Scotch Oakburn College is no stranger to witnessing success as its students receive their final year 12 results deep into December, but this year was one of the most successful yet.
Students across the North of the state woke to messages on Thursday telling them their results were in, but Scotch's Lachlan Stewart, Peta Antypas and Ethan Hamilton beamed the brightest after learning of their scores.
The trio all earned staggering scores of over 99 for their Tasmanian Certificate of Education to be crowned the best and brightest in Northern Tasmania.
With a brief wait between finishing her exams and getting her result Miss Antypas said she was slightly worried what would confront her as her computer screen loaded, but when 99.85 flashed across the screen her worries vanished.
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"I started crying because I was really happy. I was crying and kind of screaming. My parents were really happy for me too - they could see that I was happy, so they were happy," she said.
Miss Antypas said she had her sights set on the apex of academic endeavours with a hunger to undertake a medicine degree.
She said she had applied around the country but was hoping to end up at the University of Tasmania.
"I want to stay in Tasmania. I'd love to be a doctor in Tasmania because we need more doctors," she said.
Miss Antypas said she could see herself being a doctor in Launceston for the rest of her life.
Mr Hamilton received a score of 99.75. He was school captain in 2020 along with being a lead debater, pianist, singer with a "bit of sport on the side".
He said he was confident prior to receiving his results, but a sleepless night earlier in the week made him more nervous than he expected.
"I wasn't too stressed going into it ... But I will admit I had a dream I woke up and I had a 60 and my teachers had died. So it goes to show maybe it was weighing more on my mind than I noticed but I woke up in the morning today and it was all fine and there was nothing to worry about," he said.
Mr Hamilton said the year was made more difficult during COVID-19 but the students had rallied to get through it with help from the school.
"We were away from school for 12 weeks and online," he said.
Mr Hamilton had attended a conference in Hobart during the year where there had been a suspected COVID-19 case which caused the whole school to shut down. But he said the problem was quickly rectified.
"A day later we were all online, we all had meetings and all classes were going as normal. It was pretty exhausting so the school shortened it to a four day week. So it was a bit of a struggle, but probably not too much more than a normal year," he said.
Mr Hamilton said the advice he would offer future year 12 students is to "pick subjects you like".
"Pick subjects you like, you'll be good at them and be motivated to study," he said.
Mr Stewart had not received his final result yet but his top three standing meant he was assured a 99 or above.
He has also been recognised for his outstanding result already by Australian National University in Canberra who had offered him a spot in one of the most highly competitive courses in the nation - a Bachelor of Advanced Computing (Research and Development) Honours. Applicants need a year 12 score of 98 to get in.
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Aside from being a hardworking brainiac and much like his high achieving schoolmates, Mr Stewart had a few more strings to his bow.
"I'm rowing captain, I play the bagpipes, I do a lot of programming," he said.
Scotch Oakburn principal Andy Muller said the trio was exemplary of what hard work and engagement at school can achieve.
"It's a nice accolade [to have the top three students], but as long as they've got the results to get where they want to go, that's the main thing," he said.
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