By Eric Erickson
Como Park High School’s Marine Corps JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps) program has been recognized as a Naval Honor Program for 2019.
The award is reserved for only 20 percent of schools with JROTC programs across the nation.
“We didn’t understand how well we were doing because for us this is normal,” said Sergeant Cadet Major Anderson Xiong, a Como senior. “It’s normal for us to be working and pushing and doing what we do, so to get this for a second year in a row was shocking to all of us.”
The ranking is based on several factors, including volunteer campaigns, promotion tests, grade-point averages, attendance, JROTC academics, and competition performances. The commitment outside of the standard academic day is significant.
Sergeant Major James C. Kirkland has been Como Park’s instructor for seven years. In that time, he could see the foundation of a strong team and the impact it has made on the students who are cadets in the program.
“There was a level of maturity that was built in. The ‘take charge’ attitude of the cadets, the ‘can do’ / ‘zeal’ spirit of the cadets. It was just kind of refreshing,” Kirkland said.
In other news, the Advanced Placement (AP) Exams administered by the College Board in 2019 revealed successful results for Como Park students.
AP scores are categorized on a five-point scale for each test taken in a specific subject, with colleges and universities generally awarding credit for scores of 3, 4 or 5.
The College Board recognizes individual student achievement based on results of multiple exams across a variety of disciplines. “AP Scholar” status is granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.
Como AP Scholars include: Najma Ali, Kajsa Andersson, Ruby Beckman, Edward Bie, Amira Boler, Ian Brudnak-Voss, Roan Buck, Bridger Carlson, Chiamaka Chijioke, Bruce Deal, Adina DeGaetano, Raef Eddins, Thomas Freberg, Alexandra Harris, Hannah Hausman, Olivia Helmin, Willow Hollister-LaPointe, Kiersten Howatt, Nicholas Jacobsen, Harrison Kerr, Reagan Kerr, Zach Konkol, Aditi Kulkarni, Stella LaCroix-Dalluhn, Abigail Levin, Theo Lucy, Khyri Lueben, Carter Moorman, Claire Olson, Emilie Pagel, Janey Post, Serena Raths, Jack Schumacher, Isak Stillwell-Jardine, Sawyer Wall, Audrey Westerberg, and Justine Wulff.
The AP Scholar with Honor award is granted to students who earn 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. Como AP Scholars with Honor include: Sunniva Berg, Carter Brown, William Farley, Elijah Frese, Naddi Jillo, Joseph Newman, Lila Seeba, Mira Seeba, and Emma Wolters.
The AP Scholar with Distinction is 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. Como AP Scholars with Distinction include: Aiyanna Aeikens, Henrie Friesen, William Gray, Chloe Hollister-Lapointe, Jackson Lee, Celia Olson, Eloise Rein, Mason Salverda, Peter Schik, Antero Sivula, and Marco Tabacman.
National AP Scholar is a classification granted to students in the U.S. who earn 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. Como’s National AP Scholars are Isaac Harker and Alistair Pattison.
The rigor of AP courses is optimal preparation for future college studies, regardless of test scores. Experience in AP is also favorable to students in college admission decisions, demonstrating a commitment to challenging study in courses of a student’s interests.