Academic Achievement


Girls and Boys Dux Deboprana Mallick and Wesley Donald pictured after Senior Prizegiving  with Professor Peter Phillips, an Albertian and Dux in 1965, who donated and presented the Centennial Cups for Dux.

Yujia Karen Zheng

MAGS students have delivered some of our best Scholarship results, with our 2022 Girls Dux Deboprana Mallick winning a Premier Award and 2022 Boys Dux Wesley Donald being named an Outstanding Scholar along with Yujia Karen Zheng.
They were among 15 MAGS students who gained Scholarship Awards (worth $2000 each year for up to three years) in the 2022 exams and whose names will go up on our Honours Board in the F.W. Gamble Hall. All together, MAGS students gained 118 Scholarships with 15 of those at Outstanding level, placing MAGS fourth in NZ.
Deboprana’s Premier Award places her among the top 11 scholars in the country and is worth $10,000 a year for up to three years of tertiary study.
She earned Outstanding Scholarships in Calculus, Earth and Space Science and Economics; and Scholarships in Chemistry, English, Physics and Statistics.
Wesley and Yujia Karen are among the top 70 scholars in the country and their Outstanding Scholar Awards are worth $5000 a year for up to three years.
Wesley earned Outstanding Scholarships in Statistics and Calculus; and Scholarships in Chemistry, Physics and Geography. Yujia Karen earned Outstanding Scholarships in English and Chinese; and Scholarships in Physics and Calculus.
Our other Scholarship Award winners were Alexandra Barker (Biology, History, Classical Studies), Anatol Coen (French, Physics (O), Calculus), Emma Cook (Dance, Economics, History), George Cooper (English, Biology, History), Max Davison (Biology, Calculus, Geography, Religious Studies), Nishera Gnanendra (English, Statistics, Religious Studies), Greeshma Kasuganti (Biology, Statistics, Religious Studies (O), Geography), Yasmin Lakeman (Biology, Statistics (O), Calculus), Alan Li  (Physics, Calculus, Accounting), Oliver Tang (Earth & Space Science, Statistics, Calculus), Eva Wadsworth (Biology (O), Statistics, Health & Physical Education), Vivienne Hei Man Wong (Statistics, Calculus, Accounting).


Rosa Jack and Matthew Batcheler, who were both named Dux and each gained six scholarships, are pictured above with Mr Dumm last year when they were awarded C.P. Liddell Scholarships.

Deboprana Mallick and Matthew Batcheler were named Outstanding Scholars when the awards from the 2021 NZ Scholarship exams were announced.
Matthew was also named the Top Scholar in NZ (in Technology) as was Marcus Savelio in Dance. It is the second year in a row that MAGS has had the Top Scholar in Dance in NZ after Bethany Fletcher won that award in the 2020 exams.
There are fantastic achievements in a challenging year, when MAGS students gained some incredible academic results, with 104 Scholarships, including 11 at Outstanding level, in the 2021 NZ Scholarship exams.
These results place MAGS fifth overall in schools in the country.

Marcus Savelio

Nine students gained three or more scholarships and will have their names inscribed on our Honours Board.
Among the nine students whose names will go up on the Honour Boards there were some standouts, such as Deboprana, who, as a Year 12, gained three scholarships (Calculus [O], Statistics [O] and Physics), and was named among an elite group as an Outstanding Scholar along with Matthew Batcheler, who gained six scholarships (Technology [O], Calculus, Chemistry, Earth & Space Science, Physics and Statistics.
Rosa Jack also gained six scholarships (Biology, Calculus, Earth & Space Science, English, Geography and Statistics); Harding Gong gained four scholarships (Statistics [O], Biology, Chemistry and English); Cole Hickey gained four scholarships (Calculus, Chemistry, Earth & Space Science and Physics), and also with four scholarships was Nicole Muir (Earth & Space Science, Physics, Statistics and Calculus).
The other students who gained three or more scholarships, and will have their names inscribed on our Honours Board, are Angus Edwards (Calculus, History, Statistics), Rahul Hendriksen (English, History, Media Studies) and Ella Vuetilovoni (Biology, Media Studies, Statistics).
Outstanding Scholarships were also gained by Melissa Barnes (Biology), Samara Brain (Dance), Chloe Innes (Photography), Felicity Marsh (Media Studies), Abigail Miller (Statistics) and Vivienne Hei Man Wong (Statistics).
Outstanding Scholar Awards are worth $5000 per year for up to three years for tertiary study, Scholarship Awards (three or more Scholarships in the same year) and Top Scholar Awards are worth $2000 a year for up to three years for tertiary study.


