366 days of gratitude

19/08/2016

Last Saturday the Otago Daily Times showcased young people from every secondary school in its circulation area in its annual celebration of achievement, Class Act.

It also caught up with some of 2006’s Class Act award recipients.

Today the paper covered last night’s award presentation.

Prime Minister John Key praised the 57 pupils from 29 secondary schools during the 2016 Otago Daily Times Class Act awards ceremony at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery yesterday.

He described the recipients as “talented, inquisitive, articulate and outward thinking”.

“I think New Zealand is in great hands when you look at the young people who are here.”

List of recipients here

He had attended every Class Act ceremony since becoming prime minister eight years ago, and former prime minister  Helen Clark had been to the first nine ceremonies. . . 

Mr Key said he valued the Otago Daily Times initiative showcasing the talent of young people.

“I can’t think of anything I’ve been to eight years in a row … but I wanted to come every year, as I’m sure Helen Clark did, because we wanted to celebrate young people and we want to send a message they are doing really well.”

Mr Key told the pupils how ability counted for something but attitude counted for more and he encouraged them to back themselves and work hard. . . 

Class Act is a wonderful initiative by the ODT.

It celebrates hard work , talent and achievement in a variety of fields and is a reminder that the future will be in good hands.

I’m grateful for all of that.


Class Act

17/08/2014

Prime Minister John Key presented certificates to the ODT’s Class Act recipients on Friday.

He told the 58 outstanding pupils from 29 secondary schools it was the sixth time he had attended the Class Act ceremony at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and he looked forward to it each year because it was an opportunity to celebrate each new generation of New Zealanders coming through.

”They will be great leaders for our nation in the years ahead.”

Mr Key praised this year’s award recipients and gave credit to their parents and teachers for guiding them in the right direction.

He also shared some sage words of advice: ”Have really big dreams and big ambitions.”

”My big thing for you would be for you to go on and become a great leader in New Zealand.

”There’s lots and lots of potential that you have and we have a great need for what you’re doing.”

Otago Daily Times editor Murray Kirkness said events such as Class Act provided a ray of light in a world where more newspapers were sold if they were filled with trauma and tragedy, tears and fears.

”So, to our Class Act 2014 recipients I say: You may not realise it, but you already inspire and encourage those of us around you.

”The world is yours for the taking. Grasp your opportunities. Continue to strive to achieve.

”Refuse to yield. Be humble. But most of all, keep the sun shining.”

Class Act was established in 2000 by former Otago Daily Times editor Robin Charteris because the newspaper felt, and continues to feel, excellence should be encouraged.

As such, the criterion given to schools when nominating Class Act recipients is simply, excellence.

Academic, sporting, social, artistic or cultural excellence, leadership qualities, or a combination of those, was the standard by which pupils were nominated.

The 2014 award winners now join the ranks of the 837 other Otago school pupils who have won Class Act awards since they were established in 2000. . .

Last Saturday’s print edition of the ODT included a supplement celebrating the recipients achievements.

The overwhelming impression was of talented, well rounded young  people who provide a wonderful contrast to the often negative portrayals and stereotypes of the youth of today.

A photo of all the recipients, with their names and schools is here.

 


Class Act a classy act

05/09/2009

The ODT’s criterion for its Class Act awards is simple: excellence.

Every year since 2000 the paper has asked Otago’s secondary schools to nominate two pupils each on the basis of what they’ve have achieved and their potential for success in the future.

Each year the paper arranges a ceremony where the Prime Minister presents the recipients with their awards and the ODT shares their accomplishments with its readers.

Class Act unashamedly celebrates academic, sporting, social, artistic or cultural excellence and many of the recipients excel in more than one field.

It’s a classy act by the paper.

Today’s ODT looks at where the Class Act recipients of 2002 are now.


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