Each year, Port Augusta City Council recognises the student from Port Augusta's secondary schools that has achieved the highest Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
The top student of 2021 was Caritas College graduate Ella Dixon, who was presented with Port Augusta City Council's Academic Award via Zoom.
Council staff congratulated Ella for gaining her South Australian Certificate of Education with an outstanding ATAR of 97.40.
Councillor Linley Shine also acknowledged Ella's family and teachers for their tireless constructive and encouraging support which contributed to Ella's success.
"Above all however, is your personality, a big beautiful and bold one which projects love, laughter and respect for all. Never forget Ella this is your biggest asset in life, and again congratulations," Ms Shine said.
As part of the award, Ella will receive $200 donated by the Council and her name included on the Academic Achiever Award Honour Board located in Council Chambers.
Prior to Ella's senior year she had been on a 12-month long exchange in Denmark, and only got out of isolation 30 January 2021.
Ella experienced challenges when she first returned to school as she started a week late due to quarantining, and was asked to re-do her first assignment as it was below her usual standard.
"You're always off when you return from a holiday, and my teacher pulled me aside and understood the position I was in, and continued to be supportive the rest of the year," she said.
"I feel I did my best because I was not just proving to myself that I could come back and set my mind to something.
"I knew my teachers would support me the whole way."
Ella is commencing University on 7 February 2022, studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Dance, which has been her passion for a long time.
In the longer term, Ella plans to study Occupational Therapy to enable her to provide dance therapy to people living with disabilities.
Other high achievers from Caritas College were:
- Jenna Cuffe 97.05
- Meg Carter 94.70
- Alana Maloney 93.50
- Kiana Cousins 92.95
High achievers from Port Augusta Secondary School (excluding bonus points) included:
- Macee Reynolds 90.40
- Aimee Butler 84.40
- Ebony Butler 81.55
- Lucy Janiak 80.25
- Luke Magor 76.45
Ella's advice to those who are about to commence their senior year is to have a balanced life style as you don't want to burn yourself out.