12 p.m., July 18)
East end trio finish at the top of their class
By Fred Sherwin
Stanzel, Milad Hamwi and Jan Kurman all share one thing
in common; they all finished at the top of their graduating
class at their respective high schools, and they all plan
to further their education at the University of Ottawa.
Stanzel and Milad Hamwi earned the top graduating
marks at St. Peter High School and St. Matthew
High School respectively. Stanzel registered
a 97.1 per cent average, while Hamwi scored
a 96.7. Photos supplied
plans to major in chemical engineering after earning a
97.1 per cent average at St. Peter High School. Of the
three top grads, she was able to maintain the busiest
schedule in her final year.
competing on the school's ultimate frisbee and badminton
teams, she was a member of the student and athletic councils,
she was a peer mentor, and she tutored French. Oh yeah,
she also managed to hold down a part-time job at Booster
not surprising then that Stanzel feels that maintaining
a proper balance between academics and extracurricular
activities, was the key to her success as a student.
was never a question of fitting everything in. I've been
involved in different things ever since I started at St.
Petes in Grade 7, so there was no sense stopping in Grade
12" says Stanzel. "There was never a question
of trying to get the highest mark and nothing else. I
wanted to enjoy the full high school experience, especially
in my last year."
was also highly involved in other activities both at school
and at his church. The St. Matthew grad earned a 97.6
per cent average, including a perfect 100 per cent in
physics, while also spending time as a peer councillor
and being highly involved with his church especially during
18-year-old will be studying bio-medical science at the
University of Ottawa, with the goal of becoming an optometrist.
told me I could become any type of doctor I wanted to
be, just pick one, so I picked optometry," says Hamwi.
"I don't like needles and I don't like blood very
much, so I decided to take optometry. There's a certain
level of interaction I enjoy and there's no blood."
credits his academic success at St. Matthew to the relationships
he was able to build with his teachers as well as proper
was fortunate to have some amazing teachers and I took
a real interest in the subject material. I find that if
I take an interest in a subject I absorb it a lot more,"
says Hamwi, who studied up to four hours a day.
also credits having a close relationship with her teachers
for doing well academically, especially in English, a
course which she had been struggling at until she had
Cristina Crochetiere as a teacher in Grade 11 and 12.
really made a difference. I started to enjoy it a lot
more, especially this past year," says Stanzel who
also credits tutoring French for helping improve her mark
in that subject. "It helped in that it forced me
to really apply myself in the subject and use what I had
Kurman earned the Governor-General's medallion at Lester
B. Pearson High School for achieving a 91.3 per cent average.
He will be attending the University of Ottawa this fall
to study geology.
I was in Grade 9, I read a really interesting book that
really got me interested in geology and it's stuck with
me ever since," says Kurman.
Stanzel and Hamwi have earned a University of Ottawa admission
scholarship of $4,000 per year for achieving an average
over 95 per cent, and Stanzel also picked up a one-time
scholarship of $5,000. Kurman will be receiving a $3,000
per year admission scholarship for achieving an average
between 90 and 95 per cent.
three top grads agree that one of the keys to earning
a top mark is to take an interest in the courses you're
taking even if it may not be your favourite subjects.
will absorb a lot more if you are interested in the material
than if you aren't. If you find it boring you won't absorb
it as much and it will be a lot more difficult,"
agrees with Hamwi and insists that maintaining a good
balance between academics and other activities is also
advice to other students is to make sure to take courses
they actually like, to take it easy, and to try and enjoy
it. And get involved in other school activities, that
way academics isn't the only thing on your mind 100 per
cent of the time," says Stanzel.
With their high school careers now behind them, all three
top grads say they are looking forward to the next chapter
of their young lives.
very excited. It will be nice to turn a new leaf and start
something new," says Stanzel.
This story only includes the top students at the east
end's three Catholic board high schools. The intent was
to include the top students at the public board schools
as well but the current work-to-rule campaign prevented
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