Education truly does start at home

One of the small pleasures in life I enjoy, each year, is by way of presenting the Dux award at Navigator College, on behalf of the Freemasons.

The Port Lincoln lodge has for a number of years presented the awards to the dux of each of the three senior schools.

My partner Janet and I attended the assembly in the new auditorium/sports centre, large enough to fit the students of the school, teachers and visitors.

Janet and I were called up to make the presentation of the $500 cheque and certificate to the dux of the school for 2018 – Madelyn Zacher.

Her twin sister was runner-up!

I was curious about the unusually high achievements of all four girls in the Zacher family.

Madelyn was a delightful and gracious young woman and quite excited about commencing her engineering studies at Adelaide University next month.

Apart from her twin, she has two older sisters, both of whom were also winners of the dux of the school at Navigator College in their respective years.

I was curious about the unusually high achievements of all four girls in the Zacher family.

I asked the students’ mother whether it was a gene flowing down through the generations and whether she or her husband were child prodigies.

‘No way’ she said: ‘ there’s nothing special about us’.

She went on to explain they always encouraged their daughters to read books.

‘Wherever we went, someone always had to buy a book’ she said.

She said reading was an important part of their family and no doubt contributed to her children’s success at school.

Speaking modestly as she did, I could not help but think the family must have been a major contributor, as it is a widely held view that the home is the bedrock of a child’s education, amply supported and enriched by competent teachers.

The culture of the school and the emphasis on Christian values is playing an important role in the development and preparation of the students for their futures.