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SSC Newspaper : February 2012
16 Strathfield Scene education february 2012 High Achievers Special Report Star students praise schools for their success Petronilla Grace loves playing sports, music (especially if it’s Justin timberlake) hanging out with her friends and family, going out – the sort of things most 17-year-olds enjoy. Few would know, however, she was only one of eight students in all of australia to achieve a perfect score in the international Baccalaureate. the ex-Mlc Burwood student scored 45 out of 45 (equivalent to an atar result of 99.95) and will study dentistry at the University of adelaide, a big move away from her parents. “i’m an only child so i guess the house will awfully quiet without me around,” said Grace, pictured with Mlc principal Denise Scala. “i’m looking forward to the move and it’ll be exciting but i will miss Mum and Dad. i’m extremely close to them.” Both Grace’s parents are doctors, so brains must run in the family. But HarD work and careful study have paid off for ex-Meriden student lucy coles, who finished in the top 0.05 per cent of the state and with a score of 99.95. “i was overwhelmed when i received my australian tertiary admission rank (atar). at first i thought it was a mistake,” said coles, pictured above with Meriden principal Julie Greehalgh. Meriden’s class of 2011 was an exceptionally gifted bunch of girls, and there was also a tremendous amount of camaraderie. “ t he academic environment at Meriden is not so competitive but supportive, which makes the final year of school much less daunting,” coles said. “ everyone was lovely, not just the teachers but the students and we were a very close knit school community coles, who will study arts/law at the University of nSw, was dux of the school. again, she says she was shocked. “i worked hard throughout year 12 but i didn’t think my results would mean that i would top my year.” Her tip for future HSc students? choose subjects you enjoy studying rather than ones that rank higher in the atar . “it becomes easier to complete an assignment on something you enjoy,” said coles, who studied Music, extension Maths, advanced english, legal Studies and Studies of religion. “Don’t choose subjects purely because they rank higher. Pick subjects where you can manage the workload and understand it comprehensively.” it was their daughter’s hard work and perseverance that made her achieve such remarkable results. “it was hard work and it was difficult at times. the iB is not for everybody. But what really appealed to me was the challenge and the structure of the program.” another important factor to her success was that she enjoyed her time at school. “i loved playing all different sports in school,” she said. “now, i’m getting back into going to the gym but playing either tennis, basketball or netball was a great outlet for the pressures of my final year.” the modest and soft-spoken young achiever also spent a lot of her final year doing voluntary work at different places. “i volunteered at a local nursing home and westmead children’s Hospital. that too was a nice outlet from year 12 because it felt good to give back to the community.” For Petronilla, an ideal fit Clever thinking pays off for Lucy Ex-MLC student speaks highly of baccalaureate Former Meriden girl joins the elite by choosing HSC subjects she enjoys