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Dawson County High School recognized as AP honor school
Dawson County BOE
The Board of Education building at 28 Main Street. - photo by Erica Jones

Dawson County High School was recently recognized by the Georgia Department of Education as an Advanced Placement honor school in two categories. 

According to Nicole Lecave, Dawson County Schools assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, the Georgia Department of Education has recognized schools as AP honor schools since 2008 in order to ensure that schools offer the college-level courses to high school students. There are eight categories for the award, and 2021 awards were based on data from all May 2020 AP exams. 

This year, Dawson County High School was recognized in two categories: as an AP challenge school, or a school with enrollments of 900 or fewer students and students testing in English, math, science and social studies, and as an AP STEM school, or a school with a minimum of five students testing in at least four AP science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses. 

According to Charles Buesse, assistant principal at Dawson County High School, the school offers 8 AP course options that its students can take. This school year, there are about 135 high school students enrolled in AP courses, a number which Buesse says is fairly typical for AP course enrollment. 

According to Lecave, Dawson County High School’s recognitions are the results of the school system’s efforts to make AP courses more readily available to students in the district. 

“Being named an AP honor school validates Dawson County High School’s commitment to providing high-quality, rigorous learning opportunities to students,” Lecave said. “The district’s goal is to offer various Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment opportunities, so students and families have a choice when planning for their futures.” 

Dawson County High School Principal Michael Negley said this year’s AP honor school recognitions are even more of an accomplishment because of the challenges staff and students had to overcome when taking AP exams in 2020. 

“These designations are a result of the hard work of our students and teachers — Advanced Placement courses and the associated exams are extremely rigorous, and the effort and commitment shown by the students who take these courses are impressive,” Negley said. “These students had to take AP exams in an alternative manner at the end of last year due to COVID-19, and their teachers had to finish teaching the most challenging courses that we offer in a virtual setting. I am so proud that their hard work is paying off!” 

Lecave said the school system’s goal moving forward is to continue to expand the number of AP courses that Dawson County High School offers. 

“In the coming years, we hope to continue growing course offerings and elevate student performance on Advanced Placement exams,” Lecave said.