Rising to their potential
Meet Rhinelander High School AP Scholars
A STAR JOURNAL SPECIAL REPORT
Advance Placement is a program of college-level courses offered at high schools across the country, run by the College Board. AP classes give students the experience of taking an intro-level college class while still in high school, with the added bonus of potentially earning college credit.
In the early twentieth century, according to the College Board, Americans began to realize the gap between secondary and higher education was widening. Following World War II, the Ford Foundation created the Fund for the Advancement of Education in effort to create a better-educated work force. Pilot programs, studies and committees led to the launch of a program with 11 courses. In 1956 the College Board took over, and has been running every since. Today, more than 2.4 million students take AP exams every year in 38 subjects.
AP exams are scored on a one to five scale; college credit can be typically earned by scoring a three or higher.
Students who have achieved scores of 3 or higher on three or more exams are AP Scholars. Students with an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more exams are recognized as AP Scholars with Honor. Those with an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and a score of 3 or higher on five or more exams are the AP Scholars with Distinction.
Congratulations to these RHS students for achieving the status of 2018 AP Scholars.
Class of 2018
Scott Fox, AP Scholar
College credits earned: 9
• College plans: I am a UW-Madison student pursuing a mechanical engineering degree. I am also a Badger Boxing Club member.
• AP courses helped to better prepare me for the studying necessary in college and will help me save money by allowing me to graduate sooner.
• My advice: Make sure you’ll get college credit for passing!
Tyler Fredrick, AP Scholar with Distinction
College credits earned: 18
• College plans: I am attending the UW-Madison under the Naval Reserves Officer Training Corps program. I intend on triple majoring in astronomy-physics, physics and mathematics. While working towards my majors, I will also be satisfying the requirement for the College of Letters and Science’s Honors in the Liberal Arts program for my degree and I intend to do honors in the major for one of my majors.
• Taking AP courses helped me to better prepare for college. As a first-generation college student, I sort of entered the whole college life blindly, not to mention having a different college experience with ROTC. I wasn’t sure what to expect when classes first started, but it’s easy to see that these AP courses did help prepare me for the workload of college. Taking the test was also helpful, not just for the credits, but because it allowed me to pass over many introductory classes that were often designed to “weed out” students by making the coursework very difficult.
• My Advice: Take the classes. Take the tests. It’s as simple as that. Even if you haven’t decided whether college is for you, taking the classes will help to better prepare you for any sort of training/schooling you might need. For those who want to go to college, this is an absolute must. Extra credit means fewer introductory classes, fewer general education classes; it means registering for classes earlier, taking more of the classes that interest you. The more you do in high school, the easier college will become.
Rachel Uhlarik, AP Scholar with Honor
College credits earned: 20
• College plans: I am currently attending Viterbo University in La Crosse and I am studying nursing. Viterbo is such a great campus because it is a very tightly knit community. All of the groups and activities on campus make it such a fun atmosphere. I am a member of concert choir and the Student Nurses Association. Both are great because I have been able to meet lots of people and these groups give me opportunities for traveling, volunteering and having fun.
• Taking AP courses makes me feel more prepared here in my first year of college because I don’t feel as stressed about meeting all of my general education requirements. Credit wise I was able to get a head start and lighten the load for my upcoming semesters.
• My Advice: I strongly recommend all of the AP courses RHS has to offer because the teachers are so great at helping you through and giving you the tools you will need to be successful not only in their class but also as you move on to college. Challenging yourself in high school will benefit you down the road because you’ll feel more confident in your abilities as a student.
Ryan Roberts, AP Scholar with Distinction
College credits earned: 35
• College plans: I am currently attending the University of Minnesota and plan to double major in finance and international business and minor in German.
• AP classes had a significant impact on me because they allowed me to learn much more than I would have in regular classes and was able to receive college credit while doing it. They helped prepare me for future learning extremely well because they tend to be fast paced and high density which is similar to college-level courses. I was also able to skip over many of the introductory college courses thanks to taking exams which allowed me to avoid arguably some of the worst college courses and gave me a little head start on the rest of my plans.
• My Advice: In my situation, taking as many AP classes/exams worked out really well because my credits transferred. However, it is very important to understand how AP credits transfer to the college you are interested in because in some cases, exam credits can be redundant. It is also important to note that AP classes are more difficult than normal high school classes so expect to be pushed more. I would still recommend trying to take as many exams as possible though because they can potentially save you thousands of dollars, allow you to graduate early, or go for a double major.
Mason Hageny, AP Scholar
College credits earned: 6
• College plans: I am attending UW-Whitewater with a major in accounting, and I am involved with AMA—more specifically, Sales Impact—Economics Society, am an E-Board member of German Club among others.
• While not too many credits transferred overall, taking the AP tests, as well as going through AP courses actually gave me a fairly realistic representation of what to expect from my college level classes. This has helped prepare me for my college courses and helped reduce the overall cost of my college tuition due to not having to take some of the classes I passed.
