Michael Smith (Year 13, Major), after achieving the highest academic standard, was presented with the 2017 Dux of the College award by Headmaster Simon Lamb at the Senior Prizegiving on Wednesday 6 December.
With his sights set on the prestigious academic award right from the beginning of Term 1, Michael used determination and hard work to make sure he gave himself the best chance to succeed. Giving thanks to his teachers for their constant guidance throughout the year, Michael also recognises his Housemaster and Chemistry teacher Dr Alan Huffadine as a fantastic support.
This year Michael received Full Academic Colours, Community Service Half Colours, the Swales’ Memorial Prize for Biology, the HT Revel Prize for Chemistry, the Dodson Memorial Prize for Physics and the Moorhouse Prize for Science.
In addition to excelling in his academic studies, Michael has completely thrown himself into student life, carefully managing his time around his many commitments. As a Major House prefect Michael had many duties in his day boy life, whilst also taking on a leadership role in Big House Music, obtaining his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award and competing in Orienteering, Cross Country and Hockey.
With exciting plans to study engineering next year and a work experience summer job already lined up, it’s clear Michael will continue to use the same determination to succeed in the next exciting stage of his life.
As the final week of Term 4 flies by we caught up with Michael to hear how he feels about being 2017’s Dux, as well as any advice he has for future students aspiring to follow in his footsteps.
How have you enjoyed your last year at the College?
Michael Smith: It’s been busy and very rewarding! With the responsibility of being a House Prefect and having the goal of Dux, I always knew it was going to be a big year for me.
What was the biggest academic challenge you have had to overcome this year?
MS: Time management has been a key component to succeeding this year. Being honored with a leadership position, maintaining a social life and ensuring enough time to hit the books made time this year very valuable.
What type of support has the College provided on your pathway to 2017’s Dux?
MS: The College has provided excellent and supportive teachers and tutors. I also had an extremely encouraging Housemaster. I told him from the beginning I wanted to go for Dux and he has been a great support every step of the way.
King’s has a lot of resources and student services available for academic and pastoral care for all students. They really help you get a well-rounded education.
What advice could you give to students aspiring to become Dux of the College in future years?
MS: Work hard and believe in yourself. Remember that you are supported by your friends, family and teachers. Speciﬁcally in class, ensure you understand all key facts and concepts, and study for each test like it’s an exam. Also, make sure you ask for help when you don’t understand something.
I personally beneﬁted by working with several study friends. We were able to help each other work through any diﬃcult problems.
Additionally it is key to maintain a balance, don’t get burnt out. Along with study, make sure you allocate time in your day for relaxing, family, friends and physical activity. A good night’s sleep is also important!
What are your plans for after King’s College?
MS: I plan to study Engineering in Auckland and I would also like to study overseas. Eventually I would like to run my own business.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunities the College has given me. I have really enjoyed my time here and I wish to remain in contact with the school on into the future.
Watch the video below to see the history of the King's College Duces: