Talented teen embraces his many strengths 

Andre prepares for an experiment.

New student leader Andre Castaing is very well known around Nayland College.

 He has an enthusiastic attitude that makes a huge impact on how students experience school life. He encourages younger students to get involved in a variety of school activities and events. 

Andre loves maths and science. “I’ve been in lots of academic competitions, like your ICAS and Australian National Chemistry Quiz. I am reasonably good at chemistry,” he said. I’m a science person and a maths person and this year I’m helping both the year 9 accelerate and the year 9 literacy (classes) because that’s my role as a cottage contact.”

 Andre is eager to get involved in a range of topics including singing, surprisingly. The leader admits he’s not got the right vocals but has a strong affinity for his passion. “I like singing but that’s not the same thing as being good at singing .They are both very different things but Mr. Weeks says that I’m tone deaf,” he said.

 The enthusiastic performer has played a part in most of the productions at Nayland such as Bye Bye Birdie, Annie Get your Gun and Bugsy Malone. He finds it easy to get involved. 

Andre’s interests extend beyond Nayland. “I’ve been a high school ambassador for the UN Youth for a couple of years, and part of that is coordinating Nelson Model United Nations and doing some promotions for that,” he said. He also represented the region for debating and this year he’s coaching juniors in debating.

 He has been thinking about his future and moving away from Nelson for a few years, as he wants to experience a little more than what Nelson offers. “It will be good to do something else somewhere else. I think it’s a good place to bring kids up so maybe I’ll come back here in the future, and I’d like to go to Sri Lanka because I haven’t been there and that’s where my mum’s side of the family is from,” he explained.

By Isobel Newmarch-Chapman