by Anne Donofrio-Holter
The El Monte Union High School District (EMUHSD) was honored at the College Board’s annual AP (Advanced Placement) Conference held last week in Philadelphia for being selected by the organization as the Nation’s Medium-Sized AP District of the Year.
“The College Board is proud to recognize the students, faculty, and administrators of the El Monte Union High School District for their innovation and commitment to excellence and equity,” said College Board President David Coleman. “Increasing access to AP coursework while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program, indicating that the district is successfully preparing a larger array of its students for the rigor of AP and college studies.”
“Words can’t describe the pride I feel for the outstanding work our district has done in making AP courses available to all our students while supporting them to ensure their success,” said EMUHSD Board of Trustees President Maria-Elena Talamantes. “It has been an honor to be a part of the team receiving this award. I look forward to the new opportunities working with the College Board will provide for our students and teachers.”
“We are appreciative and proud of this award,” added Board of Trustees member Sal Ramirez. “It symbolizes the high quality and challenging coursework in which our students are participating and progressing. This can only lead to their future success in college and the career of their choice.”
The College Board AP Annual Conference “is the largest professional development gathering of the Advanced Placement Program® and Pre-AP® communities, AP Coordinators, school counselors and administrators from across the United States and throughout the world.”
EMUHSD Board of Trustees Vice President Esthela Torres de Siegrist spoke very highly of the conference, its training sessions and workshops.
“As an experienced college/university professor in the U.S. And Mexico, I can state without any reservations whatsoever that the AP curriculum materials are as challenging as any I have encountered in colleges or universities,” she said. “Teacher training for AP classes is most rigorous and thorough and the AP exams demand sophisticated analyses by students.”
Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community from AP teachers, to district and school administrators, to college professors.
The College Board’s AP program enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college level studies, with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both, while still in high school.
The District was honored “for offering a broader, more diverse population of students access to the rigor of AP courses, where more minority and low income students have the opportunity to break down barriers and realize a clear path to college enrollment and completion.”
Also honored were the organization’s pick for large and small district.
“Reaching these goals indicates that these districts are successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit from rigorous AP coursework,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of Advanced Placement Program, College Board. “
“This was a great event and I could not be more proud of our students, staff, schools and district for such a great achievement. It takes hard work, teamwork and dedication for such a success to take place,” said Superintendent Nick Salerno. “This truly puts the El Monte Union High School District at the forefront of national accomplishment in college and career preparation for our students.”
“All our students come to us with some knowledge and we expand upon that knowledge to help them develop to their greatest potential,” added Siegrist. “Everyone possesses great potential and must never let anyone set limits upon them.”
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education.