Students have their hearts set on careers inspired by their family and their best teachers were among students who collected results from Easington Academy today.
Jessica Crake, from Easington Village, will go on to take biology, psychology and geography at Sunderland College with the aim of becoming a nurse in the RAF.
"Some of my family have been in the forces and I'd love to be a nurse," she said.
"I was shocked when I opened my results, I couldn't believe it.
"I rang my mam and dad and my mam was crying her eyes out."
She said her parents Andrea and Gary had been delighted with her results.
Lauren Smith, from Easington Village, has her sight on a career as a food technology teacher after enjoying the subject at the school.
After achieving seven As and three Bs, she will go to Durham Sixth Form to take biology, English language, history and sociology.
She said: "I was overwhelmed and I did much better than I thought I would."
Ethan Hall, who also lives in the village, aims to make a career out of his favourite subject, computing, and collected seven As and three Bs.
He will also go to Durham Sixth Form to take his top subject as well as physics, maths and history.
He thought his results were "really, really good," and added: "I got higher grades than my targets."
Kimberley Watt, another resident of the village, gained six As and four Bs and plans to take biology and history at Sunderland College.
She hopes to take a sports science degree with a plan to go into physiotherapy.
She said: "I was chuffed with my results and I was really excited about them.
"I've told my parents, Lynn and Chris, and they're over the moon."
Jasmine Briggs, from Haswell, is off to Durham Sixth Form with three A*s and five As.
She hopes to study biology, psychology, media and photography.
"I thought I had the wrong sheet because I saw all the good grades, so it's lots better than I expected."
Emma Richardson, from Haswell Plough, has plans to become a speech and language specialist.
She too will be going to Durham Sixth Form after gaining five A*s, four As and a B.
She said: "I was really surprised with my grades in a couple of subjects, especially English literature and food technology."
Another Durham Sixth Form new starter will be Zoe Higgins, from South Hetton, after six A*s, three As and a B.
She plans to take maths, further maths, physics and geography.
"I was really surprised," she said.
"I'm pleased I got what I needed to go to college."
Dominic Armstrong, from Horden, collected an A*, four As, three Bs, a C and a D and said he was "relieved" after picking up his grades.
He plans on studying biology, psychology, product design and history at Hartlepool Sixth Form.
Jessica Health, from Blackhall Rocks, gained two A*s, four As and three Bs, as well as a distinction in first level health and social care, and will go to Sunderland College to take chemistry, biology, and geography.
"I was nervous at first, but then I was overjoyed."
Chemistry, biology, physics and maths will be the subjects taken by Rebekah Charlton, from Horden, when she starts Durham Sixth Form.
She said: "I was really happy, I couldn't believe what I got.
"I want to go to Newcastle Uni and would like to be a doctor."
She will be joined by Ellie Bagley, from Easington Village, who will take biology, chemistry, maths and French after she got six A*s and four As.
She said: "I would love to go to university, but I'm not sure what I want to do yet.
"I was so worried I'd failed, but it turned out I didn't
"I did better than I had expected."
The school is celebrating after 69% of its 134 students achieved five A* to C grades, including English and maths.
It has also marked a rise in its Progress 8 score.
This is based on eight subjects taken at GCSE; English and maths, which receive double points, three EBacc subjects, and three additional subjects.
Headteacher Toni Spoors said: "This is another successful set of results for Easington Academy, building on the excellent progress the school has made in recent years."
The school is particularity pleased with its Progress 8 score, which is the Government's new measure to gauge the progress that students of all abilities make during their time at the school.
"The score of 0.39% is an improvement on last year's 0.33%.
"Congratulations to both students and staff on working together to achieve yet another year in terms of results."