Record number of Seneca Valley students named AP Scholars

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Efforts to improve college-level courses at Seneca Valley over the past few years are showing results.

School board members learned this week that 41 students earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition for exceptional achievement on Advanced Placement exams.

District spokeswoman Linda Andreassi called this a record-breaking year. She noted that the district had only three students recognized for AP Scholar awards in 2009.

Successfully passing the exams means the students are able to place out of introductory courses in college. The AP Scholar Award is given by the College Board, the company that oversees the testing. The award does not offer monetary compensation but recognizes achievement on the tests.

At Seneca Valley, one student qualified for recognition as a National AP Scholar. Katherine Miller, who graduated in May, had perfect scores on all eight AP exams she took.

Fourteen Seneca Valley students qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction award by receiving a score of at least 3.5 out of a possible 5 on five or more exams.

Eight other students were named AP Scholars with Honor for scoring at least 3.25 on four or more exams, and 19 qualified for the AP Scholar awards by scoring 3 or higher on three or more exams.

Superintendent Tracy Vitale said the district has made an effort recently to encourage more pupils to take AP courses and the exams.

A letter from Ms. Vitale detailing the district's advanced placement and college-level course offerings was sent in the spring to parents of students who qualified by having all A's and B's in regular classes.

Assistant superintendent Matthew McKinley said the district has made an effort to encourage younger students to take the courses when they reach the upper grades. Most AP courses are taught in the senior high school. He said the district has had AP instructors and students currently enrolled in AP classes speak to sophomores about the courses.

Seneca Valley has 22 AP courses, up from 12 a few years ago, Mr. McKinley said.

marcellusshale - neigh_north

Laure Cioffi, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com. First Published October 17, 2013 1:19 AM


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