Eighteen students at Jefferson City High School have earned Advanced Placement Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on AP Exams.
The program provides students the opportunity to take college-level courses while still in high school.
Four recent graduates - Elisabeth Blotevogel, Celia Chojnacki, Lydia Meyer and Rachel Mills - qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
Chojnacki said the courses helped her earn 23 credits toward her college degree.
"Both the material, and having to learn how to study, really prepared me for college," she said.
Chojnacki was surprised on Wednesday to learn she'd been awarded the honor - she didn't know it was coming - but said she was really excited about her scores, when she learned how she performed last spring.
"I really owe a lot to my teachers," she said, adding that Aaron Gillam's psychology class was particularly good. "The AP exam was easier than all of the other exams I took all year," she said.
Nine students qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by 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 these exams. These students are Makayla Jordan-Diemler, Meredith Manda, Benton Mitchell, Allision Mollenkamp, Steven Nitz, Jacob Stoehr, Hannah Westin and Katelyn Ziegler.
All but Manda - a senior this fall - graduated in May.
Mollenkamp said all of her AP credits have been accepted by the University of Alabama, which will allow her to attend higher-level courses her freshman year.
And the AP coursework was more engaging.
"I felt more involved in my AP courses, and that I was getting a more-thorough education," Mollenkamp said. "And, all the students in the AP courses are very driven, very interested in what we are learning. And so we had really stimulating conversations, both with our teachers and the other students."
Three graduates - Lawrence Cobb, Elisabeth Gernander, Sonya Roberts - and two seniors - David Steinmeyer and Megan Winge - qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP Exams with scores of 3 or higher.
The 12th grade students have at least one more year in which to complete college-level work and possibly earn a higher-level AP Scholar Award.
Through 34 different college-level courses and exams, AP provides students with the opportunity to earn college credit or advanced placement and stand out in the college admission process.
Each exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring the exams are aligned with the same high standards expected by college faculty at some of the nation's leading liberal arts and research institutions. More than 3,800 colleges and universities annually receive AP scores. Most four-year colleges in the United States provide credit and/or advanced placement for qualifying exam scores. Research consistently shows that AP students who score a 3 or higher on AP Exams (based on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest) typically experience greater academic success in college and have higher college graduation rates than students who do not participate.