On Monday morning, more than 49,000 students across Victoria awoke in anticipation of their VCE results.
Of the 274 students that completed their studies in Modern Greek this year, 18 – four of whom are of Greek origin – excelled, having obtained a study score of 40 and above.
Ranking in first place was 16-year-old Sophia Vamvakidou with a perfect score of 50.
The Victorian School of Languages student says she was surprised by her impressive achievement, which places her in the top two per cent of VCE students to obtain a ranking above 45.
“I received the results and all I could do was sit and stare. I honestly could not believe it!” Miss Vamvakidou told Neos Kosmos.
Born in Thessaloniki, the top pupil migrated with her family to Belgium at the age of seven, before relocating to Melbourne earlier this year.
She recalls always speaking Greek at home, but would often resort to speaking Greek with a mixture of English and French words.
Paving the way for a bright future, she says her “dream is to be an actress”, but that her love of literature will likely lead her to study journalism.
Saint Catherine’s Greek Orthodox College student Magdalini Maligani wasn’t far off, with a score of 47, closely followed by Konstantina Karava from the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria’s (GOCMV) Monday school with a score of 46.
In equal fourth with a score of 45 were Anthea Digiaris of Nestor Greek College and Anna-Maria Salatas of Omiros College.
Though enrolment numbers in Modern Greek remained low in 2015, principal of GOCMV language schools Manos Tzimpragos told Neos Kosmos this year’s higher than average study scores were particularly important.
“Although this year the number of students who sat for the VCE exam was less than last year, next year’s community schools enrolments will make up 40 per cent of the total number of pupils studying Greek in Victoria,” said Mr Tzimpragos.
Across the state regarding VCE as a whole, Mac.Robertson Girls’ High emerged as the best-performing. The selective-entry school with 508 students enrolled in at least one VCE subject emerged with a median study score of 41, and 38.2 per cent of its VCE students received a score over 40.
Beth Rivkah Ladies College ranked second, followed by Bialik College, Melbourne High School and Mount Scopus Memorial College.
Greek Orthodox Colleges across Victoria also celebrated another successful year, with the majority of VCE enrolments successfully completing their exams.
At St John’s Greek Orthodox College, of the 20 students enrolled in units 3 and 4, 15 per cent ranked in the top nine per cent of the state with a study score of 40 and above, and a median score of 33, ranking the college at 66 out of 526 schools.
Meanwhile, Alphington Grammar School, ranked 137, saw 8.4 per cent of its 81 VCE students attain a score above 40, the median being 28; while 6.4 per cent of the 68 Oakleigh Grammar VCE students ranked highly with a score above 40, and an average median score of 31, classing the school as 178th in the state.
Victorian Education Minister James Merlino MP gave a congratulatory message to students in the Herald Sun VCE supplement, while also taking the opportunity to remind students that while education is important, marks are not the be-all and end-all.
“Right now your study score and ATAR are probably very much on your mind, but remember that this is just one step in a long journey and VCE results do not have to define you,” Mr Merlino said, reminding students that university is not the only pathway to a successful future.
Students with a study score in Modern Greek of 40 and above:
Athanasia Panagopoulou – Oakleigh Grammar – 44
Alexander Vounisios – Parish of St Vasilios Brunswick Greek Language School – 44
Fotini Kazakeou – Omiros College – 43
Georgia Kazi – South Oakleigh Secondary College – 43
Georgios Mastrogiannopoulos – St John’s Greek Orthodox College – 43
James Tomazos – Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria – 42
Theodoros Benehoutsos – VSL Distance Education – 41
Filitsa Kapeleri – VSL (Box Hill/Blackburn/Doncaster) – 41
Freideriki Laftsoglou – Alphington Grammar School – 41
Daphne Saropoulou – Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria – 41
Natasha Kotsakis – Nestor Greek College – 40
Anastasia Moutsos – Omiros College – 40
Christina Tsopela – VSL Distance Education – 40