Our Girls and Boys Duxes, Caitlin Mitchell and Matthew Somerville, were top performers in Scholarship exams.

Three MAGS students were named Outstanding Scholars and one named a Top Subject Scholar as part of a record 121 Scholarships gained in the 2020 exams.
Bethany Fletcher was the top Dance student in the country, while Alex Pullen, Eric Shen and Matthew Somerville were named Outstanding Scholars.
Top Subject Scholars receive $2000 a year for three years towards tertiary studies.
To qualify for consideration as an Outstanding Scholar, students must achieve three Scholarships including at least two at Outstanding (O) level, or more than three Scholarships including at least one at Outstanding level in the same year. These students gain $5000 per year for three years towards tertiary studies.
Bethany (pictured right with HOD Dance Miss French and PM Jacinda Ardern) was officially recognised as the top Dance student in NZ in 2020 at the annual Top Scholar Awards Ceremony hosted at Parliament.
Nine students gained three or more Scholarships and will have their names inscribed on the Honours Board.
Our students’ success was to be celebrated at the annual Scholars Assembly but that was cancelled due to the Auckland lockdown.
Matthew Somerville, the first Year 12 student to be named Dux, gained five Scholarships in English, Biology (Outstanding), Earth & Space Science, Statistics (O), and Calculus; Eric amassed an incredible seven Scholarships in English, Biology, Physics, Earth & Space Science, Statistics, Health and Physical Education, and Technology (O); and Alex gained six Scholarships in English, Chemistry, Physics, Earth & Space Science, Statistics (O), and Calculus.
Another standout was our 2020 Girls Dux, Caitlin Mitchell, who gained four Scholarships in Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, and Calculus (O).
Matthew Batcheler, as a Year 12 last year, gained three Scholarships (Calculus, Physics and Statistics) and will have his name inscribed on the Honours Board along with the following students:

Frances Belt                            English, Art History, Media Studies

Finnian Montgomery             Chemistry, Physics, Calculus

Thomas Rich                           English, Classical Studies, Religious Studies (Outstanding)

Juliana Zhu                              English, Statistics, Accounting

As a Year 11 in 2020, Deboprana Mallick gained an Outstanding Scholarship in Calculus and attained Level 3 Endorsed with Excellence. Year 11s in 2020, Eva Wadsworth and Josh D’Arth were Endorsed with Excellence at Level 2.
A number of Year 12s in 2020 gained Scholarships: Cole Hickey (Statistics and Calculus), Rosa Jack (Statistics and Geography), Nicole Muir (Calculus and Geography), George Allen (Statistics), Angus Edwards (Statistics), Harding Gong (Statistics), Abigail Miller (Statistics), Alexander Pritchard (Calculus), Victor Qui (Health and Physical Education), Ella Vuetilovoni (Statistics) and Jennifer Zhang (Statistics).



Many of MAGS’ top scholars returned to school on February 17 to be recognised at the annual Scholars Assembly.
Thomas Brendolise, who had the top mark in French nationwide, and Adam Bateman (pictured above) were both recognised as Outstanding Scholars following the 2019 NZ Scholarship exams.

Thomas Brendolise

To be an Outstanding Scholar, students must achieve three Scholarships including at least two at Outstanding (O) level, or more than three Scholarships including at least one at Outstanding level in the same year to qualify for consideration. There were 58 winners of this award nationally in 2019 and these students gain $5000 per year for three years.
Adam, last year’s Boys Dux, gained six Scholarships – in English, Biology (Outstanding), Chemistry, Physics, Statistics and Calculus; while Thomas had two Outstandings among his three Scholarships in English, French (O) and Biology (O).
As a Top Subject Scholar, Thomas receives $2000 a year for three years towards tertiary studies.
Their names will be inscribed on the Honours Board along with the following students with three or more Scholarships: Jamila Chen – English, Biology, Calculus; Mitchell Shaw-Lewis  – Physics, Statistics, Calculus (O); Tara Falconer – English, Design, Photography; Alexander Pullen – Physics, Earth & Space Science, Statistics and Calculus; Head Boy Eric Shen – English, Statistics, Technology (O); Stephen Stuart – Biology, Earth & Space Science, Statistics; Eva Williams – Dance, History, Health and Physical Education; and Vaibhav Nayyar – English, Statistics, Health and Physical Education.
Jamila Chen followed in the footsteps of her sister Jessica to become the recipient of the June Gray Charitable Trust Tertiary Education Scholarship (worth $3000 per year for three years), which was presented to her by June Gray Trustee Noeleen Taylor.


