The St Benedict’s class of 2019 has performed admirably in the National Senior Certificate exams. Three St Benedict’s boys achieved averages over 90% and five boys are among the country’s highest achievers. This marks the 45th consecutive year the school has achieved a 100% pass rate.
‘Our strategy at the College has always been one where we invest many hours of extra tuition with each and every student to help him realise his full potential and the net result is every one of our pupils has qualified for tertiary studies. This approach has paid off and we are delighted at how our passionate and dedicated teachers not only educated, but inspired, our boys to go beyond the ordinary so as to achieve the very best they were each capable of. Of course, we cannot take away from the hard work and the commitment of our young men in excelling in these final exams and the support they received from their parents,’ said College Headmaster, Dave Jeffrey.
Two students who really shone in their finals and both achieved an incredible nine distinctions each include: Yashin Govender, who achieved an average of 91.6% and Julio Martins, who finished just behind him on 90.1%.
Govender, who is passionate about IT and will study Actuarial Sciences at WITS this year, said, ‘Keep setting goals, in fact set ambitious goals because that’s what’s going to push you to succeed. I learnt a lot of problem solving skills during my time at St Benedict’s, but perhaps the most significant contributor to my success is that I learnt the value of perseverance, dedication and hard work. I’ve built up a great work ethic over the last 10 years at St Benedict’s and that will serve me well in my future.’
More than just an academic, Martins received the Bishop Orsmond Shield (also called the Bennies Boy Award) in 2019, and was recognised as a student who embodies the values of a Bennies Boy of integrity, discipline, charity and passion. He said he will always be indebted to St Benedict’s adding, ‘I learnt team work, time management and developed a work ethic that enabled me to put my head down and work through anything tough. I encourage those working towards their finals in 2020 not to give up when faced with a problem; work hard to solve it.’
St Benedict’s top Grade 12 student, Karl Etsebeth, notched up eight distinctions and an enviable average of 92.6% and is ranked on the IEB’s Commendable Achievers List (Top 5% nationally in five subjects and a distinction in Life Orientation). Positive about his future and ready to take on the challenge of a Computer Engineering degree at TUKS, Etsebeth said, ‘Because I was passionate about everything I did, I excelled, but it was determination, which I learnt from rowing at Bennies that taught me to push and work harder towards the achievement of my goals. If I wasn’t determined I wouldn’t have been able to do it.’
Andy Li and Joshua Kelly also banked eight distinctions with equally awe-inspiring averages of 88.7% and 88.3% respectively. Daniel Kilian achieved seven distinctions and an average of 85.7% and Head Boy Keegan O’Reilly, finished with six distinctions and 87.3%.
As the outgoing Head Boy, O’Reilly said, ‘I’m really excited to go out and be successful by making a difference in the world. I’m happy that I’ve done so well in matric but the main goal now is to go on to bigger things.’