10 May 2023

From Prep to Year 12: dux winner praises her school

| Matt Nicholls
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WESTERN Cape College’s dux of 2021 will head to university in Townsville this year with a dream of helping others in the future.

Jessica Stainkey did all of her schooling in Weipa and praised the remote school for providing the support required in her educational journey.

“I love Western Cape College and winning the dux was a goal of mine,” she said last week.

COVID-19 interrupted Jessica’s Year 11 studies more than her final year, although she did have to juggle Year 12 with the responsibilities of school captaincy.

“I feel like it didn’t get in the way of my studies – the school always made time for me to not miss out on class.”

The dedicated student also went the extra mile to ensure she didn’t finish her final year of school with disappointment.

In the school holidays before exams, Jessica flew to Cairns for maths workshops to sharpen her knowledge.

“The school paid for her flights but we funded the rest,” said proud mum Robyn, who also praised Western Cape College.

“The quality of the teaching in Weipa when it gets to the senior years is amazing.

“I’ve lived in Weipa for 30 years and a lot of parents baulk at the idea of sending their teenagers to school in Weipa.

“I think the students here are very well equipped.”

Jessica has been accepted into James Cook University where she will complete a Bachelor of Physiotherapy.

“I’ve always loved the medical field and science,” she said.

“I want to help people regain their strength.”

The graduate said she could see herself working in the hospital sector, rather than in private practice.

Making the trip south has been made easier on a couple of fronts.

Firstly, one of her best friends is already in Townsville and they’ll live together this year, while the cost of her course has been reduced as a result of Jessica winning a Dean’s Scholarship from JCU.

“I didn’t apply for the scholarship it just appeared as an email,” she said.

“I’m really lucky and really appreciate JCU for that.”

Jessica paid tribute to some of her teachers, including Mr Shearer, Miss Harrison, Ms Bloomfield and Mrs Wilson for supporting her over the years.

“I had a lot of good teachers along the way,” she said.

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