St Ursula’s College Kingsgrove’s Class of 2023 graduate not just with impressive HSC results, but with a desire to make a difference to their communities.

Here, three graduates share how their experience of Year 12 and high-level Maths and Science have left them on track to reach their future goals.

Jacqueline Keir received an ATAR of 99.4. She sat Mathematics Extension 2 in 2022, leaving her to complete nine units including Physics in this year’s HSC. 

“It freed up time for me to focus on the subjects that remained,” she said. “ I still took up nine units which was a lot when I already had four out of the way.”

Jacqueline plans to study medicine at university to pursue a career in neonatal care.

“I applied for early acceptance to a few universities for double degrees with law, and one in medical science and I got those, but I really want to do medicine,” she said. 

“It unites my love of STEM with human interaction and it’s a fulfilling career, I think” – Jacqueline Keir

College Vice Captain Chrystalla Kospetas received an ATAR of 97 after balancing humanities including English Extension 1 with Advanced Mathematics. 

She plans to study a combined Business and Law degree at the University of Technology Sydney.

“I really enjoyed Year 12,” she said. “I also completed my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, so that was another challenge in the year.

“To future Year 12’s I’d say ‘try your best, because the hard work does pay off’” – Chrystalla Kospetas

“At this school especially, we all work hard and push ourselves to get good results. It’s very motivating.”

Jennifer Costan received an ATAR of 98.3 after completing subjects including Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics Extension 2.

She plans to complete an applied science degree in diagnostic radiography at the University of Sydney.

“I’ve always been interested in science and health, so I thought this would be a nice course to go into,” she said.

Jennifer said her teachers’ fun analogies and stories helped her and her classmates commit difficult concepts and dense content to memory in Chemistry and Biology.

“I’ve always been interested in science and health” – Jennifer Costan

“Our teachers are amazing,” she said. “They ask for feedback on their work and always try to find other ways to help us learn concepts that are more difficult.”

Jennifer said she was relieved to receive her results. “I was happy,” she said. “It’s nice to know the hard work of the past 12 years is done.”

Aspirational environment

St Ursula’s Principal Mary Leask said high expectations, quality teaching and ‘collaborative competition’ helped St Ursula’s students do well in all subjects and particularly in Chemistry in this year’s HSC. 

The college had 50 students receive ATARs above 90 and ranked 76 in NSW.

“It’s quite aspirational,” Mrs Leask said. 

“Here all the Science teachers are women who are passionate about their subjects and remind students it’s very possible to get Band 6 results.

“One of the first assemblies that Year 7 students will see is our high achievers assembly. Next year 50 girls will go across the stage modelling that it is possible to get great results, you just have to stretch out and aspire toward them.”