A STUDENT whose father was diagnosed with cancer during her studies was celebrating her success yesterday after securing top grades.
Libby Parker, a sixth former a St John’s Catholic School, Bishop Auckland, gained an A*, A and a B while her father Gary was being treated for cancer.
“They were dark times. Through exams it was very hard as he was extremely ill and I would have an exam the next day after seeing him,” said the 18-year-old. “I wasn’t expecting to do quite so well so am very happy with my results considering everything that has been going on. Thankfully, he is all right and here with me today which is great.”
She had high praise for St John’s Catholic School where she has studied for the past seven years.
“I’ve loved it here,” she said. “I had all my teachers and friends supporting me and it has turned out great with my dad doing much better now and I got the grades I needed. All my teachers helped me through everything that I needed and couldn’t have been more supportive.”
Libby will read a degree in criminology and forensic science at the University of Northumbria.
“I’ve always known, since I was a little kid, that I wanted to be a detective and am just so excited,” she said. “I love my home so choosing somewhere like Northumbria where I can come back and visit any time was important to me.
“The dream is to be a detective one day so I’ll now be working towards achieving that dream.”
Headteacher Lisa Bryon said: “We are so proud of Libby’s achievements given what she has gone through with her family and also having to cope, like all students, with the impact of the pandemic.
“All our students have maintained their positivity and have been resilient and committed to their studies despite all of the challenges they have faced. Their excellent results are testimony to their dedication, hard work and determination to do well.
“We would like to thank parents, carers and families for helping our young people through these times and also our staff who have worked tirelessly to support them. We are excited to see how they grow in the next chapter of their lives, whether that be in education, training or employment.”
Other top performers included: Poppi Andelin (A*A*AA) who will study journalism at the University of Leeds; Adam Blighe (Dist*/A*/C) who will read computer science at Newcastle; Isabelle Danks (A*A*AB) who is off to York to read psychology; Alex Edgar (AAB) who will read biomedical science at Newcastle; Mille Fodden (A*AA) who has secured a place at the University of Manchester to read economics; Ellie Foster (A*AA) who will study physiotherapy at the University of Nottingham; Olivia Hind (A*A Dist*) who will read criminology and sociology at the University of Northumbria; Aimee Jacomb (A*AA) who will read English at the University of Newcastle; Sadie Scott Morris (A*AA) who will study geography at Leeds; Jack Shaw (AAABB) who is off to Durham to read computer science; Charlie Jackson – (A*AB) who secured a place at the University of Lincoln to read English and drama; Lucy Walton – (AAA) who will read psychology at the University of Liverpool; Lucy Wilson – (A*Dist*A) who is off to Northumbria to read psychology with criminology; Sri Keshav Rajesh (BBB plus A*) who will study climate science at Durham; Kacper Bloniarz – (AAC), who has been offered an apprenticeship at Glaxo Smith Kline; and Leah Moore – (D* Dist A) who also has a Glaxo Smith Kline apprenticeship.