SA merit awards motivate young high achievers

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Blessing Nyoni and her father at her 2016 graduation.
(Supplied)
Horizon’s principal Mike Clisby said Ms Nyoni was an inspiration for the school’s 430 students.”We’re really pleased with her success last year, just her conduct as a student was fantastic,” he said.”She had a great sense of purpose and I think she particularly liked the things she studied.”She had a great sense of vision for what she wanted to do in her life and she was passionate about being able to serve as a doctor.”Chief executive of the SA Certificate of Education board Dr Neil McGoran said the ceremony at Government House was a chance to recognise South Australia’s high achievers in front of their families and friends.He also praised the support and expertise which teachers provided and the dedication of students who proved to be outstanding role models for their peers.Last year a record 15,003 South Australians achieved the SA Certificate of Education, with strong showings from state schools such as Salisbury High. Teenager Blessing Nyoni wants to practise medicine, her hopes bolstered after she scored Year 12 merits in biology and her personal research project, and a South Australian tertiary entrance ranking of 99.65.”I didn’t really expect to get two merits, so it was a good surprise,” she said, as she prepares to study medicine for the next six years at Flinders University in Adelaide.Ms Nyoni arrived in South Australia from Zimbabwe with her family when she was eight and attended Horizon Christian School at Balaklava, just north of Adelaide.She is among a record 996 Year 12 students from 2016 who achieved merit awards in the SA Certificate of Education — perfect scores in subjects they studied.Many of those students will be at Government House in Adelaide today to formally receive their awards.Ms Nyoni tackled her senior schooling with a weight of expectations, but said her focus was simply to find a balance between study demands and other activities.”I grew up in a medical family — my dad’s a doctor, my sisters are studying medicine, my mum’s a pharmacist and my brother is a scientist as well, so I guess just being exposed to a lot of health and medicine I was inspired to do the same,” she said.She tackled Year 12 with an ambition just to do her best, which is her advice for this year’s senior students.”Don’t stress about it too much — it can be very stressful with a lot of pressure but if you just take your time and have lots of people supporting you, you’ll be fine,” she said.’She particularly liked the things she studied’

Photo:
Blessing (L) and her sister Siamanga (R) with their dad.
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By Tom Fedorowytsch

Posted

February 07, 2017 06:50:49