Prize Giving 2013

On December 3rd, 2013, posted in: Academic, Achievement, Featured, News by

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“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.” – Margaret Thatcher

This is a quote that Mrs Shirley Harding used in her welcoming speech to the parents, staff and students present at the end of year Prize Giving for 2013 on 3 December. This was truly a day during which we could reflect on the year and be satisfied with we had achieved, because we had made the most of every opportunity, and we had made ourselves proud.

The Prize Giving began with the orchestra, conducted by Mr J Saayman, who played the traditional ‘”Gaudeamus Igitur“’ as the staff led in. This was then followed by the singing of our National Anthem and then a prayer by Georgia Bailey (Head of School 2014).

Mrs S Harding then took to the podium to welcome all the guests to one of the most prestigious events on any school’s academic calendar.  She spoke about how many of the prize winners had had many different roles to play in the school, yet still had managed to maintain an academic rigour. She also mentioned our animal for the year: the zebra. Every zebra is unique and special, as is the same with every Wynberg girl.  Mrs Harding also paid tribute to Mrs P McEwen who has been the Deputy Principal and involved with Wynberg Girls’ for the last 20 years. Although not retiring from teaching, she will be retiring from the position of Deputy Principal at the end of Term 1 in 2014.

Mrs McEwen introduced  our guest speaker, Ms L Heathfield. Ms Heathfield matriculated from Wynberg Girls’ High School in 2007 and was the Head of Service in her final year. A highly accomplished woman, she is now a lecturer at the University of Free State and is setting up a course in Forensic Science, which is the first course of its kind in the country.

For those who have have heard the Steve Jobs Standford University commencement speech this too was inspirational and a story of “connecting the dots.” Although initially reluctant to attend Wynberg Girls’ High rather than a co-ed school which most of her friends were attending a few kilometres away, she told a captive audience of how it took one year, and a  Grade 8 Prize Giving for her eyes to be opened to the extraordinary opportunities that were presented to at the school she was attending.

At that point she had already understood a fairly important concept: that if she wanted something, she had to put in the work for it – in her words: “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.”

She matriculated with an A aggregate – her name is on the Academic Honours board at Wynberg Girls’ High
She initiated a service project – as Head of Service  – the school is immensely proud of and which deepened her relationship with Interact, Rotoract and inspired her applying for a Rotary Scholarship for her MSc once she had completed an Honours degree at UCT
As a young member of the Forensic Science Department currently registered for her Doctorate at the University of the Orange Free State, she is initiating projects which most experienced  Academics would be proud to initiate at the end of their careers.

Indeed a Wynberg Woman!

As our Guest Speaker, and Guest of Honour, she was asked to distribute the prizes. While there were many achievers, special mention must be made of the top three students in each grade:

Top 3 Grade 8s:
1. Jessica Stephens
2. Parina Naidoo
3. Katherine Nicholls

Top 3 Grade 9s:
1. Dana Arries
2. Razaana Manuel
3. Meg Anderton

‘Triplet’ (made up of Elsa Nel on the flute, Carla Stokes on the clarinet and Lauren McDonald on the violin) entertained the audience with a brief musical interlude. They played ‘Minuet and Trio in F from Op. 13, No. 3’ by Kuhlau. After this little break, the prizes were awarded to the Grade 10s and 11s, followed by the Special Awards.

Top 3 Grade 10s:
1. Nicole Wentzel
2. Ashleigh Thompson
3. Natalie Winter

Top 3 Grade 11s:
1. Azrah Ismail
2. Anjali Kooverjee
3. Thaakiyah Ryklief

The final Special Award was the Class of 1952 Honours Plate. This award goes to a pupil who has shown integrity, sincerity, tenacity and courage in dealing with physical disability and/or other adversity, or action in social responsibility, or speaking out against injustice. The recipient for 2013 is Stacey Goliath.

She is hypo-allergenic and has both severe arthritis and a related eye-condition called Uveitis, which is degenerative inflammation inside the eye. Yet Stacey does not let her conditions hinder her in any way and is hardworking and takes part in the Cultural and Service Pillars. She doesn’t want to be treated differently to any other girl and is an asset to the Wynberg Girls’ family. Stacey Goliath is a worthy recipient of the Honour Before Honours Plate for 2013.

The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks, given by Yeukai Chamba (Head of RCL 2014) to Ms  Heathfield and then the singing of the School Song.

We really congratulate all of those who have achieved certificates and awards in 2013, and thank our teachers, and the legacy which our school offers to inspire us to continue to strive for excellence.