Joe McCormick dux of 2020

09 February 2021

Glenaeon is extremely proud of the excellent effort our 2020 cohort put in to their studies and all the achievements they made.  Glenaeon ranked 64th in State, a great result for a proudly non-selective school. Glenaeon Alumnus and Willoughby resident, Joseph McCormick achieved an ATAR of 99.55 making him Dux of the 2020 Class. He also achieved an All Rounder result, by gaining Band 6 in all 10 units of study.

We caught up with Joe after his summer break to ask him about his Glenaeon experience and to find out what’s next for the now GlenX member.

What is your earliest/fondest memory of our school and what do you think was the most important aspect of your education here at Glenaeon? How did Steiner education benefit you in your studies?

There were a couple important aspects of Glenaeon that I think helped my education and my experience as a whole. Firstly, being a smaller school had two big benefits; I was able to have a strong and close relationship with my entire year group, being a support for each other right throughout school. Additionally, smaller classes meant that the teachers could often give personal and specific advice and support to each of the students directly, creating a much more productive, comfortable, and enjoyable working experience.

An aspect which is unique to Steiner schools is the extent of the outdoor education program. My fondest moments at Glenaeon were all the incredible camps, especially the Year 10 camp to Tasmania. These camps allowed us to appreciate and be grateful for the natural world and further developed the bond of our class, and will be memories that I will hold very dearly. This appreciation from the natural world is further encouraged by being in such a beautiful campus, a very special spot to have had my education.

During the primary school years, Glenaeon focused on presenting education through holistic, engaging, and almost relaxing ways that were appropriate for young students. Instead of being drilled with exams, assessments and pressure at such a young age, we were encouraged to enjoy our childhood, make strong friendships, and learn about the world through stories featured in our main lessons.

In summary, I believe Glenaeon focuses on creating students who have a whole and complete education, including academics but also much more.

What was your experience of HSC in 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic?

My experience was thankfully not very affected. We had a few weeks of online learning near the beginning of the year, which was definitely difficult, for both the students and teachers, however all things considered, was perfectly manageable. Having months of not being able to socialise that much took a toll, but thankfully we were back at school in person pretty quickly, which meant our class could up each other’s morale.

What subjects did you choose and why? Favourite subject?

I completed English Advanced, Advanced Maths, Extension 1 and 2 Maths, Physics, and Chemistry. I have always enjoyed science, and so saw no reason to not continue studying it throughout the HSC. Doing subjects I genuinely enjoyed made learning and studying much less of a chore and instead more of an engaging and interesting activity. I decided to only do 10 units so I didn’t overwork myself and also so I could more deeply engage with all the subjects I chose. My favourite subject is a tie between Physics and Extension 2 maths. Both challenged me, but it was the challenge that I enjoyed the most. I was required to think logically, scientifically, and thoroughly, and to achieve this it meant I had to learn how to study effectively and efficiently.

What will you do next in life?

I am currently enrolled at the University of Sydney beginning my first semester this March, undertaking a Bachelor of Advanced Studies and Bachelor of Science, majoring in Physics and Mathematical Sciences. I was accepted into the Dalyell stream, which is a very exciting opportunity to push my education even further. I am also residing at St. Johns College at Sydney University, allowing me to further develop my independence and delve into the university experience.

Have you decided on a career path? Or what options are you currently considering?

The two paths that I see in the future for myself are either scientific research or statistical analysis. The first would be something incredible to experience, being on the forefront of the academic world, developing the scientific field I am passionate about. Unfortunately, it comes with many hurdles, including finding a subject that I am passionate enough about to dedicate myself to. The second path is the more realistic of the two, using my skills in mathematics and data analysis to apply in depth and logical analysis for businesses.