Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert visits PCHS | ParkRecord.com

Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert visits PCHS

Alexandria Gonzalez , The Park Record

Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert presents Park City High School with a traveling trophy, a 100-year-old Utah history book, to Advanced Placement (AP) students and teachers with Charlie Lansche, left, and the Utah State Education Advisor Tami Pyfer, center. Christopher Reeves/Park Record.

For the second year in a row, Park City High School was named the top performing school in the state on Advanced Placement (AP) course exams. Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert presented PCHS Principal Bob O’Connor and a group of AP students with the traveling trophy – a 100-year-old Utah history book – Monday, March 31.

O’Connor said when he called his mother last year to tell her the high school had been named the top performing AP school in the state, she told him to thank not only the teachers at the high school but the elementary school teachers who helped lay the groundwork for those students to excel in high school. "It is a systemic success story," he said.

Herbert and his newly appointed education advisor, Tami Pyfer, took to the podium to congratulate the students in attendance. They informed the students that they won the award because 36.7 percent of all students at the high school passed their AP exams.

However, Herbert said that Sky High School in Smithfield followed closely behind with 36.6 percent. He urged them keep up the good work by discussing the importance of education to the economy.

"The focus in my administration has been, ‘What can we do to grow the economy?’ It is important to me that you have jobs, opportunities to find a job, to support yourself and your families as you go on through life," Gov. Herbert said. "As part of that effort, what we really want to do is emphasize education. We know we cannot have long-term economic growth if we don’t have good skills in the labor force, which we are trying to develop by emphasizing education."

Pyfer then asked the students to share what has helped them to do so well in their AP courses and exams. The majority of them replied their counselors had helped them to create manageable AP schedules beginning in eighth-grade. The students also praised involved and engaged parents.

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Gov. Herbert wrapped up the presentation to return to a governor’s conference at the St. Regis Deer Valley. The students, teachers and administrators then posed for a photo opportunity with the governor and the traveling trophy.