Spirits were high when St Patrick’s College Sutherland students returned to school to celebrate their HSC successes with their teachers and peers.
There were 90 students at the College on the Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards’ distinguished achievers list for 2015. Year 12 graduates Claire Martin, Lachlan Ross, Brendan Conneely and Claire McMahon were the school’s top achievers, with respective ATARs of 97.35, 96.65, 96.6 and 96. All of the students attended a morning tea on December 17, the day HSC results were released.
“We are extremely proud of the graduating class of 2015,” said Principal Elizabeth Denny. “Their outstanding results are just one measure of their worth as young men and women who will make a difference in our world and I wish them the very best as they leave the College.”
The best advice I received was probably to do your best and don’t give up.
Brendan plans to study Engineering and Advanced Science at the University of New South Wales after a HSC year filled with Advanced English, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1.
“I’m interested in the program that they do on renewable engineering,” he said. “I think the way our year group came together during the HSC, the support we got, and the amount of freedom we had to study made a difference to everyone. The teachers here are second to none. Their experience but also the dedication they have for the students is amazing.”
Claire Martin, 18, hopes to take up International Studies at university next year. She said a Year 12 group musical performance at the school’s annual talent quest was a highlight of the HSC year along with her ATAR.
“I’m really happy, but it’s kind of shocking,” she said. “I don’t think I could have done as well without the teachers that I had. If at any moment you feel that you don’t know what to do or are anxious, they are always there to help. The best advice I received was probably to do your best and don’t give up. It’s easy to get disheartened if you don’t get what you wanted to achieve.”
Claire McMahon, 18, hopes to take a gap year before attending university. She said she was very happy with her results and that graduation day was the highlight of her year.
“That day wasn’t about marks or results,” she said. “It was just about the fact that we all got to the end.”
Claire said the fact that students in the grade all showed care for each other both at and outside of school during the HSC year was a factor in their success. “I think this year we all came together as a team. You could see the change in everyone. We knew we had to work together to get to the end of it. It’s really nice to see everyone again and get to congratulate them on everything.”
Lachlan Ross, 18, plans to study Commerce next year after gaining an ATAR of 96.65. He placed 20th in the state in Business Studies from a pool of more than 16,000 students.
“I’m excited obviously,” he said. “It opens up a lot of opportunities for university and I guess it reflects the hard work that I put in over the past two years. The environment that we’re in [at school] is very collaborative, with people working towards doing their best. There are always people there to help you. You couldn’t really ask for more for success.
“A lot of the time there is that seed of doubt in the back of my mind ‘Is it right? Is it not? Just to go with that gut instinct is probably the best advice I’ve been given.”