Geraldton Grammar farewells top year

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Lauren Watt, top student at Geraldton Grammar School last year, with principal Neesha Flint.
Camera IconLauren Watt, top student at Geraldton Grammar School last year, with principal Neesha Flint. Credit: Tamra Carr, The Geraldton Guardian

Many Geraldton parents will be saying goodbye to their teenagers later this month as university-bound students who wish to study in Perth begin semester one.

Among Geraldton Grammar School’s ex-pupils is 17-year-old Lauren Watt, who graduated top of her year.

Lauren earned the school’s Dux after achieving a raw ATAR score of 98.05.

After her university of choice, Curtin, awarded her regional bonus points, Lauren’s ranking was bumped to 99.95, technically a perfect score.

She passed the 95 rank threshold to enrol in a physics and advanced science degree, which she hoped would help her have a positive impact on the renewable energies sector.

Lauren was just one of the students whose high marks contributed to Grammar earning first place on the list of WA’s top regional schools.

When it was announced in January that Grammar ranked No.28 in the State and No.1 in the bush, principal Neesha Flint said she shed a tear.

The 2018 Grammar graduates achieved a median score of 85.15 in their ATAR exams — a mere 11.85 less than top-ranked metropolitan school Perth Modern.

Ms Flint, who has only been head of Geraldton Grammar School for a year, put the credit squarely in the hands of her former students, teachers and a handful of system changes.

She said last year the Year 12 common room was reinstated, class sizes were small and the exams period was stretched from one week to two.

“It was a very good year group,” Ms Flint said.

“I personally interviewed every student at the start of the year to help them set goals.

“Our staff also go beyond the call of duty when it comes to teaching.

“Still, when I heard about our ranking, I was a bit taken aback.”

Among Ms Flint’s staff is economics teacher and deputy principal Derek Lange, who was recently awarded a certificate of excellence by the Australian Scholarship Group.

He was nominated by a mother who said her child had excelled in his class.

The award was endorsed and celebrated by the Geraldton Grammar School community.

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