IB Diploma candidates generally have the hardest course rigor and schedules of the entire student body at AHS. Along with balancing both Higher Level and Standard Level IB courses, IB Diploma candidates also have to enroll in the required Theory of Knowledge class and many are also participants in clubs and sports.
Students complete all of this course work in order to receive the coveted IB Diploma. However, candidates do not officially receive the diploma until the following school year, when they have already graduated from high school. This is because in order to receive the diploma, candidates must earn certain scores on their IB Exams in which scores are not released until the summer.
IB Diploma candidates from the Atoms Class of 2018 attended the International Baccalaureate Graduate Forum and Recognition ceremony on Jan. 7. Students officially received their diplomas at the ceremony held in the auditorium.
“It would have been nice to receive the IB Diploma at the same time as our high school diploma,” alumna Ruth Mekonnen said. “But I didn’t mind having to come back because it gave me an excuse to visit teachers and students.”
The Class of 2018 featured a total of 46 IB Diploma graduates. The ceremony began with a panel from the IB Diploma graduates in which they discussed the impact of IIB on their college experiences. IB Diploma coordinator Linda Bradshaw then recognized the Class of 2018. The faculty speaker for the event was IB Theory of Knowledge and History instructor, Timothy Kelly.
This was followed by a speech from the Graduate Speaker Marina Chen and then the awarding of certificates.
“I think that the IB program as a whole was definitely beneficial,” Mekonnen said. “Most college classes are handled the same way as IB Classes so having that foundation provides an advantage. I was able to figure out good study techniques and how to manage my time better.”
Diploma recipients reflected on the benefits of the program now being college students and dealing with even more difficult curriculum.
“The IB Diploma program taught me how to better navigate ways through educational tools such as researching and writing,” alumna Binqi Chen said. “Receiving the diploma isn’t about the paper that you receive but rather the growth and the benefits its gives you in standing out on college applications.”