Premier Scholarship Award winners 2022

For 2022, 11 students gained Premier Awards. These students achieved at least three New Zealand Scholarships at Outstanding level. 

Simon Geertsema   

Westlake Boys' High School

Outstanding Scholarships: Calculus, English and Physics 

Scholarships: Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Economics, Health and Physical Education 

Simon was a finalist in the 2022 New Zealand Physics and Mathematics competition and medalled at the New Zealand Maths Olympiad. He was one of only 20 selected for the Elaine P. Snowden Astronomy School, a University of Canterbury programme for students interested in studying Astronomy or Physics. Simon has experienced significant success in speedcubing, including representing New Zealand at the World Rubik's Cube Championships in Melbourne. He was a key part of the Westlake Boys' High School Senior Rowing Squad, winning Bronze in the Springbok Shield with the Under 18 four and Bronze in the Maadi Cup with the Under 18 eight. Simon plans to study a Bachelor of Science majoring in Physics, with the aim of studying a more applied postgraduate degree in Engineering. He plans to have a career in applied sciences, engineering, or scientific research.


Shuxin (Janet) Guo

Hillcrest High School

Outstanding Scholarships: Biology, Classical Studies, English and Geography

Scholarships: Agriculture and Horticulture, Calculus, Chemistry, Chinese, Earth and Space Science, Health and Physical Education, Physics and Statistics

Top Subject Scholar: Classical Studies

Janet returns to the Top Scholar Awards as a Premier Award winner and the Top Subject Scholar for Classical Studies for the second year in a row. Janet served as a Service Captain at Hillcrest High School, led the Lion Dance Troupe and was a lead performer in the Shakespeare production. She also helped lead an initiative called SAGE, which teaches STEM classes over Zoom. Her regional debate team came second place at the National Schools' Debating competition in 2022, and she was captain of the National Schools' Debate Team that represented New Zealand at the World Schools' Debate competition. She was the only person from Oceania selected for an Atlas Fellowship, a highly selective scholarship for students interested in science, philosophy, and the future. She is currently studying Biomedical Science at the University of Auckland.

Hunter Haynes

Westlake Boys' High School

Outstanding Scholarships: Classical Studies, Economics, English and Media Studies

Scholarships: Agriculture and Horticulture, Art History, Earth and Space Science, History, Religious Studies and Statistics

Hunter was Dux, Deputy Head Boy and Academic Captain of Westlake Boys' High School in 2022. He has been selected as the 2023 Robertson Scholar, which will see him attend the prestigious Duke University in North Carolina (USA) later this year. He has achieved a number of significant awards, including Best Speaker of Auckland Premier Advanced Debating, Future Problem Solving National Champion and the Alexander Turnbull Smart Alex National Poetry Winner. Hunter enjoys distance running and volunteers for UNICEF and the Devonport-Takapuna Youth Board. He also sang in the Westlake Boys’ Premier Choir, which won the best Male Choir in the regional Big Sing competitions in 2021 and 2022. Hunter is currently working at Mt Eden software firm Nui Markets as a business intern and plans to pursue a postgraduate degree in humanities or social sciences.

Daniel Johnston

Auckland Grammar School

Outstanding Scholarships: Economics, English, History and Statistics

Scholarships: Calculus

Top Subject Scholar: Economics

Daniel was the 2022 Proxime Accessit for Auckland Grammar School and served as a School Prefect and cricket team captain. A gifted academic, Daniel was Top in New Zealand for A Level Economics in 2022 and amassed an impressive list of awards and scholarships in his time at school. He was ranked the best student in his year group in fourth and sixth forms and his achievements are recognised on the School Honours Board. He was engaged in community service through tutoring and the Interact Group, and was a member of the school scholars’ group, Proceres Grammatici. Daniel works part-time for Tribe Sports App as a commentator. He is studying a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics at the University of Otago. He hopes to continue a postgraduate study of Economics overseas.

Shun Ting (Carol) Khor

Burnside High School

Outstanding Scholarships: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry and Statistics

Scholarships: Design and Visual Communication, English and Physics

Top Subject Scholar: Biology

Carol won Te Puiaki Kaipūtaiao Ānamata Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize for research work she undertook with the University of Otago into finding more efficient treatments for melanoma. She was invited to present her findings at the New Zealand Society for Oncology Conference and earned the Royal College of Australasia Pathology Award for this. Carol was the Burnside High School Proxime Accessit in 2022 and served as an Academic Leader and mentor, a member of the Premier Girls' Badminton team and Librarian Team Leader. She was previously a student-elected Divisional Prefect and School Council Representative and published a children’s fiction novel at the age of 12. During her time at school Carol participated to a high level in many Mathematics, Science and Technology competitions and events. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Auckland.

