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Advanced Placement Celebration helps honor students who enroll in these rigorous classes

Advanced Placement Celebration helps honor students who enroll in these rigorous classes


Media Specialist Carol Ford served Hayden Ballinger and classmates as they progressed through the line for a delicious taco dinner.

AP Environmental Science Teacher Brenda Hoover served cheese sauce to Haley Roberts

AP Students enjoyed conversing with one another

AP Students enjoying the taco lunch

AP Biology Teacher Kelly Brown, Principal Justin Alley, AP Calculus Teacher Tyler Guffey with a cake for the students

AP English Teacher Jeremy Barnett spoke to students McKenzie Upchurch, Ryan Marcum, and Emmalee Dolen who were dining on the front lawn.

Shelby Smith, Emily Bates, Elizabeth Abbott

AP Science Teacher Brenda Hoover who offers AP Environmental Science class chatted with students Clay Chriswell and Jabel Smith at the event

All of the AP students gathered around for the awards ceremony

Front Row: Kayden Pitman, Shawn McCartt, Nicholas Shearer, Emily Combs, Jonathan Gregory
Back Row: Daniel Ward, Blake Smith

AP World History students who passed received solar powered phone chargers

AP student John David Raines was among numerous students who received a certificate award from AdvanceKY. He was congratulated by Superintendent Wayne Roberts, after Principal Justin Alley made the announcement. 

Principal Justin Alley with Emily Combs and Blake Smith who received awards in three different AP classes they have successfully completed

There were 23 students who received $100 awards through AdvanceKentucky

AP students (L-R:) Rachel Rains, John David Rains, Elizabeth Wright, and Ridge Turpin are holding a large check from AdvanceKentucky

Advanced Placement Celebration held encouraging high school students to enroll in these rigorous courses

                    More and more Advanced Placement (AP) courses are being taught at Wayne County High School to better prepare students for the next level. In the midst of this new trend, students were rewarded for their efforts with support from AdvanceKentucky, an education initiative of Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, which Wayne County Schools is proud to collaborate with to strengthen course offerings.

                    Since 2008, AdvanceKentucky has been working to dramatically increase access to advanced STEM coursework through direct support for teaching and learning. Their results show that AP students earn higher ACT scores, are more likely to enroll in college, are more likely to pursue a STEM major, earn higher first-year and four-year college GPAs, and graduate college faster.

                   This fall their support helped Wayne County High School with an AP Luncheon Celebration held at the Old Glory Schoolhouse. AP staff members served a delicious catered meal to a huge crowd of teenagers that had been enrolled in local AP classes in the past year, as well as current AP students. AdvanceKentucky provided $100 checks to each student who qualified by passing the AP test last spring in Math, Science, and English AP courses. Several students passed the AP Social Studies exam, but it was not included in the check reward eligibility, so they were given a digital phone charger set instead.

                 Two dedicated students – Emily Combs and Blake Smith -  attending the luncheon and award ceremony, received three awards for passing three rigorous AP exams. Wayne County High School Principal Justin Alley could not have been prouder of his students. He said he wants to continue to add AP classes to the schedule because he wants Wayne County students to be just as competitive achieving qualifying scores on AP tests and eventually be able to secure future STEM related jobs.       

                The courses are not for everybody because they are the hardest and have the highest expectations. But, those brave enough to tackle them, generally get more than they bargained for in return. Students are always challenged and find them satisfying after completion, whether or not they pass the final AP test to secure college credit. They realize through hard work they can expand their knowledge base in a subject and gain confidence to go forward.

                 “It’s a pretty good deal,” said Senior Nicholas Shearer. “It’s like a two for one because you get the high school credit and a chance at the college credit, providing you pass the stringent AP exam.”

                Fortunately, Shearer made at least a three, meaning he was proficient and could get college credit because of his score. “I was glad to pass the test in AP World History last year. It was a fun challenge.”

                Sophomore Trevor Hammond said Brenda Hoover’s AP Environmental Science course was the “toughest class I’ve ever taken” when he was a freshman.

                “I stressed about it….but, I’d do it again,” agreed Sophomore Austin Shelton.

                Senior Landon Denney said Jared Criswell’s AP Language and Composition class last year was one of the best classes he ever took because it was so hard. “I got a lot out of it,” said Denney.

                “I went to the library and wrote three big essays in a row,” noted Denney. “Numerous multiple-choice questions made up the bulk of the test. It was the worst, but it helped me. I got a lot out of it. The test was really hard.”   

                Students explained that the AP courses are difficult and hard to keep up with just because they are so fast paced. However, if they apply themselves and keep up with their work, they are better prepared to master college classes or advanced technical studies.

                Some of the AP classes are more project based with practical on-the-job training. For instance, Senior Luke Bethel took an AP Computer Science class from Marsha Bertram last year where students completed hands-on activities that required advanced computational thinking. He said it involved working with computers and general programming. “It was more geared to Math people,” said Bethel. “It was a good class.”    

                Wayne County’s AP classes offer a more rigorous take on English, technology, math, science, and history than the average classroom holds. This school year the following classes are available: AP Biology being taught by Kelly Brown, AP Environmental Science instructed by Brenda Hoover, AP Calculus taught by Tyler Guffey, and AP English Literature and Composition taught by Jeremy Barnett.

               As a bonus, students can obtain college credit if they pass the nationwide end of the year AP test. Students who make a three or better on their end of course AP test are likely to receive college credit. Sometimes, students entering college have to take remedial classes before they can enroll in the required class they need for their major. By taking AP classes, a student’s knowledge base is stronger and they may skip an extra precursor course to immediately enroll in a required class.

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