‘I’m so proud’: IB students rise above Colmont School collapse

Midway through last year, their worlds were thrown into turmoil, their futures uncertain.

On Tuesday, however, there was optimism among students of the former Colmont School after they received their International Baccalaureate results.

Just over five months since the private school in Kilmore, north of Melbourne, went into administration and closed, the Year 12 graduates were happy to have risen above the fear and confusion of those days.

Old school: IB students Alexandra Krilis, Grace Heywood, Mansimer Kaur Gujral and Macklin Spicer outside the former Colmont School that closed in July.Credit:Chris Hopkins

Macklin Spicer, 18, of Kilmore, commuted two hours each day to study at Ivanhoe Grammar after the closure. He said his score of 36 was better than he expected “considering everything that’s happened”.

He has had an offer to study international relations and international security studies at Australian National University in Canberra and has considered diplomacy or intelligence as a career, along with art.

On Tuesday, he thanked his teachers and said he was “relieved to have the results now”.

His classmate, 18-year-old Mansimer Kaur Gujral, said she felt her score should get her in to biomedical science at University of Melbourne.

She said the collapse of the Colmont School, known for most of its life as the Kilmore International School, had led to disruption, reduced resources and less teaching support.

“I feel I could have done better but, with the circumstances, I’m happy with [the score] I got,” she said.

Her teachers, parents, friends and community had been encouraging and supportive.

Colmont’s IB co-ordinator Deanna Krilis – whose daughter, Colmont IB graduate Alexandra Krilis, wants to study urban planning and development – was full of admiration for the group.

Proud Mum: Deanna Krilis and daughter Alexandra Krilis.Credit:Chris Hopkins

She was thrilled that that while the global average IB Diploma score was 30.91 points, the former Colmont students’ average was 31.82 points.

Twenty-five ex-Colmont IB students studied the last part of 2022 at Ivanhoe Grammar’s Plenty campus. Five others studied at Carey Baptist Grammar in Kew and two at Kardinia International College in Geelong.

“I’m so proud of them,” said Krilis, who helped advise students on university and career options at their former Colmont school on Tuesday.

“I know the community’s keen to find out what’s happened to ‘those poor kids from Kilmore’

“I wanted them to know that they’ve got their diploma. They’ve survived and they haven’t just survived by the skin of their teeth, they’re going to thrive. They are the strong ones who are going out into the world.

“They’ve got that maturity and resilience and that strength of character that’s going to see them through, wherever they go.”

The students were among 18,174 students worldwide, including 2421 in Australia, who received their IB results.

The IB diploma is an established alternative to the VCE. Students complete it across years 11 and 12. Pupils study six subjects and three core components, with the perfect score being 45.

The academically challenging course is recognised by overseas and local universities.

Job well done: Vera Crook, left, and her mother Susanne Crook.Credit:Jason South

Vera Crook, 18, was determined to study the IB, but the closest state school that offered the course was Albert Park College, so she lobbied its principal to be accepted there.

She then travelled 18 kilometres each way every day by public transport from her Brunswick home.

Crook achieved a high enough score to get into law-commerce at Monash University.

Her mother, Susanne Crook, said Vera had shown great determination and that she was “very, very proud”.

“She has poured herself into every single subject,” Susanne said. “She has worked really hard and she should be extremely proud and happy with her results.”

Caelhafiz Matanog, 18, from the Islamic College of Melbourne (ICOM) in Tarneit in the city’s west, said he got a score of 31 and hoped to get into a bachelor of science at Deakin, Monash or Melbourne universities.

Fahim Zaman, 18, also from ICOM, achieved a score of 32. He said the IB “provided me with excellent research and application skills that will serve me for the rest of my life”.

Zaman hopes to pursue a bachelor in engineering with a double degree in business.

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