ACT News


Top of the class: high achievers honoured

Merici College student Danielle Farrell has had a very satisfactory year. Not only was she dux of the school but she found time for community service for which she was also honoured.

The 17-year-old was one of 108 students from 23 schools singled out for Recognition of Excellence awards by the Board of Senior Secondary Studies.

The awards recognise students who received the highest Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks (ATAR) result in their respective school, as well as Community Service, Performing and Visual Arts, Vocational Studies and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Danielle's principal Ann Cleary said she was extraordinarily proud of her top student's achievement which included impressive grades in English, specialist maths, chemistry and religious studies that included dedicated spiritual mentoring of other students, participation in numerous retreats - not to mention playing tenor sax in the school band and jazz band.

''Danielle is the type of student any school would be proud to produce,'' Ms Cleary said.

For her part, Danielle said she had used nine hours of free periods at school each week to focus on her academic work so that her after-school hours could be devoted to other things, including music.


A committed Catholic, she said she had always aspired to be a spiritual captain at the school, and had helped guide girls from years 7 through to year 12 in their spiritual and emotional journey through the high school and college years.

She also achieved an ATAR of 98.

Danielle is hoping to go to the Australian National University to read for a bachelor of politics, philosophy and economics next year.

Meanwhile, the BSSS issued a list of college top achievers, but would not issue their ATARs due to privacy reasons.

The students with the highest scores were Rongkai Tian of Narrabundah College and Maryam Eghtedari of Canberra Girls' Grammar School, both of whom achieved the score of 99.95.

The other highest-ranked year 12 students recognised in Tuesday's ceremony were Jessica Adams - Burgmann Anglican School; Parker Blakey - St Mary MacKillop College; Farid Chaaya - St Edmund's College; Danielle Farrell - Merici College; Danting Guo - Daramalan College.

Rachel Hayes - St Clare's College; Alyssa Hunt - Radford College; Emily Kane - Lake Tuggeranong College; Joss Kirk - Hawker College; Christina Lawson - UC Senior Secondary College, Lake Ginninderra; Matvey Menetrey - Melba Copland Secondary School; Dan An Nguyen - Dickson College; Hannah Pearce - Orana Steiner School.

All ACT students will be able to receive their ATARs online on Thursday morning and ATAR notices will be mailed out from Friday.