Star pupils achieved from first school days

2012-01-04 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG independent schools have once again produced a brainy bunch, with pupils who wrote the matric exam set by the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) proving they have the grey matter.

The Witness spoke to a few top pupils who achieved multiple distinctions and did their schools proud.

Leading the pack was Francois Kassier from Hilton College, who achieved nine distinctions. Kassier was the school dux this year and has always been a steady academic achiever according to his proud parents Ruben and Suna. “We were not exactly surprised and we knew he was going to do very well,” said Ruben yesterday after hearing the news that his son was one of the province’s top pupils.

He also scored well this year in the national English Olympiad and the Maths Olympiad. Francois will be taking a gap year this year and travelling overseas.

Hilton College schoolmate Ishtiaque Mohammed achieved eight distinctions — and he was only 16 when he wrote his final matric examinations.

His mother, Dr Tasneem Essack, explained that her son started school at the age of five, but this never held him back.

“He is my only son and he has five younger sisters and so he is very special to all of us. We know he will set the bar high and his sisters are all very proud.”

Ishtiaque will probably be going to the University of Cape Town to study medicine next year, but his other passions are English and film studies and he hopes to include these interests as well.

Both his mother and father, Dr Ashraf Mohammed, are general practitioners and hope he will pursue a medical career.

He said: “I am really interested in film and script writing, but I guess time will tell what direction I choose.”

Vanessa Salisbury (17) is the last of her four sisters to matriculate and has not let the family reputation down, scoring eight distinctions.

Vanessa, who attended The Wykeham Collegiate (TWC), was thrilled that she obtained the necessary results to attend the Onderstepoort veterinary department at the University of Pretoria.

Her oldest sister, Laura, has just completed her seventh and final year of the veterinary degree.

Her two other brainy sisters, Ingrid and Ceri, are studying engineering at UKZN. Her father, Hans Salisbury, said: “Yes, she’s a hard worker, I will give her that and she knew she had to make a huge effort to get into veterinary sciences so she put in all the work. She’s a trooper.”

Vanessa said: “I’ve always loved animals and I have done work experiences with the SPCA and with a local Pietermaritzburg vet and it convinced me that was what I wanted to aim towards. If an animal is injured I always want to make it better.

“My sister always came home with amazing stories and her courses sounded fascinating so I was determined to follow in her footsteps.”

Jessica Ringshaw (17), who attended Epworth High School, was thrilled that her ambition of getting eight distinctions was realised.

Turn to page 6

IEB matric passes and analysis: page 6


KZN results: page 7

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