Pictured above: Jonathan De Pledge and Miriam Leonhardt, at centre, with their proud parents alongside – Stephen and Heather, and Beatrix and Rainer, respectively – and Headmaster Patrick Drumm at the Top Scholar Awards in Wellington.

Gary He was named an Outstanding Scholar.

Mount Albert Grammar School had the top female secondary school scholar in the country in 2018 and achieved a record 116 Scholarships .
Miriam Leonhardt, the Girls Dux of 2018, is one of only 11 Premier Scholars in the country in 2018, with the other 10 all being male.
She achieved Scholarships in seven subjects: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science (Outstanding), German, Physics (Outstanding) and Statistics (Outstanding). The last time MAGS had a Premier Scholar was in 2006.
Miriam’s name is inscribed on the school Honours Board along with 13 other students who achieved three or more Scholarships in the 2018 NCEA exams.
Also one of the top scholars in the country is Jonathan De Pledge, who had the best mark in Physics and was only one mark shy of being the top scholar in Calculus as well. Jonathan, who was Boys Proxime Accessit in 2018, was named an Outstanding Scholar, along with our 2018 Boys Dux Gary He. To be an Outstanding Scholar, students must achieve three Scholarships including at least two at Outstanding (O) level, or more than three Scholarships including at least one at Outstanding level in the same year. There were only 46 winners of this award nationally in 2018.
Jonathan achieved Scholarships in Calculus (O), Chemistry (O), Earth and Space Science, Physics (O) and Statistics. Gary achieved Scholarships in Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Statistics (O).
The other names to go up on the Honours Board (three or more Scholarships) are Anton Aish – Chemistry, Economics, Physics, Statistics; Henry An –Chemistry, Physics, Statistics; Hannah Houghton – Biology, Calculus, Health and Physical Education (O); Anvilly Huang – Calculus, Earth and Space Science, Statistics; Annie Li – Calculus, Japanese, Statistics; Josh Lim –Calculus, Chemistry, Physics; Liam Milbank – Calculus, English, Statistics; Liam Thompson – English (O), Physics, Statistics; Amber Yang –Classical Studies (O), English, History; James You – Calculus, Physics, Statistics; Lucy Zhang – Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, English, Physics.


Mount Albert Grammar School has again performed alongside the top academic schools in New Zealand after students attained 81 scholarships, and achieved its highest ever pass rate in NCEA Level 3 following the 2017 examinations.

The 81 scholarships included nine at Outstanding level (the top 1% in each subject), the pinnacle of academic achievement for secondary students. Scholarships were attained across 21 subjects, and were spread among 54 students.

Outstanding Scholars

Lucas Peterson with his family.

Among the highest achievers were our Boy and Girl Dux of 2017, Lucas Peterson and Harshita Nayyar. Lucas earned four Scholarships (including Outstanding in Calculus), and Harshita earned three Scholarships, while Girl Proxime Accessit Yusi Gao earned two Scholarships.

There were also five more students who earned three Scholarships: Richard Li (Outstanding in Calculus and Physics), Fraser Eade (Outstanding in Biology), Jack Morrow-Zhang (Outstanding in Physics), Sahil Bhatiani and Merry Wu. Students who receive three or more Scholarships are awarded  $2000 per year for up to three years toward their tertiary studies.

Outstanding Scholarships were also awarded to Anton Aish (Statistics), Jonathan De Pledge (Calculus), Zi Huang (Calculus), Miriam Leonhardt (Calculus), Gary He (Calculus), Liam Milbank (Statistics) and Beatrice Santos (Biology).

Mathematics students shone with 24 Scholarships in Calculus (including six  Outstanding) and 12 in Statistics (including two Outstanding). English students received nine Scholarships, and Biology students gained eight Scholarships.

In NCEA, provisional results show 85% of students who sat Level 3 passed, the best ever result by MAGS students.

The Level 2 pass rate of 93% was close to the highest pass rate ever from 2016 of 95%, while  83% of Level 1 students passed.

