Clarendon High School pupil Caitlin Laing won an award at the annual Herald Absa Matric of the Year Awards held in Port Elizabeth on October 05.
As one of 20 finalists, the grade 12 pupil emerged victorious in the cultural award category.
“It’s an incredible honour and one the highlights of my matric year. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and school. Culture is a huge part of my life and it’s incredibly special to receive recognition for my hard work,” Laing said.
Other award categories included sport, community work, academic, the Herald Matric of the Year award and the Excellence award.
“I was nominated by my school and put together my CV and reference letter. I later got a call for an interview,” Laing said.
Laing has been involved in debating and public speaking since grade 8. She participated in the National Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships in grade 9 and 10.
She has was also been a representative at the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships in April 2017, taking place in Cape Town where she was placed 28th overall.
Laing has also been involved in music at school where she sang and played the piano.
Clarendon acting school principal Julie Patrick said this was a fitting award for her.
“It’s absolutely amazing for her and the school. She is a young woman with of integrity and I believe she will make a difference in whatever she does,” Patrick said.
She added that Laing had made an “enormous contribution” as head girl for 2018 while still maintaining a 93% academic aggregate.
Laing plans to study at Stellenbosch University in 2019 and hopes to be an advocate.
Selborne College grade 12 pupil and 2018 deputy head boy Matt Dewar, won the sport category. Laing and Dewar were the only representatives from East London.