ORRHS Students Earn Honors through College Board Advanced Placement Program

            Superintendent Michael S. Nelson, Principal Michael Devoll and Guidance Director Lauren Millette are pleased to share that 16 Old Rochester Regional High School students received honors from the College Board Advanced Placement Program for the 2021-22 school year.

            Two students received the AP Capstone Diploma and 14 students were awarded the AP Seminar and Research Certificate. In order to receive the Diploma, students must earn scores of three or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research and on four additional AP exams. To earn the Certificate, students must earn a score of three or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research.

            The two students earning the AP Capstone Diploma were Class of 2022 graduate, Edward Gonet IV and Class of 2023 student Mackenzie Luong.

            Gonet completed 11 AP exams including in Biology, Calculus AB, English Language Composition, English Literature and Composition, Human Geography, Physics 1, Psychology, Spanish Language, Statistics, Research and Seminar.

            Gonet is currently attending Harvard University.

            “Old Rochester has provided its students with a plethora of AP Courses to enrich their knowledge in topics which interest them most,” Gonet said. “My AP teachers challenged me and pushed me to become a better student. ORR AP courses have provided me with critical thinking, reasoning, and communication skills that are essential for continuing my education at Harvard. Old Rochester’s rigorous AP Program truly sets the school apart from others and is one of the reasons I decided to attend ORR four years ago.”

            Luong has completed six AP exams to this point in her high school career including in Biology, Calculus AB, Computer Science Principles, English Language Composition, Research and Seminar.

            “My AP Research teacher, Mr. Apperson, made it clear that in order to succeed in his class, ‘you have to put in the effort to get the results,’ and I completely agree,” Luong said. “My AP Research project is one of my proudest accomplishments because of all the hard work I put into it, and I absolutely did get the euphoric feeling of a good payoff after, and I now have my AP Capstone Diploma!”

            The students who received the AP Seminar and Research Certificate included, of the Class of 2023: Reese Burger, Colin Carroll, Theodore Carroll, Caitlin Collier, William Correia, Failenn Fitzpatrick, Paige Fuller, Emmanuella Lawrence, Jillian Leblanc, Kyle Mccullough, Will O’Shaughnessy, Reagan Rock and Sarah Wyman.

            Class of 2022 graduate Tyler Trudeau, who is attending Loyola University Chicago, also received the Certificate. Trudeau took six AP exams including in Environmental Science, Psychology, Physics, Statistics, Research and Seminar.

            “Having benefited from the school choice program, earning this award is a big deal for me. I sought out a different high school with the goal of finding more opportunities and I can now say that I have capitalized on the opportunities granted to me. I can’t recommend Seminar and  Research enough,” Trudeau said.

            Unlike traditional AP subject exams with a single end-of-year assessment, AP Seminar and AP Research assessments are project-based and evaluate skills mastery through group projects, presentations and individual essays throughout the year. AP Seminar and AP Research are also interdisciplinary and students are empowered to create research projects based on topics of personal interest.

            Among some of the research project topics covered by students were:

* Effects preschool has on kindergarteners’ education; affordable housing; and demands on body type in gymnastics (Burger)

* Electric vehicle infrastructure (Colin Carroll)

* Affordable housing on Cape Cod; the business of sports; adapting energy incentives (Theodore Carroll)

* Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Collier)

* The effects of uncharacteristic temperatures on Buzzards Bay (Correia)

* Effects of start times on adolescent mental health (Fitzpatrick)

* Do spectators affect athlete performance; the influence of age on psychological visual perception (Fuller)

* Diagnosing Alzheimer’s and frontotemporal dementia through accurate diagnostic tools (Lawrence)

* High blood pressure in Southeast Asia (Leblanc)

* Effect of CubeSats on space debris (Luong)

* Effects of social media on teen mental health (Mccullough)

* Effect of music on cognitive behavior and attention (O’Shaughnessy)

* Effect of El Niño on California sea lion migrations (Rock)

* Effectiveness of Super Bowl advertisements in the age of social media (Trudeau)

* Adverse environmental effects of electric vehicles (Wyman)

            “Congratulations to these students on this impressive achievement, Principal Devoll said. “We always want students to be able to learn about things that interest them, and the AP Seminar and Research Program allows them to do that while also helping them develop valuable skills that can be used no matter what they pursue after high school. The AP Program is rigorous and challenging, and the Diploma and Certificate Awards are an indication of the high level of dedication and persistence demonstrated by these students.”

            In 2022, there were 216 total AP students at ORRHS, and 74% of those AP students scored 3 or higher. A total of 419 exams were taken by ORR students in 2022.

            Over 2,200 schools participated in the AP Capstone program worldwide during the 2021-2022 school year. Approximately 14,100 students earned the AP Capstone Diploma and 9,200 earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

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