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A record number of Thomas Jefferson High School students recently began taking Advanced Placement (AP) Exams and some of those students recently were lauded at a pair of events.  Students who pass AP exams may qualify to earn college credits.

TJHS_AP Scholars Group
Pictured are some of the Thomas Jefferson High School AP Scholars. (Not all students were present for photo)

A record total of 244 TJ students took AP Exams, more than double the 94 students that did so in Spring 2017 and well above the 191 that did so last year. The Jaguar students will be taking a total of 410 AP Exams, also more than double the 180 AP Exams that TJ administered in 2017 and a significant increase from the 310 exams last year.

A school record 24 TJ students earned AP Scholars distinction and were recognized at an event unveiling their names on the AP Scholars display at the high school. Thomas Jefferson students can earn AP Scholar honors by taking at least five AP Exams and scoring a 3 or greater on three or more exams during their high school career.

The number of Thomas Jefferson AP Scholars has increased from 19 in 2020, to 21 last year, and 24 this year.

“We have improved the culture of our AP Program by celebrating academics, eliminating enrollment barriers that existed in the past and adding AP courses to our program of studies that students and teachers are excited about,” said TJ Assistant Principal Adam Knaresborough. "Any student who has plans to enroll in post-secondary education should take at least one AP class to see if college level course work is for them. Learning this while in high school is much more economical than spending a semester of college tuition to determine college isn't the right path for them."

A first-ever pep rally was held for all the TJ students who took the AP Exams. The rally included the introduction of the AP Scholars and the naming of 12 students who earned a $500 scholarship for being selected a NMSI (National Math and Science Initiative) STEM Star. There also were student impersonations of several AP teachers, senior Joey Wodarek performed a new song and the students were treated to Bruster’s ice cream at the end. The pep rally was planned by the AP Humanities Club, led by president Megan Rozanski.

“As our students and parents know, the AP journey is not an easy one,” said Lauren Kaszonyi, who teaches 11th grade AP English Language and Composition at Thomas Jefferson. “Success in these courses demands an unwavering work-ethic, a genuine quest for knowledge, effective time management and a positive attitude. By facing these challenges at the high school level, AP students have prepared themselves for college and beyond.”

Thomas Jefferson offers 19 AP courses and is adding two more in 2022-23 - AP Environmental Science and AP U.S. Government and Politics - to bring the total to 21.

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