Students Honored for AP Achievement

February 3, 2020

In May 2019 a total of 237 Academy students took 490 Advancement Placement exams. 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 85.2%. The 2019 passing rate for Vermont was 65.5%. The national rate for the same period was 60.1%.


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. The program allows 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 31 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.


AP Capstone Program

This year marked the fourth year of the AP Capstone program at St. Johnsbury Academy. The program was developed with input from the faculty and admissions staff of 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, 22 students earned the AP Capstone Diploma and six earned the AP Capstone Seminar and Research Certificate. Out of 33 eligible students, 28 passed the AP Research exam and received recognition, an 85% pass rate. The national average rate of passing the AP Research exam is 76%. St. Johnsbury Academy is currently the only school in northern New England to offer this program.


The 22 students earning the AP Capstone Diploma were Joseph Brody, Madeline Byford, Mason Castle, Ying-Chi Chen, Alexis Degreenia, Sihan Dong, John Fannon, Alexander Gingue, Kaitlyn Girouard, Rebecca Green, Ruini Hong, Jinghao Lin, Jen Rotti, Lia Rotti, Fiona Sweeney, Taryn Tremblay, Jiayue Wang, Yanze Wang, Zeou Wei, Jianing Wu, Daisuke Yamada, and Qiongyin Yan. All of these students graduated in June, 2019. In addition, six students received the AP Capstone Seminar and Research Certificate: Sam Bulpin, Jiaxin Du, Grace Phelps, Emily Steen, Mian Wu and Valerie Xie.


AP Scholars

An impressive 87 Academy students were honored for exceptional performance on their AP exams; thirty-four were recognized as AP Scholar with Distinction, twenty students received AP Scholar with Honor, and thirty-three students received AP Scholar recognition. Joseph Brody ’19 and John Fannon ’19 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.


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 exams) were Joseph Brody, Madeline Byford, Mason Castle, Alexis Degreenia, Sihan Dong, John Fannon, Alexander Gates, Alexander Gingue, Kaitlyn Girouard, Rebecca Green, Ruini Hong, Kexin Huang, Yu Wei Huang, Adam LeClair, Jinghao Lin, Jack Luna, Jen Rotti, Lia Rotti, Jiajun Shen, Fiona Sweeney, Takanori Tanifuji, Taryn Tremblay, Jiayue Wang, Jianing Wu, Leili Young-Xu, Hanzhang Yu from the Class of 2019 and MacKay Breton, Ryan Egan, Zoe Montague, Yifeng Pan, Anna Piro, Jiayi Xu, Han Zeng, Yiqi Zhao from the Class of 2020.


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 exams) were Sam Bulpin, Natalie Cartwright, Maria Cruz Morales, Martin Kraus, Ainsley Larsen, Xiaotong Wang, Yanze Wang, Tyler Wells, Daisuke Yamada, from the Class of 2019; Samuel Crankshaw, William Haresch, Jillian Hegerty, Jacinta Houde, Sung Woo Jang, Brian Lamar, Audrey Lewis, Gareth Romp, Noah Sorin, and Xingyu Zhang from the Class of 2020, and Emma Keenan of the Class of 2021. 


Earning AP Scholar recognition (receiving grades of 3 or higher on three or more exams) were Keisha Bedor, Ying-Chi Chen, Kaci Cochran, Jiaxin Du, Elizabeth Gilmartin, Curtis Gingue, Zhiying Guan, Yiwei Jiang, Yueyue Lin, Luke McCarthy, Diamond McKinney, Grace Phelps, Renwick Smith, Emily Steen, Zeou Wei, Joanna Williams-Keane, Mian Wu, Valerie Xie, Qiongyin Yan, from the Class of 2019; Zixian Chen, Hannah Dirlam, Morgan Eames, Nora Heffernan, Grace Larocque, Lucas Mori, Olivia Robinson, Colby Switser, Joseph Vineyard, Averill Wagner, Hyunjeen Yang, Liang Zhao from the Class of 2020, and Lily Krause and Luke Young-Xu from the Class of 2021.


Headmaster Tom Lovett said, “We are very proud of both the level of the accomplishment of these students and the wide range of subjects in which they have demonstrated such excellence.  Our Capstone program has long been a trademark of our commitment to inquiry and problem-based learning, and the breadth of subjects represented is a mark both of the diversity and comprehensiveness of our curriculum. We join the families and teachers of these students in celebrating their recognition as some of the top scholars in the country.”

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