Sergio Domingues knows his way around the cultural activities at the school. He is a member of the public speaking club, he is an actor in the drama society, he’s active in the Jesus and Me group and he still finds time to serve the school each week as a member of the First Aid squad.
And to prove to those who say that busy boys don’t have time for academics wrong, he is a top five pupil in grade 12 and has full colours for academics. He is hoping, conservatively one suspects, for “five or six” distinctions at the end of the year.
He admits, however, that he found himself out of his depth recently when he was asked to be the MC at a public speaking festival at the school recently. “It’s a new development,” he explained. “The host school has to supply the MCs and I agreed to do it. “I got a few tips from our teacher, Ms Northey, and thought, how hard can it be?”
Well, it was pretty hard actually, he concedes. “I think my nerves got the better of me in the beginning and the adjudicator had to step in and remind me to explain the rules. But I gathered myself and decided that I should try to be funny is I was to succeed. That worked and I did OK in the end, I guess.”
He actually did better than OK and was awarded a certificate for his efforts for being an excellent MC on the night.
“It was interesting,” he said. “When you are a speaker you prepare very well and there is safety in that. An MC has to think on his feet, he has to listen to what is being said and link the speakers to each other, and you have to be funny at the same time.
“Those are valuable skills, I guess, ones that will come in handy later in life.”
Sergio dabbled in rowing in his early years at Jeppe before he realised his interests and talents lay in the more brainy direction. “I remember in those junior years that we felt the cultural activities were being short changed at a sports-mad school like Jeppe,” he said.
“In my later years I have seen a change in direction. There’s an emphasis on academics first and foremost now and we cultural types have been made to fit in and we get the recognition that’s due to us.
“It’s been a great five years at Jeppe.”
And it’s been great for us having Sergio at the school. He is a Jeppe boy, through and through, and he is making us proud.