• My advice: Some advice that I would give to RHS students who are considering whether or not to take AP courses is that you definitely should. You don’t necessarily have to take the AP test, although I would encourage you to, and if you are worried about not having time to study or the coursework being too rigorous, don’t worry. The teachers are very understanding and willing to work with you, and as I was very busy outside of my classes, I still did fine. You just have to set aside a little bit of time to study each night.
Ashley Adams, AP Scholar with Distinction
College credits earned: 17
• College plans: I am attending UW-La Crosse with majors in biology with a concentration in biomedical science and Spanish on a pre-medicine track. I also plan to apply for a minor in neuroscience in the fall. Currently, I participate in Pre-Med Club, Biology Club and Chemistry Club. I plan on becoming a tutor as well as beginning undergraduate research in the spring semester.
• I did not have any problem moving from high school to college level academics, as AP courses have a similarly rigorous pace to college courses and teach fundamental writing, comprehension, and test-taking skills. Additionally, the content covered in AP science courses is very similar to what is covered in college intro science or ‘weed out’ courses, giving those who have taken the AP courses beforehand a significant advantage.
• My advice: I would specifically recommend that students try to take AP courses in subjects unrelated to their majors, as transferable AP credits can meet the general education requirements in the respective subject and eliminate the need to take these courses in college.
Class of 2018 AP Scholars also includes: Cade Aschenbrenner, Brittany Bredeson, Jared Fabich, Lance Kopplin, Colton Krueger, Carly Seidl.
Class of 2019
Samantha Siefert, AP Scholar with Honor
• College plans: I plan to attend Michigan Technological University, major in biochemistry and molecular biology, and minor in Spanish with the goal of becoming a geneticist or research scientist.
• Taking AP courses as taught me that learning how to use critical thinking is more important than memorizing facts. Specifically taking AP biology and AP chemistry courses have prepared me for entering the biochemistry learning field.
• My advice: Don’t over-think things. If you are even remotely interested in taking an AP class, take it and try your hardest. You probably won’t understand everything right away, and that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers and peers for help. The worst thing you could do would be to not take a class and regret it.
Ben Kubisiak AP Scholar with Distinction
• College plans: I plan to attend St. Norbert College to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in history with a minor in political science. I eventually plan to earn a law degree.
• The AP courses I have taken have challenged me in many ways. I had to become a better writer. I also learned to be organized, to juggle difficult classes and extra-curriculars. I got to delve deeply into subjects I love, like history.
• My advice: If you are considering an AP course, you should definitely take it, knowing you will have to work hard, but the gains you will make are worth it.
Emma Roberts AP Scholar with Honor
• College plans: Next fall I plan to attend the UW-Madison and major in biomedical engineering. After obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree, I hope to continue my education and eventually work in research, creating advancements for the medical field. If able to specialize, I would love to work in engineering for fetal medicine.
• The AP courses I have taken have been the most beneficial and informative classes I have ever taken. These courses have allowed me to learn not only the material taught, but also skills essential to success, such as advanced levels of writing, study techniques and comprehension. AP courses have allowed me to test myself in college-level classes and get a jump start on the type of work I will be doing in my future. Overall, by taking AP courses in high school I was able to enhance my education and better prepare myself for college.
• My advice: I would advise students considering taking AP courses to go for it. While they are considered advanced placement, the workload is definitely manageable and the teachers are always willing to help. In addition, with a good score on the AP test students can receive college credit, allowing them to save a lot of time and money by bypassing prerequisite courses in college. The challenges of taking AP classes are almost always outweighed by the benefits, and I would advise anyone looking to further their education to take AP courses.
Grace Heck, AP Scholar with Honor
• College plans: I am hoping to attend Marquette University in Milwaukee. I am looking to possibly double-major in psychology and finance, and possibly attend med school to become a psychiatrist.
• AP courses have taught me many skills such as writing essays, reading at an advanced level, and tackling an advanced homework schedule. AP courses have done an excellent job in preparing me for college courses.
• My advice: While AP courses are an excellent way to push students to their fullest potential, they are not for everyone. Every person learns differently, and that is perfectly acceptable! If a faster pace class and lots of reading is a harder task for you, AP classes may not be the right fit; however, I would encourage most students to take at least one AP class, because you might surprise yourself.
Abigail Krueger, AP Scholar
• College plans: In the fall of 2019 I plan on attending St. Norbert College to get a major in business administration and a minor in Spanish.
• Taking AP courses have allowed me to stretch my academic abilities to new heights. By taking several AP tests I have gained extremely useful test-taking, study, and time-management skills. As I go forward in my life I am positive that the confidence and academic abilities I have gained throughout these classes will serve me well in all future endeavors.
• My advice: I would encourage any student considering taking these courses to at least try one. AP classes are not an easy endeavor; however the results are without a doubt worth it. Even if you don’t pass or even take the test, the skills taught through the year are valuable ones to learn before tackling career and college goals.
Class of 2019 AP Scholars also includes: Russell Benoy, Bridger Flory, Raven Sturtevant, David Bennett (AP Scholar with Honor), Payton Van Zile (AP Scholar with Honor)