HSC high achievers from St Joseph's Aberdeen invited back for special ceremony

HIGH ACHIEVERS: From left: Heidi Wolfgang, Kyle Eriksson, Breanna Cox and Daisy Ratatagia.
HIGH ACHIEVERS: From left: Heidi Wolfgang, Kyle Eriksson, Breanna Cox and Daisy Ratatagia.

WHILE the concept of returning to your old high school may be terrifying for some, former students from St Joseph's Aberdeen did just that on Monday as an assembly was held in their honour.

Several of the best performing pupils from 2019 were in attendance, many of them returning from their new locations, and spoke about how life had changed since they left.

Unfortunately not everyone was able to attend as university and work commitments got in the way.

Caitlin Brown, who was HSC dux for biology, English advanced, mathematics 2 unit, mathematics extension 1, studies of religion 2 and visual arts, couldn't make it.

However, Kyle Eriksson (English standard, industrial technology), Breanna Cox (legal studies, society and culture), Daisy Ratatagia (agriculture) and Heidi Wolfgang (metal and engineering) did make an appearance.

All four took time to speak to The Advocate about what they had been up to since the end of last year.

"I'm about to commence a Bachelor of Education at Newcastle University in Earth and Environmental Science... I'd like to travel, do a language and travel to a different country and teach English there for a while," said Ms Ratatagia.

Mr Eriksson, who is just 18, is hoping to become an architect and has also enrolled at the coastal town's university; Ms Wolfgang is undertaking an apprenticeship as a boilermaker at Programmed Industrial Maintenance Muswellbrook and attending TAFE; while Breanna Cox will shortly begin a Bachelor of Nursing at Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie.

Their feelings about returning were mixed, with first reactions ranging from 'weird' to 'good'.

ON THE RISE: ROSA award recipients Aneira Bray and Sophie Duffy.

ON THE RISE: ROSA award recipients Aneira Bray and Sophie Duffy.

One person who was excited about the assembly was assistant principal Veronica Rolfe, who said it was a good chance to recognise the hard work of 2019's year 12 students.

"The purpose of the ceremony which we have every year is to award the top HSC students and recognise their achievements," she stated.

The dux for other subjects were Macy Brady (English studies), Jessica Dimmock (economics), Georgia Evans (drama), Trent Gleeson (investigating science), Layla Haggarty (mathematics standard 1), Connor Hugo (ancient history, English standard), Sebastian Owen (physics), Lochlan Pascoe (Aboriginal studies), Jocelyn Rawson (retail services), Phillip Ritter (German continuers, German extension), Kimberly Saville (Japanese continuers), Patricia Sheeran (chemistry), Serbastian Zizza (information processes and technology, mathematics standard 2, Japanese beginners), Macey Collins (music 1), Chloe Hollingsworth (community and family studies), Nikola Holz (business studies, PDHPE) and Matilda Main (community and family studies, earth and environmental science, modern history, history extension, studies of religion 1).

The latter four of those, as well as Caitlin Brown, Caitlin Byron and Breanna Cox, also earned Distinguied Achiever Awards.

Aneira Bray and Sophie Duffy received the ROSA awards, which are awarded to grade 10 students who obtained 6 or 7 A's in the subjects of English, maths, science, Australian history, geography, personal development, health and physical education or religion (PDHPE).