Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

Advanced classes continue success

August 3, 2015

IB students set records, welcome new coordinator


Siandhara Bonnet

The IB students use shirts for their own expression and promotion.

This year the IB students performed better than last year exceeding the standards that were set for them by last year’s group. The former IB coordinator is being replaced by Kate Hauenstein.

“In terms of this year’s IB scores, I’m very happy to report that Leander HS had its highest ever percentage of IB diploma candidates actually receiving the IB Diploma,” Hauenstein said. “Out of 35 students who were seeking the full diploma, 25 made it which is 71%, beating our previous high, 70%.  Also, 25 diplomas is a tie for the highest number ever received in a year at LHS, though the last time we had 25 students get their diploma in 2013, we had more students trying.”

Getting the IB diploma is a two-year process and includes scoring at least 24 points on six different IB exams, successfully completing a Theory of Knowledge class, logging at least 150 Creativity, Action, and Service hours, and writing a 4,000-word Extended Essay in a subject of their choosing.

“It is an incredibly rigorous, college-level program, and I’m so proud of all of our IB students,” Hauenstein said. “Every single one worked so hard, learned so much, and did very well on their exams. Not a single IB diploma candidate at LHS this year scored fewer than 23 points, meaning that even those who did not get the diploma were incredibly close.  I give lots of credit to our amazing IB teachers for preparing students so well, and of course also to the students for working so hard for two years.”

Hauenstein stated she was very excited to be the new IB coordinator this year.

I had to truly learn the importance of diligence and hard work.”

— Nico Champion

“I absolutely believe in the IB program,” Hauenstein said. “I think the combination of the rigorous in-depth classes, the dedicated and expert teachers, and the sense of community among everyone in IB make it the best educational experience available in high school.  We will all miss Julie Cooper, our previous coordinator, very much, but I’m looking forward to continuing her great work and growing the program even more.”

Graduated senior IB student Nico Champion saw IB as the premier program for college preparedness in a high school setting.

“In order to get my diploma, I had to fully engage myself in every task presented to me,” Champion said. “Overall, the program and my teachers pushed me to my limits and then brought me back in to make it a fully engaged and fully supportive learning experience.”

Hauenstein taught the IB history class last year and will be teaching it again this year along with being the IB coordinator.

“My schedule will basically be IB Coordinator on one day and teaching IB History of the Americas 2 the other day,” Hauenstein said. “I will also still be the Extended Essay Coordinator, which I was last year. I love 20th century world history, my students know that I’m definitely a history nerd, and I love being in the classroom, so it would be too hard to give that up.”

AP test scores improve, camp starts for next year



Advanced Placement classes have summer assignments that students are also required to do. AP classes include classes such as U.S. History, Biology, Geometry, English, and many more classes.

While most students are out on the lake, traveling to the beach or working extra hours at their summer jobs, some students are at school already. Students are preparing for the upcoming year and working hard too.  AP tests are given every spring for courses such as Human Geography and Language Arts.

They put students to the test with everything they have learned that year and if they pass, they can earn college credit. All around the country, students have been preparing for the tests, going to summer camps and being taught by tutors. Human Geography is unique because it’s the only AP course currently offered to freshmen. English and other core subject tests begin at the pre-AP level for freshmen.

“I’m having a lot of fun at this camp,” freshman Julia Cheeseburgh said. “I just know that if I do what my teacher tells me to do, I’ll pass and I feel like I’ll be ready next year.”

Most of the students feel like if they stay on this track, they will have no problem passing the test at the end of the school year.  Also, it’s not only the freshman who are working hard, but the rest of the school too.

This year, sophomores through seniors test scores were considered by the district to be above average and the passing percentage went up by 4%. 640 Human Geography tests were administered to freshman students during the entire school last year.

“It’s a huge challenge but it pays off,” Dean of Instruction and head of AP testing Shandalyn Porter said. “You’re really doing college courses in high school.”

Teachers who teach these classes are very proud of their students for improving the schools overall score and can’t wait to improve the scores even more next year.

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