Headmaster Patrick Drumm said, “The Level 3 results are the best we have ever had and that is supported by strong results from Level 1 and Level 2. These NCEA results have set the bar high for 2018.”

MAGS’ results are above the national average and outrank other Decile 7 schools, and in many cases higher decile schools.

MAGSNational Average
NCEA Pass Rates
Level 183.2%84.2%
Level 293.0%88.7%
Level 385.3%82.4%
University Entrance68.1%59.9%
Excellence Endorsements
Level 130.8%20.1%
Level 219.1%16.0%
Level 319.8%15.6%

Geography students at MAGS have now won the annual Auckland Geography Teacher’s Association Senior Quiz three years in a row.
And they have been joined in the three-peat stakes by the Year 11 Geographers, who took out the Auckland Central section of the Maatangi Whenua Quiz for the third consecutive year.
The Auckland Geography Teacher’s Association (AGTA) Senior Quiz was held at St Cuthbert’s on Wednesday, 8th August, with 21 teams competing, and the pressure was on MAGS as defending champions.
In the end though, the final tally revealed that not only had the MAGS A team (James Inkson, Hugh Malcolm, Hannah Zwalue, Harrison Zheng, who are pictured above) won by a margin of six points, giving us the trophy for the third year in a row, but also that the MAGS B team (Tom Barrand, Luke Owen, Angus Robinson, Shalin Shah) had held off Takapuna to finish second.
On Tuesday, 14th August, it was the turn of the Year 11 Geographers in the Maatangi Whenua Quiz. This is a National competition with rounds held across the country over the next couple of weeks. The Auckland Central section was again at St Cuthbert’s, featuring 16 teams from across the area.
In the end MAGS Team 2 (Aidan Skinner, Ben Batchelor-Cook, Freeman McCall, pictured right) finished 18 points ahead of the rest of the field. The MAGS Team 1 (Samantha Persson, Meadow Simpson, Katie Hadfield) finished 5th.

Maths competition success

Logan Allomes

Sahil Bhatiani

Arique Chowdhury

Miriam Leonhardt

Richard Li

Joshua Norman

Lucas Peterson

James You

Selina Zhang

Mount Albert Grammar School’s mathematics students won a number of prizes in competitions in 2017.

In the Australian Maths Competition, which thousands of students enter from all over the world, Logan Allomes and Selina Zhang were Prizewinners for coming in the top 0.5%. High Distinction Awards were given to Angus Edwards, Victor Kong, Lucas Peterson, Xander Pritchard, Nikita Privalov and Matthew Somerville.

In the national Casio Senior Maths Competition, five students placed in the top 100 – Sahil Bhatiani, Arique Chowdhury, Miriam Leonhardt, Richard Li and Joshua Norman.

In the Auckland Maths Olympiad in May Richard Li came 4th overall in the competitive Senior Division.

Organisers of the inaugural Calcex Competition, which was intended for schools in East Auckland, may have regretted allowing MAGS to enter after we won the trophy. Our team of Logan Allomes, Richard Li, Lucas Peterson and James You managed to sneak past St Kentigern College, Pakuranga College and Macleans College in the last minute to come first.

MAGS sent two Year 9 and two Year 10 teams to the Mathex competition in Auckland in August (pictured above left). The Year 9 A team scored 95 points while the B team achieved a perfect score of 100.

Albertians win Microsoft Imagine Cup

Nilesh Magan

Two Albertians are on their way to Seattle to represent New Zealand in the World Finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup after winning the New Zealand competition.

Nilesh Magan and Eric Liu won the 2017 event with a friend after designing a website that enables students to work together and discuss exams at university level.

Eric and Nilesh both completed their studies at MAGS in 2014, and are both now studying Engineering at the University of Auckland. Eric is majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Nilesh is studying Computer Systems Engineering.

Nilesh was one of 16 former MAGS students to be announced on the Dean’s Honours List for Engineering at the end of 2016.

Eric Liu

The Imagine Cup is a global competition run by Microsoft “aimed at empowering the next generation of computer science students to team up and use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications that shape how we live, work and play”. Every year tens of thousands of students from around the world compete for cash, travel and prizes, and for the honour of taking home the World Imagine Cup.

Te Uranga Royal awarded Russell McVeagh Scholarship

Prefect Te Uranga Royal was granted a sought-after Russell McVeagh School Leavers Scholarship to support her tertiary law studies from 2017.

