Ballina boy's got what it takes
IN A school noted for its long-standing tradition of academic excellence, the competition for top honours at The Southport School is, to say the very least, stiff.
But it appears clear that for local lad Rhys Davis from East Ballina, a bit of tough competition in the curriculum arena doesn't bother him a bit, as he has convincingly demonstrated that he has more than enough of the right stuff.
Rhys joined TSS in 2011 as a Year 10 boarding student and has quickly moved to assert his academic prowess by making it onto the prestigious TSS Dean's List.
Prior to the introduction of the list in 1996, recognition of achievement was accorded only to the top student in individual subjects and took the form of prizes presented on the annual Speech Day.
This situation was remedied by the then Dean of Studies, Brian Hallewell, who saw a need to acknowledge and encourage those boys whose academic performance embraced more than one subject.
Since then the Dean's List has been reserved for boys who consistently achieve the highest level across their entire academic program, rather than in just one area of endeavour.
An Honour Board that displays the names of this elite group of students was created and to this day hangs in the foyer of the Dixon Building on the TSS campus.
It serves as a potent symbol of high academic ideals that has motivated many TSS boys to strive their utmost to see their name inscribed on it.
Rhys Davis has well and truly earned his right to that coveted place on the Dean's List.
In addition to his achievements in English, Maths C, Biology and Chemistry, he is currently studying Accelerated Maths.
As the name suggests this is a course which permits the study of a higher grade of maths as long as the student maintains a high level of excellence.
It demands singular, mature commitment and consistent effort, but aside from its immediate benefits it also acts as to open the door to greater possibilities and future opportunities.
If Rhys continues his determined progress (and there is every reason to expect he will), on successful completion of Grade 12 it will mean that he will have the option to undertake semesters of university mathematics.
"TSS is a great place to go to school, everyone is friendly and the experience is only further heightened by being a boarder," Rhys says. "It's like a big family where you become friends with other boys from literally all round the world.
"There are opportunities to excel in all aspects of life, whether it be in academics, music, sport or the arts. My TSS experience has been life changing."
With this sort of outlook and impressive track record in the academic stakes, Rhys Davis is a great ambassador for the broader Northern Rivers district and a shining example that Ballina can produce boys of sufficient calibre to stand among TSS's best and brightest.