Outdated browser!
Your current browser is out of date and might not be able to display this website correctly. Please update your browser. Or click below to continue using the site.
Update browser
Student Success

A future in medicine beckons for Head Boy, Chase Leathard

“I started ACG Sunderland on the very first day it opened and I’m the first ever student to go through the school from Year 1 until Year 13. It’s been my home away from home for 13 years, and without the school and the teachers, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.”
- Chase Leathard

Deciding what to do after finishing high school can be challenging, but ACG Sunderland Head Boy Chase Leathard has had it tougher than most.

A talented dancer and a top academic, Chase was offered two scholarships – a University of Auckland Top Achievers Scholarship and a one year scholarship to the pre-professional programme of the Melbourne City Ballet.

“My life is made up of two halves, academia and dance. I’ve been doing ballet, jazz, hip hop and contemporary dance since I was four and attend West Auckland’s VCM Academy of Dance,” says Chase who has competed all over the country and was this year nominated for New Zealand Young Performer of the Year.

“Having both academia and dance in my life has been amazing however it was particularly challenging when I got the call about the scholarship to the ballet company as I had to choose between a career in the arts or a career in medicine.”

Medicine came out trumps and next year Chase will begin the first year of Biomedical Science at the University of Auckland, backed by a $20,000 scholarship which includes catered hall of residence accommodation and $5000 cash. The scholarship recognises exceptional academic performance combined with outstanding sporting, artistic, cultural and/or leadership achievements.

“Getting this scholarship has given me a confidence boost. I really want to succeed with getting into medicine next year and this scholarship has made me feel like I can do it.”

Chase has set his sights on becoming a paediatric surgeon/specialist and one day plans to open his own medical practice.
“Through leadership opportunities at ACG Sunderland and teaching at my dance academy, I’ve had the rewarding opportunity of working with children. I couldn’t think of a better job than to help save them.”

And thanks to the thirteen years he has spent at ACG Sunderland, Chase believes he is well-prepared for the task.
“I started ACG Sunderland on the very first day it opened and I’m the first ever student to go through the school from Year 1 until Year 13. It’s been my home away from home for 13 years, and without the school and the teachers, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.”

ACG Sunderland’s strong academic focus has taught Chase to strive for excellence and aspire to success.

“We are responsible for our grades and our effort levels, and if we want to succeed then we have to put the work in. Having frequent topic tests, mid-year exams and end-of-year exams from Year 7 onwards has enabled me to perfect my study and exam techniques before going to university. I’ve been in that intense exam environment so many times that now it’s just second nature.”

The leadership opportunities have also been exceptional. This year, as well as being Head Boy, Chase was named Head of the Sports Council and Co-head of the Social Media Committee. In Year 12 he was a House Leader and took out a string of awards including the Crawford Attitude Award for Attitude and Effort, the Performing Arts Cup for Outstanding Effort and a Scholars Award. He has also choreographed the school production twice.

“I’ve loved every moment of my time at ACG and wouldn’t take any of it back. Sometimes teenagers say, ‘I don’t want to go to school today’, but I’ve never been like that. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my years at school and that’s because of the nurturing environment ACG Sunderland has created. Because it’s a small school, students benefit from a lot more one-on-one learning and we form strong relationships with our teachers. I’m so grateful that my parents allowed me to attend such an amazing school for so long.”

Now Chase is ready to take on his next educational challenge, and he can’t wait.

“I’m really looking forward to learning new things, meeting new people and being out in the big wide world.”