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Top English honour for U’hage girl

Date Released: Tue, 4 June 2013 08:59 +0200

A thirst for knowledge and a love of books have resulted in 17year-old Uitenhage pupil Micaela White being selected as one of the top 15 contestants out of 7 500 entries in the 2013 De Beers English Olympiad.

Her success means she gets a place at Rhodes University to study in a faculty of her choice and receives a book prize sponsored by the South African Council of English Education in the Eastern Cape.

There is also a sponsorship by De Beers for Micaela to be a guest of the Grahamstown Foundation to attend the National Schools' Festival in July and to take part in the final of the Olympiad. The clever teen says learning is just something she enjoys. "I'm not into sports, and most of my time is spent reading or debating at home and at school.

I love learning and researching subjects. I feel quite lucky to have made it this far," the Grade 11 pupil said. The top three places in the De Beers English Olympiad each win a cultural tour to the United Kingdom. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on July 6 in the Guy Butler Theatre in Grahamstown.

Riebeek College Principal Marilyn Woods applauded the successes of her pupil, saying Micaela was making sure the bigger cities took note of small-town potential. "We are so proud that one of our pupils has come in the top 15 out of 7 500 entrants. "What an achievement for Micaela and Riebeek College, tucked away on the other side of the Chatty!" Woods said.

Micaela is also one of three founding members of Evolutio, a Facebook page which provides a forum for people of all ages to exchange views and download interesting ideas on books, poetry and philosophy. "It is important to share knowledge.

That is why I am so grateful to my English teacher Anne Peltason who gave students extra classes in the first term to prepare for the olympiad," Micaela said. Craig Links, Micaela's father, explained that his daughter had always been a hard worker and now was reaping the rewards. "Nothing is ever too big for her.

The best part is that she has remained humble through all of this and simply takes it in her stride. "Learning is part of our family tradition. We hardly watch television and most of our time is spent reading," Links said. Micaela said she would never be done studying because "a day spent without learning is a day wasted".

Caption: GOING BY THE BOOK: Micaela White and her English teacher, Anne Peltason, wait in anticipation for the De Beers English Olympiad award ceremony in Grahamstown next month

By: Tremaine van Aardt