Cairns high school achievers rejoice in making the grade
FAR Northern schools have inspired a new generation of doctors, engineers and lawyers with dozens of students attaining top ranking OP scores at the weekend.Many of the Year 12 graduates will pack their bags to study in Brisbane or interstate after finding out their Overall Position on Saturday.
Former Cairns State High School student Gabriella Wettenhall plans to study law at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.
She will be following in the footsteps of her parents, who are both lawyers.
Former school captain Nicholas Jones also achieved the highly coveted top score one of three OP1 students at the school this year.
"I'm either going to Melbourne or UQ (Brisbane) to do civil engineering," he said.
"I love maths and physics so I thought I'd try and stick to the things I like."
Meanwhile, St Monica's College principal Kristen Sharpe said a new benchmark had been set for the college with five OP1 scores this year.
"It's a record for the school," she said.
"We had 104 girls this year so it's about 5 per cent of our Year 12 cohort."
College dux Jasmine Zamprogno is also planning to complete a law degree at UQ while school friend Elise Witter's score will grant her the opportunity to study medicine after a stint of volunteering in Cambodia in January.
"I stayed up with a few friends until midnight (to get my OP)," Jasmine said.
"I was really excited, I went to wake my parents up so they knew straight away.
"St Monica's has had a bit of a drought of OP1 scores and we've managed to get five this year."
St Augustine's College principal Brother Bill Sullivan said seven was proving to be a lucky number.
"We got seven OP1s this year and we had seven last year," he said.
"We're very happy. It's a great result (and) the boys worked really hard."
He said professions in medicine and engineering were also popular among the top score holders.
Four boys at St Andrew's Catholic College at Redlynch John Bell, Matthew Johnston, Tobias Jurss-Lewis and Daniel Wise gained an OP1. School spokeswoman Janet Johnston said 20 students achieved an OP5 or better.
Tobias is a budding lawyer, Daniel plans to become a commercial pilot, number-cruncher John will start actuarial studies in Canberra next year and Matthew will study at JCU to become a doctor.
Atherton State High School graduate Ben Ruscoe also gained an OP1 to study medicine one of three at the school.
For those yet to choose a career path, James Cook University will host an information session at Hilton Cairns Hotel from 4pm today.
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Top score: Former St Augustine's College students Tom Riches, Cameron McCormack, Andrew Collins, Blade Barbagallo, David Keogh and Steven Elston. Picture: MIKE WATT