Red Mountain selected for AP Capstone Diploma program

Red Mountain High School becomes the first comprehensive high school in the East Valley to offer the program to students.

RMHS AP Capstone diplomaThe Red Mountain High School graduating class of 2017 will be the first in Mesa Public Schools to have the opportunity to earn an AP Capstone Diploma. Red Mountain is the first comprehensive high school in the East Valley to offer the program. 

"Being selected for this program out of over 700 schools not only affirms our belief in what our mission is, but also creates an excitement about what the future holds," explains Jared Ryan, principal of Red Mountain High School.

Sophomores and juniors who enter the program take AP Seminar, followed by AP Research. Students earning scores of three or higher in both courses and four additional AP exams of their choice will receive the AP Capstone Diploma. Students scoring three or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research will also receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate, recognizing college-level research and academic skills.

"Any current freshman or sophomore may apply for admittance into the AP Capstone Diploma program," Ryan says. "Currently, students from all over the valley are applying for open enrollment to Red Mountain, as well as Capstone admission, based on this opportunity."

Students will graduate ready to succeed in college

Red Mountain teachers Trevor Brimhall and Heather O'Brien will be establishing the AP Capstone program at the school. Both are going through intensive spring and summer training sessions in preparation. Brimhall and O'Brien have vast experience instructing AP courses.

"A student enrolled in the AP Seminar course may first expect to have fun," Brimhall says. "While it will be a rigorous class, we will have tremendous freedom to explore a range of themes across the entire spectrum of academic disciplines. Intellectual curiosity is key to an interesting and fulfilling life, and every student will play a part in determining what we explore. Students will seek out those sparks, fan those flames and, perhaps, even develop them into lifelong careers and passions."

Brimhall and O'Brien will be students' guides, teaching them about research methods and mentoring them through individual and group research projects and presentations.

"To know that I'll be teaching my students research skills they'll use throughout their lives is very gratifying," O'Brien says. "I am very proud to be part of this cutting-edge program."

The AP Capstone Diploma falls under Red Mountain's Honors Academy, a site-based initiative offering students a variety of options, including the advanced STEM Diploma. Prospective Red Mountain students living outside the school's area may fill out the open enrollment form and return it to the school at 7301 E. Brown Road, Mesa.

"Red Mountain is built on the premise of creating opportunities for students, faculty and families to flourish in a wide range of areas," Ryan shares. "Each year we graduate a number of students moving on to universities such as Brown, Stanford and Harvard. It is our responsibility to ensure their four-year high school experience is one that propels them into a life of success. If families are looking for a smaller school-within-a-school model containing high levels of academic standards, this is the program for them."

(Pictured: Trevor Brimhall and Heather O'Brien will be implementing the AP Capstone Diploma program at Red Mountain. Photo by Tim Hacker/Mesa Public Schools)


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