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DPHS honors AP students at awards breakfast

'This will prepare students greatly for college'

DPHS advanced placement student Rachel Duda receives her certificate from history teacher Nicole Jyringi. Kevin Flanders. (click for larger version)
April 08, 2016
SPENCER — David Prouty High School students know as soon as they begin an advanced placement course that they're up for a big challenge. After many long nights of studying and challenging exams this year, the students celebrated their accomplishments last Friday with a breakfast at the school.

Joined by their families and teachers, several students were awarded certificates marking their completion of rigorous advanced placement (AP) courses at DPHS. From history to statistics and everything in between, the students not only maximized their academic opportunities in high school but also prepared themselves well for college.

But it wasn't easy. While many of their friends were resting on weekends or enjoying social recreations on school nights, these students were hitting the books hard. It's a personal investment into the future, teachers said, and many of the students took more than one AP course this year.

"These students were an absolute pleasure to teach. The amount of scholarship in this class was at a college level," said AP history teacher Nicole Jyringi.

One of the goals of the DPHS AP program is to bring the environment of a college course to high school. That means more difficult exams, a broader depth of instruction, and, you guessed it, much more homework.

But having dramatically increased their academic flexibility, the students are more than ready for college. In some instances, the demands of certain college courses might not be as rigorous as those of AP work, teachers said.

In all AP classes, teachers were impressed by students' abilities to do whatever it took to be prepared. Sacrifices were certainly made socially to allow for a greater academic emphasis, but in the end the students' work will be well worth it.

"My students came in early, stayed late, and did work on weekends – the workload is tremendous and they were ready for it," said Keith Servant, whose first-year AP statistics course saw an impressive 23 students. "This will prepare students greatly for college classes."

As the school continues to improve and expand its AP offerings, teachers were thrilled by high numbers of signups for this year's courses. As classes like Servant's AP statistics section continue to advance and evolve, school officials are expecting even higher enrollment numbers next year.

And AP courses don't just benefit the students – teachers also enjoy working with the most academically committed and determined students Prouty has to offer.

"I am so proud of every single one of these kids who took the challenge," said Nancy Gingras, who teaches writing and language arts.

AP students at Prouty were given the full range of material in their respective courses. In one of Gingras' classes, students learned all about persuasion and how to become great "arguers" of their points, readying them for college courses on rhetoric and writing.

"After they leave this class, I don't want them back," Gingras joked about the skills they learned in persuasive speech and writing.

Best of all, many of the students will earn college credits after excelling in AP exams, allowing them to take more challenging and fascinating courses as freshmen.

Kevin Flanders can be reached at 508-909-4140, or by e-mail at kflanders@stonebridgepress.com.

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