When Gulliver MacDonald’s parents realised he wasn’t thriving in the Canadian school system, they made a decision to move home so he could go to Waimea College.

It turns out it was a wise move as Gulliver, known as Gully, went from a student who struggled with reading and needed extra help, to Waimea College’s Dux for 2020.

“At Waimea College you don’t have to fit into one model of success,” says Gulliver’s mother, Dana Wensley.

Dana is thankful that the school encourages all forms of success and isn’t one dimensional.

Gulliver has had many opportunities. He didn’t just concentrate on his academic education. He’s a librarian, a member of the orchestra, debating club, and theatre sports team, and played football. He is also a member of the Tasman Youth Council.

For Gulliver, it was never just about doing well. He wanted to help other students do well too and ran tutoring sessions for younger students during lunch hours.

“I should help, because I can,” he says.

Deputy principal Graeme Smith says that even though Gulliver is on study leave, he was back at school helping with science classes for younger students. Graeme says he is very impressed with all the different ways Gulliver serves others.

“He’s one of those ‘out of the box’ people,” Graeme said.

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