Being crowned Dux wasn’t in the plan for Woodford House student Hannah Stone. She hadn’t dreamt about it since she was young, it wasn’t listed as one of her ultimate goals and she claims she was never top of the class.
But, entrance into Otago University and knowing her success came as a result of hard work had always been in Hannah’s plan.
Hannah received a standing ovation at Prize Giving last week as she was named Dux of Woodford House for 2016.
“It was pretty emotional because I felt as though my hard work had paid off and everyone was proud of me for it,” Hannah said.
“My mentor, Mrs Dionne Thomas, had tears in her eyes so I knew this was a big deal. Then mum came up to me and gave me a hug and told me she’d always been so proud of me.”
Hannah said although she had focused on her academics this year and gone the extra mile with study and tutorials, the announcement came as a surprise.
“I was never the most intelligent and I never got the best marks in the year group, but this year I just decided to work harder than everyone else. You don’t have to be the best at something, I certainly wasn’t, you just have to work the hardest.”
The 18-year-old received three scholarships to attend Otago University including the Vice-Chancellor’s award for academia, the Leaders of Tomorrow award and the Dux scholarships, worth a total of $19,000. She also received the Woodford House Mills Scholarship worth $5000.
Hannah will study Health Science as her first step towards making a difference in the world.
“I was inspired by a video that Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan posted online, which introduced the concept that a seemingly small breakthrough in medical technology, such as the microscope, often leads to a major breakthrough in the treatment and cure of medical conditions.
“We are so advanced with technology for trivial things like social media yet medicine is still archaic – we are still waiting to find a lump before we treat cancer. I think it would be amazing to be a part of a team that changes this.”
Hannah said the support of her teachers and being a weekly boarder contributed to her academic success.
“At Woodford House, the teachers really want to see you succeed, which I know is a luxury I will probably never have again. Boarding also really improved my marks because everyone was working towards the same thing.”
Keeping with Woodford House tradition, Hannah’s words of advice to others are in the form of a quote: “Frank Ocean said, ‘Work hard in silence, let success be your noise’.”