By Steve Sears
The Township of Mount Olive school district has through the years experienced significant accomplishments, and Mount Olive High School faculty and students through dedication and hard work have played a huge role in those pinnacles.
It’s time to add another source of pride to the shelf. The number of AP (Advance Placement) Scholars for the 2020 – 21 school year at Mount Olive High School is higher than it’s ever been.
“Mr. Kevin Stansberry, my predecessor at the high school, deserves all the credit for making Advanced Placement courses, AP testing, and subsequently AP Scholars, a point of emphasis here at Mount Olive High School,” says first year Principal, Kevin Moore. Additionally, Dr. (Robert) Zywicki recommended to the Board of Education in 2019 to establish an incentive program where the BOE would pay for any additional AP exams a student would take beyond the first exam. These actions have helped increase our AP participation rate by 43% since 2018.”
Per Moore, who has been an administrator for 11 years in the school district, 142 is the number of total AP Scholars at the school. “I believe that the number of scholars has elevated because it has become more of a norm for our students to have an awareness of the AP courses offered, the benefits attached to scoring well on the exams, and the idea of challenging themselves to a rigorous course load. Our AP teacher preparation and training continues to grow, the delivery of the AP curriculum improves each year, and our guidance counselors and teachers have done a really good job assisting our students with scheduling a challenging course load.”
The criteria and levels of an AP Scholar are as follows:
AP Scholar: Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams
AP Scholar with Honor: Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams
AP Scholar with Distinction: Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams
AP International Diploma: Awarded to students who display exceptional achievement across a variety of disciplines.
The success is a credit to the stellar school system. “I think it’s a culmination of the entire K-12 educational experience provided to the students of Mount Olive,” says Moore. “AP Scholars is a distinction that MO teachers from all grade levels should take a tremendous amount of pride in. The students who walk through the doors of our high school have been thoroughly prepared in their K-8 experience to meet and exceed the expectations of our high school curriculum. “
Moore adds that the success will continue because Dr. Zywicki has brought a vision to the district that is focused on providing all of its students with a personalized, differentiated, and innovative educational experience.