Denison High School students who took Advanced Placement Exams in 2017 turned in a record 166 qualifying scores of 3 or higher, a giant jump over last year’s 115 qualifying scores. According to school officials, scores of 3 or higher make students eligible for valuable course credits at the college level, which helps students graduate college in the recommended four years or less while also saving tuition dollars.
“Thanks to qualifying AP scores and the successful completion of dual credit courses, we have students every year who start college as sophomores…occasionally even as juniors,” said DHS lead counselor Carrie Boettger. “Much of this can be attributed to extremely high levels of expert instruction by our teachers…combined with great focus and dedication on the part of our students. Everyone works together for the greater good of our kids. I’m just so impressed by these awesome numbers.”
A total of 184 DHS students took a record 401 AP Exams, with possible scores ranging from 1 to 5. Of the 166 qualifying scores earned by DHS students, 115 received a score of three, 41 received a score of 4, and 10 received a score of 5.
Additionally, 21 DHS students earned AP Scholar Awards for scoring 3 or higher on three or more exams; four received an AP Scholar with Honor Award for scoring at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken and earning a score of 3 or higher on four or more exams; and five DHS students earned AP Scholar with Distinction Awards for scoring an average of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken and earning scores of three or higher on five or more of the exams.
According to Shonda Cannon, DISD Director of Instruction, the continued improvement in AP scores supports the effectiveness of the instructional strategies implemented annually by DISD teachers and curriculum specialists that help students master difficult course material throughout their high school careers.
“Some students begin taking AP exams as early as their freshman and sophomore years,” said Cannon. “Depending on individual course schedules, some students take Biology, Spanish and the World History as sophomores…sometimes Spanish as freshmen. Junior level students can take Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science, English Language and several other subjects. English Literature, Government, Calculus and several others are strictly Senior AP courses. We’re seeing increased participation and higher scores at virtually every level, in both the AP program and in our Dual Credit program.”
AP courses and corresponding number of qualifying scores by DHS students are as follows: U.S. History – 22, Biology – 21, English Language – 21, Statistics -17, World History – 13, Government – 12, English Literature – 12, Physics – 11, Spanish – 10, Economics – 8, Calculus – 7, Environmental Science – 7, Chemistry – 3, and Computer Science – 2.
Denison High School’s 2017 AP Scholars are: Andy Adame, Quentin Burroughs, Angela Chesser, Shiloh Cooksey, Avery Crawley, Alexandra Evans, Jamie Harris, Mark Hermoso, William Horning, Ali Javed, Emily Joie, Wilson Kirkbride, Davis Looney, Laura Martinez, Harrison Mason, Conner Massenburg, Kelly Neidert, Ellie North, Ryan Riddle, Kendra Tackett and Anna Tully; AP Scholars with Honors: Gavin Bourge, Alyssa Cornelius, Caiden Geesling and Courtney Gillespie; AP Scholars with Distinction: Luke Altnether, Bao Catteau, Hannah Hittson, Chaz Hodge and Madison Poe.
“These results are directly related to the fervent preparation and many hours of studying put in by these students,” said Cannon. “Our AP teachers do an outstanding job preparing our students to be successful on these tough exams. I am so proud of the effort given by these students and teachers.”
Dr. Henry Scott, DISD Superintendent, expressed gratitude for the community support that also facilitates student success. “A tremendous amount of community support, particularly from our local foundations, helps facilitate this kind of success. The Munson Foundation provides generous AP Incentive Grants each year that encourage our kids to not only take the tougher AP courses and exams, but to pass them with scores of 3 or higher. Our Smith Foundation underwrites Camp Goddard, DHS Prime Time Tutoring and the district’s Teacher Mentoring program. SMART boards provided by the Mayor Foundation continue to greatly enhance learning in all our DISD classrooms. The Braun and Regensburger foundations also provide generous grants for Fine Arts and other enrichment programs. When you look at the high level of community commitment to our schools and students, you get a true picture of the impact these foundations have on student learning and success.”