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Waihī College Dux Tayla Millar, left, with Proxime Accessit Meg Thomas. Photo: SUPPLIED

‘Do not slack off’: Hard work pays off for Waihī Dux

Excellence is something that Waihī College’s Dux for 2023 Tyla Millar has set her sights on.
The 18-year-old recipient of the Shepherd Cup and Waihī Lions Scholarship for Dux passed all her NCEA internal assessments this year with flying colours.
“All of the credits I did get this year were excellence credits,” she said.
This level of diligence and motivation has been propelled by the year 13’s love for “academic validation”.
“A lot of people when they see me to start with they kinda just assume that I’m just like everyone else [who] doesn’t really care about my marks,” she said.
A sense of satisfaction for disproving people’s remarks and observations gave Tyla “a good feeling to know that I can do better than anyone thinks I can”.
Dedicated to her learning, devoted to giving her best and a strong advocate for knuckling down, “my advice would be to definitely… do not slack off”.
This sentiment rings loud and true for Tyla, who has been working toward this academic goal since year seven.
“It’s good to feel like I’ve finally got it”.
Declaring that it was “a bit of a shock” to hear her name during the dux announcement, the student said it was also “just a big relief” when she accepted her award.
“It gives me a lot of confidence in myself, to know that I can achieve something like this [and] going further, I can achieve other big things.”

A defining moment for the student was when she started her NCEA journey.
“I was the only one in year 11 to get an excellence endorsement,” she said.
“And then when I got first in my year group, that kind of just motivated me because everyone had been telling me about how hard it would be all year for me to get endorsements and how I shouldn’t really keep my hopes up. So when I got that, I knew that I should keep going,” she said.
Next year will see Tyla preparing to study a double major in law and psychology at Waikato University, alongside playing netball and running.
Tyla received the Te Paewai o te Rangi: The University of Waikato Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement, which will “definitely help out”.
Tyla hopes next year’s year 13 students will work hard to achieve university entrance (UE). “Try and get UE as soon as you can because it’s really just a big relief once you do get it. Just don’t stress about what you’re going to be studying, just pick something that you’re interested in and go from there,” she said.
“You don’t have to make up your mind straight away.”
Meanwhile, Meg Thomas was named Proxime Accessit and received The Coombes Cup.