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James Vandeleur tops the State!

16th Feb 2020

Rockhampton Grammar School 2019 graduate James Vandeleur has topped the State, receiving the Outstanding Academic Achiever award.

This result placed James ahead of more than 37,700 students across Queensland.

James achieved the highest standards in eight school subjects and the Queensland Core Skills Test. He also completed a VET course and three Australian Musical Examinations Board courses.

The 2019 Dux of the School joined 31 students at the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) Achievement Awards in Brisbane. Twenty-nine of the Distinguished Academic Achievers were from south-east Queensland schools.

Distinguished Academic Achievers were initially shortlisted because they achieved all of the following:

  • a QCE
  • an OP1
  • an A on the Queensland Core Skills Test
  • 20 or more semesters of Authority subjects at VHA standard.

The winners were selected by comparing the students' achievements in the following areas:

  • overall QCS Test performance
  • tertiary entrance ranking
  • number of semesters at VHA standard
  • performance in Authority subjects
  • QCE credit for Authority subjects, university subjects, VET diplomas and advanced diplomas
  • total QCE credit.

This award has been presented for the past six years. James is the first male student to win the top honour.

Rockhampton Grammar School Headmaster Dr Phillip Moulds said he was proud of James.

“This is an award for James, but also recognition for a great culture of learning and the relationship of students, teachers and their parents,’’ Dr Moulds said.

“It’s also terrific that a student from Rockhampton can win the top student in the state award.”

Dr Moulds said this was also an award for both James and his classmates.

James won $5000 and is preparing to study a Bachelor of Advanced Science at the University of Queensland this year.

Dr Moulds said it was exciting to see James pursue a study pathway in the area of physics.

At the awards presentation it was noted that James’ career goal would be working in research science and space exploration.

Commenting in the awards programme, James said he hoped to make a lasting mark on the physical sciences and contribute to our knowledge of the universe.

Here are further reflections from James:

Favourite subject in Year 12: I enjoyed all my subjects, but Mathematics C and Physics had it ‘hands down’. I loved the investigative aspects of those subjects.

Who inspires you? The theoretical physicist, Richard Feynman. His view that you don’t truly understand something until you can explain it simply emphasises the importance in science of not only having a mind for data but an ability to communicate.

The QCAA chief executive officer Chris Rider said the role of school communities were part of the success.

“I commend the principals and teachers who shaped the learning cultures in which the award winners thrived,” Mr Rider said.

 “This is also a proud day for families. Their support will have been instrumental to the achievements of these young people.