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Valley Students Earn Top AP Awards

Recent Valley High School graduate Ojas Pradhan was named a State AP Scholar, making him one of two top Advanced Placement Program® (AP) students in the state. The College Board also recognized 181 other Valley High School students for their high achievement through AP courses and on AP Exams taken in May 2015. The following Valley students were named AP Scholars for 2015:

1 State AP Scholar (one male and one female student in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia with scores of 3 or higher on the greatest number of AP Exams, and then the highest average score [at least 3.5] on all AP Exams taken): Ojas Pradhan

Pradhan graduated from Valley High School in May 2015. He was a 2015 National Merit Scholarship finalist, student body president, captain of the Valley swim team, and a student panelist during a Valley community forum on race relations. Pradhan was also one of 10 Iowa students named to the Des Moines Register’s All-State Academic Team in 2015 and honored as a National AP Scholar in 2014.

10 National AP Scholars (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): Suryatej Akavaram, Aaron Buelow, Alexis Faust, Lawrence Feng, Haley Gion, Sunita Kolareth, Michael Litscher, Kellen O’Connor, Ojas Pradhan, Rishi Shah

57 AP Scholars 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): Abid Kaamil, Suryatej Akavaram, Hanna Anderson, Julia Anderson, Keara Anonson, Mason Berg, Joseph Brennan, Robert Bruinekool, Aaron Buelow, Victoria Cassady, Julian Castillo, Jacquelyne Chu, Nolan Dahm, Keaton Denker, Camryn Dreyer, Ethan Eiler, Alexis Faust, Lawrence Feng, Liam Fultz, Katie Galles, Haley Gion, Zachary Graves, Alina Husain, Alexander Johnson, Philip Kiely, Elsa Klein, Sunita Kolareth, Alexa Kort, Isaac Kuennen, Michael Libin, Dani Lipman, Michael Litscher, Savannah Mendenhall, Gabriel Mintzer, Charles Napier, Quinn Nolin, Kellen O’Connor, Jack Ohringer, Jared Paine, Lauren Pfeil, Ojas Pradhan, Danielle Reyes, Gregory Rinn, Anja Schepp, Gina Scorpiniti, Risha Shah, William Sipfle, Alissa Smith, Megan Smith, Benjamin Swanson, Ryan Thompson, Samuel Throm, Arun Velamuri, Ravjot Virdi, Satya Yaramati, Samantha York, Brianne Zbylicki

37 AP Scholars 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): Andrew Austin, Emma Avdic, Jacob Bedia, Alejandro Buentello, Michael Carroll, Bailey Cook, Victoria Cunningham, Kathryn Daft, Collin Franzen, Michael Gerot, Benjamin Hendel, Emma Carolyn Kazeze, Madelyn Lemons, Mary Lowe, Brandon Luong, Rachel Matera, Connor Nealon, Nicole Nucaro, Isabelle Pierotti-May, John Rafferty, Elizabeth Reed, Bradley Rhein, Jake Rodgers, Aimee Rodin, Daniel Savage, Adam Shepherd, Bridget Shoemaker, Abigail Smith, Caroline Stump, Nolan Underwood, John Vincent, Mackenzie Vos, Liuchang Wang, Cooper Warner, Elizabeth Watson, Michael Welch, Benjamin Wiese

89 AP Scholars (Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams): Marisa Anfinson, Elizabeth Ash, Claudia Athens, Nicholas Behrends, Brandon Blythe, Ann Braverman, Dinka Brdar, Jessica Brown, Hannah Burke, Emily Carr, Cayden Codel, Collin Coffey, Lauren Conte, Susannah Crichton, Rachel Cron, John Danos, Anna Davidson, Hunter Feldman, Trent Gilbert, Jeffrey Goetz, Ann Gould, Edi Gracanin, Joseph Grasso, Melissa Grinvalds, Brian Gu, Grant Gullickson, Ashley Hambrick, Nicholas Hawkins, Grant Hillenbrand, Sean Hilzendeger, Jacob Hoyng, Abdul-Badi Issa, Abdul-Hadi Issa, Jack Jaros, Sofia Jordan, Lanee Jung, Allison Kacer, Kaylee Kirpes, Chase Koschmeder, Benjamin Kruse, Ian Ksiazek, Kelly Lee, Maria Lind, William Lounsbury, Clara Lyden, John Mahoney, Olympia Manning, Paige Marshal, Evan McKinney, Alexandria McNunn, Cody Motz, Margaret Mungai, Hira Mustafa, Joseph Nobis, Erin Nubel, Jason Nye, Clara Ortgies, Maxson Pauley, Katelyn Paulsen, Kayla Phalen, Lauren Phalen, Joseph Reck, Rhea Reddy, Colton Redford, Jessa Rhea, Noah Ridgway, Gabriel Rumsey, Luke Rustin, Jordan Samuel, Abigail Sheppmann, Sophia Seltz, Dominique Senteza, Sonya Shah, Sydney Sheffield, Trystin Shoesmith, Ashlyn Shumaker, Travis Smith, Grady Stein, Michael Stevens, Devkeshan Thaker, Ramya Vemulapalli, Matthew Watson, Braden Weiser, Calvin Whitaker, Rachel Wilkens, Tyler Wirta, William Wood, Matthew Yeates, Annie Zhang

The College Board also named the West Des Moines Community Schools District to the Annual AP District Honor Roll for the second consecutive year. The honor recognizes districts that increase access to AP courses for a broader number of students, while also maintaining or improving the rate at which their AP students earn scores of 3 or higher on the AP Exam. Inclusion this year was based on AP data from 2012-2014 and the following criteria, from the College Board:

  • Increased participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;
  • Increased or maintained the percentage of exams taken by African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students, and;
  • Improved performance levels when comparing the percentage of students in 2014 scoring a 3 or higher to those in 2012, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students are scoring a 3 or higher.

The Advanced Placement Program® (AP) provides opportunities for students to experience college-level courses while in high school. Valley High School offers more than 20 Advanced Placement courses. Enrollment in these courses has grown by 50 percent in the past three years, with students taking 723 AP Exams in 2011 and 1,195 AP Exams in 2015.

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