Maths whiz takes on uni
Tackling a university paper, scholarship exams and a busy sporting schedule has added to a busy but rewarding year for Horowhenua College head boy Jotham Harris.
The year 13 says being head boy has been ‘‘really exciting and great recognition’’. It meant taking part in a range of events and challenges that he wouldn’t have otherwise, including making a public speech for Anzac Day.
‘‘There’s been a lot of representing the school. It’s definitely been a new experience with a lot of learning involved.’’
In year 11, a teacher suggested he go up a year level in two classes, English and maths, and he asked to go up in a third, chemistry.
So by 2016, as well as two NCEA level 2 classes, the year 12 student sat English, calculus, statistics and biology at level 3, one year ahead of his classmates, and was awarded an NZQA Scholarship in English. ‘‘I was quite pleased with that.’’ In 2017, he is sitting chemistry at level 3 and a maths class through the University of Canterbury.
‘‘It’s really challenging, but a good level of challenging. It stretches you, but you can really appreciate it.’’
Jotham also plays soccer in the first XI, and occasionally fills in for the hockey team.
Key to the big step up has been family and school support, he says. He pays it forward by tutoring another student.
‘‘It’s always nice to help out and sometimes it consolidates your own knowledge, so it’s a mutual benefit.’’
After school, Jotham’s sights are firmly set on studying engineering.
‘‘I’m looking forward to being able to learn all this interesting stuff and then apply it in real world situations, and solve real world problems.’’
Principal Grant Congdon said Jotham’s achievements were especially impressive because as well as achieving in top levels a year ahead academically, he was an all-rounder and natural leader.
Horowhenua College head boy Jotham Harris has been studying university-level maths.