Maths whiz takes on uni

The Horowhenua Mail - - FRONT PAGE - KARO­LINE TUCKEY

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.

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