A special recognition lunch was held to honor Belton ISD Advanced Placement (AP) teachers at the Belton High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) dining room on Monday. Due to the dedication of the teachers and the consequent success of their students in the 2018-19 school year on the AP exams, Belton ISD became one of only 18 school districts in the state to make the College Board’s AP District Honor Roll.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Deanna Lovesmith said preparation for AP exams is a three-way street. The administrators must provide the necessary tools for the teachers, who then use said tools to teach and prepare their students, and the students are to use these resources to ensure success when test day approaches.

“We really are here not only as a celebration but really as a thank you,” Dr. Lovesmith said.

“This is, to my knowledge, the first time ever we are being recognized as a District to be on the College Board AP Honor Roll, and this is the 10th year for the AP Honor Roll.”

“We all kind of got together…and we realized that really all the work to get here was from you all; it was not from us; it was from you all, and we got here because we increased, you increased our participation on AP college exams last year by over four percent, but when you increased that you also maintained and increased kids that scored a 3 or higher and you maintained performance of low socio-economic populations and under-reputable populations, and that’s huge.”

“We know that we got there 1) because you begged kids every day, ‘you need to take this test,’ you encouraged them, you inspired them, and then you taught your heart out, and you got to those kids, and you helped them get there,” Dr. Lovesmith said.

AP English 3 and 4 Teacher Michelle Ciccariello directed a few words of appreciation toward the administrators for their assistance in preparing the students for success.

“One of the things that we were afraid of all along was we kept saying, you know, ‘if we only go from five kids taking the test to 35 taking the test, you can’t possibly have exactly the same scores because we used to have five that needed to take it’…we kept having to trust our administrators and we would be ok with however that comes out; we took that leap of faith and encouragement with them saying ‘no, no, this is what we want to do.’”

“It’s scary; it is scary to get more kids to take the test, and everybody worries about the scores, but what we want is to just keep pushing kids and challenge them, and when things don’t come out maybe the score that we want, we’ll address that; we’ll keep pushing kids, so thank you,” Dr. Lovesmith said in response.