Superior scholar
Former St. Pat's pupil receives prestigious award

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Feb 21/97) - Most people strive to do well, says Phil Gobeil. But few genuinely strive for excellence.

As the winner of the 1996 Governor General's Awards, Gobeil's drive to be the best is obvious.

The 19-year-old St. Patrick high school graduate said what is most important about the award is that it recognizes students for their hard work.

"It was a large effort on my part to do well and I think it's great that they take the time to recognize that," he said. "By doing this, they encourage people."

Despite Gobeil's desire to do his very best, he was still surprised to find out he is this year's recipient of the award for the highest departmental test score average.

"I was expecting the award to go to someone else," he said.

Gobeil is a first-year pre-med student at the University of Saskatchewan who loves to read. His Grade 11 English teacher remembers how he used to soak up information for the sake of learning.

"He's not the typical student, caught up with getting high marks for the sake of getting high marks," said Gerard Landry.

"He read books that weren't on the reading list -- books that challenged traditional ideas and views."

Gobeil was one of the most interested, creative students he ever taught, said Landry.

"From a literary point of view, he had an internal appreciation of literature, and he was very creative. He would come out with answers you wouldn't expect -- ones that would make me think."

Gobeil said that the prestigious award he was presented with in December will likely open some doors for him in the future.

"I believe that it shows a dedication to a goal and to academics and for that, I believe it will open some doors for me."