REGIONAL GALLERY: James Ruse Agricultural High shines in HSC

DANA Song is sweet 16 and already been ... the first in an HSC course.

The James Ruse Agricultural High School student was one of six students from The Hills — and three from her school — recognised for coming first in their HSC course at a ceremony at Australian Technology Park, Redfern, yesterday.

Click here to view a photo gallery showing the recipients from across our region, captured on the day.

She is also only in year 11 and the first to tell you she really stepped out of her comfort zone to complete agriculture as a course.

‘‘I like shopping, dancing,’’ Dana, of Beaumont Hills, said.

But it turned out agriculture could be just as entertaining.

‘‘Yarding the sheep, making vegetable plots, taking fresh produce home — it was all fun,’’ Dana said.

She encourages everyone to try new things.

‘‘Make the most of it,’’ she said. ‘‘Have fun.’’

Dana was one of 83 women to achieve first in course this year, compared to 38 men.

Another high achiever was Fatma Abumustafa, who was one of only three students to receive a First in Course Award for more than one course.

She received hers for topping Arabic continuers and Arabic extension, which she completed through the Saturday School of Community Languages/Arthur Phillip High School in Parramatta.

Carol Taylor, the chief executive of the Board of Studies NSW, welcomed the delegation at yesterday’s ceremony, including Board president Tom Alegounarias and Education Minister Adrian Piccoli who presented certificates of recognition to 121 students in 112 courses.

According to the Board of Studies’ website, the acknowledgement of ‘‘First in Course’’ refers to students who come first in an HSC course, provided their result is also in the top band.

This morning more than 70,000 students can access their 2013 Higher School Certificate results via the internet, SMS, phone – or even their Playstation or Xbox.

The 2013 HSC merit lists will also be released this week, including:

■ Top achievers in course: students who are in the top places in each course and who have also achieved a top band result;

■ Distinguished achievers: students who have received a top band result in one or more HSC courses; and

■ All-round achievers: students who are distinguished achievers for courses totalling 10 or more units.

Merit lists will be published progressively on the Board of Studies’ website. Click here to access. 

FIRST IN COURSE

■ Baulkham Hills High School: Ruben Tung Robertson (physics);

■ James Ruse Agricultural High School in Carlingford: Dana Song (agriculture), Sing-Young Chen (biology) and Radman Le Zhang (mathematics);

■ Muirfield High School in North Rocks: Alan Zehong Ngo (information technology examination); and

■ The King’s School in North Parramatta: Brett He (equal first in music 2).

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