Principal Timotheus Webb voiced his disappointment at the poor attendance from parents at the recent awards ceremony at Aberdeen Secondary School, but that did not detract from the sterling achievements of many of the learners.
For the first year, two dux learners were chosen. In the GET phase, for grades 8 and 9, Ethan Job (grade 8) received the award, and Headgirl Marinda Maarman (grade 12) was the top achiever in the FET phase.
Academic diplomas were presented to learners achieving an average of over 60%, with a trophy and gift pack also given to the top learner in each grade.
Guest speaker Daniel Pieterse, principal of Kamdebo Primary School, presented these awards. Ethan Job was the top grade 8 pupil, with awards in six subjects. In grade 9, Caitlin Klassen achieved four subject awards.
In the FET phase, Linda Adams came top in grade 10, Shamér Riettels in grade 11, and Marinda Maarman was the top grade 12 learner, achieving first place in five of her seven subjects.
Cultural awards were given to pupils who participating in the debating teams, book review, general knowledge questions and traditional Xhosa poetry.
Three athletes performed exceptionally well through the season. Jadene Nysson achieved first place in the District event in the 1500m and 100m events in Graaff-Reinet, and second and third place respectively in Port Elizabeth. Breyton Boesak won the 1500m event at both venues. Hanniel Klassen won the 100m race in Graaff-Reinet, and came third in Port Elizabeth. The girls’ netball A and B teams also received a special mention.
It was a difficult year for the school, as two members of staff passed away after a period of illness. The headmaster’s address painted a rather dismal picture of the results at the school in general, with very few learners in the junior grades passing terms one and three. In these terms, the marks are from tests and assessments, and in most cases, the learners failed because they did not hand in assignments. Webb explained to the parents present how the Department of Education’s rules cover promotion from one grade to the next, which led to many learners progressing to the next year despite failing.
The principal concluded by congratulating those learners who had achieved good results, and encouraging the parents to support and encourage their children.