For Taylor Pratt, Dodi Tuando and Toby Weir, completing Year 12 at a regional school like Hedland Senior High gave them an edge they’ve used to score flying colours on their ATAR.
Merit award-winner Taylor Pratt scored 93.9 on his ATAR. Dodi Tuando, whose ATAR was 94.8, also received a merit award and Toby Weir, who earned a Certificate of Distinction, achieved an ATAR of 92.7.
Taylor is now studying Biomedical Science at the University of Western Australia.
“I was surprised,” he said. “I was expecting something in the 80s.”
Taylor said you sometimes heard people complaining about the lack of opportunities in regional towns. “But you learn a lot by being remote – independence, how to handle online learning, things that have come in really handy now I’m studying at university.”
Taylor, who grew up in towns across the Pilbara before settling in Port Hedland in 2012 and completing all his schooling at Hedland Senior High School, is majoring in Biochemistry, Pathology and Lab Medicine.
“I am testing the water for now,” he said. “I might become a doctor or a pathologist.”
Hedland Senior High School graduate Dodi Tuando, who achieved an ATAR of 94.8, is also at the University of Western Australia, studying a Bachelor of Science. He has his heart set on being an accredited Psychologist, a course he decided on while taking Psychology classes at the High School back in Year 11.
“Hedland Senior High School has amazing students and teachers, especially for such a remote town,” he said. “I found the English and Humanities and Social Sciences teachers at the High School particularly supportive. They were always available to lend an ear.”
Originally from New Zealand, Dodi spent the past eight years of his life in Port Hedland.
“If you do ATAR at Hedland Senior High School you may need to do it through remote learning,” he said “That means a lot of personal responsibility. But if you find other people to study with, they’ll keep you accountable.”
Toby Weir, who was born in Bridgetown and grew up in rural towns across Western Australia, said like any school, Hedland Senior High School was as good as you made it.
“Hedland Senior High School was definitely a good experience,” he said.
“It was a great change in terms of meeting a wide variety of people, having teachers you could chat and work with, and providing me with a good group of mates I could count on to get me through each year.”
Taylor, Dodi, and Toby graduated from Hedland Senior High School with the class of 2020.
Their advice to the students coming up behind them is to have fun with high school. “Time is short, and when you look back, you’ll be glad you tried to do as much as possible with your opportunities,” Taylor said.
“Look after yourself, look and push forward and don’t kick yourself if you’re down,” Toby added.
Congratulations to Taylor, Dodi, Toby, and the graduating class of 2020 at Hedland Senior High School. We look forward to seeing all the great things you go on to achieve in the Hedland community and beyond.