Sebastian de Beer is a Jeppe success story. He came to the school from primary school with what he describes as “average marks” and a cynical attitude to the “Jeppe brotherhood” that he had heard about.
Five years later he left the school with six distinctions under his belt, and with friend for life and memories of having attended a great school.
“At the end of grade eight I started getting pretty good marks and that’s when I realised that I could achieve academically,” he says. “I decided to apply myself and when I went to the top of the class I became more motivated to work hard and that has paid off.”
Having said that, Sebastian says he never killed himself in the process. “I found that if you applied yourself in class throughout the year, and completed all the tasks along the way, that was better than having to work like mad at the end of the year.”
And, he says, he always felt his teachers had his back. “I could tell they expected me to do well and they set high standards for me, but help was always available.”
He changed to science at the end of grade 10 and Mr McGeer gave him all the assistance and encouragement he needed to catch up and understand what was going on, and he got an A for it in the end.
In his early years at the school the family atmosphere was not really something that affected him, but that changed later on. “I began to see what they were talking about when I progressed into the senior ranks. This is a boys school, so it can be a tough environment. Your peers don’t let you get away with anything and you know all about it when you make a mistake. But when the chips are down and you really need people to stand behind you, they are there.
“That’s what the Jeppe brotherhood is all about.”
Stephan is off to Stellenbosch University now where he will be studying Mechatronic Engineering which, he explains, is about designing functional circuits. Renewable energy is the area he would like to be involved in eventually.
He has made us proud already and, no doubt, he will continue to do so.