Community of great importance to Durham scholar

By 
  • August 12, 2010
Timothy KoFrom preparing for school debates to raising awareness about poverty and homelessness, St. Mary Catholic High School’s top ace Timothy Ko says his high school experience has been a mix of academics and community involvement.

“Being part of a community is really important,” said the Pickering, Ont., student. “All my friends kept me in a good mood while at school... If I see someone else doing well, I want to do well.”

Ko had the highest marks in the Durham Catholic board, ending his high school career with a 97.7-per-cent average.


He considers his parents, Billy and Hazel, his friends as well as mentors.

Among the activities he took part in at St. Mary’s was the “25 hour fast” at the end of May. Students fasted for one day to raise awareness about poverty and homelessness and spent the evening at the school with activities like all-night video games. About $2,000 was raised and participants collected boxes of canned goods, which were donated to a homeless shelter.

Durham's top scholars

  • Timothy Ko, St. Mary’s (Pickering), 97.7%
  • Camille Marcial, St. Mary’s (Pickering), 96.2%
  • Rick Buczynski, Fr. Leo J. Austin (Oshawa), 95.7%
  • Danny Lafontaine, Fr. Leo J. Austin (Oshawa), 95.2%
  • Katherine Kawalerczek, Fr. Leo J. Austin (Oshawa), 95%
  • Sarah Coombs, Msgr. John Pereyma (Oshawa), 95%
  • Roxanne Choy, St. Mary’s (Pickering), 95%
  • Elise Cormier, Msgr. Paul Dwyer (Oshawa), 95%
  • Courtney Andrey, Msgr. Paul Dwyer (Oshawa), 94.2%
  • Diana Demian, Notre Dame (Ajax), 94%

Ko was also a member of the debate team and tutored students in the school’s math and science clinics. Asked how he achieved the highest marks among all Durham Catholic students, he said it’s about having good study habits and devoting enough time to his studies. He said he also developed a technique in approaching his courses.

“I wasn’t really a big fan of memorization,” he said. “I’d rather understand the context rather than knowing what the teacher gives us as information.”

Ko, who plays piano, has taught himself to play popular and contemporary songs. He has even written his own compositions. He will be studying actuarial sciences, with a major in math, at the University of Waterloo this year.

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