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CCSD Celebrates New Class of AP Capstone Graduates

Posted On: Friday, September 2, 2022

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The Cherokee County School District is celebrating its latest class of AP Capstone program graduates, including the first cohort from Sequoyah High School!  

AP Capstone is a two-year project-based learning program designed to help students develop critical thinking, research, collaboration, and presentation skills that are crucial to academic success.  The elite program, which was developed by The College Board in partnership with colleges and universities, is offered in select high schools nationwide, with Etowah High School graduating its first class in 2019 and Sequoyah High School graduating its first class in 2022.  River Ridge High School will be eligible to graduate its first class in 2023, and Woodstock High School started the program this school year.  
                                                                                                             
Only 14,100 students nationwide earned the AP Capstone Diploma, and 9,200 earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.  Instead of a single end-of-year exam, the interdisciplinary AP Seminar and AP Research courses assess students’ knowledge mastery through group projects, presentations and individual essays throughout the year.  

“Congratulations to these outstanding scholars and their dedicated teachers for achieving such an impressive accolade,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “Our AP program offers students the opportunity to take on more challenging academic coursework and earn college credit, and the AP Capstone Diploma program is next-level rigor for our highest achievers.  Kudos for your commitment to learning and best wishes as you continue your education at college.”  

Sequoyah High School’s inaugural class of AP Capstone Diploma recipients includes 13 members of the Class of 2022: Audrey Brown, George Chemmala, Suzanne Cook, Alaina Cothran, Alison Eltz, Riley Hartman, Ashkon Hunt, Cristen Johnson, Mitchell Perales, Elyse Robbins, Susanna Rogers, Tyler Smith and Dylan Wolle.  To achieve this honor, they earned scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research, as well as on four additional AP exams.  Three Class of 2022 graduates earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate for achieving scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research: Mia Joubert, Claudis Mathis and Blake Pelkey.

Sequoyah HS students focused their research on a range of topics, including the effectiveness of gender quotas in the post-conflict countries of Burundi and Nepal in terms of economic development, the best grip technique for beginning percussion students and alternate building materials to lumber for first-time home buyers in the Atlanta area. 

“We proudly recognize the achievements of students who participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program,” Sequoyah HS AP Department Chair Andrew Oberlies said. “Our AP Capstone students and teachers showed extraordinary commitment while facing historic challenges.  This is a meaningful college readiness program that will serve our students well after high school.”

Etowah High School saw 13 Class of 2022 graduates earn the AP Capstone Diploma: Kelsey M. Cleveland, Ella N. Daugherty, Lillian M Derenthal, Jolina M. Dorgan, Zachary H. Griffin, Christopher L. Haswell, Lily L. Hovenac, Danielle J. LaDuca, Ivy G. McKinney, Alyssa M. Pearson, Amelia M. Ryan, Claire E. Williams and Anna M. Zharikov.  Four Class of 2022 graduates earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate: Joshua J. Hughes, Kiersten A. James, Laurel C. O’Brien and Reese C. Patterson.
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