Hunter students celebrate star ATARs

Stars: Elly Diamandis-Nikoletatos, Emma Nickel, Jess Mulhearn and Mariam Khalid. Emma has accepted an offer to medical engineering, Jess wants to pursue law or orthodontics and Mariam is aiming for medicine. Picture: Marina NeilELLY Diamandis-Nikoletatos’ mother made it clear she shouldn’t feel any pressure about her n Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

“She said ‘You can get a mystery mark and we’d be proud of you, no matter what happens’,” Elly said.

Instead, the Merewether High student woke on Friday to news she had received an ATAR of 99.75, one of the highest in the region.

She is among six of the selective school’s students – all girls – to receive ATARs over 99.

Merewether’s Ruby Dempsey, who is in France, is understood to have achieved the Hunter’s highest, 99.9.

“It feels unreal, like I’m imagining it or someone else got it,” Elly said.

“It’s a relief. This year was incredibly stressful, but it paid off and I’m happy with the reward.”

Elly was named on Thursday as one of the school’s 15 all-round achievers, for receivingmarks in the top band possible for 10 or more units of study.

She came 12thin NSW in Legal Studies last year, when she completed it as an accelerated course.

“My mum asked me yesterday if I wanted to celebrate but I was against it, I didn’t want to be too sure,” she said.

“I wasn’t a good judge of how I would go, so it’s been a really great surprise.”

Elly said she had “worked really hard continuously”since the start of year 10.

She said she focused on completing tasks, instead of clocking hours –“I can get a lot done in one hour and sometimes not a lot done in three” –but still spent about nine hours studying each day in the lead up to exams.

“I always wanted to make the most of every opportunity I had,” she said.

“I’m very lucky to go to this school and have these teachers and resources. Some people can’t.

“Doing well in Legal showed me what I can achieve.”

Elly wants to study medicine.

Newcastle Grammar School studentsEmma Reid receivedan ATAR of 99.75 and Emily Elvish 99.70.

Belmont Christian College’s Makensie Toole got 99.65.

Lambton High’sRani Ruse received 99.6. Grammar’s Lucinda Watt got 99.45.

Lambton’s Charlie Ekin; Merewether’s Phoebe Gray, who is in Japan, and Merewether’s Jess Mulhearn all received 99.4.

Lambton High’s Riordan Davies, Merewether’s Emma Nickel and All Saints’ College (St Mary’s Campus) Bradley Montroyall achieved 99.2.

Merewether’s Mariam Khalid and Grammar’s Margot Roberts got 99.1.

Lambton’s Gwen Devoy received 99.05.

Merewether originally appeared to have two students on the Top Achievers list, but also has students who received state rankings in languages they studied by distance education.

Bade Gulmez was second in Turkish Continuers, Ruby Dempsey third in French Continuers, Zoe McTackett third in Korean Beginners, Jess Mulhearn fourth and Joshua Kershaw fifth in Indonesian Beginners.

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