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(Chicago Tribune photo)

(Chicago Tribune photo)

By Mae Mastin, Joliet West

This month, my school district received the 7th Annual AP District of the Year award. This means that, of four hundred and thirty-three districts classified as “small,” ours was recognized for increasing both participation and performance in AP courses, according to a JTHS press release.

In addition, District 204 was included in the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll, which “recognizes school districts across the U.S. and Canada for increasing AP access to these students while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher,” according to the College Board.   

I am so incredibly proud of my school for these achievements. I think both awards highlight the amazing work our teachers and administrators do in preparing us for our futures. (At the AP District of the Year award assembly, which I attended earlier this month, the students’ cheers were the loudest when several of the speakers congratulated JTHS staff for their role in the achievement.) In addition, this award emphasizes the hard work of JTHS AP students in achieving their own goals. I am so proud to be included in such an extraordinary group of AP students who push me and each other to be better scholars.

To any students considering taking an AP course at any school, I would like to say that I would completely recommend it. I have enjoyed every AP class I’ve taken (and every one that I am currently taking). I have had absolutely amazing AP teachers who have made success possible for me. I have always found support when I needed it. I’ve learned that AP is more than a class or course of study. AP is a group that bonds students. For me, the AP District of the Year award shows that AP classes make amazing things happen in students’ lives. The people involved with this program are truly making a difference in the future of the world.

In Illinois, schools must provide some course credit for any AP scores of 3 or higher, according to the Chicago Tribune. This means that many, many JTHS students will enter college with some credit already. This is usually our primary goal—to save money by taking college courses in high school. However, I’ve learned that taking AP courses provides many more opportunities than credit; before I ever see the score on my AP exams, I have already earned success, connection, and amazing experiences through the AP program.


For more about the 7th Annual AP District of the Year award, click here.

For more about the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll, click here.

For the JTHS press release on the award, click here.

For more about Illinois college credit policies, click here.  

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