Submitted by the San Juan Island School District
Three Friday Harbor High School students have earned academic honors from the College Board National Recognition Program: Junior Ava Martin, Senior Islay Ross, and Junior Siena Traynor (currently attending Stanford Online High School). These National Recognition Programs grant underrepresented students with academic honors that help them meaningfully connect to nationwide colleges and stand out during the admissions process. Colleges and scholarship programs identify students awarded National African American, Hispanic, Indigenous and/or Rural/Small Town Recognition through College Board’s Student Search Service.
Ava Martin shares, “I am extremely grateful to attend Friday Harbor High School and my experiences in AP have been overwhelmingly positive. All of the teachers have done a fantastic job helping me learn and they have provided a tremendous amount of support. My AP U.S. History teacher, Ms. Caldwell, went above and beyond when helping me prepare for the exam. I am very grateful that Friday Harbor High is able to provide me with so many AP course options.”
Siena Traynor states, “Even though the size of Friday Harbor High School can make it difficult for classes to be the most competitive, I appreciated the support from my teachers last year. Perhaps most importantly, I love the way it feels when you open a textbook and the rest of the world disappears even though it also connects to everything you’re reading. While you’re sitting there, only the text, then the little highlighted portions (or notes if that help) remain. That is the kind of opportunity and experience that an AP class allows you to have.”
Islay Ross says, “It’s easy to feel limited when you come from such a tiny island, but the arts community is so special here. I’m lucky to have grown up surrounded by unique and supportive people:
the sculptor who showed me how to see shapes in wood; the painter who taught me the planes of the face; the artist who walked me through my first life-size sculpture;t he locals who come together for drawing group on Tuesday nights; the restaurant owners who offered to hang my art on their walls; my art teacher who would talk through a piece with me for hours; my mom who lets me use her art studio; my dad who carries my six-foot canvases around; and anyone who’s ever told me to keep making art.”
“This is an amazing testament to these young scholars, and to the caliber of educational experience, they’re accessing here in Friday Harbor. We are very proud of them for their achievements in their classrooms and on College Board assessments. We can’t wait to see them through the rest of high school and their path beyond our doors,” said Andrea Hillman, Friday Harbor High School Principal. “These programs will help these remarkable students stand out to colleges during admissions.” Students receive their awards in time to include them on their college and scholarship applications.
Students who may be eligible have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have excelled on the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10, or earned a score of three or higher on two or more AP Exams; and are African American or Black, Hispanic American or Latinx, Indigenous, and/or attend school in a rural area or small town.
“We want to honor the hard work of these students through the College Board National Recognition Programs. This program creates a way for colleges and scholarship programs to connect directly with underrepresented students who they are hoping to reach,” said Tarlin Ray, College Board senior vice president of BigFuture. “We hope the award winners and their families celebrate this prestigious honor and it helps them plan for their big future.”