HSC ‘First in Course’ for five Sydney Catholic school students

Five Sydney Catholic school students were first in place in courses in the 2016 HSC.

Patrick Ha (left), Chelsi Williams, Gabrielle Pagano and Grant Pfundstein with NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli. Absent: Victoria Moliterno.

Five students from Sydney Catholic schools were awarded ‘First in Course’ certificates for the 2016 HSC by the NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli at a ceremony at Australian Technology Park, Redfern on 14 December.

The five ‘First in Course’ students were:

  • Patrick Ha, Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood, equal first in Business Studies
  • Gabrielle Pagano, De La Salle Catholic College Cronulla, first in Design and Technology
  • Victoria Moliterno, Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich, equal first in Entertainment Industry examination
  • Grant Pfundstein, St Patrick’s College Sutherland, first place in Construction Examination
  • Chelsi Williams, St Patrick’s College Sutherland, first place in Retail Services examination.

Minister Piccoli said it was a great privilege to present the ‘First in Course’ certificates to 110 students in the 50th year of the HSC in its current form.

He congratulated the students and told them this was the ultimate achievement to be first in course in the highly credentialed HSC.

Sydney Catholic schools are characterised by high expectations so that students will achieve their potential.

– Dr Dan White

Dr Dan White, Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) congratulated the students on their outstanding results and acknowledged the role of their teachers and parents.

He said Sydney Catholic schools are characterised by high expectations so that students will achieve their potential.

“We have a priority for innovation where it enhances learning and teaching. We also support and challenge teachers to improve their practice against professional standards to enhance student outcomes.”

Matthew Ryan, acting Principal of Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood said the school community was very proud of Patrick Ha.

“Patrick approached the HSC in a very collaborative fashion, and while focusing on his HSC, he still helped the younger students with their learning. This generosity of spirit was a strong trait of his particularly in Business Studies where he achieved first in course.”

Patrick Ha said his first in Business Studies was the result of a lot of hard work and consistent effort. In 2017 he hopes to study Commerce or Business Studies.

‘Sydney Catholic Schools is committed to learning that equips our young people to take an active role in society.

– Dr Mick Bezzina, Director of Teaching and Learning, Sydney Catholic Schools

With two students ‘First in Course’, St Patrick’s College Sutherland was similarly proud of Chelsi Williams and Grant Pfundstein.

Principal Libby Denny said both Chelsi and Grant were excellent students who should achieve well in their other HSC courses.

Ms Denny particularly acknowledged Chelsi Williams, who was the college’s 2016 school captain, who she said was an outstanding leader and able to maintain the right balance between study and other activities and responsibilities.

Chelsi, who hopes to do a combined law degree in 2017, thanked her Retail Services teacher, Nicola Marshall, who she said was very experienced in the course and dedicated countless hours to her students.

Chelsi is the third Retail Services student taught by Ms Marshall to achieve first in place in the course in the past four years.

“My first place is a credit to Ms Marshall,” Chelsi said.

Chelsi said having many other commitments during her HSC year helped to keep the HSC in perspective and was a reminder that there were other things going on.

Classmate, Grant Pfundstein said he enjoyed studying Construction and felt it was a good course to do to keep his options open.

“You also learn a lot of very useful skills in Construction that will help me throughout life.”

Chelsi is the fourth Retail Services student in consecutive years taught by Ms Marshall to achieve first in place in the course.

Craig Mooney, Principal of De La Salle Catholic College Cronulla said the college was very excited at Gabrielle Pagano’s first place in Design and Technology.

“She is very much a quiet achiever with a strong work ethic, who worked consistently to achieve such an extraordinary result.

“She also did some peer mentoring for some of the other students in her textiles class,” Mr Mooney said.

Gabrielle’s Design and Technology (Textiles) teacher Sara Gamsaragan added that she had amazing patterning, sewing and fashion illustration skills which she was happy to share with the rest of the class.

Gabrielle said coming from a big family, it was natural for her to take the lead and help others.

“I never thought of it as mentoring,” she said. In 2017 Gabrielle plans to study Fashion Design at Ultimo TAFE or the University of Technology.

First in course in 2016 HSC

First in course HSC students with the Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli, Dr Mick Bezzina, Sydney Catholic Schools and far left, mother of first in course student Victoria Moliterno from Marist Sisters College Woolwich.

Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich Principal Dr Anne Ireland paid tribute to Victoria Moliterno who was equal first place in the Entertainment Industry examination.

Currently is Switzerland, Victoria’s mother accepted her certificate on her behalf.

Dr Ireland said Victoria was a dedicated student with a passion for the Performing Arts.

“She has been part of the Bel Canto A Capella group who were National Champions in 2015, the college choir, vocal groups and the school musical.

“This award is a tribute to her hard work and her commitment to involve herself in college life.”

Dr Mick Bezzina, Director of Teaching and Learning at Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS), said SCS is committed to learning that equips our young people to take an active role in society.

“The five young people whose fantastic achievement we celebrate today, are wonderful examples of the success of this commitment, having excelled in business, design and technology, entertainment industry, construction and retail.

“They, and hundreds of their friends and peers are well and truly equipped for the world of further study and of work.”

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