Abilene High School 2022 graduate Micah George is one of several AHS students to recently earn accolades as part of the College Board Advanced Placement Program. George was awarded the program’s highest honor as he earned the AP Capstone Diploma. The AP Capstone Diploma program helps students develop the critical thinking, research, collaboration, and presentation skills that are critical for academic success.

“We are proud of the achievements of each of our students who participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program,” AHS principal Emme Siburt said. “Our Capstone students and teachers showed extraordinary commitment while facing historic challenges brought on the previous two years by the COVID-19 pandemic. This college readiness program will serve our students well after high school.”

To receive the AP Capstone Diploma, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and four additional AP Exams. To receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research. Over 2,200 schools participated in the AP Capstone program worldwide during the 2021-22 school year. Approximately 14,100 students earned the AP Capstone Diploma, and 9,200 earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

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 completed throughout the year. Instead of focusing on one specific academic discipline, AP Seminar and AP Research are interdisciplinary: students are empowered to create research projects based on topics of personal interest. Students are assessed on the critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and presentation skills needed to complete projects.

“I’m thrilled to congratulate these motivated students, who worked hard to earn the AP Capstone Diploma and AP Seminar and Research Certificate,” said Trevor Packer, head of the Advanced Placement® Program. “These students have enhanced the foundation for their future academic and professional careers by honing their ability to manage long-term projects, collaborate with teams, and deliver effective presentations on topics they’re passionate about.”

Abilene High students Grant Bridge, Ethan Dunn, Victoria Gao, Harrison Smith, and Griffin Sullivan each earned AP Scholar with Distinction honors by earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five more exams. Alejandro Mendez, Karissa Ward, and George were awarded the AP Scholar with Honor award, earning an average score of 3.225 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of those exams.

Finally, 35 AHS students were awarded the AP Scholar award for having earned scores of 3.5 or higher on three more AP exams. Those students include: Jayton Aston, Caelan Barbarick, Samuel Brooks, Molly Daugherity, Lily Etter, MaKalie Farmer, Dylan Fink, Nicklas Garcia, Brooke Garduno, Nathan Hammer, Emery Heflin, Brazos Lewis, Kyla Lindley, Noah Majowski, Koran Mason, Addison McCorquodale, Gabriel McCracken, Hailey McFadden, Molly Mercer, Dawson Mullins, Peter Nguyen, Jacob Pate, Chelsea Rainwater, Chloe Ramirez, Rolando Rivera, Brock Scoggin, Seungha Seo, Alexandra Shewmaker, Jenna Stevens, Dayna Thompson, Jett Voss, Macy Wallace, James Wellborn, Nathan Wilson, and Hallie Wright.

The College Board Advanced Placement Program allows students to take challenging college-level courses while still in high school. Research shows AP students are better prepared for and more likely to enroll and remain in college, do well in classes, and earn their degrees on time.