By: Laurel Stowell

Former Cullinane College students Macy Duxfield (left) and Ellise Smith both passed scholarship exams last year. Wanganui Chronicle photograph by Bevan Conley.

When Cullinane College student Macy Duxfield showed promise teachers asked whether she would like to try sitting exams at scholarship level, and she agreed.

“It’s very much something you have to take on yourself. Some people were told they could try but they didn’t want to go for it,” she said.

Five years at Cullinane College have been a big journey for the 18-year-old. This week she found out she had passed scholarship exams in two of the three subjects she sat.

Macy has Ngai Tahu, Ngā Rauru and Te Atihaunui a Paparangi heritage, but had no te reo Māori. Over five years she learned te reo, and participated in the college kapa haka group.

“The group has opened up a lot of doors and taught me a lot about my own identity. Kapa haka has been very special, and matua Kamaka Manuel has been pretty influential for me,” she said.

To undertake scholarship subjects Macy sat and passed NCEA Levels 2 and 3 in Year 12, with excellence. It left her free to study English, geography and history at scholarship level, and carry on with te reo Māori.

Cullinane is a small school with no scholarship-level classes. She got help from teachers at lunch times and free periods.

It left her time to undertake school leadership roles last year, and she also did two papers from Canterbury University – in European Union studies and philosophy.

During the holidays she had an internship in Wellington, with the Ministry for the Environment. This year she begins a double degree at Victoria University, in law and international relations and te reo Māori.

Two other girls at her school sat and passed scholarship subjects.

One is Ellise Smith. She was brought up speaking te reo and sat her scholarship in that subject. She is also a Ngā Manu Kōrero speech competition senior Māori winner.

Ellise will be starting a Bachelor of Māori Medium Teaching degree at Massey University this year.

The two were featured in an assembly at the college on Friday.

Source: Wanganui Chronicle


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