The top matric pupil of 2016‚ Conrad Strydom‚ is “helluva humble‚ helluva decent and deserves everything he’s got”‚ his headmaster said.
Conrad, 19‚ of Onrus River on the Overberg coast‚ was helped to the academic pinnacle by his results in maths and physics.
Moments after Conrad’s achievement was announced in Johannesburg‚ Hermanus High School principal Greg Hassenkamp was speechless.
“Conrad has been a top achiever [all] the years he’s been with us‚” he said.
“He was the top science olympiad student in the country this year.”
Hassenkamp paid tribute to the tremendous teachers at his school‚ but said Conrad was an exceptional academic talent.
“He’s been an outstanding prefect‚ always prepared to stand up for what’s right and not scared to come to my office and ask tough questions‚” he said.
Two other Western Cape pupils, Bronson Rudner and Hannah Clayton‚ rounded out the top three in quintile 5 schools.
Bronson, of SACS in Cape Town‚ has been winning maths prizes all his life, but he did not rest on his laurels when it came to exam preparation.
“I did at least seven past papers for each exam‚” he said.
He is eyeing a career in software development or artificial intelligence after studying maths‚ physics and computer science at UCT‚ where he has been in the top 10 of the maths olympiad for five years in a row.
Bronson has also been part of the South African team at international maths olympiads.
Hannah, of Cape Town’s Rustenburg Girls’ High, found the exams quite challenging – but like Bronson and Conrad she was one of the top three maths pupils in the country.
Hannah, who scored 95% in the Independent Examinations Board advanced programme maths exam‚ completed eight subjects in matric‚ sang in the choir‚ did ballet and played flute‚ piccolo and piano.
Physical science and mathematics are her favourite subjects and she will be doing a BSc degree in those subjects this year.