OUTSTANDING: Burnside State High School Students Siyuan Cai (left) and James Shingles celebrate their OP1 scores.
OUTSTANDING: Burnside State High School Students Siyuan Cai (left) and James Shingles celebrate their OP1 scores. Che Chapman

Burnside State High School nets 3 OP 1s from 33 students

BURNSIDE State High School has punched well above its weight to receive three OP1 results among its Year 12 cohort of only 77 students.

Principal Kerri Dunn was beaming with pride after the results came in early yesterday morning.

"To get three OP1s from only 33 who went for an OP is amazing," she said.

"I've never seen that in any state school I've worked in."

Vanessa Hooper, James Shingles and Siyuan Cai were the three top achievers.

Siyuan's accomplishments were all the more remarkable considering he began learning English as a second language only five years ago when his family immigrated to Australia from China.

"English was my second language so I needed to put extra effort into exams and assignments," he said.

"I've been in Australia for almost five years. It was difficult, that's for sure. I couldn't really speak to anyone."

Siyuan said he had been embraced by the Burnside community and despite being the only Asian at the school, he did not encounter any racism.

He plans to attend the University of Queensland next year to study a dual degree in engineering and commerce.

Fellow OP1 student James also plans to study engineering at UQ.

He said he was not expecting to achieve the top result after a final year that was "both stressful and amazing".

"I did a lot of study, a lot of nights staying up late," he said.

James said his OP1 would give him the opportunity to do something he loved.

"Engineering is going to better the future, to improve everything in our day-to-day lives," he said.

Burnside's third OP1 student, Vanessa, said she was up early to learn her results.

"It's amazing. I wasn't expecting it this morning when I looked," she said.

"I was pretty chuffed when I saw the 'one' on the screen. It was a very nice surprise."

Vanessa plans to study biomedical science at the University of the Sunshine Coast.


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