Success pays big dividends for AP Scholars

Rigorous classwork and long hours of studying is preparing Knox County’s Advanced Placement (AP) students for future success and lifelong learning; but it also comes with some immediate rewards.

Students from Knox Central High who passed AP exams during the spring with qualifying scores were in the spotlight on Tuesday, September 1, during the annual AP parent conference held at the school.   A total of $5,000 was distributed among 36 students for their success, with students receiving $100 for each of their qualifying scores.

“We are very excited to be honoring these students for their hard work in AP,” said Cathy Sue Smith, AP academic specialist serving Knox Central.

Through support systems, such as Smith’s role as academic specialist, and professional growth opportunities for teachers, Knox Central has seen huge increases in their AP enrollment and success.   Since the 2011-12 school year enrollment has grown from 171 students to 340, or a 99% increase.  The number of qualifying scores has increased from 22 students to 50 students, or a 127% increase.

Knox Central’s release of AP data follows a statewide data release by the College Board last week.  In the past five years, the number of Kentucky public high school students taking AP examinations is up 35 percent and the number of tests with a qualifying score of 3, 4, or 5, has increased by 40 percent.

Anthony Mires, representing AdvanceKentucky, was on hand for the student celebration and to share the data with interested parents.  Through an i3 grant with AdvanceKentucky and Berea College, the school has been able to provide increased student support such as the cash rewards.  Emphasis is placed on AP’s language arts, mathematics, and science courses although all students are provided services.  AdvanceKentucky
is a statewide math-science initiative designed to expand access to, and participation and success in academically rigorous coursework.

Students who were honored include seniors Dylan Abner (biology), Kammy Bargo (language), Rachel Brown (language and literature), Kaitlyn Gray (language), Clint Thomas Jaykob Hubbard (language), Brayden Imel (language), Cheyenne Kennedy (biology and literature), Jesse Keyes (language and calculus), Chad Marsee (language), Andrew Mills (biology and language), Jessie Mize (biology), Hannah Owens (language and literature), Megan Patterson (language), Franklin Patterson (language), Clay Sprinkles (language, literature, and calculus), Megan Wagers (language), and Brittany Wilson (biology and literature).   These students were in addition to 18 Knox Central alum who took AP assessments before graduation last spring.  Those students were also rewarded for their qualifying scores.

Also in the spotlight were students who received qualifying scores in content areas outside of the emphasized areas of support.  Those students include Dawson Bingham, Joshua Cole, Jordan Hopper, and Tyler Napier, who each passed the human geography exam.  Passing the AP US history exam were Zach Callihan and Clayton Owens.  Knox Central junior Cherish Gray, who is now at the Gatton Academy, passed four exams including AP Psychology, language, literature, and biology.

The AP program gives high school students the opportunity for college credit in the subject area that they pass, ranging from high-level math and science courses to fine arts, if they score well on a standardized end-
of-course exam. Although it varies from school to school, most colleges require a minimum qualifying score of 3 on an AP exam to earn college credit for the course.

A similar celebration and information session is being planned for students at Lynn Camp Schools for their success in AP during the 2014-2015 school year.  Students with qualifying scores will be recognized during the session on September 29th at 5:30.  Parents with students enrolled in AP courses, or who are thinking about enrolling in AP in the future, are invited to attend.