Thomas County Central High School continues to build its Advanced Placement offerings and celebrate the program’s successes.
For the 2017-2018 school year, according to data compiled by AP program officials, 80 percent of TCCHS AP students who took AP exams earned a score of 3 or higher on each exam taken. This is an increase of one percent from last year; however, it is also 19 percent higher than both the state and global average of 61 percent.
“I'm very proud of our teachers, both AP and those who prepare them for AP, who have contributed to the rigorous coursework and the success of our Advanced Placement program,” TCCHS Assistant Principal James Rehberg said. “Our scores confirm we were able to add courses while maintaining our quality of instruction and improving our success rate on the exams. Our students also worked very hard and we are very proud of their success.”
TCCHS offers a variety of both STEM and humanities courses. For example, TCCHS has added AP Human Geography to its 2018-2019 selection.
“TCCHS' AP program provides a variety of courses that students can take that play on their strengths,” student Edjenee’ Corbin said. “The diversity in courses offers the opportunity for each student to find an AP course that they are interested in taking.”
Corbin took AP United States History last year and passed her AP exam.
“History has always been a passion of mine, and I wanted to learn and understand the complexity of it,” she said. “I feel like I earned my score because I put in the work all year long and prepared for the exam.”
Six courses (five teachers) had a 100 percent pass rate amongst their students: AP Music Theory (Nicole Davis), AP Art History and AP World History (Brett James), AP Chemistry (Laura Kornegay), AP Statistics (Darrin Minns), and AP Studio Art (Shelby Young).
“I could not be prouder,” Shelby Young, who joined the TCCHS staff last year, said of her students’ success. “My students worked hard to achieve their goals and were willing to take the curve balls I'd throw their way. Although there are three portfolios a student may submit, both of my students submitted drawing portfolios.”
Young chose to teach AP because the program puts into action valuable lessons she imparts to her students: how to build a portfolio of work, manage their time, address their strengths and weaknesses, and push themselves to expand beyond their limits.
Four other courses had an almost 100 percent pass rate: AP English Literature, AP Environmental Science, AP Latin and AP Biology.
Last school year was instructor Meagan Bradshaw’s first year teaching AP Biology.
“I am very pleased with my students’ scores,” Bradshaw said. “It was so rewarding to see my students grow throughout the whole year. I experienced a lot of personal growth as well. It was a learning process for everyone. I think we all worked hard, and I am thankful to see that everyone's hard work paid off."
Also, successful completion of AP courses can help students attain college credit.
“These courses are important to provide students with an opportunity to not only discover what they're capable of but to earn credit for college,” Young said. “The more credits earned, the less expensive college becomes.”
Young believes the school’s AP achievements will continue to grow as more students choose to challenge themselves.
Corbin encourages other youth to consider taking an AP course.
“AP programs are important because they provide the chance for each student to better understand a subject they enjoy learning about,” she said. “I encourage students to take AP courses because learning is more enjoyable when the individual shows interest in the topic.”
Her participation in the TCCHS AP program has also taught Corbin some valuable lessons outside the textbook.
“Taking AP classes helped me in all my other classes because it taught me that learning is more than memorization – you need to be able to recognize patterns, analyze and understand what you are learning – and it made all my classes more enjoyable for me,” she explains. “AP courses also taught me time management and how to deal with stress, both skills I can use in everyday life.”