BRIGHT FUTURE: Mount St Patrick College graduate Katie Jones topped the state in Extension English with a university entrance rank of 99.
BRIGHT FUTURE: Mount St Patrick College graduate Katie Jones topped the state in Extension English with a university entrance rank of 99. contributed

Katie top of state in English and finishes HSC with a 99

MOUNT St Patrick College student Katie Jones wouldn't let herself believe what she was seeing on a computer screen in a Prague hostel half a world away from her home in the Tweed.

Like other graduating students who this year sat their HSCs, Ms Jones had been fretfully counting down the hours, then the minutes, and finally the seconds, until the results of 12 years of effort would appear like magic on a screen.

"I nearly died when I entered my (log-in) PIN and suddenly saw a 99 number right in front of my eyes; I literally couldn't believe it,” Ms Jones told the Tweed Daily News.

The number meant Katie had performed better than 99.15% of her peers who requested university entrance ranks.

So disbelieving was Katie, she logged herself off the University Admissions Centre app she had been using. Then she took a breath and waited a few seconds - though they must have seemed like many more.

When she logged back in and saw the 99 number again she finally believed it was for her.

"Then I let myself have a proper cry,” she said.

After that, the graduate said, she stood around smiling for a while, before calling her mum so they could both have a big cry together.

In addition to achieving an entry rank almost as high as they come, Katie was dux of her school.

She finished first in the state for Extension English with a mark of 100%, received a mark over 90 in all seven of her subjects, and has subsequently been offered an Excellence Scholarship to Bond University for law and international relations.

The student praised the support her family, friends and staff at the school offered her while she studied.

Meanwhile, Wollumbin High School graduate Fiona Stanley achieved marks of more than 90% in four subjects. These included a 97% in Community and Family Studies, which saw her claim seventh in NSW.



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