Bartow County School System saw a sharp increase in students taking Advanced Placement college-level courses and exams in the 2018-2019 school year.

And a total of 71 Bartow County School System students earned awards for achieving highest scores on AP exams they took in May.

The AP Program consists of college-level courses that high schools can choose to offer their students.

The county system’s focus on AP programs at all high schools during the 2018-2019 school year led to Bartow students increasing by 35% their participation in AP courses and 30% in AP exams taken compared to the 2017-2018 school year, a news release stated.

Exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5 and many U.S. colleges offer course credit for AP exam scores of 3 or higher, according to information from the program’s website.

Bartow County students scored a 3 or higher on 61 more AP exams compared to 2018, said school system AP Coordinator Paula Camp.

“I am so proud of our students, parents and high school AP coordinators for their commitment to increasing both access and success in AP courses,” Camp said.

The College Board, which administers the AP Program nationwide, recognizes four levels of achievement based on exam performance: National AP Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction, AP Scholar with Honor, and AP Scholar.

Three Bartow County students qualified for the National AP Scholar Award by earning an average score of 4 or higher on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of the exams.

They included:

♦ Trinity Conant, 2019 graduate of Adairsville High School;

♦ Peter Germ and Ezra Petron, both 2019 graduates of Woodland High.

Twenty-three students earned the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by receiving an average score of 3.5 or higher on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of the exams.

They included:

♦ Adairsville 2019 graduates Madison Bailey, Helen Bryant, Lelah Cochran, Trinity Conant and Ryan Lance; and senior Bryana Candelaria;

♦ Cass High 2019 graduates Robert Barfield, Jenna Keeler, Colby-James McKnight, Corbin Molnar, Garrett Moore, Joshua Peace, and Zachary Thacker;

♦ Woodland 2019 graduates Carris Adcock, Jordan Duck, Peter Germ, Katelyn Grundy, Heidi Hicks, Ezra Petron, and Stephen Willoughby; and seniors McKenna Trapheagen, Abigail Matthews, and Dillon Carver.

Ten students received the AP Scholar with Honor Award after 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 the exams.

The recipients were:

♦ Adairsville 2019 graduate Evelynn Lipham;

♦ Cass 2019 graduates Zachary Armstead, Mia Jackman and Cortaney Martin-Jones; and seniors Alexa Halpern and Emily Linek;

♦ Woodland 2019 graduates Caitlyn Blankenship, Robert Gollhofer and Patrick Hickam; and senior Madison Cornwell.

Thirty-eight students were awarded the AP Scholar distinction by earning a score of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.

They included:

♦ Adairsville 2019 graduates Julia Belew, Sierra Fritz, Tristen Garner, Tamaras Henderson, Abby Herren and Nic Jackson; and seniors Brandon Lawhorn and Audrey Mixon;

♦ Cass 2019 graduates Brianna Gonsahn, Makayla Harlan, Mary Kyle, Isabella Mann, Andrea Mosqueda Cruz, Reese Pirkle, Keegan Ruggles, Candice Simmons, Grace Weeks, Reagan Wilson, Kendall Arnold, Connor Bryson, Trinity Byrd, Ethan Etheridge, and seniors Lexi Atilano, Caleb Doolittle, Alice Draper, and Joseph Forsyth.

♦ Woodland 2019 graduates Camden Acree, Abbey Bartmess, Kiersten Iruegas, Sarah Moore, and William Sands; seniors Stanton Bedwell, Everett Brannon, Ana Novo, Adam Pirkle, Calvin Stovall and Rebecca Wesley; and junior Brady Fuller.

Cass Principal Stephen Revard said administrators are “most excited” about the 29 percent increase in the number of AP Scholar award winners in 2019. A total of 23 earned the award in 2018.

“This gives us momentum as we create an Advanced Placement pathway to include at least 20 AP courses over the next three years,” he said. “Thus, allowing our students to receive the optimum benefits of the Advanced Placement curriculum.”

Camp said she was “excited that the Bartow County School System added AP course offerings this year at the Bartow County College and Career Academy.”

“Our students are being offered more advanced academic opportunities than ever before, and our students are rising to the challenge,” she said.

Bartow schools Superintendent Phillip Page said, “Through rigorous coursework, these standout students develop college skills, such as time management, critical thinking and scholarly writing.

“Some discover their passion and earn college credit before their hands hit a high school diploma,” he said.

“Undoubtedly, college admissions committees recognize AP scores as a barometer for future college success. Once admitted to a college, these selected students often skip introductory courses, which, in return, saves money and could result in early graduation,” Page said.

The 2018-19 scholars will be recognized at the Oct. 21 Bartow County School Board meeting.

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