chemistry Olympiad Camp in 2018. Tikshan has achieved regional success in sport, captaining the premier boys’ badminton team, and leading them to win third place at the national competition. He was also captain of the petanque team that were three time regional school champions. Tikshan was involved in multiple leadership roles over his years at Rangitoto College, including being a peer support leader, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participant, student librarian, and student representative on the Board of Trustees. This year, Tikshan is studying Biomedical Science at the University of Auckland.


Stefan Ivanov

Westlake Boys’ High School

Outstanding Scholarships: Chemistry, Health and Physical Education, and Statistics

Scholarships: Biology, Calculus, English, Media Studies, and Physics

Stefan was Dux of Westlake Boys’ High School in 2018 and a School Prefect. He is the founder and former-President of the Westlake Interact Club, which takes action to make a difference in their school, community and internationally, with an emphasis on physical volunteering. He has represented his community, North Shore, at the 2018 Rotary National Science and Technology Forum, and at the International Chemistry Olympiad. He has also represented New Zealand at the International Brain Bee World Championships in Washington D.C, where he placed 8th in the world. Originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, Stefan is a weekly volunteer at Forrest Hill Hospital and Rest Home, and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship for his services to Rotary and the community. Stefan is currently studying Biomedical Science at the University of Auckland, and hopes to work as a Specialised Medical Clinician working in Medical Research.


Miriam Leonhardt

Mount Albert Grammar School

Outstanding Scholarships: Earth and Space Science, Physics, and Statistics

Scholarships: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, and German

Miriam was awarded the University of Auckland’s Top Achiever Scholarship, given to a student who demonstrates exceptional academic excellence, all-around ability and leadership. She was also awarded Dux of Mount Albert Grammar School in 2018. She has received her Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and is working towards her Gold Award. While at school, she took part in several academic competitions, including the New Zealand Engineering Science competition, CalcEX, Mathex, the Auckland Science Bowl, and the International Mathematical Modeling Challenge. Outside the classroom, Miriam had a strong presence in the Mount Albert Grammar School’s library since Year 9 and served as Head Librarian in 2018. She was on her school’s Relay for Life fundraising team twice, was a member of the Academic Council, tutoring students after school, and has been awarded a Service Lion for her voluntary work. She is currently studying at the University of Auckland towards a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Mathematics and 6 Physics, with the goal of pursuing post-graduate studies.


Daniel Mar

St Kentigern College

Outstanding Scholarships: Accounting, Biology, Physics, and Statistics

Scholarships: Calculus, Geography, and Technology

Daniel received a Saint Kentigern Scholarship, which is awarded to the school’s highest achieving scholars in recognition of their academic achievement. He was also awarded the school’s Computer Science prize, the Goldson Prize for Physics, and had previously won the school Accounting prize in years 11 and 12. A keen golfer and hockey player, Daniel also has a strong interest in robotics. He served as a college prefect, a member of the Advanced Premier Debating Team, and as Student Coach of the Year 9 Mathex Team. Daniel received the Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) Scholarship and the University of Auckland Top Achiever Scholarship, which recognises and rewards exceptional students who have excellent academic records and have demonstrated leadership potential. He is now studying Computer Science and Finance at the University of Auckland and plans to have a career in investment banking in the technology sector.


Felix Marcon Swadel

Auckland Grammar School

Outstanding Scholarships: Calculus, Chemistry, and Latin

Scholarships: Geography, Health and Physical Education, Physics, and Statistics

Top Subject Scholar: Latin

Felix was the Head Prefect at Auckland Grammar School in 2018, and was actively involved in a number of junior mentoring and tutoring programmes. He has been an active member of Amnesty International, and was a founding member of an LGBT+ support group at Auckland Grammar School. He has also been involved with the Combined School Chinese Cultural Extravaganza, the Bridge Club, and Diabolo Club. Alongside his studies and extra-curricular commitments, Felix has competed in the American Classical League Examination for Latin, the Linguistics Olympiad, and the Chemistry Olympiad. Felix is currently working part-time at Soul Machines, an Auckland-based artificial intelligence company. He is studying a BA/BSc in Latin, Mathematics, and Physics at the University of Auckland and looks to combine his love of science and language in his future career.


William Scharpf

King's High School

Outstanding Scholarships: Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, and Statistics

Scholarships: Biology

William was awarded Dux honours at King’s High School in 2018, despite only being in Year 12. This was a first for the school and continued a theme of William achieving ahead of his age group. He has previously achieved a Calculus Scholarship in Year 10 and an Outstanding Scholarships in Calculus and Physics in Year 11. A talented football player and member of the senior cross-country team, William represented his school at national athletics championships over multiple years, competing in the 800m, the 4x400m relay, and the 1500m. William’s school describes him as ‘as amazing young man, humble, admired, and respected by his peers’. They highlight that he gave extensively of his own time to assist other students with their learning. William is now studying a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Canterbury.


William (Wills) Wynn Thomas

Christ's College

Outstanding Scholarships: Chemistry, English, and Statistics

Scholarships: Biology, Calculus, and Physics

Top Subject Scholar: Chemistry and English

Wills was a recipient of the Christ’s College Gold Tie Award for the top five students academically in his year group, and was awarded the Wacher Prize for the Dux of the school in his final year. Wills has a passion for Mathematics and Informatics, and has co-authored a published paper related to the Fibonacci numbers. In his role as the Head of the Academic Committee, Wills used his passion for academia to help start initiatives that also benefitted the learning of others. He was Head of Orchestra and Schola Cantorum and received school honours in instrumental music, choral music and debating. Wills is currently studying Mathematics and Physics at Australia National University. In April, he was awarded the prestigious Sir Douglas Myers Scholarship to study at Cambridge University in England. He will study for the Mathematical Tripos course, furthering his passion for Mathematics and Science.


Yang Fan Yun

Macleans College

Outstanding Scholarships: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Economics and Statistics

Scholarships: Agricultural and Horticultural Science, Calculus, English, Geography, and Health and Physical Education

Yang Fan was a School Prefect, Academic Captain, Peer Support Leader at Macleans College, and was named school Dux in 2018. He was a member of the New Zealand Biology Olympiad Team that went to Africa, working on a dig in the Rift Valley and completing a study in Lake Malawi. He also won a gold medal at the Economics Olympiad in Moscow, gaining the top overall score in the Economics section. He was a cellist in the school Symphony Orchestra, sang in the boys’ choir, and was a key member of the school and Auckland region debating teams. Currently studying Economics at the University of Auckland, Yang Fan has been accepted into Stanford University to study Economics, Human Biology, and Public Policy later this year. He plans to pursue medical research and work to improve equal access to affordable healthcare through policy making.

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