Kyle Conquergood is the March Rotary student of the month (Submitted)

Curiosity pays off for a Penticton student

Kyle Conquergood is the March Rotary student of the month

Kyle Conquergood, a Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary School, has been chosen as the March student of the month with Sunrise Rotary describing him as a gifted, well-rounded and personable student with leadership ability.

Conquergood is endowed with a curiosity-driven mind and an insatiable quest for knowledge. He has always wanted to know how things work and finds understanding the underlying basis of natural phenomena, such as a common chemical reaction or a law of physics, very gratifying.

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Last year he was selected as Maggie’s top academic student in Grade 11. This achievement has continued this year with a GPA of 4.0. Attaining this maximum score is especially noteworthy, given his demanding course load which includes physics, chemistry, pre-calculus, biology and law.

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“Kyle’s strength lies in seeing formidable problems as obstacles to be overcome,” said Jeff Fitton, a teacher at Maggie. “His willingness to interrogate commonly held notions and ask life-changing questions in classroom discussions forecast someone with the inquisitive intellectual potential to achieve far-reaching success on the world stage.”

Conquergood also excels in sports, contributing to his selection as runner-up to the top all-round student in Grade 11. Playing the starting power position, he was a key member of Maggie’s senior volleyball team, which was ranked in the top 10 provincially last year.

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“It fosters teamwork towards achieving a common goal, requiring a commitment to practice skills and develop strategies together and then execute them successfully in a game situation,” said Conquergood, explaining his enjoyment of the game.

Maggie teacher Rich Corrie, who has been both his science and biology teacher as well as volleyball coach, is positioned to appraise Conquergood from several perspectives.

“In school, Kyle is a strong, hard-working leader who shows an impressive level of focus and commitment to academics and yet still finds time to help organize numerous student service activities,” said Corrie. “He is an extremely coachable athlete, displaying a keen desire to learn and improve.”

Conquergood was recently selected to represent the Maggie student body at a meeting involving various school districts in which student input was being sought as part of future school growth planning.

Conquergood plays the tenor saxophone in Maggie’s concert band and enjoys “the sheer pleasure that comes with playing hard music and producing beautiful sound.”

“Kyle is a really well-rounded, even-keeled person and is always ready to help out where needed,” said Don Grant, music instructor.

And volunteering Conquergood certainly does. He has participated in many of the school’s leadership event, usually taking care of the planning and setting-up details. He has also taken part in various school fundraising activities, including preparing and selling soup packages in aid of the on-going charitable work to rebuild Tanzanian orphanages as well as the 10,000 Tonight city-wide food drive for the Salvation Army held each year.

In view of his many commitments, it is not surprising that Conquergood identified time management as his biggest challenge. Despite the effort required to overachieve on multiple fronts, he still finds time to have a social life and pursue several hobbies, such as servicing his KTM 250cc dirt bike and his dad Todd’s 1999 Porsche Boxster. Recently, he rebuilt his bike’s 2-stroke engine and studied online service manuals to correct the complex air intake system in the Porsche Boxster.

Conquergood is also proud of another achievement that reveals a practical interest. Working during the past four summers under his dad’s electrical licence (Conquergood Electric), he has developed the skills to wire a house by himself. Although he has not formally signed up for the apprenticeship program, he has the required hours to complete the first-year certification were he to do so.

With his passion for learning how things work, pursuit of an undergraduate degree in engineering is his course after graduation.

Where he goes from there, is anyone’s guess. Armed with curiosity, drive and discipline, his future success will allow him to leave his mark in the world.

Student of the Month is a Rotary Club of Penticton Sunrise project. The award recognizes outstanding students for unique achievement in scholastics, extracurricular activities, community involvement, leadership and service to others. The Club is partnered with Penticton Secondary School and Princess Margaret Secondary School, aided by a financial contribution from Gateway Casinos.

Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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