The loss of their father while in grade nine became a motivation for them to excel in their studies and do their remaining parent proud. Three years later, the Bernitz twins have reached their goal, achieving six distinctions in their matric year.
Kelsey Bernitz and her twin brother Chad, aged 18, were among King Davids High School’s top achievers. The school proud to announce that the Bernitz siblings were among three sets of twins who collectively managed to attain a total of 41 distinctions.
The pair who spoke highly of their school said their aim was to make their mother proud.
“Our father committed suicide which left our mother a single parent. So we continued to strive to do well so that our mother and the rest of the family would be proud,” said Chad.
The Bernitz twins said they did the same core subjects.
“We both have different strengths. We both strong in English and History and we would help each other in Biology (known as Life Sciences). We motivated each other and had no competition. As long as we did well it is a win-win situation,” said Kelsey.
Chad said they often did school projects together and bounced ideas off each other.
He also praised his mother for the effort she made in assisting him with Mathematics.
“My mom helped me with extra lessons in Maths,” he said.
Both the Bernitz twins said the Covid-19 pandemic had caused a shift in their way of learning but they had managed to adapt to the change.
Kelsey said at first she disliked online learning -- while in Grade 11 during the first lockdown -- which made her lack motivation.
“I realised school won’t stop because we just have to be online. So I tried keeping motivated and when we came back in our matric year we looked forward to the future.
Kelsey wants to pursue studies in Speech and Hearing at Wits University while her brother plans on studying B.Com Law at the University of Johannesburg.
Tyla Shur and Jamie Shur, 19, also did well. They achieved seven distinctions with a 90% aggregate.
Tyla said she and her twin never studied together for the matric exam, but were always there to help each other in understanding certain concepts of their school work.
“Grade 11 wasn’t easy and learning online was getting harder, so when we returned to school for Grade 12 we found it easier to concentrate and matric was not that bad,” she said.
The Shur twins are going to take a gap year and travel abroad to Israel to join a programme there.
The last set of twins, Cody and Cassidy Levy, achieved 9 and 6 distinctions respectively.