Marisa Johansen | Staff Writer
Damian Margarites | Advertising Editor
Students enter DGN by way of many different middle schools, a mix of both public and private institutions. Each school outfits students with different knowledge bases, learning strategies and skill levels. Upon closer review, however, one school appears to set its students far above the rest.
The 15 total Avery Coonley graduates currently attending DGN seem to outperform students coming out of other middles schools. Beginning freshman year, they can take more advanced classes other students can’t.
Avery Coonley leaves its graduates proficient in French, allowing them to take French III honors freshman year. Students are also able to take honors level mathematics, English and science, whereas the highest level of language study that Herrick and Jefferson Junior High graduates can take is French or Spanish II non-honors. This discrepancy gives Avery Coonley students a decided advantage in both terms of GPA and class rank.
Sophomore Robert Falconer, an Avery Coonley alum, has enjoyed the advantage of more honors level courses. “I am at the top of my class, and it definitely helped that I was able to get an additional weighted grade from my French III honors course freshman year,” Falconer said.
Likewise, sophomore Tristan Jahn took the maximum number of honors courses as a freshman, including French III honors. This year he has a combination of six honors and AP courses. As an Avery Coonley graduate he feels prepared to take a rigorous schedule. “I want to take as many honors courses as are offered to me here at DGN. I enjoy the challenge,” Jahn said.
This mindset of maxing out the number of honors courses is not limited to only graduates of Avery Coonley. Chris Wilford, no. 14 in the sophomore class and former Herrick graduate, took honors English, science and mathematics courses as a freshman, but was forced to take Spanish II non-honors because he did not go to Avery Coonley. “It is not fair at all that students from Avery Coonley get to take an additional honors course, but it is something I have to accept. I enjoy taking honors courses to improve my work habits and the classes will help me get into a good college,” Wilford said.
GPA is the determining factor for class rank, giving students from Avery Coonley an inherent advantage over students from other middle schools. Some students, like Wilford, are defying the odds by loading up with the maximum number of honors classes available to them.