SASKATOON – When he wasn’t playing sports, acting in plays and organizing an anime convention, Mount Royal Collegiate graduate Tanner Zekonic helped design a temporary home for doctors in Africa and volunteered at the Hungarian Folkfest pavilion.
He did it all while maintaining a Grade 12 average of 98.6 per cent.
On Tuesday, his efforts were recognized with the 2015 Award of Excellence from Saskatoon Public Schools – earning him $3,000. Staff from each collegiate in the division nominate a student for the award. Nominees receive $500.
Criteria includes academic excellence, personal qualities, leadership and participation in school programs.
“It feels good to be recognized. I just like to always know that somebody is out there and appreciates the things I’ve done because I do them for other people,” Zekonic said.
The multi-sport co-captain accepted his award after visiting family over the holiday break. He was scheduled to return to Montreal the next morning, where he studies environmental science at McGill University.
He’s also a Loran Scholar – a recipient of an award of up to $100,000 over four years to pay for undergraduate education.
In high school, there were times he wouldn’t get home until 2 a.m. between his studies, extracurriculars and living life as a teenager in Saskatoon.
“There’s days where I’ll just take a Saturday or Sunday and I just sit and chill and watch Netflix like a normal 18-year-old,” Zekonic said.
Adam Peters taught Zekonic in grades nine through 12, coached him in basketball and football and directed him in Mount Royal’s production of Macbeth.
“He’s just kind of the student that as a teacher, you hope you get,” Peters said.
Peters recalled a moment in Grade 10 when Zekonic pretended he didn’t understand the course material and asked another student what was going on. After his classmate explained the lesson, Zekonic said he got it, in order to boost his peer’s confidence.
“I could see right through it, but it was just a really good moment to see,” Peters said.
What does Tanner Zekonic’s mentor see for his future?
“The next thing I’m expecting is a Nobel Peace Prize or something like that,” Peters said with a laugh.
© 2016 Shaw Media