Stephanie’s academic star goes on rising to world elite

In the world elite ' former Spalding High School student Stephanie Burrell.
In the world elite ' former Spalding High School student Stephanie Burrell.
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In the world elite – former Spalding High School student Stephanie Burrell.

Stephanie Burrell, now aged 24, achieved A* grades in every single one of her academic GCSEs at the high school in 2008 – plus an A-grade in the lunchtime subject of performing arts.

In 2010, Stephanie was one of five high school students to gain at least four A-grades at A-level.

Following her success at Oxford University, Stephanie this week became one of 111 Schwarzman Scholars accepted on the master’s degree programme at Tsingha University in Beijing.

Stephanie was among 3,000-plus applicants and the success rate for those chosen makes the programme one of the most selective in the world with an acceptance rate of 3.7 per cent.

Stephanie graduated from the University of Oxford with a first class honours in biological sciences.

She has worked for global services company Accenture as well as in the Government’s Cabinet Office.

Schwarzman Scholars say: “Stephanie’s key accomplishment as a leader was the delivery of a new e-commerce functionality for a United Kingdom retailer.

“For the implementation, she focused on maintaining a close working relationship between international colleagues to ensure the success of the project.

“Her goal is to shape effective public policy that will guarantee technological advances to benefit the global population.”

Stephanie attended St Catherine’s College, Oxford, from 2010-13 and was a Sloan-Robinson Scholar.

During her time at Oxford, Stephanie was elected vice-president of St Catherine’s College Junior Common Room, became science and technology editor at The Oxford Student and managed a team including two deputy editors and ten writers, and competed at national level as a member of the university’s cheerleading squad.

Her varied interests also saw her become St Catherine’s College Boat Club cox, a tropical forest researcher in Borneo and a volunteer teacher in South Korea.

While in Borneo, Stephanie met Kate and Wills who were on a flying visit.

The inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars in Beijing is composed of students from 32 countries and 75 universities.

Stephanie is the only daughter of farmer Peter and Maureen Burrell, of Quadring Bank.

She spent a year at Bicker School as an alternative to nursery and then joined Quadring Primary School, where she passed the 11-plus.

Her proud mum said: “She just had some very inspirational teachers at Spalding High School, particularly Mr Page, who lives in Quadring. He encouraged her to do maths and further maths.”

Mrs Burrell said she and her husband were unbelievably proud of Stephanie for being accepted to study at Oxford and now Beijing.

• Information supplied to the Spalding Guardian about Stephanie’s amazing success mistakenly stated she was originally from the USA.