Cam Ardiel, a Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School (PSO), has won the school’s Governor General’s Academic Medal award for 2019.
“It means a lot,” said Ardiel. “I’ve heard about the award quite a few years ago and it’s something I’ve always been striving to achieve and it feels really great to finally get it.”
The award is given to the Grade 12 student with the highest average GPA. Ardiel said it was close to 100 per cent, but he’s still waiting for the result of one of his final tests. He estimated it to be about 99.3 per cent, pending said result.
Attending the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) for health sciences in September, Ardiel took every upper-level science courses.
“I wanted to prep myself by taking courses that would help me in the future,” he said.
Some of the courses he took were pre-calculus, calculus, chemistry, physics and biology.
“I think calculus was the most challenging, just because it had a bunch of new concepts you had to wrap your head around. I wasn’t necessarily like [I was] pulling my hair out kind of thing because I still think I got 99 per cent. It was just new concepts I hadn’t heard before.”
His favourite course was chemistry, which he said he got 100 per cent in.
“I just found it quite interesting because it combines a lot of science with math and I like both of those things a lot.”
After Ardiel finished the school day, he would go to the gym for an hour and a half, then go home and study for two to three hours every night, even if he had no homework. He studied to make sure he understood all the concepts that could be on a test. Sometimes, he would read ahead and see what was in future lesson plans to make sure he could completely understand everything.
“I’d attribute a lot of my success to them [his parents], teaching me proper study habits early on. Then it just got to the point where they didn’t have to tell me to study because I just knew it was something I should do.”
As a Grade 11 student Ardiel also had top marks in the school, catching UNBC’s attention. The post-secondary institution offered him a four-year scholarship, covering his tuition fees, in December.
Ardiel had some advice for students entering Grade 12 at PSO this year.
“Just make sure you’re taking classes that you enjoy. That makes it easier to study. As long as you are taking classes you enjoy, just study hard every night. It takes quite a few hours but make sure you understand all the concepts going into a test and don’t be afraid to ask questions. When I was confused, I wasn’t ashamed to ask questions because it’s important to understand all the concepts in the courses.”