Dungog High School bid farewell to its Year 12 students with an emotional graduation ceremony on Friday, September 28.
The school hall was packed with family and friends as the 50 students marked the end of 13 years of school on the last day of term. Their next visit to the school will be to sit the Higher School Certificate exams which start on October 18.
Acting Principal Michelle Archer gave an entertaining account of the benefits of failure as well as sharing a personal story with the audience.
Year 12 adviser Vanessa van de Scheur who has guided the students in their six years at the school said she would try not to cry, describing her role as their advisor as a "wow" moment in her life while praising the class.
She named the class "Finch" after the lawyer Atticus Finch in the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird. She said she hoped she would instill in the students that character's renowned traits of being brave, honorable, respectful to others, wise, compassionate and thoughtful.
The Year 12s gave an hilarious recount of each of their six years at the school covering everything from romances, injuries and other either previously forgotten, or unknown, events which sparked much laughter and applause. A slide show of the students' activities over six years was touching for both students and their families.
The musical performances throughout the morning ceremony received thunderous applause with the talent of the students on display - along with acting librarian David Summers for one number.
The school leader Annie Shumack who was also named Caltex Best All Rounder was a standout performer with her vocals.
Other special awards were the Pioneers' Trust Scholarship to Tara Tolhurst; The ADF Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award to Harry Wheeler and both Shannon Smith and Caitlin Hatton received the Vice-Chancellor's High Achievement Prize.
Abigail Pritchard won the Shelton's Bus Prize for Business Studies and Jessica Watson won the Rueben F Scarf Award for Commitment.
Lillian Hooke was awarded the NSW Premier's Sporting Challenge
Award of Excellence Medals went to Harry Wheeler (Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2); Monique Kerr (Mathematics); Allissa Redman (General Mathematics 2 and English Standard); Keisha Tooth (General Mathematics) Tara Tolhurst (English Extension 1, English Extension 2 and Advanced English) and Alexander Clayton (English Studies).
The Principal's Award for School Leadership went to captains Lillian Hooke and Harry Wheeler, Vice-Captains Annie Shumack and Paul Locke and SRC Representatives Tara Tolhurst and Ethan Curtin-Edwards.