Thursday, December 17, 2015

IB Diploma Ceremony


Recent alumni return to WAIS to receive their IB Diplomas and reconnect with campus, faculty, and current students. In addition to the presentation, current IB Diploma and Career-related Candidates were acknowledged, and multiple speakers shared their viewpoints. Speakers included our director Jennifer Collier, our new superintendent Scott Muri, and recent WAIS graduates.

Following the ceremony, students were able to briefly socialize and reconnect with current students, sharing their successes and advice based on their experiences at university.



Neither Dr. Muri nor Mrs. Collier make light of the difficulty of the work required by students at WAIS. Instead, the value and importance of the work is emphasized, as the students of today will be the workers, the professionals, the policy makers, the ones who hold together the world of the future. Mrs. Collier spoke not only on the importance of our students' choosing a greater level of challenge, but also on how many are choosing to accept it.

WAIS continues to see the number of IB Diploma Candidates increase year after year, as well as adds IB Career-related Candidates to the mix this year. Several year ago, the district began its T24 initiative- to double the number of students entering and completing programs offering a technical, 2-year, 4-year degree, or serving in the military. At the time, WAIS had over 70% of students applying to and receiving acceptances to college and/or university. The WAIS class of 2015 has more than 90% of the students actively attending college or university (or enrolled in the military). The graduation rate is harder to track, but multiple 2013 students have already shared announcements on receiving their Associates degrees as they continue toward their Bachelor's.

Alumni and IB Diploma recipient Danielle Couch, attending Trinity University, spoke about her experiences in the IB Diploma Programme at WAIS. She acknowledged her difficulty with it, her uncertainty, her fear of not scoring high enough to earn the internationally recognized IB Diploma, and her perseverance to keep trying and not give up. When notification of her scores came from the IB, she wasn't even sure if she wanted to open them, despite expecting only disappointment, she chose to open them. She described her surreal experience of reading the notification that she not only did she score higher than she expected, but that she would receive the International Baccalaureate Diploma in addition to the Texas High School Diploma awarded to her in June.

Other IB Diploma Candidates and Recipients of 2015 are attending schools including University of Texas in Austin, University of Houston, Texas A&M in College Station, Notre Dame, Cornell University, and others. 2015 Diploma students included several Bilingual Diploma recipients. By Texas state law, students earning the IB Diploma are awarded a minimum of 24 credit hours at public universities and colleges in Texas. However, many of our students are awarded more than the minimum- some as high as 40 credit hours.


A story on this event was also published on the SBISD School Zone:
WAIS IB Graduates Implored to Change the World



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