Penrith’s HSC high achievers reflect on top results

Grace and Isabel Manning.
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HSC results have officially been released, and once again some of the state’s top achievers are right here in Penrith.

Jade Busst

Jamison High School graduate Jade Busst took on the HSC whilst also juggling work, tutoring, and soccer.

Despite consistently coming first in all her subjects, Advanced English, Mathematics Extension 1 and 2, Biology, Chemistry and PDHPE, she admits she was worried about how her results would translate into an ATAR.

“What I wanted to do at the end was optometry, and I got an early conditional offer for 92, so I really wanted to get 92,” she said.

“The closer the results were getting, the more nervous I was getting, but I thought based on how I did in the tests that I’d be able to get 92.”

Sticking to a study routine that she held throughout Year 12, Jade ended up beating all of her expectations, finding out her ATAR of 99.10 surrounded by loved ones.

“I had most of my family there because they were all really excited for me,” she said.

“I later found out that because my dad works next door at York Public School, the Principal already gave him a hint that I did well, so they were already excited, but I didn’t know because they didn’t tell me.

“There’s a video that my mum posted on Facebook, and it’s just me jumping up and down 20 times.”

Her ATAR is the highest ever attained by a Jamison High School student.

“It makes me feel good, because I’ve beaten everyone that’s gone to Jamison High School – my mum went to Jamison High School as well, so I beat her!” she said.

“I was glad that I was able to show how smart I am. My mum tells people that I’m smart all the time, but now I have proof!”

Jade is now set on her path to study optometry at UNSW in 2024.

“I’ve already enrolled in all my courses, so I’m really excited,” she said.

Twins Isabel and Grace Manning also achieved outstanding results in the HSC this year.

Both girls took Advanced English, Advanced Mathematics, Biology, Religion, CAFS, and Business Studies at Emmaus Catholic College, in hopes of going into the medical field.

Despite admitting that they left their HSC exams a little uncertain, Isabel finished up as the College Dux with an ATAR of 97.05, with Grace coming in just behind her at 95.25.

“I was just about to start work when Grace gave me a call and the final ATAR came out,” Isabel said.

“I was really happy, and really shocked. We were both happy for each other because we both wanted to get high marks. We didn’t care who did better, we just both wanted to do really well.”

The two both plan to accept offers to study at UTS, with hopes that they’ll find their own passions within the field in due time.

“We’re probably both going to end up doing the same Bachelor of Medical Science, but we both hope that along the line when we branch out into our own specific, specialised area, that we do something different – not just for the sake of doing something different, but because we’re both interested in different things,” Grace said.

Cassidy Pearce

Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.

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