Studying law or medicine isn’t in the cards for an award-winning former Penticton student who’s instead considering a career as a computer programmer.
“I think it’s a field a lot of people don’t know about because it is new and constantly changing,” said Princess Margaret Secondary School graduate Dana Klamut.
“I hadn’t even looked into it before university.”
Klamut was recently honoured with a Governor General’s Academic Medal as her former high school’s top graduating student of 2013 after compiling an average mark of 98.2 per cent in her final two years.
“I was always very focused on studying, and it’s just a great school (where) I was able to connect with the teachers and that helped a lot,” she said.
“School’s always been important to me and I’m kind of an always-try-your-best person, so as long as something’s attainable, there’s no reason not to try your hardest.”
Klamut, who played basketball, field hockey and tennis while at Maggie, acknowledged her success required making some sacrifices and squeezing the most out of her days.
“Time management is huge during high school. My main focuses were really academics and sports, so it was about concentrating on what you were doing at the moment,” she said.
“That didn’t always give a lot of free time, but as long as you’re happy with what you’re doing, that doesn’t matter too much.”
Now in her second year at UBC-O in Kelowna, Klamut, who has an older sister, Toni, and returns often to Penticton visit her parents, Deb and Kerry, is majoring in math and computer science.
“I’ve just always enjoyed math and (computer programming) just seemed to be closely connected, so I tried it out,” she said.
Terry Grady, her former principal at Princess Margaret, said Klamut excelled at more than academics and sports.
“Dana was also a tireless worker in the area of leadership,” he said via email.
“She was very involved in the extra-curricular events that took place at Princess Margaret both as a participant and an organizer.”
Grady said his former pupil also gained a reputation for helping teachers and other students, particularly with math.
“She modelled the Princess Margaret core values: accountability, integrity and respect,” he said.
Governor General’s Academic Medals were first handed out in 1873 and recognize top students at high schools and post-secondary institutions across Canada.