Class Act: Gore High School

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Georgia Ayson

Growing up in rural Southland, Gore High School student Georgia Ayson loves everything outdoors.

The 18-year-old says she likes to get involved and experience as much as possible.

“After moving to Gore when I was 7, I took up ice skating and competed in various competitions around Southland and Otago.

“Then while I was at Gore High School, I started trap shooting. I just like to try things.”

Squash has been a lifelong passion since I was 11 years old.

“I play in interclubs and I also volunteer on Sunday afternoons to help supervise the juniors.”

Georgia attended this year’s Young Lions Leadership Course held at Borland Lodge, sponsored by the Hokonui Lions Club.

“During the camp, I gained more confidence in myself. I also met an incredible group of people from Southland and Otago,” she said.

Time management has been a big part of this year since she was named assistant captain at McNab, where she helps organize sporting events, the prefects’ variety concert act and other in-house competitions. She is also a school prefect, where her responsibilities include helping to organize the school’s variety concert and prom, and contributing to the 9th grade buddy system.

Georgia was proud to represent her crest in last year’s competition at the Otago-Southland Junior Young Farmers Competition, where she and her teammate placed second. This allowed them to qualify for the national final in Christchurch.

In her spare time, Georgia enjoys designing clothes, some of which have entered the Hokonui Fashion Awards and the HETTANZ Awards. Last year, she completed Level 3 in Tissue Technology.

“I was thinking of renting a prom dress this year, but decided to make myself one instead.”

Next year, Georgia plans to study management in Dunedin.

Achievements: Prefect (2022); Deputy Captain of McNab House (2022); co-organizer of the Variety Concert of the Prefects (2022); school prom committee (2022); Lions Youth Leadership Course (2022); Gore Junior Squash Coach (2022); Southland 1st Secondary School Sports Squash (2019, 2022); Level 1 and 2 with mention of excellence; merit sanctioned in mathematics with statistics level 2 (2021); reached approved in English and Economics Level 2 (2021); 1st in mathematics with statistics (2021); 1st in fabrics (2019-2021); 2nd in tourism (2021); 2nd in economics (2020); 3rd in Geography (2020); Recognized Merit in Science 101, Economics, Geography and Mathematics Level 1 (2020); Otago/Southland Young Junior Farmer 2nd (2021); HETTANZ Southland Secondary Schools Make and Model craft first place (2019); Scout Leader Award (2019).

Model: My parents, aunts and uncles.

Hopes for the future: To study management, possibly working in different places around the world.

Emma Fotheringham

Emma Fotheringham has plenty to take care of.

The 17-year-old Gore High School prefect has been a student council and SADD committee member for two years.

She helped organize the school’s Mental Health Awareness Week in 2021 and hopes to continue that responsibility this year, in addition to working closely with her fellow prefects to help organize the prefects’ variety concert.

One of Emma’s main passions is competitive figure skating, which she started at the age of 11.

She has competed at two NZIFSA National Figure Skating Championships, finishing second in the Novice Basic Women’s category in 2018 and sixth in the Novice Intermediate Women’s category in 2019. Additionally, Emma received the Ice Sports Southland Best Nationals Performance award in 2018 , Coaches Shield for Diligence in 2018, Most Improved Senior Skater in 2019, and Most Dedicated Club Skater in 2020. She is also a long-time volunteer coach for learn-to-skate classes at her local rink, which led to her becoming an accredited Kiwiskate coach.

Emma earned her Scoutmaster’s Award – the highest honor for a Scout – testing skills, leadership, initiative and commitment. She also earned her bronze award from the Duke of Edinburgh and was chosen to compete in Hands on Otago in 2021.

“I love science, so it was really exciting to go and see what college is like,” she said.

She plans to study health sciences at the University of Otago next year, with a view to entering medicine.

“I love learning about the body and how humans work.”

Emma also enjoys volunteering in her community.

Highlights have included volunteering at Albany Rest Home for three months last year before entering another Covid-19 lockdown and, since February, at Hamilton Park Parkrun.

She said she was looking forward to going to college next year.

“It will be good to be independent and explore a new environment.”

Achievements: Prefect (2022); Level 1 Level 2 with mention of excellence; Hands on Otago (2021); Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award (2021); school council (2021/22); SADD (2021/22); PTA Diligence Award (2019, 2021); 1st joint in economics (2020); HETTANZ Southland Secondary Schools Make and Model craft 3rd place (2019); Scout Leader Award (2019); 1st joint in science (2018).

Model: Try to make your younger self proud.

Hopes for the future: To study health sciences, then medicine, at the University of Otago.

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