Sweet success: Students rewarded for academic accomplishments

Published 2:33 pm Monday, October 22, 2018

PELHAM – Almost $12,000 in VISA gift cards were awarded to past and present Pelham High School students who passed their AP exams during the 2017-18 school year.

Students and teachers were recognized for their success at the Academic Pep Rally, held Friday, Oct. 19, in the auditorium at PHS.

AP Literature teacher Rebecca Burnett said $100 gift cards went to 119 students for each AP exam qualifying score, which is a three or better. Students earned a total of $11,900. AP teachers earned $100 for each qualifying score in their classes. In total, students and teachers earned about $25,000 for their academic achievements.

Students who pass AP exams receive college credit for the class(es), which allows them to begin college at a higher level. Braxton Jeffcoat, PHS valedictorian for the 2017-18 school year, received $500 in VISA gift cards and earned 22 college credits by taking AP courses. He started Rhodes College as a sophomore.

The pep rally featured four students who talked about the impact AP courses have had on their high school experience. PHS graduate Jake Germek, who attends Springhill College, said he learned that being exposed to things that push him outside of this comfort zone is more important than having a 4.0 GPA. The experiences along the way are what helped him grow as a person, he said.

Senior Alex Wilkins took three AP classes last school year and is currently enrolled in four this year. She said AP classes have made her more open to working in groups with other students because she knows they’re working just as hard as she is for a good grade.

For PHS senior Bella Bass, learning how to persevere through struggle is the most beneficial aspect of taking AP courses.

“AP is hard, that’s the whole point, but the good thing is that the teachers are here to help,” she said. “Struggling and learning to persevere builds character and allows for personal growth.”

Last school year’s AP teachers were Trina Busby, Rebecca Burnett, Jean Coker, Alisa Creel, Connie Nolen, Brooke Self, Elizabeth Short and Sabrina Tutchtone.