ACHS Capstone Graduates Honored – The Taylorsville Times

CAPSTONE GRADUATES – Alexander Central High School’s 2022 Capstone graduates are pictured above, left to right: front row – Mary Slagle, Rachel Anderson, Cassidy Caskaddon, Sarah Beth Inman and Briley Walker; back row – Harrison Brashear, Bodie King, Hunter Jamison, Connor Zink, Jackson Reid and Corban Parker. (Photo courtesy of Austin Allen, Alexander Central High School.)

By ANGELA FARR KING

Eleven seniors walked through the stage on Friday, May 27, 2022, with the distinction of being graduates of NC Capstone: Rachel Anderson, Harrison Brashear, Cassidy Caskaddon, Sarah Beth Inman, Hunter Jamison, Bodie King, Corban Parker, Jackson Reid, Mary Slagle, Briley Walker and Connor Zink. Their Capstone diplomas will be presented to them this summer when all of their work is finalized. According to Mr. Jacob Lail, Principal of Alexander Central High School, this degree is one of the highest honors North Carolina high school students can earn. He said AC’s Capstone program is part of the AP (Advanced Placement) Academy, which includes students with extremely high academic abilities and goals.

Alexander Central AP Academy in an official capstone school. According to AC literature, “this 21st century program focuses on preparing for future success, not only in college, but also in the job market.” The AP Academy “provides opportunities for students to succeed in a culture of academic excellence and rigor. It also provides the opportunity to earn high school college credit through AP coursework.

Alexander Central High School is one of the few high schools in the entire state that can offer a Diploma and Capstone Certificate in addition to the rigorous opportunities offered by AP Academy. According to Mr. Lail, less than 6% of schools in North Carolina have the capacity to offer these courses. AP Academy teachers are specially trained by the College Board with advanced credentials.

When discussing their journey to earning a Capstone degree, Sarah Beth Inman and Briley Walker talked about the combination of work they did at school and at home. They each started this journey at the beginning of their freshman year. They have committed to taking the required AP courses, but in addition to these, they have also committed to taking the Capstone Seminar class their junior year and the Capstone Research class their senior year.

Inman said, “It was really tough. I worked on my research paper and my project at least two days a week. It teaches you to pull your own weight. You must learn to be disciplined and self-reliant to achieve this.

Walker spoke about the research project required. She said she had to pick “a College Board paper that was presented in class.” She talked about the challenges of coping with the extra work each week on top of her AP classes and extracurricular activities. In the AP seminary class, they had to write two articles. One was a group project and the other was an individual project. They then had to prepare two presentations for these projects.

In their AP Research class, they were required to write a 4,000-5,000 word research paper with a 15-20 minute presentation on their findings. These are considered to be the most difficult courses to take in the county and they certainly helped prepare these eleven graduates for their future at university or in the job market.

Twenty-six students began this journey, but only eleven completed all of the requirements to earn their Capstone degrees. To receive their Capstone degrees, these students also had to pass five AP exams.

These Capstone graduates are ready to take on the next chapter of their lives after working hard for these distinguished degrees.

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