Catherine Sun is the 2018 recipient of the Saskatoon Board of Education Award of Excellence. The award, presented during a luncheon Jan. 7, is given annually to the student who best exemplifies the goals and values of Saskatoon Public Schools.
Sun graduated from Centennial Collegiate with a 99.9 per cent average. In her final collegiate year, she received 100 per cent in all but one class – in which she received a 99 per cent. Sun earned a Provincial Silver Award at the Canadian Open Math Challenge. She competed in the Sanofi Biogenius Competition four years in a row, earning second place in the provincial overall category twice. She also was a finalist in the Canada-Wide Science Fair.
"As a Grade 9 student, her marks were impressive . . . Catherine managed to build on those superlative marks to the point that when she reached Grade 11 and 12, she was consistently attaining 100 per cent in a multitude of courses across a broad spectrum of subjects," wrote Principal Cody Hanke in his nomination letter. "Achieving excellence in a range of areas is a testament to Catherine's quest for knowledge as this was the prime motivating factor in her academic career. The marks were just the result."
Sun was a member of the senior badminton team, a member of the math, debate and synchrotron clubs, served as yearbook editor in Grade 12, and was a member of the Student Representative Council. She helped organize the Grade 9 Girls Sleepover, an annual event that sees Grade 12 students mentor younger students. Sun was instrumental in bringing therapy dogs to Centennial during exam week. Outside of school, Sun volunteered at science camps and was actively involved with Junior Achievement, Royal Canadian Sea Cadets and the Sea Cadet Band.
"At Centennial Collegiate, (Catherine) was a significant contributor to the overall life of our school," Teacher-Librarian Kory Dawe wrote in his letter of support. "Catherine is a person of great integrity and I highly recommend her because of her service beyond self, her quality of leadership, and her tremendous character. She is one of the strongest leaders I have had the privilege to work with over my years as an educator."
Sun is studying medical sciences at Western University and plans to pursue a career in a medical or health science- related field.
Established in 1990, the Award of Excellence is presented annually to the most outstanding graduate based on academic excellence, personal qualities, leadership and participation. Staff members from each public collegiate nominate a graduate to the selection committee. The winner receives a $5,000 cash award and a medal. Nominated students are honoured and receive a $500 cash award.