Te Uranga was one of 300 applicants from around New Zealand. Eighty were interviewed and only 10 granted a Scholarship. The award will provide Te Uranga with financial support throughout her degree, mentoring by the firm’s partners, a summer clerk position in her penultimate year of study, and an extra welcome payment should she accept a graduate position with the company.

Ms Pagen Plaizier of Russell McVeagh said the firm looked for applicants who were “excellent all-rounders.” Strong academic results were important, and also involvement in community and leadership initiatives, sport and other extra-curricular activities.

Te Uranga was a high achieving student, played in MAGS’ Senior A and Premier Netball teams for five years, went on an AFS exchange to Italy for six months, and was a member of MAGS’ Te Puna o Wairaka whanau unit for two years. She is studying Law at Victoria University.

If you would like information about applying for a Russell McVeagh Scholarship next year, please contact Ms Pagen Plaizier at the firm: [email protected]

Sisilia Teu receives inaugural KPMG Scholarship

Sisilia Teu with, from left, Ms Kim Jarrett of KPMG, MAGS Head of Commerce Ms Sarah Hayes and Headmaster Mr Patrick Drumm.

Top Commerce student Sisilia Teu received a surprise award from the KPMG executive she accompanied on the 2016 Shadow a Leader Day, Ms Kim Jarrett.

Ms Jarrett, a Tax Partner, National Communities Team Chairman and Diversity & Inclusion leader at KPMG, was so impressed with the Year 13 student during their day together in July that she recommended Sisilia as the inaugural recipient of a new KPMG Tertiary Scholarship. The scholarship provides financial support during Sisilia’s tertiary study, mentoring by Ms Jarrett, and holiday work at KPMG.

Sisilia is studying at Auckland University, undertaking a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Information Science.

“I could tell from the questions Sisilia asked during our day together that she was a very smart young woman,” said Ms Jarrett. “She also handled herself very well in meetings with partners – she’s got the X factor and we are always on the lookout for people with talent to hopefully join our team.”

Sisilia said she was extremely grateful for the award, and excited by the opportunity it offered. “This is such a great start to my university studies, and to the rest of my life,” said Sisila.

Head of Commerce Ms Sarah Hayes said she knew Sisilia was destined for a great career when she began teaching her in Year 11. “She works hard, gets top results and is just a good person – she has values and integrity that are already marking her out among future employers.”

Isobel Welsford-Ackroyd wins scholarship to Germany

Isobel Welsford-Ackroyd will spend a month in Germany in April 2017 after winning a prestigious ILEP Scholarship (International Languages Exchanges and Pathways).

Isobel was one of only six students from around New Zealand selected for scholarship out of 50 who went to the initial one-on-one interviews. Isobel’s 20-minute interview was conducted entirely in German. From there she was one of 16 chosen to go on to a two-day immersion programme at the Goethe Institute in Wellington, from which the six winners were selected.

The scholarship enables Isobel to spend one to two weeks staying with a German family and attending the local high school, and the remaining time touring the country with other scholarship winners.

After completing Year 13 at MAGS Isobel plans to do a conjoint degree in Law and German, majoring in Linguistics.

She thanked MAGS’ Head of German, Mr Warwick Gibbs, for his “excellent” teaching.

Daphney Erlano 1st in international Chinese contest

Year 13 student Daphney Erlano won an international online competition in Chinese language for the second time in three years.

Daphney gained the most points out of more than 350,000 competitors from around the world taking part in the annual Language Perfect competition over 10 days in 2016. She spent all her spare time outside of school answering questions which tested vocabulary in words and sentences.

As a Year 11 student she came top in the world with 14,000 points; this year she needed 21,000 points to achieve the win as more young people around the world are now competing.

Daphney, who is Filipina by birth, is now studying a conjoint degree in Commerce and Chinese at Auckland University.

Geography teams scoop top places

MAGS’ Year 13 and Year 11 Geography teams both won their respective Auckland competitions in August 2016.

The Year 13 team of Stephen Fountain, Angela Liu, Tom Butler and Michael Barlow gained the top score in the Images section, and a perfect score in Current Events. Teacher in charge Ms Donna Hobbs said that in a tie-break playoff the MAGS’ students depth of knowledge shone through with a convincing 5-1 victory.

The Year 11 team of Hugh Malcolm, Harrison Zheng and James Inkson dominated each category of Current Events, NZ Geography, Map Skills and 3D Modelling to win by a decisive 15 points.