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Students take on harder classes to better prepare for college
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2009-2010 AP Scholar Awards  Pitman High School


National AP Scholar Award

·         Jeffrey Shen, 2010 Valedictorian; Sarah Staley, National Merit Scholar Award Winner

 AP Scholar with Distinction Award

·         Mayra Flores, Joshua Haynam, Alexander Leven, Karli Matter, Dominic Romeo, Jeffrey Shen, Sarah Staley

 AP Scholar with Honor Award

·         Hayden Baldwin, Karisma Valencia Garcia, Danesha Grady, Jamie Hsin, Yusuf Sherzad

 AP Scholar Award

·         Tiffany Aguilar, Sukhkaran Aulakh, Jacob Belloli, Gurdit Chahal, Julie Davids, Kiranjit Dhillon, Annie Fei, Brenda Garcia, Elizabeth Grishaw, Katharyn Hildebrand, Violet Kimzey, James King, Michelle Mata, Hailey Matos, Alexandria McCaskill, Eshani Nandita, Nathan Ortiz, Zachary Osborne, Saili Raje, Joe Rendon, Kirk Renshaw, Kristy Teixeira, Rajvir Uppal, Albany Vega, Nathaniel Yonon

  Turlock High School


AP Scholar with Distinction Award

·         Anthony Guzman, Caroline Martins

 AP Scholar with Honor Award

·         Nicolaus Coleman, Benjamin Ewing, Brittany Klemm, Philip Lenz, Kelsey McSweeney, Marisa Moosekian, Kara Reed, Margarita Ruiz, James Smith, Jake Magneson

 AP Scholar Award

·         Grayson Blakeley, Janet Calkins, Jeffrey Chapman, Sukhtaz Dhaliwal, Patrick Gray, Miguel Guerrero, Kevin Harris, Marino Hernandez, Sarah James, Nadine Khedry, Regina Klopping, Nicholas McGinnis, Juan Mejia, Azrael Nickens, Myrinda Ornelas, Jose Ortiz, Elisabeth Schendel, Jeffrey Severson, Mary Shields, Morgan Smallwood, Brittany Snyder, Paola Soria, Angela Vallerga, Eric Wetzel

  Information provided by Pitman High and Turlock High.

Some students take Advanced Placement classes to challenge themselves and some take AP classes to get college credits in high school, but either way, students say these classes are well worth the hard work.

“It is more challenging,” said Andrea Paz, a senior at Turlock High School. “AP classes offer a broader interpretation of material. It is more in-depth.”

Paz is working on her seventh AP class and has enjoyed the challenges the college-level classes offer her as she hopes to get into her number one college choice of Saint Mary’s College.

The AP classes range from European History to English Literature to Biology and they are all college-level classes that are offered in high school where high school students can actually earn college credits before they even step foot on a college campus.

And with college classes there comes more work, but most students say the work isn’t the difficult part. It is the college-like atmosphere where the students are given more responsibilities and treated more like college students instead of high school students.

“They treat us more like an adult,” said Wyatt Allen, Turlock High senior. “They treat us like college students. These AP classes are a nice stepping stone to help us figure out the college way of life and help better prepare us for college.”

Allen is taking his fifth AP class and already has college credits under his belt before he goes on to Modesto Junior College next fall.

After taking the college-level AP classes, students must take and pass the AP test in order to receive college credits. Test scores range from one to five and a student must score above a three to get college credits.

Most say the tests are hard but Turlock High Senior Sierra Baker said her AP English test was easy because her AP teachers really prepared her for the test.

Baker decided to take on AP English because she wanted a challenge.

“I have always been strong in English but I never really took a challenge and pushed myself,” Baker said. “I have learned a lot and have been educated at a higher level than I would have at other classes.”

Some students said their AP classes are more flexible with what they teach and they take a different approach than those in everyday classes offered at the high school level.

“Regular classes focus more on ‘do you know the material’ and AP classes educate you more,” Baker said.

Even Turlock High Senior Alex Wolski said he feels better educated being in these college-level courses.

“Regular classes teach more to the curriculum,” he said. “AP classes offer a well-rounded education where you learn a lot.”

Wolski also feels like AP classes help gear students up for college after high school with more work and more freedom like a college student.

“We aren’t constantly reminded when things are due,” he said.  “We take on a lot more responsibility for our assignments.”

Wolski is hoping to attend the University of California, Santa Cruz next fall to major in Kinesiology.

“We have harder classes and heavier backpacks,” he said. 

To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.