Harkirat Bhullar is the recipient of the 2019 Award of Excellence, presented by the Saskatoon Board of Education. The annual award is given to the student who best exemplifies the vision and goals of Saskatoon Public Schools.
Bhullar graduated from Evan Hardy Collegiate with a 99 per-cent average. In Grade 12 level courses, Bhullar achieved 100 per cent in Math Pre-Calculus, Biology, AP Computer Science, Integral Calculus and AP Calculus. Amongst his many awards, Bhullar received the Canadian Governor General's Academic Medal and National AP Scholar. In both 2017 and 2018, he placed first in the provincial Sanofi Biogenius Canada competition, won gold at the Saskatoon Regional Science Fair and represented Team Canada at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. In total, Bhullar was offered more than $500,000 in scholarships from seven Canadian universities.
"He is a critical and creative thinker who enjoys academic challenges and seeks knowledge in all its forms," wrote Evan Hardy Principal Rick Iverson in his nomination letter. "Among his peers, he was considered a leader in the school and in his classes, not only through his achievement, but also through his willingness to help others to achieve their best. He is described by his teachers as caring, thoughtful, articulate, dedicated, organized, curious and compassionate. All these qualities set Harkirat apart from his peers as, not only a top student, but also equally as important, an outstanding person."
As a member of the Soul Ambassadors club at Evan Hardy, Bhullar initiated Project Buddy, a program to welcome and support immigrant and refugee youth in the school. He received the silver and gold levels of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, following completion of numerous volunteer hours in service to his community. Bhullar has donated time and effort to organizations including Autism Speaks Canada, Ronald MacDonald House, Youth Advisory Council of Saskatoon, Canadian Orthopedic Foundation, and the Festival of Words.
"Harkirat is exceedingly patient, always sees the upside or opportunity in any given situation; he understands that change must occur organically and sometimes slowly, in order to be lasting and impactful," wrote counsellor Denise Drake in her letter of support.
Currently studying at Harvard University, Bhullar is interested in applied mathematics and art, film and visual studies.
Established in 1990, the Award of Excellence is presented annually to the most outstanding graduate based on academic excellence, personal qualities, leadership, and participation. Staff members from each public collegiate nominate a graduate to the selection committee. The winner receives a $5,000 cash award and a medal. Nominated students are honoured and receive a $500 cash award.