On top of the world

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St Paul’s Grammar School’s class of 2013 International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma students received their results this week, with excellent news for the Penrith-based school.

Results show that International student, Sereibanndith Seang of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was the Dux of St Paul’s from the class of 2013 with an IB score of 43 out of a maximum possible 45, equating to an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) of 99.60.

A total of 17 students achieved IB scores of 37 or above, equating to ATARs above 95.

Other top scoring IB Diploma students included Nicholas Coulshed of Mount Riverview, Lachlan Johns of Blaxland and Veronica Mitchell of Orchard Hills, all with an IB of 42 (ATAR 99.25).

School Captain Susannah Hoffmann of Bligh Park and Sarah Smith-Wade of Springwood both scored IBs of 41 (ATAR 98.70) and Ryan Lin of South Penrith with scored an IB of 40 (ATAR 98.05).

Director of International Relations and Coordinator of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at St Paul’s, Antony Mayrhofer, congratulated the students.

“The outstanding academic results of St Paul’s IB Diploma graduates reflects their excellent application to the International Baccalaureate Diploma over the past two years,” he said.

“This has been a very special group of students to work with. They have been an inspiration to all those who have been blessed with the opportunity to work with them. The dedication of their teachers, whose vast IB experience in the classroom, as IB examiners and in IB curriculum development, is un-equaled in Australia, must also be credited with these fine results. It should also be noted that, as St Paul’s is the only NSW school to offer all three IB Programmes, some of these students have only known an IB education.”

St Paul’s students have a long tradition of exceptional IB results with many scores in the 40’s (ATAR above 99) in the past seven years.
Sereibanndith (Ben) Seang was stunned with his result.

“I hoped that I would go well, but I am really thrilled to have received this mark,” he said.

He hopes to study Medicine at the University of New South Wales or the University of Western Sydney having sat for the ISAT (International Student Admissions Test) for these courses. He follows in the footsteps of his family who practice in the field.

“My family have always been involved in medicine. My sister has a condition that she was born with that will affect her for the rest of her life. I want to work in a career that helps people like my sister, to shape improvements in medicine that contributes to new treatments and finding cures,” he said.

Ben came to St Paul’s as an International Student from Cambodia.

“St Paul’s has a great atmosphere and learning culture. On my first day at School I made friends who have helped me all the way through Year 11 and 12,” he said.

“I have really enjoyed learning in a new culture here, discovering a love for languages like French, and sharing my senior study with my friends.”

Veronica Mitchell of Orchard Hills is hoping for placement in Communications / Law at the University of Technology, focusing on the study of Internationalism and languages (French).

“Being a Captain of Cornwallis House, involved in the service learning projects of the School, from the Congo, Arnhem Land to Cambodia, I really want to contribute to global social justice initiatives,” she said.

Veronica found overcoming her personal expectations, both high and low, as the major challenge for Year 11 and 12 study:

“If you talk yourself down in a subject, it makes it really hard to achieve well. I guess I learnt to curb and not get stressed with those expectations as well as aim to do well in those subjects that I struggled with,” she said.

“It isn’t a journey that you can do on your own. It involves support from your friends, your parents and your teachers. The IB Diploma isn’t competitive like the HSC, so as students we are all in it together. The great results we have achieved can be attributed to the great academic and emotional support by our teachers, as well as our friends and family.”

The IB Diploma is a highly regarded international senior secondary program of study that over 120,000 students world-wide sit for each year in more than one-hundred and twenty countries. It is an increasingly popular alternative to the HSC with a dozen Sydney Schools now offering the Diploma Programme and more joining every year. The International Baccalaureate offers a continuum of high-quality education that encourages international-mindedness, critical thinking, community service and a positive approach to learning.

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