< Back

Aberdeen High Named School of the Year for Incredible AP Results

With a new year comes a new round of NMSI awards, and we’re kicking them off with the second annual NMSI School of the Year recognition! This year we are proud to announce that Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, Maryland is NMSI’s School of the Year for their outstanding AP results in the 2012-2013 school year! NMSI, along with the White House OSTP and Joining Forces, are working to help address the challenges military families face obtaining consistent, quality education between frequent moves through the NMSI Comprehensive Advanced Placement (AP) Program. The program in Aberdeen also has the generous support of Boeing, and it has made a huge impact in the school after only a single year of implementation, resulting in more students feeling confident in their abilities and excited about their futures.
According to Elasha Colby, a senior this year at Aberdeen, the NMSI program is “a really good idea, and it’s a good incentive for students to take these higher-level classes – not just for the money, but for the experience.” And Colby has had an incredible experience with the program. Last year she took three AP courses, and after going through the program and seeing the benefits first-hand, she is now enrolled in seven AP courses this semester and on-track to graduate a year early. Her persistence is a product of many factors, but the support of her AP teachers is one of the largest, and she believes the rigors of her AP coursework are preparing her for the challenges of the college classroom. Because of NMSI program at her school, Colby feels much more confident in her knowledge, abilities, and even herself. She knows what she is capable of, and she firmly believes she will be successful pursuing her degree and career in a STEM field.

Another student excited about the program at her school is Sierra Cuellar, a junior at Aberdeen HS who has her father in the military. Her father is a Colonel who works in the STEM field of nuclear physics, and because of his service his family had to move from Northern Virginia to Maryland during Cuellar’s sophomore year. Thankfully, the high school she transferred from also offered AP courses, so she was able to have a smooth academic transition to Aberdeen’s AP classes. Furthermore, she believes her AP courses are helping prepare her for college because the expectations are higher for her to succeed, so when she does enter college she will already understand what’s to be expected of her in the college classroom. “If I can do this now,” she remarks, “what will I be able to accomplish when I’m in college?” The program and her teachers have been a definite self-esteem booster, and she’s looking forward to what the future holds.
The NMSI program not only impacts students, but it also revitalizes the practice of our teachers and reenergizes their classrooms. Diana Liberto is one of those teachers. She has taught AP Calculus for the last three years at Aberdeen High School, but she didn’t start with the NMSI program until her second year as an AP teacher, and she has seen a profound difference in her classroom. “My students are much more motivated to get their work done and pass their exams; they truly get excited about math and science and genuinely enjoy learning those subjects.” She believes this shift in student thinking is a direct result of NMSI’s Comprehensive AP Program, which allows for real-life learning and experimentation to naturally motivate and keep students engaged. The NMSI program has also increased the expectations of success in the school. All of the students understand that they are expected to take and pass their AP exams, and even though 3 is considered a passing score, Liberto wants all of her students to pass with 4’s and 5’s on their exams. She has already seen an increase in the average passing score in her classroom, but she’s determined to do even better, and thanks to the guidance, support and resources she received from NMSI’s teacher training, she knows she can.
 The success these students and teacher have experienced barely scratches the surface of the positive impact NMSI’s program has had on the school. Here are a few highlights of Aberdeen’s results:
•The average first year increase in passing AP scores on math, science, and English exams was 137%, compared to 6.5% in Maryland, and 7.2% nationally.
•For minority students, the average increase in passing AP scores for those same subjects was 233%, compared to 18.4% in the rest of the state, and 14.1% nationally.
•For only math and science, the average increase for female students’ passing AP scores was 138%, compared to 9.3% in Maryland, and 8.3% nationally.
•And in those same subjects of math and science, the average increase in passing AP scores for minority students was 320%, compared to 25.3% in Maryland, and 16.2% nationally.
These results are above and beyond what we here at NMSI were expecting, and we couldn’t be more excited about the student and teacher success. The average increasing in passing AP scores in our schools after one year is 72%, yet Aberdeen High School nearly doubled that number, proving their dedication and motivation to succeed in the classroom.
The AP program is critical to preparing students for the rigors of college-level coursework. Students who pass an AP exam are three times more likely to earn a college degree than those who do not pass, and throughout the duration of the program, NMSI has more than doubled the number of students taking AP classes in math, science and English at our schools. We are dedicated to preparing the next generation of students and workers for the demands of our global economy, and you can be too. Click the button below to request a consultation for your district and revolutionize your schools today!