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Record Number of AP Scholars from City Schools
Record Number of AP Scholars from City Schools
Desiree Celaya
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

     Thomasville High School and Scholars Academy has again surpassed its own record to reach 63 Advanced Placement Scholar Awards, including an unprecedented 8 National AP Scholars, given to 55 students in recognition of their exceptional achievement on College Board’s Advanced Placement exams.  

     Class of 2019 graduates Louis Carter, Emily Dixon, Spencer Harbin, Tyla Joseph, Claudia-Michele White, Seth Wier, and Mason Wilson; and current senior Braxton Sizemore have been named National AP Scholars, which is granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 or higher on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on 8 or more exams. 
     Fall of 2019, Carter entered University of Georgia; Dixon entered University of Richmond, Harbin entered University of Georgia, Joseph entered Southern Regional Technical College, White entered University of Georgia, Wier entered University of Georgia, and Wilson entered University of Virginia.  Sizemore is a Class of 2020 senior and was named Academic Leader of his junior class. 
     Class of 2019 graduates John Carpenter, Louis Carter, Emily Dixon, Spencer Harbin, Tyla Joseph, Christian Pyle, Mason West, Claudia-Michele White, Seth Wier, and Mason Wilson; current seniors James Winston Cornish, Jack Edge, Emma Humphries, Kaitlyn Kasper, Braxton Sizemore, and Max White; and current junior Clara Clifton qualify for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more exams.  
     Class of 2019 graduates Brayton Hanna and Sydney McKay; and current seniors Elijah Humphries and Peyton Owens; and current juniors Lawson Brinkley, Caroline Hiers, Kinsey Kelley, Maggie May, Ella Millere, and Thomas Wilson qualify for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. 
     Class of 2019 graduates Cassidy Clark, Isabel Claudio-Mirabal, Kian Benjamin Dozier, Frederick Drayton, LaTatyana Hadley, Christina Kato, Bowen Miller, Keisha Patel, Erin Quick, Miranda Roberson, Kianna Ross, Jemari Sapp, Amber Sarabia, Olivia Sawyer, Maura Shiner, and Brianna London Weier; current seniors Jacob Bradshaw, Whitman Fennell, Kathleen Geyer, Emmy Hayes, Jett Kiminas, Kelly Lane McDougald, and Preston Page; and current juniors David Lee Jordan, Mauri Leroux, Aiden Little, Sara Strickland, and Abigale White all qualify for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP Exams with scores of 3 or higher. 
     Ashley Ivey-Jackson, who teaches AP Studio Art and AP Art History, notices a common work ethic in students who succeed in AP classes and on AP exams.  
     “These students realize that it takes effort on their part with research and reading beyond the notes given in class to do well in an Advanced Placement class,” said Ivey-Jackson. 
     Betty Elkins teaches AP English Language. 
     “Our students are not afraid to tackle rigorous coursework, and it is amazing to watch their progress from August to May each year,” said Elkins. 
     Scholars Academy Director Jeanene Wallace agrees that the Advanced Placement courses are rigorous, but teachers provide the level of instruction and support to give students the skills and confidence to score well.  
     “At Scholars Academy, we encourage every child to take the exams in their AP classes; we don't select or hand-pick those to test.  The preparation we provide along with the expectation and culture of success consistently produces a large number of AP Scholars,” said Wallace.  
     “If you expect a lot out of your students and believe in their ability to produce on a higher level, they generally will rise to meet your expectations,” said Ivey-Jackson.
     Scholars Academy has accumulated 16 National AP Scholars.  The 8 previous National AP Scholar Thomasville City Schools graduates continued their studies at a variety of institutions: Shradha Patel (United States Naval Academy), Felix Edwards (Amherst College), Milo St. Ives (University of Georgia), Sharon Autry (University of Georgia), Aaron Bellamy (Georgia College and State University), Jacob Rieber (University of Pennsylvania), Rebecca Jane White (United States Naval Academy), and Asa Harbin (Georgia Institute of Technology). 
     Scholars Academy Guidance Counselor Marcie West explains that Advanced Placement courses serve a dual purpose for students: the opportunity to experience the rigor of college classes and to select courses that are necessary to gain acceptance into competitive colleges.  
     “Because of the national acceptance of AP, we encourage all students to take the AP tests at the end of the year.  Ninety-five percent of our students earn an AP score that awards them college credit.  In many cases Scholars Academy students earn up to eight hours of college credit per AP course and test,” added West. 
     Students achieving AP Scholar Awards have the remaining time in high school to complete additional AP exams to increase their standings as AP Scholars.  Academy students begin taking AP classes in the 9th grade so that they can take full advantage of the school’s wide offerings of twenty-one AP courses which go beyond the typical four academic subject areas.  AP courses in foreign languages and visual arts expand the choices for students. 
     AP Environmental Science teacher Robert Peterson notes that these students have learned to manage their workload to be able to complete the work and hold a busy extracurricular schedule.
     “All of them have a drive to be successful and it shows in their work ethic,” said Peterson. 
AP Literature teacher Lynn Stowers defines a skill that sets apart the best AP students.  
     “One thing which is very helpful in AP Literature is the ability to understand the nuance of what the author is saying.  Well-written literature always gives the reader hints of a deeper level of meaning.  The ability to sense that deeper level can make the difference between just barely passing and doing really well,” said Stowers.
     Through college-level courses and exams, the College Board’s AP Program provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit or advanced placement and stand out in the college admission process. Each exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring that AP Exams are aligned with the same high standards expected by college faculty at some of the nation’s leading liberal arts and research institutions.