Headmaster’s Newsletter

Academy Students Honored for Advanced Placement Achievement

Steve Jolliffe teaching AP Research
September 3, 2018

Faculty member Steve Jolliffe teaches his AP Research class. 25 out of 27 eligible SJA students passed the AP Research exam.

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program provides motivated and academically prepared students the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school allowing motivated students to stand out from their peers in college admissions, earn college credit, skip introductory college classes, and develop college-level skills. St. Johnsbury Academy currently offers over 25 Advanced Placement courses.


The College Board describes AP scores as follows: 5–extremely well qualified, A+ or A in an equivalent college course; 4–very well qualified, A-, B+, or B in an equivalent college course; 3–qualified; B-, C+, or C in an equivalent college course; 2–possible qualified; 1–no recommendation. To pass an AP exam, a student must receive a score of 3 or higher.


Overall Results


A total of 254 Academy students took 489 Advanced Placement exams in May 2018. The school’s passing rate, determined by the percentage of students who scored 3 or more points out of a possible 5 on an exam, was 85.6%, well above both the state average of 69% and the national average of 61%.


AP Capstone Program


This year marked the third year of our AP Capstone program. The program was developed with input from the faculty and admissions staff from more than 50 colleges and universities, including Stanford, Columbia, Duke and UC Berkeley. Philip Ballinger, Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Washington, said, “At the University of Washington, we are very interested in enrolling students who have distinguished themselves through the AP Capstone program. Students who successfully participate in the AP Capstone program learn how to read and assess sources critically, distill and synthesize conclusions based on evidence, and effectively communicate their conclusions to others. This developed skill of critical reading, thinking, and communicating is precisely what leads to high achievement and outcomes in college.”


The AP Capstone program involves a two-course sequence: AP Seminar followed by AP Research. Students who complete the AP Seminar and Research courses and earn scores of 3 or higher on the subsequent exams, as well as on at least 4 other AP exams, earn the AP Capstone Diploma. Students successfully completing only the AP Seminar and AP Research courses and exams earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate. This year, 17 students earned the AP Capstone Diploma; seven earned the AP Capstone Seminar and Research Certificate. Out of 27 eligible students, 25 passed the AP Research exam and received recognition, a 93% pass rate. The national average rate of passing the AP Research exam is 74%. St. Johnsbury Academy is currently the only school in northern New England to offer this program.


The 17 students earning the AP Capstone Diploma were Nicholas Andrade, Annie Danielson, Emma Forster, Rian Fried, John Gaston, Noah Glenshaw, Benjamin Hammer, Yichen Lyu, Lauren Rauert, Kamilya Reid, Avery Romp, Audra Shield-Taylor, Asher Solnit, Ralph Steyn, Madison Suitor, Lily Sullivan, and Margaret Toll. Those earning the AP Seminar and Research Certificate were Cara Benjamin, Avery Caterine, Samuel Coyle, Devin Foley, Frances Holderby, Logan Samuels, and Calvin Wagner.


AP Scholars


An impressive 88 Academy students were honored for exceptional performance on their AP exams: 26 were recognized as AP Scholar with Distinction for receiving an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more exams; 18 students received AP Scholar with Honor for an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more exams; 44 students received the distinction of AP Scholar for receiving a 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. Three students were further honored as National AP Scholars for receiving an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more exams.


The National AP Scholars were Benjamin Hammer ’18, Asher Solnit ’18, and Ralph Steyn ’18. Benjamin Hammer and Asher Solnit were the co-salutatorians for the Class of 2018. Ben will attend Washington University in St. Louis, and Asher will attend Northeastern University. Ralph Steyn will attend McGill University.


Recognized as AP Scholars with Distinction (receiving an average score of at least 3.5 on all exams taken and grades of 3 or higher on five or more) were Annie Danielson, Cody Engel, Emma Forster, Rian Fried, John Gaston, Benjamin Hammer, Matthew Hunton, Dali Kapanadze, Jialin Li, Yichen Lyu, Quinn Nelson-Mayo, Lauren Rauert, Avery Romp, Elijah Schreiber, Audra Shield-Taylor, Asher Solnit, Ralph Steyn, Madison Suitor, Lily Sullivan, Margaret Toll, Kamila Uranayeva, and Victor Xie, from the Class of 2018. Joseph Brody, Jiayue Wang, Jianing Wu, and Hanzhang Yu from the Class of 2019 were also honored.


Earning AP Scholar with Honor (receiving an average grade of 3.25 on all exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more) were Nicholas Andrade, Mackenzie Beck, Noah Glenshaw, Ziqi Gong, Yiyi Liang, Kamilya Reid, and Calvin Zhang from the Class of 2018. From the Class of 2019, Mason Castle, Alexis Degreenia, Sihan Dong, John Fannon, Alexander Gates, Elizabeth Gilmartin, Kaitlyn Girouard, Ruini Hong, Diamond McKinney, Lia Rotti, and Fiona Sweeney were honored.


Earning AP Scholar recognition (receiving grades of 3 or higher on three or more tests) were Jeremiah Aiken, Toamin Barter, Cara Benjamin, Anna Buntova, Ethan Bushey, Madeline Byford, Emma Carlson, Avery Caterine, Tien-Yu Chao, Mitchell Chase, Johannah Cooke, Samuel Coyle, Annabelle Cunningham, Elsa Eckhardt, Devin Foley, Si Ting Liu, Elijah Racusin, Dominique Salisbury, Logan Samuels, George Sanders Lopez, Andrew Hegarty, Frances Holderby, Brenna Kerin, Cassandra Kinerson, from the Class of 2018. From the Class of 2019, Jiaxin Du, Alexander Gingue, Rebecca Green, Zhiying Guan, Kexin Huang, Ainsley Larsen, Adam LeClair, Jinghao Lin, Jack Luna, Elias Moore, Jen Rotti, Taryn Tremblay, Zeou Wei, Joanna Williams-Keane, Daisuke Yamada, and Leili Young-Xu received recognition. Finally, from the Class of 2020, were MacKay Breton and Tim Juettner.


“We are very proud of the success of the students in our AP program,” Jeffrey Burroughs, the Academy’s Assistant Headmaster for Academics, said.  “St. Johnsbury Academy continues to be leader in the state, offering the most AP courses in the state and giving the most tests as well.”


Headmaster Tom Lovett said, “The families of these students should be very proud of these accomplishments. These scores place our students among the top in the country, and the number of test-takers in a school our size is truly impressive. Our students stretch themselves as they reach for excellence. What is most impressive to me is that these students are not cookie-cutter scholars; they have diverse interests and learning styles. It’s a testament to our talented faculty that so many different kinds of learners achieve internationally recognized credentials in this college-level program.”

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