BEAVER BANK: Victoria MacDonald might be 16-years-old, but she can already call herself a high school graduate.
The Beaver Bank resident graduated from Ecolle Secondaire du Sommet this past June. She did the feat two years before many her age and is now getting ready to head to Dalhousie University where she will be studying Medical Science this fall.
“I want to be a pediatrician,” said MacDonald in an evening interview last month.
She talked about the work involved in order for her to graduate two years early.
“I took a test when I was 10 or 11 and I passed it,” she said. “I skipped one grade, Grade 7, and then took Grade 9 and 10 together.”
MacDonald was diagnosed as gifted after they were looking into some perfections and anxieties she had.
“After Grade 6, the school to enrich her said the better thing to do was for her to skip Grade 7,” said mom Natalie. “I think that was a good thing to skip that first grade. She was older anyway so it made sense.”
When MacDonald finished Grade 8, the school which is Grade 6-12, she gave some options to the family for schooling.
“They said she could go to Grade 9; Grade 10 with her; or do a hybrid of Grades 9-10 because she had some friends so socially it would be a good fit,” she said. “That’s what we chose, and that morphed into her finishing high school two years early.
Besides the accomplishment of finishing high school early, MacDonald was also the recipient of Governor General’s Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II medal for top academic standing in her school.
However, despite graduating two years early she’s not thinking of herself as any different.
“I’m happy I’m done,” she said.
MacDonald said she did feel pressure.
“There wasn’t a lot of pressure put on me (by others), but I put some pressure on myself,” she said. “By Grade 12 I didn’t put any pressure on me.”
What was it like being part of the graduation ceremony two years earlier than she would have?
“It was fun,” said MacDonald with a slight chuckle. “I didn’t see myself as any different than them because we did the same classes. I just got my diploma too.
“I didn’t like to think of it as graduating two years early. I just wanted to think of it as I was graduating.”