Epworth pupil proves too good for words
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DURBAN - EPWORTH High School for Girls’ Grade 12 pupil Faye Crawford has won the 2021 prestigious De Beers national English Olympiad and has been awarded a diamond certificate for her outstanding results in the category of those who reached 90% and above.
Having won first place, Crawford was awarded a R33 000 cash prize which is set to cover her first year tuition fees at Rhodes University.
She will also gain free access to the Grahamstown Online Festival.
This achievement is one for the books, since the highest award for Epworth High School for Girls in Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, has been gold since 2013.
“Faye is a remarkable young person; she is able to make her achievements in this Olympiad, her school work and as an SA debater look so easy, while participating in sport, the performing arts and community initiatives.
Of course she is talented, but hard work, good planning and a calm temperament are necessary to achieve at Faye’s standard. To top it off, she is a truly lovely person with a natural flair for leadership,” said Tracy Munroe, principal of Epworth High.
The news of the achievement came as a shock to Crawford.
“I remain overwhelmed and humbled by everything that has happened. I never thought it could be me… and now it is! It is truly quite a feeling,” she said.
Crawford has a record of being a trailblazer: she is the only female in this year’s South African debating team. She is the first female to have made the Team SA from KwaZulu-Natal in the last 10 years.
About 4 000 pupils took part in the Olympiad on March 16. They represented 240 schools nationwide. Pupils from grades 9-12 are eligible to apply to take part in the English Olympiad.
Crawford plans to do volunteer work and travel before becoming one of the Rhodes University’s Humanities first-year students.
“I will be pursuing a gap year of travel and volunteer work next year, but I am incredibly grateful to Rhodes University. Should the tides take me there, I hope to study law or sociology and take English, of course,” she said.
“I’m a firm believer in reading anything I can get my hands on – fiction, articles, podcasts when I want to unwind or to expand my mind after hours. I suppose my other important philosophies are balance and self-care.”
Crawford advised other pupils who would like to partake in Olympiads to remember to have fun.
“My philosophy in this year’s paper was to treat the Olympiad not like another school exam, but like a conversation with a dear friend about a favourite read.”
Her parents, Nicola and James Crawford, said they were incredibly proud of her achievement in the Olympiad.
“Her motivation and self-discipline have been exceptional,” they said.