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Corbett students soar in tough advanced placement classes

Seventy students honored for excellence -


OUTLOOK PHOTO - Parents and teachers applaud the Corbett High School Advanced Placement students. The line of scholars snaked around the cafeteria.The Corbett School Board Wednesday night honored more than 70 students who have succeeded in rigorous, college-credit classes in high school, which are part of a national program known as advanced placement.

One student, Momo Wilms-Crow, who graduated in 2016 as the school’s valedictorian, earned 78 college credits by taking these college-level courses and is in her “senior” year as a freshman at University of Oregon.

Corbett students take an average of 10 or 11 AP courses during their high school careers, which is an exceptionally large number compared with other high schools.

“Statistically we should have 13 AP scholars, but we have 70,” said Randy Trani, Corbett superintendent.

Corbett offers 18 AP classes, but students are not required to take them. AP classes range from art history, to calculus, to world history.

Trani said Corbett has aspirations for 100 percent of seniors to graduate on time and 100 percent to go on to college or into the military. Last year 97.1 percent of seniors graduated on time and more than 90 percent went to college or the military.

“It is an absurd, lofty goal, but every year we get closer,” he said.

OUTLOOK PHOTO - Corbett High School Principal Phil Pearson awards one young scholar her AP medal. Corbett students earned college credits through the Advanced Placement program at levels that far exceed other similar high schools. Principal Phil Pearson told The Outlook, “Our ‘AP for All’ program is built on the stout conviction that we have to want for all children what we want for our own.”

The national advanced placement program is a series of college-level classes taken in high school. It’s a program of the College Board, which also creates and administers the well-known college entrance examination, the SAT.

At the end of an AP class students have the option of taking a final test, which is scored from 1 to 5. If a student gets a 3 or above, most colleges will give them credit for the class. Some students can enter college as sophomores or higher, saving the students time and money.

Trani said the value of the credits these 70 students earned amounted to $473,237 worth of tuition at a state school.

“Plus you save room and board and other expenses,” Trani said, by potentially shortening your time in college.

Even if a college does not accept the credits, some colleges allow the student to satisfy a lower-level course requirement with an AP class.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Eve Echternach (left) and Hannah Rasmussen pose for a photo for their proud parents. They were two of the 70 students honored by the Corbett School District for their outstanding scholarship in college-level Advanced Placement classes. The difficult AP courses also prepare students better for the rigors of college courses than regular high school offerings, experts say.

CHS had 47 students who were designated as AP Scholars, which means they scored 3 or better on three or more AP examinations. Trani said AP Scholars are in the top 96.6 percent of students nationwide.

“Our size of school should have 12 of these students and we have 47,” Trani said, to huge applause from proud parents and teachers gathered Wednesday, Sept. 21, in the Corbett schools cafeteria.

Trani recognized five students who earned the status of AP Scholar with Honor, which means the student averaged at least a 3.25 on all AP tests and scores of 3 or higher on four or more exams.

Corbett had 18 AP Scholars with Distinction.

They are in the top 98.8 percent of students nationwide. Trani said a school Corbett’s size statistically should have four of these Scholars with Distinction.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Excellence in AP work is often a family affair at Corbett. Brook Mackaness (pictured) was honored as was his older brother Cedar, who graduated last year and is now away at college. These students earned average of at least a 3.5 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more AP tests.

Trani announced that five students earned the prestigious honor being a National AP Scholar, putting them in the top 99.8 percent of high school students nationwide.

The 70 students recognized are current CHS students and 2016 graduates. Pearson hung a medal around the necks of those present, but many could not attend because they had already started college.

Trani told the cheering parents and teachers that the AP tests and honors are just the icing on the cake.

“The cake is all the learning that is going on,” he said.