Demopolis High School AP English class passes exams with flying colors

Published 4:52 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2023

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A Demopolis High School English class recently met a lofty goal given to them at the beginning of the school year. Senior English teacher, Rachel White, gave her students a goal of earning a qualifying score on the AP (Advanced Placement) English exam. It was a difficult task set before them, but White’s students were determined to their teacher’s challenge.

On July 5, scores from the May AP exam were released and to White’s joy 100 percent of students passed the exam. A qualifying score for the AP English exam is a 3, 4 or 5.

I set a “crazy” goal at the beginning of the year that 100% of them would get a qualifying score on the AP exam. There was some hesitation and minor scoffing to say the least,” White said in a Facebook post. “Over the course of the year, I watched them stretch their analytical limits and blossom into poetry experts and brilliant writers. We honed our strengths and polished our weaknesses. We discussed works and critiqued each other. They pushed themselves in new ways and absolutely blew me away.”

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AP courses are known to be challenging and the exams are difficult as they are meant to resemble introductory college courses. Earning qualifying scores also equals college credit and helps save money on college tuition.

White said that after the exam, her students entered her classroom and expressed “how awesome they did and confident they felt.” For White, that alone was enough. Seeing her students excited and proud of themselves was the real victory.

“Seeing their pride and sense of achievement meant more than some silly score on a seriously grueling test. But, deep down, I still secretly hoped they met that “ridiculous” goal. I knew they could. I read their essays all year. I listened to their discussions. I saw all their potential,” said White.

And not only did White’s students earn qualifying scores, they also scored higher than the Alabama average of 71.1 percent and the global average of 77.2 percent. Making the accomplishment that much more remarkable.

“When I saw that they scored higher than the global average on every aspect of the exam, tears filled my eyes. They are brilliant, funny and kind, and this score wouldn’t have changed that regardless. But what a cherry on top it is to see that others across the nation see in them what I always have,” said White.

Throughout the school year White had many hopes for her students. For her perfectionist students, she hoped that they would be able to beat the timer. She hoped that her students dealing with writer’s block due to stress would be able to push through and come out on top. For others, she hoped they would overcome their case of Senioritis and remain as focused as possible. Her classroom of 12 accomplished that and more.

“My teacher heart is full,” said White. “I wish them all the success in the world. And I have no doubt they will meet that goal.”