VHS Honors More AP Scholars As Enrollment Grows


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This year's seniors were on hand for the AP Scholars ceremony, but they were only one part of the 65 students honored.
This year’s seniors were on hand for the AP Scholars ceremony, but they were only one part of the 65 students honored.
Verona High School honored its AP scholars last week and one thing was very clear: The ceremony is rapidly outgrowing the space set aside for it in the VHS library.

Since 2011, when the Verona Board of Education made it a goal to have more VHS students take advanced placement classes, enrollment has skyrocketed. In his presentation last week, Charlie Miller, Verona’s director of curriculum, noted that just 145 AP exams were given in the 2008-2009 school year. In the most recent year, 402 tests were administered. And that expansion has occurred without any dilution of Verona’s results on the tests. The average AP score was 2.82 in 2009, but 3.05 in 2013-2014. What’s more, the percentage of tests on which students score 3 or better has jumped from 58.6% to 69.4%. VHS now offers AP classes in English literature & composition, U.S. history, government & politics, statistics, English language & composition, calculus AB, calculus BC, European history, biology, chemistry, physics C, Spanish, Chinese, physics B, French, music theory, physics C:EM, psychology and computer science.


The latter subject has shown the most dramatic growth of any of the AP programs. Only four AP comp sci tests were given in 2009. By last year, the number of tests had ballooned to 48, making VHS first in participation in AP comp sci in the entire state, even ahead of the many tech magnet schools that have popped up in recent years.

Verona’s educators have pushed AP classes for three key reasons: Top colleges value a more demanding course schedule over higher grades in less demanding classes; students taking more AP classes are accepted to more top colleges; and that, with the average cost of “very competitive” and “highly competitive” colleges equal, more Verona students could strive for acceptances at the latter. Many colleges will give college credit for top scores on AP tests, which could cut the cost of college for some families. A student in the class of 2013 received credit for an entire year’s worth of credits when he was accepted at Canada’s McGill University, putting him on a fast track to med school.

But here’s the big payoff: There were just 12 AP scholars recognized at VHS in 2008-2009. For 2013-2014, there were 65, including six students recognized as National AP Scholars for having scored 4 or higher on eight or more exams. That was triple the number of National AP Scholars for the previous school year.

The following students were recognized as AP scholars for the 2013-2014 school year:

AP Scholars
Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams
Caitlin Barnes*, Maximos Bogdady*, Madelyn Boyle*, Mira Braneck, Luke Catania*, Sarah Conboy*, Patrick Cummings, Ciarra Davison*, Brett Drozdowski, Lara Eremita*, Felicia Eriksson, Olivia Feiger, Paige Ferrell, Ryan Gault*, Lia Golick, Shelley Herman*, Kyle Kazanfer, Spencer Koenig*, Jillian Lanese*, Diana Moczula*, Pinar Oguz*, Jasmine Okafor*, Nikhita Pandian, Noelle Park*, Nicola Perzichilli, Matt Rubins*, Eliza Sniatkowski*, Alysia Vega, Austin Williams*

AP Scholar with Honor
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams
Jacquelyn Brozyna, Madeline Burke, Nicholas Cariani*, Nicholas Celfo*, Maura Cuddihy*, Amanda Flores, William Giuliano*, Katherine Kast*, Kelsey Mitchell*, Kendall Oneill*, Christina Oster*, Colin Pope*, Elizabeth Rysavy, Krojana Selimi, Jane Szybist*, Annamaria Vasmatzidis

AP Scholar with Distinction
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams
Parthenia Bogdady*, Niklas Bostrom, Matthew Carroll*, Caroline Chivily, Phoebe Chu*, Juliana Conlon*, Soufieh Hakimzadeh*, Kelly Hogan*, Morgan Janes, Daniel Li*, Jessica Nagy, Chelsi Napoli*, Daniel Smillie*, Alexandra Smith*, Jillian Sprong*, Christopher Sweeney*, Natalie Wertz*, Marybeth Wynen*,
Steven Wynen*, Ella Yarmo-Gray

National AP Scholar
Granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams
Matthew Carroll*, Phoebe Chu*, Daniel Li*, Daniel Smillie*, Christopher Sweeney*, Natalie Wertz*

* denotes a 2014 graduate of Verona High School

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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