The year had been hard at times, Kaitaia College head girl Camryn Stewart told the senior academic and cultural prizegiving, but it had offered some valuable lessons.
It had taught her to appreciate the good times, successes and the great people in her life.
"Life can be difficult at times. As we carry on to new adventures next year there will be tough times, but as the saying goes, you cannot get a rainbow without a little rain," she said.
"It has been a year of change, a year of learning, and a year I will never forget."
"It has truly been an honour to represent Kaitaia College as head girl, and I am forever grateful for the experiences and opportunities that I have met along the way ... Kaitaia College has offered me room to grow as a person, and I have many amazing people to thank for that.
"I have learnt how important it is to have good people in your life, and there are so many here who will try to build you up, even if at times you feel like falling down."
She had enjoyed working with principal Jack Saxon in his first full year at the college, and admired his determination and energy. She acknowledged the senior council.
"Despite our trials and tribulations, when we stand back and look at what we have accomplished as a team, it's pretty amazing," she said.
"We couldn't have done this without Miss Hayes, the backbone of the senior council, and on behalf of everyone I would like to thank you for all the hard work you do on a day to day basis.
Also to the volunteers, staff and wider community, thank you for the support you have shown us throughout this year.
She also thanked the parents "who drag us out of bed in the morning, drop us off to sports games, school trips, and have to put up with our unexplainable mood swings and complicated life struggles," and her teachers over the past five years.
"I think one thing that is special here at Kaitaia College is that the teachers truly do go above and beyond to watch us succeed, and I will be forever grateful for this," she said.
"I came to this school for a good education, and I am leaving with a great one.
"One teacher I would specifically like to thank is Mr Withiel. The amount of time and energy you have put into preparing us for next year is incredible, along with the invaluable support you have shown my friends and I at a difficult time this year. We truly appreciate everything that you do.
"This has been hard at times. However, from those times I have learnt to appreciate the good times, the successes and the great people in my life, who have made this year the incredible year it has been.
The truth is, life can be difficult at times. As we carry on to new adventures next year there will be tough times, but as the saying goes, you cannot get a rainbow without a little rain ...
"Here we are, entering the adult world. The world where we actually have to make our own decisions, there are no teachers pushing us to pass papers, and our parents will not be there all the time to guide us along the way.
I urge you not to forget your morals, the wise words from your parents, grandparents, family, teachers and friends, as it is these morals that make each and every one of us unique.
"I also urge you to create your own morals. Find what makes you tick, what you like, what you don't like, who you want to be and where you want to go. As my Dad says, 'Life's not a rehearsal'. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, the moment is now.
"Looking back, I can see that it truly is the little things that count, the moments surrounded by good people, doing things that you love to do.
If there is one thing I have learnt over my time at Kaitaia College it would be to take every opportunity as it comes.
Have fun, do things you are afraid to do, and keep your mind open to new adventures, as you never know where you will end up.
"Never forget Kaitaia, your home, the memories, and the people who have helped you along the way."
Llamoana Llewell McLarnon is Kaitaia College dux 2016, with Odette Jennings proxime accessit.
Ilamoana also received the prizes for excellence in Level 3 English, geography and health, while Odette received the prizes for excellence in Level 3 chemistry, mathematics with calculus, music and physics, and the Brian Jones Memorial Cup for her contribution to the college.
The Miller Memorial Prize for excellence in Level 3 mathematics with statistics went to Jessie Steed, and the Joseph Cowie Memorial Cup for general excellence in academic attainment, sport and leadership to Michaela Bell.