Twins score double HSC success
TWINS SUPPORT EACH OTHER
Mt Druitt twins Elie and Mary-Anne Feghali are celebrating after scoring ATARs of 99.1 and 99.7 respectively in their HSC.
THE Feghali family is celebrating double the success after twins Mary-Anne and Elie scored ATARs above 99 in the HSC.
Elie scored an ATAR of 99.1 while Mary-Anne just pipped him at the post, scoring 99.7.
While the siblings agreed they were not in competition with each other, Mary-Anne said she was surprised when she received the higher score.
“I was expecting something in the high 90s but I wasn’t expecting that – and I wasn’t expecting to beat my brother,” she said.
While the twins went to separate high schools – Elie attended Sydney Grammar School and Mary-Anne went to Hurlstone Agricultural High School – they spent much of their time studying together.
The twins agreed having each other made their final year that bit easier.
Elie said: “It was helpful to have her there. We worked together and tried to maximise both our scores rather than compete against each other.
“We often had discussions about the subjects we shared, which were 4-unit maths and chemistry, and we often went to the library together.”
Mary-Anne said: “In the subjects we shared we bounced ideas off each other – it was really encouraging leading up to the exams.”
The twins’ mother Juliette said the siblings were very supportive of one another throughout the HSC.
“They had each other and that helped them keep motivated,” she said. “There was no rivalry. It was just like a camaraderie.
“I am very proud of them both. They have always done their best and made my job as a mother very easy.”
The pair agreed they were relieved to have their final year over. They advised future HSC students that balance was the key to a good score.
Elie said: “My schedule was not too intensive. I always maintained a strong balance in my life and made sure I had a break every now and then.”
Mary-Anne said the key was getting enough rest.
“One of the most important things is being able to get enough sleep,” she said.
The twins plan to attend university next year, with Mary-Anne looking at studying a double degree in commerce and law at Sydney University and Elie considering medicine or actuarial studies at Sydney University or UNSW. SHE has not even started Year 12 but Colyton’s Crystal Lee Smithers has already topped the state in a HSC subject.
The Emmaus Catholic College student achieved a band 6 mark of 90 in the retail services exam, beating more than 2300 students. Crystal began her HSC this year in an early commencement program for Year 11 students.
She said she could not believe it when she received a call from the Board of Studies.
“I was not expecting it at all. I was shocked — especially as I was very nervous during the exam,” she said.
Crystal’s father Scott Smithers said he was very proud of her efforts. “Crystal has such a great work ethic, both in school and at work. I am so proud of her,” Mr Smithers said.
Crystal, who works three nights a week at Target in St Marys, said the practical experience helped her in her exam.
“I applied my knowledge from what I do at work to the exam questions and found it to be really helpful,” she said.
— Jillian McKee
Crystal-Lee Smithers came first in the HSC retail services exam.
Elie and Mary-Anne Feghali both scored impressive ATARs in the HSC.