High Cierra: Teen scores best-ever IB mark at BHS

A teenager has scored the highest-ever mark at her school for an international qualification – with a result that places her in the top two percent of students worldwide.

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Cierra Machado, 18, from Paget, achieved 44 out of 45 for her International Baccalaureate (IB) at Bermuda High School for Girls (BHS) last week.
Head of School Roy Napier said: “That’s the best result I have ever seen. We are very pleased. It means she has a 98 or 99 percent average.
“People think of 36 out of 45 as a benchmark for getting into the Ivy League universities so this is outstanding. A score of 44 points is a phenomenal achievement. It means she is in the top two percent in the world for the IB.”
Cierra, a Jehovah’s Witness who was named the Island’s Outstanding Teen 2006 earlier this year, does not intend to go to university but will instead carry out pioneer work for her church and work part-time for a fund management firm.
She is also learning Portuguese and wants to go to the Azores within the next three years to do missionary work.
“My faith is what’s most important to me,” she said. “That’s what I put first.”
Cierra said of her result: “I was very, very pleased. I’m quite speechless. For the two-year programme, my grade was normally around a 43. Once you sit the exams you really never know because the exams are very difficult. I was very surprised to come out with a 44. I think the key to the IB programme is to know how to balance everything. The work is difficult but the biggest challenge is the workload. As long as you balance your time and try to give equal amounts of time to each subject, you’re okay.”
Her mother Louisa said: “I’m very pleased and proud of her because she’s worked very, very hard. She’s just an amazing child.”
Seventy-five percent of the 33 students who sat the full IB diploma at BHS this year were successful. One third achieved a score of 36 or above.
All 39 students in the final year at BHS received the internal graduation certificate. Mr. Napier said: “We are very pleased overall with the results.”
Mount Saint Agnes Academy graduated all 36 students in its final year and all intend to go on to college or university. “I’m very proud of them,” said principal Jim Silcott.
Warwick Academy is still awaiting the results of its first-ever two-year IB programme. Headteacher Robert Lennox said: “We have got some of ours but some of the results aren’t in yet.
“We don’t know how many got the full certificate. It’s the first year of doing the IB for us.”
All 45 students in the school’s final year received an internal graduation certificate. Saltus Grammar School graduated all 64 of the students in its final year.

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