What years were you at TCGS?
My first year was at the Pre-School in 2002 and I left Y8 in 2011.
What are you doing now?
I went to Christchurch Girls’ High after Grammar and in my last year, I was the Student Liaison Prefect, the Student Representative for the Board of Trustees, co-leader of the Student Council and Dux of the School. I attended UC after that and I achieved my BA in Linguistics, French and German in 2019 and now I’m about 2 months out from finishing my Masters in Linguistics at the University of Canterbury. My thesis is on the use and attitudes of ‘yeah nah’ in New Zealand English.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My favourite teacher was probably Ms McCormack. I had her for Y5 and I think for Y7 as well. I also had Mrs Radford in Y1 for a little while before she sadly passed away. I still remember her being very kind during my first few days of Junior School. I also loved Ms Willet (I think she’s Mrs Dark now?) because she was very kind and patient too.
What was your favorite lesson and why?
I loved English. Ms Tattershaw was my extension English teacher and I still remember most of her grammar lessons she gave us, which gave me a definite leg-up in high school and even in university.
Did you make lasting friendships/ are you still in contact with old school friends?
I was very close to Sarah Oldham in Prep School, and although I haven’t talked to her for a few years now, I know that whenever we do catch up, it’s like no time has passed at all. I still like to keep tabs on a lot of my old friends from Grammar on social media too.
Was there a defining moment during your time at school when you realized what you wanted to do with your life? I remember that my passion for languages and history was definitely sparked by Ms Tattershaw’s Latin class. She even offered for us to proof-read one of her books she’d written, set during the eruption of Mt Vesuvius. Her class and many others during my time at Grammar fostered my interest in pursuing knowledge and cemented my love of reading.
Was there any one teacher/incident that put you on the path to success?
I don’t think there was a singular teacher per se. For me, it was more about the good values that were instilled in me and the pursuit of excellence and responsibility that Grammar fostered in me.
If you could, would you change anything about your school days?
Largely, there isn’t a lot I would change. I think at times the rules were a little strict. However my brother and I both remember our times at Grammar fondly and we always appreciated the way that we were actively encouraged to participate in absolutely everything we could. One thing I often think about was how my last year and a half at Grammar was tainted by the earthquakes. The teachers were supportive and led by example, but on the 22 February I saw Statham fully collapse with children underneath eating their lunch, unsure if they were alive or not.
What’s your message to both staff and current pupils at the school?
I really appreciated the good foundation that the teachers helped me to build. The values and ‘try your best’ attitude has followed me all throughout my life. All of the teachers I had had a lasting impression on me and their lessons have definitely stuck with me. I still have my very first Quiet as a Mouse award and a lot of my old school books and certificates as a reminder of how much Grammar encouraged me to participate in a vast variety of activities. I’ve never shied away from volunteering myself in different situations which I think has directly stemmed from my time at Grammar. So a huge thank you to all the staff from Grammar. My message to all the current pupils would be to get involved in everything you possibly can, and make the most of your time there. My last year at Grammar was filled with so many moments of joy despite the times of uncertainty that the earthquakes brought.