Thomas County Central High School is continuing its efforts to provide rigorous courses for students seeking challenging content.
This year, the school has added two more Advanced Placement, or AP, classes to its roster: AP Latin, taught by Cary Riggs, and AP Environmental Science, taught by Laura Kornegay.
“Our AP program continues to expand and grow to meet the needs of our student population,” TCCHS Assistant Principal James T. Rehberg, who coordinates gifted and accelerated instruction, said.
Kornegay said AP Environmental Science “is an important course that relates to all students” because “keeping our environment healthy is important to everyone.” She’s wanted TCCHS to offer it for a few years, and now that the school’s AP program has grown, she’s “happy to teach it.”
“We should all learn what impact our actions have on the environment and how we can minimize negative impacts,” Kornegay said. “The main goal is for students to learn about factors that affect the environment and to form opinions on environmental issues based on fact. Of course, I also hope that all my students will make a 5 on the test and get college credit for the course!”
Rehberg said TCCHS has been an AP STEM School (students test in at least two AP math and two AP science courses) for the past few years and this new course “expands our offerings to students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math fields.”
AP Environmental Science student Kacy Jones said, so far, she loves the class.
“I wanted to take this course so that I could gain a better understanding of the environment,” Jones said. “This class will benefit me by not only showing me how my everyday life affects the Earth but also what I can do to help the planet.”
Classmate Logan Herring likes the rigorous content.
“I wanted to take this course because of the rigor it provides while teaching valuable information about the world we live in,” Herring said. “I’ve enjoyed the class so far, and can’t wait to see what things I can learn in the future.”
AP Latin is also a course its instructor has wanted to teach for a few years, but Riggs said he had to wait for his Latin students to be ready.
“We’ve been working toward giving this course since I came here,” he said. “Students need at least about three years to get ready to be able to do the level of work required. We do have two students who just finished Latin II, but they are particularly good and I think they are ready to take on the challenge.”
Rehberg said this addition to the school’s AP offerings expands the students’ range of choices from the humanities field. He anticipates TCCHS will qualify to be an AP Humanities school this year. The classification, added in 2015, means TCCHS will test students in at least one ELA course, two social science courses, one fine arts course, and one world language course.
“Students looking for advanced study in foreign languages or just getting a firm foundation in Latin for a career in law or medicine will really appreciate this advanced level of instruction,” Rehberg said.
The course will feature Virgil’s “The Aeneid” and Caesar’s “The Gaelic War.” It also will explore the history and ideals behind these works and their time periods. Students will translate lines, and then discuss them during class.
“The AP Latin exam is known as one of the harder exams,” Riggs said. “It is very challenging vocabulary/grammar wise and analysis wise.”
AP Latin student Cole Donovan likes that this class is “more rigorous” than his past Latin courses and that he’ll learn more about grammar in relation to the Latin language.
“It’s my senior year and I wanted to take the highest level of Latin that I could, and earn some college credit,” he said.
Classmate Austin Yeomans likes that he’ll learn about the history behind the texts they’ll read and translate for class.
“I anticipate that it will be more challenging,” he said. “Of all the languages to take at this school, I think Latin is by far the most interesting to me.”
AP courses and exams are administered by the College Board, Rehberg explained, and these are one of the various means Georgia students can take advantage of college-level learning opportunities. Students who receive a 3, 4, or 5 on AP exams may receive college credit.
“Any AP course is important because it challenges our students,” Riggs said. “They are probably the most rigorous courses available to high school students. AP is the highest standard.”