For the first time in years, a student has graduated with an average of 100 per cent from a high school with Toronto District School Board (TDSB), and is the only one to do so this year.
Nomi Danzig graduated last month with a perfect average score, despite a trying time for students as schools were shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I knew I had good grades, I just didn't know they were that good," she told CBC Toronto. "It's really nice to see hard work pay off."
Danzig says she laughed in disbelief when she found out she had earned 100 per cent in six subjects, including biology, chemistry, physics and calculus.
Her favourite subject is chemistry, but that didn't stop her from excelling in all other areas, including English and math.
Danzig's English teacher, Gregg Hebert, describes her as a "quietly confident" student who pushed herself to do her best in school, no matter the subject.
"One of the assignments she did was a project about religion in hip hop music and then she's turned around and getting 100 in physics — if that is not impressive then I don't know what is," said Hebert.
During the pandemic, Hebert held online group sessions twice a week to discuss assigned readings, which he says would last for about an hour at a time.
Hebert says Danzig rose to the challenge during the pandemic despite many complications after in-class instruction was shuttered, and having to complete all school-work from home.
Danzig, who attended Grade 12 classes at Bloor Collegiate Institute, will study engineering at the University of British Columbia this fall, though her classes will be mostly online.
Her father, Ian Danzig, says he is incredibly proud of what his daughter has achieved and knows how much work she put in to do it.
"Indescribable," he told CBC Toronto. "Very, extremely, crazy proud of her."
TDSB top scholars
High-school graduates in Ontario are considered top scholars when they achieve an average of 80 per cent or higher in six Grade 12 courses. The TDSB announced its top scholars Tuesday. They come from six different high schools across the city and achieved an average grade of 99.2 per cent and up.
- Nomi Danzig – Bloor Collegiate Institute.
- Qingyuan Wu – Forest Hill Collegiate Institute.
- Michael Li – Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute.
- Henry Guo – A.Y. Jackson Secondary School.
- Michael Acquaviva – William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute.
- Hitanshu Dalwadi – Albert Campbell Collegiate Institute.
"Our TDSB Top Scholars have always been and continue to be a true inspiration to all those students about to enter high school," a spokesperson for the board said in an email.
'Never be afraid to ask questions'
Danzig says the secret to her success comes down to focus, time management and never being afraid to ask questions.
"Time management is huge," Danzig said.
"Focusing, putting in the time, asking as many questions as you can whenever you can. No question is a stupid question."
She says she would come home from school pre-pandemic and study for hours — usually until dinner was ready. But she says she also made sure to find time to relax as "mental health is just as important."
Danzig holds a part-time job at a restaurant and loves to bake in her spare time. She shares the pies she bakes with her neighbours.
Due to the pandemic restrictions, Danzig says her family decided on a more low-key celebration when they received the great news: grabbing takeout.