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Article updated: 12/9/2012 4:37 PM

Academic excellence recognized in districts U-46, 300, 158

By Tara García Mathewson

Hundreds of students from Fox Valley districts have been named 2013-14 Illinois State Scholars in recognition of their academic success.

Through exemplary college entrance exam scores and high grades in their individual schools, 262 Elgin Area School District U-46 students, 164 Carpentersville-based Community Unit District 300 students and 81 students from Huntley High School in Consolidated School District 158 will receive notice of the award this week.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission announces the scholars each year, generally recognizing the top 10 percent of graduates from eligible high schools. The students get a certificate of achievement but no monetary award.

Tom Rodman, freshman academy coordinator at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville, said there has been an increasing focus on curriculum in the district over the last five years with new forms of intervention and support services for students.

Rodman said the scholars are often the ones setting the bar high for themselves.

"We couldn't be more proud of what they're doing," Rodman said. "We just try to facilitate their goals and dreams."

Patrick Mogge, director of school and community relations for District U-46, said the five high schools are pushing students to look beyond the standard curriculum.

Already, U-46 offers 19 AP classes districtwide with two new subjects in the process of being added. The number of AP scholars in the district -- those students who score a 3, 4 or 5 on the exams -- have gone up in recent years. The district is home to 299 AP scholars from 2012 tests, up from 152 in 2009.

"We're trying to expand access to advanced placement classes to all students," Mogge said.

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