CHARMARELLE McCarroll is built of strong stuff.
While her Mortlake P-12 College year 12 classmates were busily preparing for their final exams, the 18-year-old’s life was turned upside down when her father unexpectedly died in the closing weeks of the school year.
“It was a pretty difficult time,” Charmarelle said.
“It was hard enough dealing with the stress of year 12, then dad passed away. It was really tough.”
Charmarelle said her father’s death came during the final school break, with just three weeks of classes remaining. She sat out almost a month of school and missed most of her final classes.
But despite everything, she was determined to sit all her final exams and yesterday was rewarded with an ATAR of 93.05 and named dux of the school.
Charmerelle said she wasn’t obliged to do the exams.
“I would have received an ATAR if I only sat the English exam because I had done year 12 subjects in years 10 and 11,” she said.
“But I thought, I’ve worked hard over the past few years. I wanted to do them. It was sort of a way to finalise everything.
“The year is built towards your exams so to not do them would have felt a bit weird.”
She said special consideration, which takes into account extenuating circumstances, means her ATAR score could be derived from either her exam results or an indicative score based on class work and mid-year examination results.
“They take the higher one, so I don’t actually know which one they have taken until the papers come in the mail later this week.”
Mortlake P-12 College VCE co-ordinator Anthea Good said she couldn’t be prouder of all the students, but especially Charmarelle.
“It’s an amazing effort and her score is so deserved,” Mrs Good said. “She’s done an incredible job. She’s a very strong young lady.”
Charmarelle said she was thrilled with her final result, which would now allow her to study biomedicine at the Australian Catholic University in Fitzroy and, eventually, medicine.
“I wanted to do medicine when I was younger. Then I changed my mind a few times, but I was swayed at a careers day at the Warrnambool Base Hospital earlier in the year,” she said.
“I don’t think I would have got through it all without the support of the Mortlake College community. The teachers were amazing and so were my classmates.
“Everyone did absolutely anything the could to help me through. I cannot thank them enough.”