A TINY class in the rural village of Dingee has overcome the obstacles of the COVID-19 pandemic to set an eye-watering record for 2021 VCE results.
The 16 students enrolled in year 12 at East Loddon P-12 College battled through remote learning and intermittent lockdowns across two years, to pull out the highest individual score in the school's history of 99.3 and record breaking results for average ATARs.
The school had an average ATAR of 82 and the cohort included five students with ATARs in the 90s - the highest ever seen at the college. The school is set among farming properties, in a township of 206 people.
Senior sub-school leader Sarah Byrne said the students received their results in the midst of harvest, when many of them were working on farms. She said the class of year 12s included 14 VCE students and two VCAL pupils, who had all come to school on the holidays to take extra lectures and practice exams.
"We made the opportunities available for them and they took up every one of them,'' she said.
"The students worked incredibly hard - it was no secret they were a talented group. But their tenacity, work ethic and desire to achieve the best results they could was what stood out with this group." Principal Steve Leed said he was sure to greet every student and congratulate them personally when they came back to school last Thursday for pathway interviews at the college.
"When I realised the results I was overcome with admiration for the students,'' he said.
Dux of the class for 2021 was Zekie Johns, who received the ATAR of 99.3. She plans to study a Bachelor of Medical Science and a Doctor of Medicine at Monash University. Other students who received ATAR scores in the 90s included school captain Ben Collins who achieved an ATAR of 93.8. He hopes to study a bachelor of veterinary science, science and or agricultural science.
Bridget Baker, also a school captain, received a score of 93.1 and has been given an early entrance offer to a Bachelor of Paramedicine/ Nursing at Australian Catholic University.
Jasmin Gallagher received a score of 92.7 and is planning to study a double degree of Law/Economics/Finance at RMIT. She said the cohort had a friendly rivalry that helped to urge them on during the year. "We were a competitive class that really pushed each other,'' she said. "We also supported each other and we all worked really hard."
Oscar Hocking achieved a score of 92.1 and is planning to study a Bachelor of Civil Engineering with Honours at Deakin.
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