Cherith overcomes adversity to achieve 'personal gold'

PUBLISHED: 17:32 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:31 06 May 2010

Cherith is cheered by her friends outside St George's School chapel

Cherith is cheered by her friends outside St George's School chapel

DESPITE dealing with personal tragedy few youngsters could comprehend, determined Cherith Johnson has emerged as the shining star of her school s GCSE successes. The 17-year-old pupil of St George s School in Harpenden lost her mother to cancer just 18 mo

DESPITE dealing with personal tragedy few youngsters could comprehend, determined Cherith Johnson has emerged as the shining star of her school's GCSE successes.

The 17-year-old pupil of St George's School in Harpenden lost her mother to cancer just 18 months ago and has only been at the school for nine months since moving to the area to live with a family.

Cherith also missed three years of classes at her former school in Leicestershire because she suffered from ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) but still managed to achieve all five GCSEs she was entered for this year - and four of them were awarded A* grades.

Although the majority of students scored top marks in double the number of subjects, Cherith's head teacher Norman Hoare has labelled her achievements as the greatest.

Mr Hoare said: "Overall our results are tremendous and Cherith is the star that shines through. She may not have the clutch of nine or 10 A*s which so many have this year but her achievement is in my opinion the greatest this year."

He said her friends also recognised that and were celebrating with her outside the school's chapel when the results were released on Thursday morning.

Mr Hoare went on: "All of us in the exams office were quite emotional as Cherith's results came through on the computer. This may be the 'grouse' season which I have named this time in August because we have the critics claiming falling standards and too many higher grades at GCSE but so many individuals at St George's have once again restored that wonderful feeling of achievement."

He added: "Cherith is not alone with her 'personal gold' as there are a small number we have cared for who have fought against adversity and close family bereavement over the last 18 months and have performed exceptionally at GCSE. As a Christian school we give huge support to those challenged and a wider public never knows the personal stories behind the statistics."

Mr Hoare said Cherith was a "bright young lady" who was now destined for sixth form success.

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