Triple the success as three Joeys’ boys claim dux of the school

Posted on December 18, 2018

For many of the 60,000 students who sat the HSC in NSW, their academic achievements, study and hard work is often an individual pursuit. In 2018, three close friends at St Joseph’s College have worked together, to collectively achieve Dux of the College.
 
Year 12 students Thomas Ryan, Luke Dolin and John Salvaris have been announced as joint Duxes of the College for 2018, with each student achieving an ATAR of 99.75. A significant achievement in itself, but made even more special through the boys’ close friendship with one and other. “Sharing this achievement with Tom and Luke, who just happen to be two of my best friends, is very satisfying. If I had achieved this by myself, I wouldn’t be nearly as happy. We have worked through the HSC together and it means more to achieve this together.” John says.
 
Working collaboratively is very much a part of the Joeys psyche and Luke sees this as instrumental to the boys’ success this year. “I have been helping them, and they have been helping me, and all three of us deserve this achievement as much as each other.”
 
Mateship, and the close bond between students, is a unique quality that resonates across all year groups at the College. Many things have been said about the unique connection that existed within the Class of 2018. Tom reflects fondly on this connection “Our year group would fill debating theatres, crowd the sidelines at basketball games and cheer as one at the rugby on a Saturday. We wanted to motivate each other to achieve the best that we possibly could.” An attitude that has obviously flowed through to the classroom.
 
Speaking with all three, it is easy to see the similarities that exist between them, a bond that has been developed over the past six years. Each of them passionate tennis players, and proudly represented the College in debating. Luke and Tom were both selected for GPS Representatives. Tom, Luke and John believe the skills they have acquired in debating have positively affected their academic results, Luke states “the skill of critical thinking is transferable to many other aspects of learning. I definitely believe debating has helped each of us significantly.”
 
Likewise, the teaching methods and process of learning adopted in the classroom, is highlighted as playing a significant role in the boys’ achievement as joint duxes. “The teachers understand how we work, what works best for us, and they tailor how they teach to match our needs individually. I think this is the best possible process to learn, trying to teach in a way that works with each student. This has all helped streamline the way in which my teachers have taught me, and has made me feel engaged and inspired me to learn.”
 
John, a boarder throughout years 11 and 12, has been working towards his HSC since his early years at the College. He attributes his own academic success to the routine and structure of boarding. “At Joeys, I had no distractions of an evening, there was no TV on in the background, or activity to take me away from learning. The set structure and routine at the College allowed me to focus and work towards my goal. It was helpful to always have someone on hand to assist or help me.”
 
It would be easy for many students who achieve dux at their respective school, to look back on their time and pinpoint this achievement as the highlight of their education. When asked for their highlight in their time at Joeys, each of the boys responded in the same way. John sums up this collective sentiment, “the special thing about Joeys, is that it isn’t about the one experience. I look back fondly on Joeys in its entirety. It is easy to look back and reminisce on milestones, like winning the Head of the River in Year 9, winning the GPS Rugby Premiership in 2018 or even coming through for a win in my final debate in Year 12, these were all great moments, but none of these things are greater than my time at Joeys as a whole. Spending time with my mates, having dinner in the ref and mucking around in the dorms. It is the collective experience at Joeys that means the most to me.”
 
The remarkable achievement between the three boys is not the ATAR of 99.75, or their jointly achieving dux. It is the humble way in which they reflect upon their achievement, and the joy and enthusiasm they have for each other’s success.