Interview with 2021 High Achiever Verdi Maximous

Verdi Maximous was one of the 152 Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich students who stat their HSC in 2021 amidst the lockdowns and restrictions of COVID-19. Like many of her classmates, she emerged on the other side triumphant, despite the challenges.

Going above and beyond even that, Verdi was one of the Class of 2021 High Achievers, recording an ATAR of 99.35. She was a Top Achiever for two subjects, placing third in the state for Studies of Religion 2 Examination and fourth in the state for Business Studies Examination. Verdi also came first in the Sydney Archdiocese for Business Studies.

Being named to the Distinguished Achievers and All-Round Achievers lists were two more of Verdi’s remarkable accomplishments.

The star student received four offers for university from Sydney University (Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), UNSW (Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry), UTS (Bachelor of Engineering [Honours]) and Macquarie University (Bachelor of Law and Commerce). At the time of writing, she had accepted a place in the Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Sydney University, however, she was still awaiting dentistry offers, which was her aim.

Verdi gracefully accepted our request to answer some of our questions, so we can share in her successes and learn from her achievements.


How do you feel about being named an All-round Achiever and Distinguished Achiever?

I feel a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction to know that my significant effort over the past few years has been effective. I feel a great sense of joy that I have also been able to bring happiness to those who have aided me in my high school journey, including family, friends and teachers.

You were a Top Achiever for two subjects. Can you share your thoughts about that achievement?

State ranking in two subjects has made me recognise that absolutely nothing is impossible. It has brought me greater confidence that any goal can be achieved if you truly work hard and stay focused.

What do you attribute your success to?

My success is attributed to the extensive amount of encouragement I received from family, as well as the continuous support from my teachers. This, alongside my high goals, influenced my motivation and persistence in my studies, as well as my resilience throughout my HSC journey.

You have an aspiration to study dentistry. Why do you want to follow this path of study? 

I was inspired to pursue dentistry as I was very intrigued by orthodontics and the diversity of dental work. Following this path of study will allow me to pursue my dream career and enable me to own my own business. I’m particularly motivated to establish my own clinic due to the consistent demand and need for dental practitioners.

How did you navigate the challenges (lockdown, remote learning, COVID-19) of the last two years when it comes to completing your studies and final exams?

Lockdown and remote learning were truly a challenge and an immense hurdle in my HSC journey. However, I persevered through this by primarily focusing on my goals. I was able to achieve this by applying a positive mindset by recognising that some things are out of my control to change, allowing me to adapt to any challenging situation I was confronted with.

How did the College help support you during your studies and especially during your HSC?

The College aided me in an array of ways throughout high school. Notably, the teachers at the College were a backbone to my success through their constant support and the provision of motivation by always encouraging me to maximise my results. In particular, during the HSC, they promptly provided feedback on my past paper responses, enabling me to identify and improve my weaknesses prior to completing the HSC exams. Additionally, they cared for our wellbeing by offering support during difficult times.

Do you have any advice for those undertaking HSC examinations in 2022?

• No matter how hard it gets, just keep going! Set a goal and keep aiming for it.
• Follow the syllabus when writing notes and pay attention to key verbs.
• Focus on yourself and avoid comparing yourself. Your best is enough! And always remember that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.
• Always get as much feedback from your teachers as possible. They are your key to success!
• Always start assessments early and don’t procrastinate. This means you will have more time to perfect your tasks and it eliminates stress experienced as the due date approaches.


We thank Verdi for her time and congratulate her again on her impressive achievements. We are so proud. We wish her all the best as she takes the first steps in the next phase of her educational and life journey.