Local TAFE tourism student heads state
SUMMER Lee Jones, 17, from Grafton High, has achieved the top HSC mark for the vocational subject, Certificate II in Tourism and Events.
Summer Lee studied the tourism strand of the subject for two years, along with students from Maclean and Grafton High.
"It definitely came as a surprise," she said yesterday.
"When I came out of the exam I was really upset and thought it was the worst of all my exams."
Her teacher and TAFE-delivered Vocational Education and Training (TVET) co-ordinator for the Clarence, Linda Stevens, is excited about her star student's accomplishment.
"I burst into tears when I found out," she said.
"Last year one of my students achieved second place in this subject, so for Summer Lee to achieve 'First in Course' is fantastic.
"Not only was Summer Lee a diligent student, but she excelled in her work placements with the Grafton Tourist Information Centre and the Quality Motor Inn."
Mrs Stevens said her student's attitude and commitment had been incredible and to her credit, she even attended both placements during the school holidays.
Mrs Stevens was keen to praise all her students on passing the course, sending each of them a message yesterday morning reminding them to look forward not back.
As for Summer Lee's future plans, she said she's anxiously awaiting her ATAR results which will be released today.
She's hoping to be accepted into a double degree for a Melbourne University to study Marketing and Advertising, but in the meantime is looking forward to her gap year. She plans to take a trip to Spain to work as an au pair and travel.
Summer Lee was among 121 NSW students to be presented with First in Course Awards by the Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, at an event at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney on Tuesday.
"Any student who receives their HSC has worked hard, and I congratulate all students who have completed their exams this year," Mr Piccoli said.
"The First in Course Awards acknowledge the highest achieving student in each HSC course, where the result is in the highest possible band for that course."
Students received a Certificate for Excellence from the minister in front of their families and senior representatives from across the education sectors.
Summer Lee was one of the 12 students who live in a regional area from the 121 First in Course students who studied 112 courses in the HSC.