PCHS scholars honored with prestigious awards
November 1, 2016
Park City High School is officially a school of scholars.
Two PCHS graduates, Madeline Knauer and Jackson Burton, were recently announced as the Utah State AP Scholars for the Class of 2016 by the College Board, an education-based nonprofit. The honor is given annually to the one male and one female student in each state who passed the most Advanced Placement exams with the highest average marks.
Knauer said she was flattered to win the award, but she didn't immediately understand its significance. Though her course load was heavy throughout high school, she had no idea she'd taken the most AP tests of any female student in the state. According to information from Park City High School, she tallied an average score of 4.53 — out of five — on 19 exams.
"I was really excited," she said.
Knauer, who is a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley, added that she wanted to take a lot of AP courses from the time she began high school — but not to earn recognition.
"I've always been very competitive with myself," she said. "I see the list of science and math AP classes and it's like, 'I'm going to take all of those.' It was my goal to take all of those classes that I could."
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Burton, too, was enthusiastic about the award, but it didn't catch him off guard the way it did Knauer. He also took 19 AP exams, according to PCHS, and accumulated an average score of 4.74 on them.
"I knew that Madeline and I were taking as many AP classes as we could, so it wasn't a surprise, I guess," he said. "It was pretty cool, though."
Burton, who is a freshman at Yale University, added that the chance to take nearly 20 AP classes is ultimately more meaningful than the award. He said he was grateful to have graduated from PCHS.
"A lot of schools don't have AP physics or AP Spanish literature," he said. "Both Madeline and I got to take classes like that, which are college-level classes. So that made high school a better experience."
The two students also credited each other with helping them achieve the honor. Knauer said she and Burton had a friendly rivalry throughout high school and would help each other with classwork. For her, it was valuable to work with someone who knew the challenges of the course load she was taking.
"Jackson and I have kind of always had a little competition between us, and we've always kind of pushed each other, I think," she said. "It's really cool to see that we've both been rewarded for the push that we gave each other. It makes sense that both of us would get this award because we've both put in a lot of effort for it. It's cool to see."
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