FWBHS students receive perfect scores, major academic scholarships

Special to The Log
The Calculus BC class, standing with the Viking mascot, includes (back row) Lee Ponder, Tyler Barkley, Sam Dillon, Austin Franklin, Corey Andre, Josh Davis, Paul Michaud, and (front row) Daniel Schmidt, Sarah Johnson, Brian Day, Kevin Patel and Sam Sowell.

Members of Stephanie Thetford’s Calculus BC class are making a mark on the world and they’re only seniors in high school. Thetford, Okaloosa County’s Teacher of the Year in 2012, teaches a group of students who all made a 5 (a perfect score) on their Advanced Placement Calculus AB exam as juniors (the introductory Calculus class), but they didn’t let that bring on complacency. In their second level of Calculus, they’re ready to repeat their success on this year’s exam.

Corey Andre, Tyler Barkley, Joshua Davis, Brian Day, Sam Dillon, Austin Franklin, Sarah Johnson, Paul Michaud, Spencer O’Donnell, Kevin Patel, Lee Ponder, Daniel Schmidt, and Sam Sowell are all students of Advanced Placement Calculus BC, an extremely rare high school class because of the level of mathematic ability needed to be successful. AP classes give high school students the opportunity to get college credit for the courses that they take in high school if they are able to pass the nationwide AP exam at the end of the year. This intelligent group of students is studying to take the AP exam in May where they will attempt to match their perfect score from the previous year.

Six of these students have applied and been accepted to the Georgia Institute of Technology. These students are: Corey Andre, Sam Dillon, and Daniel Schmidt, all from Destin, and Paul Michaud, Kevin Patel and Lee Ponder. Paul Michaud has also been accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the United States Air Force Academy.

Corey Andre was also awarded the Peggy Gorday Bruner award for being the highest academic student in the entire county. Brian Day received academic scholarships to the University of Miami and Rice University.

Corey Andre, Tyler Barkley, Sam Dillon, Spencer O’Donnell, and Lee Ponder will all be attending the University of Florida in the Fall.

Thetford, who had an AP exam pass rate of 97 percent for Calculus AB in 2012 and 100 percent pass rate for Calculus BC, said, “This group of students is amazing. They are all so talented and gifted in the field of mathematics. I am truly honored to have had the pleasure to teach this group of gifted students for the last three years.”