Teachers and students involved in Advanced Placement courses were in for a surprise at Waxahachie High School when they were presented checks that totaled $28,600.
During the AP Scholar Breakfast, students and teachers were presented checks for their success on last year’s AP Exams. Students were reimbursed 75 percent of the cost of each AP Exam passed in the 2020-21 school year. Each AP Exam costs $100 to take.
AP Exams are standardized tests designed to measure how well a student has mastered the content and skills of a specific AP course. Taking AP courses in high school allows students to have an advantage in college by earning college credit, skipping introductory college courses, and standing out on high school transcripts.
WHS junior Judson Willett knew he was receiving a surprise at the AP Scholar Breakfast but did not think it would be money.
“It felt like your hard work paid off,” Willett said. “It went straight back into your pocket, and it encouraged me to work hard for my AP test coming up this year.”
Willett expressed he was grateful for his AP courses and the teachers because the experience taught him self-discipline when reviewing content and how to conduct independent research.
Not only were students rewarded for their success on the test, but AP teachers were also rewarded for each exam a student they taught passed.
Amberly Walker is in her sixth year with WISD and loves teaching freshman Pre-AP English. Walker was rewarded for the students she taught in previous years who advanced to AP courses and passed their tests.
“It is a major incentive,” Walker said. “To me, this builds a humungous vertical alignment of unity of teamwork.”
She added, “Those students deserve a reward. They are doing hard work and taking on such demanding schedules. They are doing really great things.”
Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Learning Dr. David Averett personally presented the checks to the students and teachers and said, “A lot of times you might not be celebrated for coming to work and doing a good job. They are good kids, come to class, are good to their teachers, study hard, take these tests, pass these tests, and make our school look good because it helps with our ratings. So, I think it’s good that we say, ‘thank you.’”
“I want these kids to know that we really appreciate how hard they work because we know it isn’t easy,” he continued.
In total, reimbursements to students equaled $11,900 and stipends to staff amounted to $16,700.