Joanna Li

St Paul's Collegiate School

Outstanding Scholarships: Chemistry, English, Geography, History and Statistics

Top Subject Scholar: Calculus, Earth and Space Science, Health and Physical Education and Physics

Top Subject Scholar: Geography

In 2022, Joanna received the Katrina L Ward Cup for Dux of St Paul's Collegiate School, where she served as Deputy Head Girl and held Academic and International Prefect portfolios. She received the Fitchett Trophy for being an outstanding female school leader, and previously received the Altrusa Youth Award, which recognises Waikato students who excel in school life and are considered role models within their community. Joanna was a member of the Badminton New Zealand Under 19 Squad and is also known for her speech writing, debating and performing. Joanna founded the Bankwood Ukulele Group project, an initiative to teach ukulele to primary school children. She also volunteered her time to service programmes, including the Over the Fence Ministry programme, Refugee Orientation Centre and The Serve. She is currently studying Engineering and Science at the University of Auckland.

Michael Lin

Hamilton Boys' High School

Outstanding Scholarships: Calculus, Chemistry, English and Physics

Scholarships: Biology

Top Subject Scholar: Physics

Having previously finished top of his class in Year 11 and Year 12, Michael was named as the Dux of Hamilton Boys’ High School in 2022, where he also served as a Prefect. He was a senior member of the Premiere Chess team, volunteered his time coaching up-and-coming chess players, and was a five-time Gold medallist in Chess Power National Tournaments. He achieved High Distinction in the International Chemistry Quiz run by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and participated in The New Zealand Institute of Chemistry Analytical Chemistry Competition. A keen piano player, Michael earned the Associate of the Royal Schools of Music diploma in piano performance with distinction. He is now studying Biomedical Science at the University of Auckland and is aiming to pursue a Bachelor of Medicine and become a medical doctor.

Deboprana Mallick

Mount Albert Grammar School

Outstanding Scholarships: Calculus, Earth and Space Science and Economics

Scholarships: Chemistry, English, Physics, Statistics

Deboprana achieved Excellence in all three levels of NCEA during her time at Mount Albert Grammar School and excelled in a number of external competitions and challenges, including the New Zealand Economics Competition and New Zealand Engineering Science Competition. She was awarded School Dux (Girls), was a member of the Academic Council and served as a tutor and Peer Support Leader. Deboprana received the Top Achiever Scholarship from the University of Auckland and a prestigious C P Liddell Scholarship for students who demonstrate exceptional academic excellence and all-round ability. Outside of the classroom, Deboprana participated in badminton and debating, and was part of the Interact Club, which raised money within the school for charitable purposes. She is studying Biomedical Science at the University of Auckland and plans for a future working in medicine. 

Ryaan Sidhu

Auckland Grammar School

Outstanding Scholarships: Calculus, Chemistry, Physics and Statistics

Scholarships: Biology, Earth and Space Science, English, Geography, Health and Physical Education and History

Ryaan returns to Top Scholar as a Premier Award winner for the second year in a row. He was Auckland Grammar School Dux and a Prefect in 2022, and had his name added to the School Honours Board in both 2021 and 2022 as Top Scholar. Ryaan has a great sense of service, volunteering his time to support other students in the school’s tutoring programmes and getting involved with Interact Group, WorldVision and the Amnesty International Committee. Ryaan competed at a Senior Open level in chess, and earned a Bronze medal at the International Chemistry Olympiad and a Silver award in the New Zealand Biology Olympiad in 2022. He is studying the first year of a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at the University of Auckland and is hoping to pursue a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, aiming to specialise in Neurosurgery.

Corin Simcock

St Andrew’s College

Outstanding Scholarships: Calculus, Chemistry and Technology

Scholarships: Biology, Geography, Physics and Statistics

Corin was a recipient of the Outstanding Team award at The International Mathematical Modelling Challenge in 2022, the highest honour in the competition. He was a St Andrew’s College Prefect, Head of the school Sustainability Council, Leader of Senior College Council, member of the Senior Choir and Dux. Corin played hockey in the St Andrews College 1st XI, coming 2nd in the national Rankin Cup tournament in 2022. He enjoys mountain running and biking, coming 3rd in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Adventure Race Championships in 2022 and completing the Coast to Coast in 2023. Corin has a passion for STEM subjects and recently co-authored an article that was published in the British Journal of Surgery. He is currently studying the Health Sciences First Year programme at the University of Otago.

Michael Yao

Auckland Grammar School

Outstanding Scholarships: English, Geography, Health and Physical Education, History and Physics

Scholarships: Art History, Calculus, Chemistry and Earth and Space Science

Top Subject Scholar: Health and Physical Education and History

Michael introduced the Ethics Olympiad to Auckland Grammar School in 2022, leading a team to the International Final and coordinating trainings between the various schools representing New Zealand. He won the 2022 New Zealand Schools' Debating Championships representing the Auckland White regional team. In 2021, he won the New Zealand Young Physicists' Tournament as the only Year 12 Team Captain in the National Final. As captain of the school kendo team, he greatly increased participation in the sport over three years and he has dedicated himself to others’ academic success as Head Tutor of the Asian Cultural Group. He is studying a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science Conjoint at the University of Auckland and hopes to make meaningful contributions to New Zealand’s climate policy in future.


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