St Mary’s tops the tables

Bethany Hiatt with Sophie ElliottBusselton Dunsborough Times
St Mary McKillop College, Busselton. Shayla Durell and Logan Brookes (two of 11 students from the school to achieve an ATAR above 90) with principal Frank Norton.
Camera IconSt Mary McKillop College, Busselton. Shayla Durell and Logan Brookes (two of 11 students from the school to achieve an ATAR above 90) with principal Frank Norton. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

The results are in, Busselton’s St Mary MacKillop Catholic College is WA’s top regional school in the ATAR rankings.

The school placed 30th in the State, with a median ATAR of 83.15.

Students have credited the school’s supportive teachers and the close cohort for providing the winning formula.

Year 12 graduates Shayla Durell and Logan Brookes, who both achieved ATARs above 95, said the school provided a “chilled working environment” and the teachers were “great”.

The college last appeared in the top 50 in 2016, when it was 29th.

Nearly half its 102 Year 12 students studied ATAR subjects last year. Eleven students, eight of them boys, scored more than 90.

Principal Frank Norton said the school community was thrilled at the performance of its students in ATAR and VET courses.

“Our No.1 priority is helping our students to do the course that is best suited to them and helping them be successful in it,” he said.

“The ATAR results are fantastic and we also achieved 100 per cent VET certificate completion so we feel we have ticked both boxes.

“When you hear the kids saying they felt like this was the best place for them to get the best results they could, that is just gold to my ears.”

Mr Norton said the results were a reflection of the students’ hard work, the “super job” done by the college’s staff, and parent support.

“The parents play a big role in helping their child deal with the stress and pressure,” he said.

Mr Norton said being in a regional school also had its challenges.

He said almost all of their university-bound students would need to take a gap year in order to finance their accommodation and living-away-from-home expenses to start uni in 2021.

“Many in the metro area don’t realise or appreciate what it takes for regional students to go to uni,” he said.

“Getting into uni is only half the battle, they and their parents need to work hard to get them there. It is a credit to them and I say good on them.”

Other South West schools to feature in the top 50 included Bunbury Catholic College, Australind Senior High School and Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School.

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