Student earns full ride to Cambridge

Keiler Totz, a Grade 12 student at St. Michaels University School is selected for a $150,000 Blyth Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship.

  • Jan. 24, 2013 4:00 p.m.
St. Michaels University School grade 12 student Keiler Totz won a $150

St. Michaels University School grade 12 student Keiler Totz won a $150

A Saanich teen is one of the country’s highest achieving students and is headed to the University of Cambridge on a full scholarship.

Keiler Totz, a Grade 12 student at St. Michaels University School is one of two high school students in the country selected for a $150,000 Blyth Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship. He got the news earlier this month after having completed a rigorous application process, which culminated in an intense interview last November in Toronto before a panel of judges, including the head of admissions for the highly regarded English university. By the time he knew he had risen to the top of the 34 students shortlisted nationally, he was sold on the experience abroad.

“The more and more I learned about the Cambridge environment, the more I knew it would be the right place,” Keiler said. “I’ve always been really academically driven, studied really hard and trying to get the best grades and learn enough as possible. It looks absolutely amazing.”

Keiler hopes to enter the field of engineering, then biomedical engineering, ultimately ending with a career in research, though still 17, his plans could change.

“I always thought he’d be getting an athletic scholarship,” said Keiler’s mother, Suzanne. “It’s one of the most prestigious there is; almost like a needle in a haystack.”

Keiler attributes his love for physics to his teacher, Richard Curry, himself a University of Cambridge alumnus. Curry, also St. Michaels’ rowing coach, has encouraged Keiler to trade in his basketball for a seat in a skull.

Keiler hasn’t spent too much time contemplating all of the possibilities, however, instead participating in soccer, regularly volunteering at the Royal Jubliee Hospital and completing 11 advanced placement courses prior to graduation, including a first-year math course at the University of Victoria.

Keiler also spent last summer conducting cancer research on an internship with the B.C. Cancer Agency.

“You’re just thrown in there and expected to work, but once you get the grasp of the lab, it’s an amazing feeling,” Keiler said of the experience staining tumour tissues.

Keiler’s father Karlheinz has watched his son excel academically throughout life – including picking up Mandarin while the family lived in Singapore – and doesn’t describe the scholarship as much of a surprise.

“There were two in all of Canada chosen for his age, so that shows that the child is quite bright,” he said.

Keiler was featured in the News in 2011 when he attended Deep River Science Academy at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories in Ontario. As the only student from Greater Victoria admitted at the time, he worked on a remote control vehicle to measure ambient radiation levels and record internal visual conditions inside buildings slated to be decommissioned. He hopes to return to the academy which affirmed his desire to obtain an undergraduate degree in education this summer as a tutor, a role Suzanne once held during her first year of university.

“He’s absolutely in heaven right now,” she said.

 

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read