I can't believe the end of the school year is already here! It's been a busy year, with new testing coming in and added classes and 175 students here at the end. And now, at the end of the school year, my time at A&M Consolidated is also coming to an end. When I leave there on Friday, June 1, I will no longer be on the faculty of AMCHS after 10 years. It's been a good 10 years - lots of changes along the way, both good and bad. I started out teaching IPC, then both biology and IPC, then just biology, then PreAP and regular biology, and now PreAP and Biology-9. Both of my own children have gone through high school and graduated within that time period. And hundreds of Consol tigers have passed through my classroom - although I guess the actual number is over 1000 by now. Wow - that's a LOT of kids!
The new era begins as the old one ends - it's exciting to be in on the beginning of a new school, with a new building and new traditions. For the first time, College Station will have 2 high schools. It will be interesting to see how things develop over the next few years - as CSHS grows and AMCHS gets smaller. By the time this year's freshmen are seniors, both schools should be about the same size, which will also involve moving down to a 4A UIL rating from 5A. I was living here when we moved up from 4A to 5A, although I wasn't teaching at the time, and it was very exciting to move up to the big time. Now we're all looking forward to moving back down. It will be so much better to have fewer students in the school - it's been really crowded the last few years. By 2014, both schools should be at about 1500 to 1600 students - much more manageable than our current 2800 at AMCHS!
As the number of students in my classes grew (and grew, and grew), so did their success, culminating with the EOC results we got last Friday which showed that 99% of all the 9th grade biology students (on-level and PreAP) had passed the first biology EOC. 85% passed it at the recommended level (higher than the phase-in level), and over 41% were at the advanced level. Amazing! We were so worried when the first questions were released - there were only 12 of them but man! were they doozies! If all the questions were going to be like this, NO ONE would pass it! The kids were worried, and so was I. However, when we stopped to think about it, we realized that the passing level would probably be related to the average score statewide, and we were most likely to be on the upper end of that scale. I have no idea yet where the rest of the state scored, but I couldn't be more pleased with our scores.
I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at A&M Consolidated High. I can honestly say I really liked all the students I've had in class. I may not have always enjoyed their behavior and performance in class, but I genuinely liked each and every one of them. If you were one of my students, please believe that I really care about you and send my best wishes for your success in life. If you are a parent of one of them, thank you for sharing your children with me. I hope I've had some sort of positive influence on each and every one of them - if nothing else, at least to pass my class so they didn't have to be in there with me anymore! It's been a pleasure. Now, on to the next challenge . . .