By Lynne Gadd– Claxton
MATRICS and school representatives have until noon on August 4 to submit entries for the prestigious Weekend Post Matric of the Year competition.
Since the competition’s inception in 1993, Matric of the Year has been run in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, which is once again contributing the lion’s share of prizes this year.
With the emphasis not only on academics, judges are looking for pupils who are well-rounded in all aspects of their school life.
The two biggest prizes – a full three or four year bursary for a first degree or diploma – are awarded to the overall and the Scholarship Award winner.
The Scholarship Award will go to a Grade 12 pupil from a previously disadvantaged background who has excelled despite obstacles.
Twenty finalists will be selected from entries at the first round of judging on Wednesday August 8, and 17 pupils will then contend for the overall position. The remaining three pupils will vie for the Scholarship Award.
There are four excellence award category winners for academics, sport, cultural and community involvement. The excellence award winner for sport will receive a R10 000 bursary from NMMU. The other category winners will each receive a Proline Mirage tablet, valued at R5 000.
Other prizes include a Proline notebook valued at R6 500, a graduation banquet from Villa Tuscana and Fat Cats Catering, Profile Fitness annual membership, Xclusiv Hair and Beauty makeover, a Vodacom handset, Jenni Collections jewellery and a Russell Hobbs microwave from Rafis Appliances and Mattresses.
The judging panel will be made up of chief education specialist for curriculum at the Port Elizabeth district education department, Myron Leonard, NMMU director of marketing and corporate relations Pieter Swart and Weekend Post assistant editor Louise Liebenberg.
Pearson High School, which has had Matric of the Year finalists in the running for the coveted title for 10 consecutive years, will have eight to 10 entries this year.
The school’s principal, André van Staden, said he believed Pearson pupils were balanced and mature. “Our pupils are involved in a variety of projects, culturally, academically, sports and within the community, and at Pearson we offer leadership programmes and encourage all pupils to partake in these,” Van Staden said.
“As a result we have strong individuals who are able to adjust well after school and we are proud of the Pearson product.”
This is a shortened version of an article that first appeared in the print edition of Weekend Post on Saturday August 4 2012.