On Wednesday, 30 January we congratulated Amy Hein on being awarded Year 12 Dux, 2018. Amy gave a wonderful address to the school which can be read below:

I feel extremely humbled and honoured to have achieved the Dux award for the College in 2018, as there were a number of students that worked incredibly hard throughout the year and achieved exceptionally high results as well.

Cornerstone College has both taught me so much and offered me so much support throughout my entire schooling, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank some people specific to my time in Year 12.

Firstly, to my parents. Mum and Dad, you have quite literally been a part of my schooling every day, and done so many little things that have helped me out. Thank you for supporting me in following my passions and interests and forgiving me for getting slack about doing the dishes throughout Year 12.

To my friends, I can’t thank all of them enough. They have been with me for some of the happiest memories I will treasure forever and have supported me whenever I needed help. They are all so very special to me, and I hope to continue doing life with them all.

To my Year 12 teachers – Mrs Kennedy, you accommodated for a new art student in Year 12 and taught me so many life skills through your passion, also passing that passion on to me. Mr McDonald, your unwavering belief in me encouraged me through difficult patches, and your humour certainly helped to brighten Year 12 General Maths. Mr Brazzalotto, you were rightfully a harsh critique of my work, and I appreciated your wisdom as I strived to achieve my best. Miss Zerner, forever the optimist, you made light of the dullest moments of music theory, and constantly supported me in and out of the classroom. Ms Willis, you have been such a caring Home Group teacher throughout the last 3 years as well. I cannot thank each one of you enough for your support throughout Year 12.

A special thanks from me must go the Music department here at Cornerstone. The opportunities and experiences that music has gifted me throughout high school are immeasurable. If ever you have the chance to be involved in music and ensembles here at Cornerstone, grab the chance with both hands!

My most important thanks must go to our Heavenly Father. God has played such a massive role in my life. With God, there is no judgement, there is no bar to measure up to, no expectations for so-called ‘success’ – he accepts you just as you are.

With God, I feel loved and supported throughout any circumstance. Actively pursuing God totally changed my outlook and purpose in life, and I attribute all of my talents and successes on earth to Him.

How did I do it? Well, generally in the lead up to Year 12, you would have been told to prepare yourself – complete your prerequisite subjects, do subjects you have done before and been successful in, and stick to your subjects.

However, in Year 12, I took up Visual Art, a subject I had dropped in middle school, I changed Maths classes 8 weeks into the term. I kept myself busy with extra-curricular activities such as Music, and kept busy with dance lessons, catching up with friends, and church life.

In the lead up to Year 12, I found that, for me to do well, I needed to be happy and to stay positive. And I found that I could achieve this by keeping balanced. It was just as important for me to have healthy relationships and a healthy mind and body as it was to have a healthy-looking report card at the end of it.

And I achieved this by doing a variety of subjects and things outside of school, not just sticking to highly academic textbook subjects or focusing just on homework.

My point in telling you this is to show you that there is no recipe for success, or for a high ATAR. That being said, I don’t think true success in life can be measured by a number.

You probably hear it all the time that your ATAR won’t matter after the initial reaction, and I’d definitely agree.

I’m incredibly proud of every one of my close friends and peers that worked their hardest and got into the course they dreamed of, no matter the number.

Rather than my grades, I am proud of my experiences, from getting involved in as much as I could. I am proud that I pushed myself and put the maximum effort into every opportunity.

Finally, a big welcome back to all students! Whatever year level you’re in, you’ve got this one year, one year to make it count, whether that be trying out every elective in middle school. The Journey Year 10 experience, or whatever experience you have lined up for this one year.

Why are you here? I mean, why are you really here right now?

Maybe you’re excited about this year, maybe you’re dreading it, but this year is an opportunity, and it will really be what you make of it. School is an opportunity that we are lucky to have available to us here in Australia. You are blessed, you are privileged, you are loved.

Make yourself proud, make sure you make time to make yourself happy, and make others happy too. School may not necessarily be easy, but it’s also not going to be unenjoyable if you get out there and make the most of it.

You don’t have to excel at school by any means, but what you do here, and what you put in to your schooling, is going to define what you do out of school now, and out of school later.

As for me this year, I have enrolled in a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing at Uni SA. I’ll be continuing to pursue music in other areas of my life. I am continuing my casual job, as well as picking up dance teaching and singing teaching at a primary school level.

Cornerstone College has shaped me and helped me grow so much into who I am today. It has pretty much been my second home for the last 5 years, and I’m definitely sad to leave. You’re not leaving yet though – so make the most of it! Thank you.

Amy Hein
Dux of the College, 2018