Our school opened its doors in 1998, with 287 Year 8 and Year 9 students. Growing to a full secondary school over ensuing years, our first Senior students graduated in 2001.
In the relatively short time since our foundation, our students and staff have created a proud record of achievement in many fields. Here are just a few examples:
Students wishing to study at university in Qld do so via a tertiary entrance score called, in Queensland, an Overall Position or OP Score (1 to 25 scale; only the top 2% of Queensland students receive an OP1). We have a very consistent percentage of students graduating in the OP1 to OP5 range each year, with our long-term average sitting at 15%. In 2010, for example, three students received an Overall Position score of OP1, with a further five receiving OP2. Last year, our 2013 graduates did us proud, with 22% achieving an OP1-5.
Typically, around 95-99% of our students applying for university receive an offer annually. In addition, our students have a high rate of success in applying for apprenticeships during, and after, graduation. Our destination data shows almost all students moving on to further education, training or employment.
Our school pioneered the establishment of the EQIP Business and Information Technology (or EBITS) Centre, a campus of our school operating inside the Boyne Island Smelter. Here, students study business and/or information technology subjects in an authentic industry setting. They work industry hours, wear industry uniforms, submit to random drug and alcohol testing and complete real, paid work for real customers. This initiative has attracted national and international interest. Our two alliance schools, Toolooa State High School and Gladstone State High School, have set up similar programs at a local powerhouse and at a construction firm. Thus, working in close consultation with industry, the Gladstone Area State Secondary Schools Alliance (GASSSA) sends students to a variety of off-site learning programs, operating under the Education Queensland Industry Partnership (EQIP) banner. EQIP also oversees the EQIP Technical College, Gladstone Region, which specialises in school-based apprenticeships, with students working a two-week on, two-week off cycle. Now, EQIP is building a Trade Training Centre, specialising in electro-technology and in logistics.
Our gifted and talented program, BSL-Zenith, has twice won Regional awards for excellence. It continues to inspire students to partake in many additional challenges and opportunities.
2013 saw our best OP1-5 results ever – 22% of students achieved one of these very high scores. David Madsen was awarded a University of Queensland Academic Scholarship and Emily Braithwaite earned a prestigious scholarship to assist with her studies at the University of New South Wales.
In 2012, Gretel Waugh graduated with an OP2, having completed high school in four years, via grade-skipping Year 10. Liz O’Neill became our third student to graduate as a doctor.
Jack Hales travelled to Canada in 2011 to attend the Canada-wide Science Fair, having gained this place after attending the National Youth Science Forum in Canberra earlier in the year.
2010 saw three OP1 and five OP2 students graduating for our school. One, Jenni Mercer, flew to Canada, after being selected as one of only six students across Australia to attend Rotary’s National Youth Science Forum international event. Jenni was also one of ten state recipients of the Peter Doherty Outstanding Senior Science Student Award – another $2000 bursary! Jacob Johnston won a $24 000 Academic Excellence Scholarship from the University of Qld, after achieving an OP1. Both Jenni and Jacob had accelerated through their Senior mathematics studies a year early, enabling them to complete university subjects in veterinary science and philosophy, respectively, whilst still at school. Jacob was chosen to attend a two-week residential summer school at The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. Jenni is currently studying veterinary science, whilst Jacob and CJ Perkins, our other OP1 that year, are both studying medicine.
In 2010, a team of Year 9 English students was thrilled to be named as Readers Cup State Finalists. Our Brain Bees State Finalists team took part in Australia's only neuroscience competition for high school students, with Jack Hales coming second in Qld in the individual competition. Sam O’Neill finished first in the state in the National Geography competition.
2008 was a stellar year for sport at TSSHS! We had three National Sports Champions, and five students represented Queensland, our best representation ever. 41 students represented at Capricornia Regional level, with 71 attaining Port Curtis District selection. Two students participated in Olympic Selection Trials that year.
Our students turned from musicals to an intriguing Theatre Restaurant production in 2008. The Phantom of the Music Hall, which played to packed houses, featured the Ballet Boys, whose pink tutus and precision pirouettes stole the show, and won the admiration of all
In 2009, Lauren Reardon was selected to participate in a trip to Egypt to assist with establishment of micro-businesses for women in that country. Ex-student Katrina Bukauskas was named Undergraduate of the Year in the Smart State, Smart Women Awards. Zac Bond, one of our indigenous students, was named as one of 214 secondary school students from across Qld to receive the Pierre de Coubertin Award, recognising his success in sport, and especially his exemplification of the ideals of the Olympic movement.
In2007, Nirnitha Manivasagan, was named as a recipient of the Lord Florey Student Prize. Only five hundred of the most outstanding academic achievers are awarded in Australia each year. Magdalene Schoene and Alvaro Reyes joined us in semester 2 from Germany and Mexico, respectively, as our first International Fee-paying Students, a program that has since expanded rapidly at our school.
Our Principal, Ray Johnston, attained a Post Graduate Certificate from the University of Cambridge, after being sponsored by Rio Tinto Alcan. This high powered course centred on the cross-sector partnerships (between government, business and non-government organisations) that must increasingly be used in a very complex, inter-connected world, to solve global problems. Guest speaker on the first night was Al Gore!
In 2007, Heather Moller, our Head of Department for Science, provided regional leadership by establishing the Capricornia Area Teachers Actively Leading Innovative Science Teaching (CATALIST) Centre. This initiative provided in-service training and support to primary and secondary Science teachers, as far afield as Blackwater.
Nick Aldridge travelled to the United Kingdom in June 2007 for the Smallpeice Trust Scholarship. Amazingly, Nick was the fourth student selected from our school in the last four years to travel to London.
Our globe-trotting students travel to Japan every second year to homestay with students from our sister school in Saiki City. In 2007, others discovered new found respect for our diggers, with a Modern History excursion to Vietnam.
Over 95% of state primary school students who live in our school’s catchment area attend our school in Year 8. In fact, 90% of total students who live in our catchment attend our school, regardless of whether they have completed primary school in the state or private sector.
Our students are keen fundraisers for those less fortunate, whether it be disaster appeals or overseas charities. For example, in 2011, students raised over $9000 for World Vision via the Forty Hour Famine.
In 2011, Dr Nirnitha Manivasagan completed her medical degree from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, thus becoming the first of many students who have created medical futures through hard work and persistence at our school.
If you know of a past or present student or staff member who you believe deserves recognition on our newly created Honour Roll, please e-mail the Principal firstname.lastname@example.org with some brief details and a contact.
Ray Johnston, Carol Shuttleworth
This page was last updated Feb 2014