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Premier’s Award ‘gold’ for two students

Premier’s Award in French like winning a gold medal, says Beaconhills College teacher.

Victorian Premier’s Awards were announced today for two Beaconhills College students, Sharni Seamons and Sam Sail.

Sharni, a Year 12 student at the Berwick Campus, earned an award for her perfect 50 in the VCE Extended Investigation subject last year.

Sam, a Pakenham Campus graduate in 2020 and College Dux, was also honoured for his 50 for French, an achievement his French teacher described as like “winning a gold medal at the Olympics”.

It is the third time in just five years that one of Beaconhills’ Extended Investigation (EI) students has earned a Premier’s Award. EI is the unique subject where students dictate the direction of their own learning by creating an individual research question in a subject field entirely of their own choosing.

Sharni investigated the portrayal of women in pop music videos and if it influenced adolescent girls’ views about gender roles.

She said she loved the subject because it gave her the freedom and independence to research a topic that genuinely interested her.

“I developed invaluable research skills that have helped me enormously this year, and undoubtedly will continue to in the coming years,” said Sharni, who hopes to study a double degree in Law and Arts at Monash University.

Teacher Alan James was thrilled at news of his student’s award.

“Sharni has the perfect mix of industry and ingenuity that is crucial for success in this challenging subject,” he said. “I have little doubt that she will carry these skills into all her studies this year in Year 12 and well into her future.”

Awardee now helps other French students

As last year’s Beaconhills College Dux (with an ATAR of 99.95), Sam Sail now adds a Premier’s Award to his line-up of 50 subject scores in French, Physics and Mathematical Methods.

While studying maths and physics at the University of Melbourne, Sam is also working as a Casual Language Assistant as part of the French department at Beaconhills College. His French teacher Yelena Pinchuk is now a work colleague!

“One of my favourite aspects of studying French while I was at Beaconhills was the freedom I had to use French as an outlet for many of my other interests,” Sam said.

“I tried to integrate the language into my daily life as much as possible through things like music, TV shows, books, or even just texting or talking to French-speaking friends I’d made.

“I also had great teachers who consistently helped introduce me to new and interesting parts of French language and culture.”

French teacher Yelena Pinchuk described Sam as a student who “loves learning and respects competence”.

“To receive 50 out 50 in French is almost like winning a gold medal at the Olympics,” she said. “High-achieving students are either native speakers or people with a particular set of skills. Sam Sail is the latter.

“I think it’s good for other students to see that their efforts are going to yield results. Sam is a great example of what can be achieved if you have a right mindset.

“Our students like using the phrase “voulour c’est pouvoir” (if you want, you can) in their essays – but this is truly the best context for this expression.”

The Premier’s Department is yet to announce details of the awards ceremony.