Last Friday morning December 17th, thousands of Queensland year 12 students logged on to the QTAC site to find out their ATAR score, and Coolum State High School student Kai Weith found out that he achieved a result of 99.90 – literally the second-highest mark one can get and at the time of going to print results released showed that only one student on the coast had recorded a 99.95 and Kai was the only coast student (of which the Advertiser was aware) to receive a 99.90.
ATAR is the primary mechanism used nationally for tertiary admissions and indicates a student’s position relative to other students based on subjects studied.
ATARS are expressed as a number on a 2000-point scale from 99.95 down to 0.00 in steps of 0.05. The highest ATAR is 99.95, then 99.90, then 99.85, and so on, down to 0.00. ATARS below 30 are reported as ‘30.00 or less’.
Kai said it was surreal to see his result and that his high academic achievement was not something that came naturally, but rather it was the result of hard work and determination.
“I had a strict morning routine where I would get up at around 5.30am and have breakfast and read a textbook whilst having breakfast and mostly it was maths and physics and I would go through and try and teach myself before the lesson,” Kai said.
Kai said that his score was a credit to effort and was a reflection of self and commitment.
“I enjoyed learning and it was fun… If you can commit and you are passionate and willing to learn you can do it.”
Specialist maths teacher Linda Murphy said that the senior teachers had collectively been working together for many years and as a result, that team collaboration helped guide Kai towards his end result.
“We helped Kai by keeping him on track and guiding him towards areas to focus on, but also, Kai’s gift was that he was also able to lead others and helped other students too,” Linda said.
Whilst the science and maths subjects dominated, Kai said that he also enjoyed English with his teacher Lincoln Lally stating he was exciting to teach.
“Kai was wonderful to teach and English is really broad and there is no one answer, so English gave Kai the ability to debate, press concepts and to think critically.”
Teacher David Williams further reiterated Kai’s outstanding intellect stating that he is exceptionally well-read and when asked what he was currently reading, Kai stated it was the works of Russian literary giant Dostoevsky.
Tributes for Kai’s exceptional result were also stated by Principal Troy Ascott.
“Kai’s result is extraordinary and it is the highest result I know of from a non-fee-paying school outside of the Brisbane metropolitan area. It is a credit to Kai and his exemplary work ethic.”
“I would like to pay tribute to the teachers who have worked as a team and worked with a great deal of commitment for all of the students – we have a lot of students who have done really well,” Mr Ascott said.
The next stage of life for Kai will see him move to Jervis Bay for a position as an Officer in the Australian Navy as an electrical engineer.