JACKSON Archibald is the toast of the town after topping Mount Gambier’s Year 12 high achievers with an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 99.6.
In an early birthday present for the St Martins Lutheran College student – who turns 18 tomorrow – his city-high score is reward for effort driven by his “unintentional” life motto of “if it is worth doing, it is worth doing right”.
The humble teenager said he was shocked but pleasantly surprised when his results were revealed yesterday morning along with thousands of others across South Australia, capping off their Year 12 journey.
“I did not expect it to be anywhere near that high – it was overwhelming,” Jackson said.
“I never really knew anyone who had scored in the really high 90s and I was not aiming for anything, I was just working my hardest.”
Studying maths methods, specialist maths, physics and English, in addition to the mandatory research project and the Year 12 unit of visual arts design last year, Jackson was focused with his study as he works towards pursuing architecture and civil engineering.
“I have had that planned for awhile – it has been a passion of mine,” Jackson said.
“But I have also tried to take life one hurdle at a time and see how far I can get and where that takes me.”
Jackson’s ATAR of 99.6 narrowly edged out Mount Gambier High School dux Ben Dawe, who scored 99.45, while Sophie Monkley (98.95) and Courtney De Barro (98.7) topped the Grant High School and Tenison Woods College results respectively.
“(Being the city’s top student) definitely was not something I considered or thought of, but it certainly feels like an honour,” he said.
“I think you just need to try your hardest on every little thing.
“Although it was hard, it just meant I had a foundation to build on that if something did happen, I had always done well in everything else because I gave my best effort.”