Celebrating smart
by Jennifer Cohron
Oct 29, 2013 | 762 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cordova High students were treated to an academic pep rally Monday to honor students who have been successful in the Advanced Placement Program. – Photo by: Jennifer Cohron.
Cordova High students were treated to an academic pep rally Monday to honor students who have been successful in the Advanced Placement Program. – Photo by: Jennifer Cohron.
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Cordova High School held its first academic pep rally Monday to honor students who have been successful in the Advanced Placement Program.

CHS began offering AP courses in 2012. Students who enroll in the classes can expect to do college-level work.

Those who do well enough on their exams at the end of the year can receive college credit or advanced placement in those subjects at 90 percent of the universities in the country.

Principal Kathy Vintson encouraged CHS students to take responsibility for their future, whether their focus is on college or a career.

“It (AP) is not for everyone, but those of you who are planning to attend college, make up your mind. How prepared do you want to be?” Vintson said.

Alisa Brown, coordinator of the program at CHS, shared some stories of the difference AP made in the lives of last year’s seniors, the first group to take AP classes.

Several have told Brown that they are breezing through their first semester of college.

One said the rewards she is now reaping from AP are worth every Saturday study session and all of the extra homework she had in high school.

Madison Westbrook, a CHS graduate and freshman at Miles College, said she is one of the few students in her honors biology class who currently have an A.

She also pointed out that her participation in an AP biology class is coming in handy now even though she did not get a qualifying score on that particular exam last year.

“It’s very difficult, and you have to really try when you’re enrolled in these classes. So don’t join them if you just want to sit through and text or talk to your friends,” Westbrook said.

Westbrook added that she will also be allowed to skip an English class as a sophomore because she performed so well on that AP exam.

Another graduate, Seth Wilson, said AP biology helped him increase his ACT science score by at least two points.

Westbrook and Wilson were among the group of students who were recognized during Monday’s pep rally for receiving a score of 3 or higher on a scale of 5.

Nearly 50 students were recognized for a score of 2, which is not high enough to receive college credit but does indicate college readiness.

CHS currently has four AP teachers and 115 students enrolled in AP classes.

The school received a $50,000 grant in 2012 that paid for teachers to be trained in their respective AP and pre-AP subjects. The money is also used to purchase instructional materials.