Senior School Dux Josee Currin with guest speaker – and former KSHS student – Leanne Cross

October 19, 2021

After “dodging and weaving the COVID-19 minefield” throughout 2021, Kingaroy State High School teachers and students could finally breathe a sigh of relief on Monday night …

The 64th Annual Speech Night, held at KPAC, went off without a hitch although all the facemasks in the audience were a sure sign this has not been a normal year.

Acting Principal Mark Freeman said despite the COVID minefield, improvements had continued to be made at the school, particularly in aligning assessments with the Australian curriculum.

A review of senior subjects had led to the introduction of new courses this year, including Aquatic Practices, and next year Psychology would be added to the subject range.

A $1.6 million grant to refurbish the school farm had also been received. Planning has already started on this project but work will continue throughout 2022.

The speech night was also an opportunity to farewell former principal Ashley Roediger, who left midway through the year, and reflect on the achievements of students during the even more COVID-disrupted year of 2020.

Mr Freeman said the 2020 cohort of Year 12s was the first to leave school with an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) instead of an OP.

The top ATAR score that can be awarded is 99.95.

Mr Freeman said four KSHS students achieved above 99, with the 2020 dux, Nathan Lonsdale, achieving an ATAR of 99.4.

Every KSHS Year 12 student in 2020 left with either a Queensland Certificate of Education or the Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement; and 84.6 per cent were now either engaged in education, training or employment – 5 per cent above the State average.

Guest speaker at the awards night was former KSHS student Leanne Cross, who graduated in 1995.

Ms Cross then studied a Bachelor of Arts in Education, a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science, a Masters of Chiropractice and earned a Diplomate in Chiropractic Paediatrics … but also managed to become a barefoot water ski-ing champion at the same time, competing at world level.

Ms Cross urged the graduating Year 12s to “follow their curiosity”.

“You may never find your passion, you may never win an accolade, medals or awards but I can guarantee one thing, you will live a life that you love and that is more important than any external reward,” she said.

“Finding joy in the mundane rituals has the potential to fill you with a sense of peace and calm, a grounding and a sense of purpose.”

Speaking about her water ski-ing career, Ms Cross told the students that it was also important “to do the occasional thing that scares you … to get outside your comfort zone”.

Ms Cross was later called on to present Special Awards to students, including the prestigious Junior and Senior Dux shields:

  • Junior Dux – Charlotte Landherr
  • Senior Dux – Josee Currin

The 2022 Senior and Junior and School Leaders were also introduced:

  • Junior Secondary Leaders – Angel Caldona (vice-captain), Matilda Garcie (vice-captain),  Harrison Campbell (vice-captain), Emma Uebergang (vice-captain),  Tasleigh Gangemi (captain) and Rory Crumpton (captain)
  • Senior Secondary Leaders – Phoebe Day (vice-captain), Bridie Prendergast (vice-captain), Steffanie Humphries (captain) and Joe Meikle (captain)

Other guest presenters, including Mr Roediger, presented academic awards for students from Year 7 through to Year 12.

The audience also enjoyed musical pieces from the KSHS Symphonic and Stage bands and the KSHS Vocal Group.

The 2021 Year 12s now face 18 days of external exams, starting on Friday.

* * *

Special Awards

  • Dux of the Senior School (P&C Auxiliary Shield) – Josee Currin
  • Dux of the Junior School (Vietnam Veterans’ Trophy) – Charlotte Landherr
  • Ampol Best All-Rounder Award – Benjamin Weier
  • Rotary Shield For Junior Citizenship (Rotary Club of Kingaroy) – Pyper Connelly, Fletch Prendergast
  • Astill’s Pride Award – Mitchell Howlett (a new award for 2021)
  • Year 10 Pride Award – Georgia Millers (a new award for 2021)
  • Year 10 ADF Leadership and Teamwork Award (and bursary) – Karl Macasaet
  • Year 10 ADF Future Innovators Award (and bursary) – Megan Underwood
  • Year 11 Kingaroy RSL Hospitality Award – Phoebe Millar, Tia Reeves
  • Kingaroy-Memerambi RSL Sub-Branch Bursary – Veronica May, Wyatt Johnson
  • Junior STAR Award (award for Sustained effort, Teamwork, Attitude and Reliability) – Samuel Coultis
  • QATSIF Young Indigenous Leader Award – Alex Mackinnon
  • Leigh Iszlaub Award – Junior – Samantha King
  • Service To The School (gold certificate) – Indi Bruce, Kinzie Campbell, Zachary Farmilo, Mitchell Neilsen, Walter Sawtell and Ella Vickery
Junior Dux Charlotte Landherr was presented with her award by guest speaker Leanne Cross
The 2021 Junior Secondary Leaders welcomed their 2022 counterparts … from left, Mitchell Neilsen, Junior Secondary Leader 2021; Angel Caldona, Vice Junior Secondary Leader 2022; Matilda Garcie, Vice Junior Secondary Leader 2022; Harrison Campbell, Vice Junior Secondary Leader 2022; Emma Uebergang, Vice Junior Secondary Leader 2022; Tasleigh Gangemi, Junior Secondary Leader 2022; Rory Crumpton, Junior Secondary Leader 2022; and Kinzie Campbell, Junior Secondary Leader 2021
The 2021 School Captains will be handing over to the 2022 School Captains soon … from left, Phoebe Day, Vice Captain 2022; Juliana Evangelista, Vice Captain 2021; Bridie Prendergast, Vice Captain 2022; Joey Reeve, Vice Captain 2021; Steffanie Humphries, Captain 2022; Abbie Moseling, Captain 2021; Joe Meikle, Captain 2022;  and Isaac Kelly, Captain 2021
Guest speaker Leanne Cross, centre, with her proud parents Carla and Eric Cross (also a former KSHS student)
Carla shared some of her water ski-ing highlights (and tumbles) on the video screen
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, former KSHS principal Ashley Roediger and Education Queensland Assistant Regional Director Debbie Hails
Guest speaker Leanne Cross with KSHS Acting Principal Mark Freeman and Kayleen Freeman
Rob and Jodi Woodall, Kingaroy, and Cr Danita Potter
The KSHS Symphonic Band, pictured, and the Stage Band played items during the evening
The KSHS Vocal Group, led by Sue Dowideit-Reiger, sang the National Anthem, accompanied by the Symphonic Band, as well as two a capella songs

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