City Unified School District teachers and staff traveled to
Anaheim, California for the 60th annual Advanced Placement
Conference. Back row: Jonathan Macariag, RayeLynn McCabe,
Vivian Abcede, Sonya Rojo and Vilma Macaraig. Front Row: Dr.
Melissa Bilagody, Samson Aquino, Debbie Yellowman. (photo
by Rosanda Suetopka - Navajo-Hopi Observer)
TUBA CITY, AZ - Last week a four-day AP Annual Conference took
place in the Anaheim Convention Center in California and eight Tuba
City High School and Junior High staff members attended. The conference
is the largest professional development gathering of the Advanced
Placement Programs and Pre-AP education communities.
AP programs focuses on six specific areas critical for the attendees
to take home to their school communities.
The participants learn methods to increase access and equity
to the AP program that results in direct success for students.
Participants are also asked to share their successful teaching
strategies and connect directly with other teacher colleagues.
The participants also discuss the 2016 AP exam performance with
chief AP readers and are able to see the final analysis for the
final advanced placement test scores.
School staff at the conference can explore exhibits that feature
new textbooks and new classroom technology.
The participants in the AP conference also are able to earn
continued education units (CEU) by attending this training session.
Administrators, principals, superintendents and school leaders
are encouraged to attend these annual AP conferences, which are
held in different parts of the country each summer. This is the
60th year the AP conference has taken place.
This year's participants from TCUSD were Dr. Melissa Bilagody,
RayeLynn McCabe, Jonathan Macaraig, Vivian Abcede, Sonya Rojo, Vilma
Macaraig, Samson Aquino and Debbie Yellowman.
McCabe is a long time Advanced Placement math teacher at Tuba
City High School who also teaches regular required high school math
McCabe attends the AP conference every year and gave her own
assessment of what she learned in Anaheim last week.
"The AP convention helped me most not only in gaining ideas
for my AP Calculus students at Tuba City High but also I learned
strategies for all my regular students," McCabe said. "Advance
Placement classes represent the most rigorous and challenging coursework
for high schools. Going to this conference helped me improve my
understanding of AP practices and the presenters shared a lot of
extensive knowledge and resources."
Bilagody has worked in the TCUSD system for a number of years.
Bilagody also felt she gained information and understanding
of the AP process at Anaheim.
"The AP conference was an opportunity for me to gain insight
on how Administrators best support the implementation of AP programs
and to hear the success stories of various AP programs across the
nation," Bilagody said. "It has become clear to me that
the Tuba City Junior High's role in the big picture at the AP process
is to foster students' potential during their junior high years.
One way in being able to do this would be by increasing the rigor
of the courses offered at TCJHS which in turn can increase the opportunity
for students to take AP courses at the high school with success.
A second way, would be to have more TCJHS teachers attend the annual
Pre-AP professional development so that teachers become aware of
the cornerstone for a successful AP program, which would definitely
collaborate with TCHS with the common goal of challenging students
to their fullest potential."
Bilagody and the teachers plan on utilizing their shared information
gained from attending the Anaheim conference to support and challenge
their students in the advanced placement classrooms at both the
junior high and high school levels.