BE DEDICATED and try your best in every task you take on - this principle has made Joanne Lo Wing-fai of Diocesan Girls' School the South China Morning Post Student of the Year. The 17-year-old, who scored nine straight As in the HKCEE this year, outshone the other 14 finalists and won the Student of the Year award with her all-round achievements and sparkling personality. 'I guess it was the confident way I presented my ideas during the interview that impressed the judges,' she said. 'I always bear in mind the philosophy of giving my best in everything I do and not think about the outcome.' The panel of judges, comprising Acting Director of Education Elaine Chung Lai-kwok, Education Commission Chairman Rosie Young Tse-tse and South China Morning Post Education Editor Winnie Chung, was impressed by Joanne's eloquence and her analytical mind. 'She is very composed and logical. We were impressed by the way she presented her arguments,' Ms Elaine Chung said. As a devoted debater, Joanne found debating a magnificent exercise which trained her way of thinking and her communication skills. 'Debating helps to develop one's wit and ability to think in a sensible and logical way,' said Joanne, who started debating in Form Three and is now leading the English and Chinese school debating societies. The scholar is not a bookworm who hides herself behind piles of books. Instead, she is an outgoing and cheerful teenager who enthusiastically takes part in a variety of activities like language learning and tennis. Captivated by the beauty of natural languages, Joanne has developed an interest in learning French and Japanese. She also appreciates different cultures. 'I love learning languages. I feel a strong sense of satisfaction being able to master a language.' Interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds through the acquisition of languages is also an important factor that has helped shape Joanne's outgoing character. 'I was rather shy a couple of years ago, but my outspoken French teachers have inspired me to try out different things in life,' Joanne said. In the eyes of school principal Elim Pong Lau, Joanne is a cheerful and energetic young girl with great potential and intelligence. 'Joanne is capable and witty. She is analytical, expressive and gifted in languages,' Mrs Lau said. Joanne told Young Post that she would continue to do her best in every task she undertook and would impress people with her attitude rather than her sterling academic portfolio. 'Being picked as the Student of the Year from among so many candidates has boosted my confidence and I am definitely more ready to take up new challenges,' said Joanne, who is planning to study paediatrics in Britain. 'I like children and enjoy communicating with them. It would be great if I could get into the profession I am interested in and be able to help the needy.' Joanne will receive a $20,000 Citibank scholarship and two British Airways return tickets to Manila or Taipei.