Peter Skene Secondary grad Noah Geerts has kept the Governor General’s Medal for Academic Excellence in the family.
Geerts, 16, is the latest recipient of the prestigious medal – awarded to his sister Maya last year – after graduating a year early with a 99.1 per cent average. Geerts gripes that his 95 per cent in English 12 brought his average down.
“In Grade 9, I started doing some extra courses. I did English 10 in Grade 9 and kept taking as many 10, 11 and 12 courses as I could (from there),” he said. “I was getting a little bit bored, I guess, so I wanted to take some more interesting and difficult classes. I just wanted more to do.”
PSO Principal Geoff Butcher said he wasn’t surprised Geerts has earned the award, created in 1873 to recognize students graduating with the highest average from high school. He described Geerts as an outstanding student with a natural “ease for learning.”
“He takes really easily to learning. He’s a natural at it and I fully expect things will go well for him in post-secondary,” Butcher said. “Looking at Noah’s list of subjects, he’s got Physics, Calculus and Chemistry so he’s not taken an easy road in high school. Ninety-nine per cent kind of tells it all, it’s pretty hard to get 100 in everything but I’m sure Noah would like to.”
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Geerts plans to attend the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus in Kelowna to earn a Bachelor of Science degree. Although his plan is to major in computer sciences, he said he might also take some courses to set him up for a career in physics or engineering.
“Right now, I really would like to become a software developer for Google or Facebook or someone in the Silicon Valley,” Geerts said. “(I’d also) like to go skiing in various countries. I love downhill skiing and I want to see different places and mountains, especially the Alps.”’
Geerts said his favourite memory of high school is of his Grade 8 math class. He and his friends used to sit by the windows and, every day, his friend Amy Jordan would joke about jumping out the window. One day Geerts decided he’d actually do it and hopped out the window, much to the amusement of his classmates and teacher.
Having spent most of his childhood in the South Cariboo, Geerts said he enjoys mountain biking, reading, playing video games and going for a nine-kilometre run every day to keep fit. This summer he’s working as a land surveyor for Michael Kidston Land Surveying to earn some money for school. Geerts said he enjoys the engaging nature of the work and is having fun with the job.
His advice to his former classmates is to do whatever they enjoy in life.
“Pursue whatever makes you happy.”