Student Stories

Where are they now?

Our graduating students see multiple successes upon leaving Westlake, here are some of their stories:

Ted Park (2010-12)

Why did you choose Westlake?

One of my father's friends lived in NZ, which was why NZ was a top consideration. My father's friend had lived in Auckland for nearly 10 years. He suggested Westlake because it was well-known for its high standard in many aspects.

What was your homestay experience like?

 I couldn`t ask for more because they treated me like a family member and the fact that they are Korean family living in NZ for a very long time actually helped me with the transition from Korea life to NZ life. 

One thing you learned from being at Westlake. Or a few good memories you have?

Academically Westlake provides strong fundamental knowledge up to year 5 and gives students options to further develop the subjects they are interested in senior years. Furthermore, teachers (at least the teachers I learnt from) didn`t seem to teach within the textbook only, but they tried to give extra space for students to think independently and critically, whether it was science, geography, physical education or English literature.

 

Arts

Andrew Kania (1988-92)

Andrew started at Auckland University in 1993 where he got a B.A. in Philosophy and English and then an M.A. with first-class honours. Thanks to his experiences and connections he made at Westlake, he also started singing in various choirs and ended up in the New Zealand Youth Choir that won “Choir of the World” in 1999. Shortly after that, Andrew moved to Washington, DC, to work towards a doctorate in Philosophy. He now works as a professor at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, in the United States, where his specialty is the philosophy of music.

Many teachers at Westlake contributed to my lifelong love of learning but a special mention must go to Mr. Borok, who communicated a passion and intellectual rigour that I’m sure influences me to this day.

Academics

Hartley Atkinson (1973-77)

Hartley has been involved in school this year in many ways – he is a current school parent, a major donor of the new Gymnasium and spoke at a school assembly on his journey from Westlake schoolboy to CEO of a publicly listed company. Upon leaving Westlake Hartley completed getting a Masters of Pharmacy with Distinction before working at Christchurch Hospital and completing a doctorate, part-time, in Pharmacology.

Hartley has a business on the NZX and ASX stock exchanges which currently has a market capitalisation of over $300M. 

I appreciated the variety in both science and arts, with PE lessons under the supervision of the late, legendary Alf Butt a stand-out memory. Our form teachers Miss Farrell and later Mr Hall, were good examples of teachers who had an impact on me during my years at Westlake.

Sports

Grant Schofield (1983-87)

Grant has represented New Zealand at Triathlon World Championships and Ironman, his foremost passion in life is investigating how we can “be the best we can be”. Grant is the author of two books - “Buck Up”, a book he developed with former All Black Buck Shelford and “What The Fat?” a book on how to change your life by eating in a new way. He’s on the board of the Government’s Health Promotion Agency and the Health Research Council’s Public Health Committee and is Chair of the Board of the Getin2Life Youth Development Trust.

I learnt one very important thing at Westlake - and it’s really important - it’s about trying; knowing how to try and then sometimes failing. Failure is critical to success. Anyone who succeeds will fail so many times more.