Marshfield High School Receives Pacesetter Award
The Marshfield High School Advanced Placement (AP) program has received the 2017 Pacesetter Award with a Level 1 distinction for the 2016-17 school year. Schools are recognized by the Wisconsin Advanced Placement Advisory Council (WAPAC) based on student’s AP score performance. A total of 387 students enrolled in the program in 2017.
To reach a level 1 status, one or more AP exams must be taken by 30% of total students with a passing grade for 70% or more of exams taken. Just seventeen Wisconsin schools reached a Level 1 status and only two – Marshfield and Hudson – are north of Wisconsin Dells.
“We have been a Level 1 Pacesetter before and have consistently been one of the top AP schools in the state for the past 15 years,” said Dan Dargenio, teacher and Advanced Placement Analyst. “It definitely reiterates a constant level of confidence in Marshfield families, students, and teachers who work hard to maintain this excellence.”
But maintaining a quality program doesn’t happen by accident. “It’s taken a concerted effort for the past 15 to 20 years from a variety a people to make the Marshfield AP program elite. Maintaining this level of success year in and year out is a daunting task,” Dargenio said. “Awards like this keep everyone focused on maintaining this excellence.”
There are currently 29 AP courses offered at Marshfield High School. Since a 4-credit class averages $1,600 in the UW System, such courses provide a total cost savings for MHS students of over $1 million.
College cost savings is just one consideration when taking AP courses. “Parents have the peace of mind of sending their students to a high school that they know, with objective data, is preparing them for the rigor of college coursework,” said Dargenio. “Second, these results and awards add a significant economic value to the Marshfield community.”
The AP program has been working closely with the Marshfield Clinic the last several years to develop innovate ways to ensure the program’s longevity, he said. “The Marshfield Clinic believes that one of the most important ways to attract and retain high quality medical professionals to Marshfield is to keep the AP program strong so these professionals are swayed to pick Marshfield over surrounding medical communities.
“Since the Marshfield Clinic is one of the biggest employers in our area, their success in recruiting talented medical professionals is directly connected to the economic stability of the Marshfield community,” he added.
The dedication of students, their families and AP teachers are at the core of the program’s excellence.
“The success of the Marshfield AP program should be attributed to Marshfield families and students who strive for academic excellence, work hard to reach their potential, and respect the AP teachers,” Dargenio said. “Additionally, the teachers who work tirelessly to educate and prepare their students are essential to these prestigious academic awards. These teachers have years of valuable experience, are experts in their subject areas, and work tirelessly to create a classroom that feels inclusive to all student levels while maintaining a high level of academic integrity. Without these educational professionals striving for excellence, the Marshfield AP program would not be at the level it is today.”