First Purcell Marian graduate awarded International Baccalaureate Diploma.

July 15, 2022
Purcell Marian High School graduate award International Baccalaureate Diploma

Purcell Marian High School Class of 2022 graduate Josephine Gerrard became the school's first candidate to be awarded the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma by the IB Organization.

“Completing the IB Diploma is a considerable achievement, requiring college-level preparation and research,” said Principal/CEO Andy Farfsing ’95. “Josey’s work will prepare her for college and beyond.”

Gerrard will study political science at historic Seven Sisters school Smith College and plans to pursue a law degree.

Conferred by the International Baccalaureate Organization, the IB Diploma is the culmination of the IB Diploma Program (DP), a rigorous two-year curriculum made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) project, and a 4,000-word extended essay.

Through the DP core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research, and undertake a project that involves community service.

Completing the Diploma during a global pandemic makes the accomplishment even more unique.

“The pandemic posed significant challenges to students and teachers for the past two years,” said Bob Herring ‘68, Director of the International Baccalaureate Program and Global Programs. “To have earned the IB Diploma, under those circumstances, demonstrates Josey’s commitment to hard work, perseverance, and excellence.  The staff's commitment to providing challenging learning experiences, whether in person or remote, is a hallmark of the IB program at Purcell Marian.

Purcell Marian became an authorized IB World School in December 2019, making the 2021-22 school year the first year PM students were eligible for the full Diploma. Students can take IB courses without enrolling in the entire DP course. PM students have earned credit and placement at schools around the country since becoming an IB World School, including top 10 universities Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

For more information, visit the Purcell Marian International Baccalaureate website.

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