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Minorities lack representation

Guidance+department+chairman+John+Komosa+works+at+his+desk+Dec.+12.+%22We+in+the+counseling+office+as+well+as+teachers+in+the+classrooms+do+reach+out+and+encourage+students+to+explore+their+potential%2C%22+Komosa+said.
Guidance department chairman John Komosa works at his desk Dec. 12.

Guidance department chairman John Komosa works at his desk Dec. 12. "We in the counseling office as well as teachers in the classrooms do reach out and encourage students to explore their potential," Komosa said.

Hanna Bewley

Hanna Bewley

Guidance department chairman John Komosa works at his desk Dec. 12. "We in the counseling office as well as teachers in the classrooms do reach out and encourage students to explore their potential," Komosa said.

Amanda Musolf, Editor in Chief

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Senior Tevian Whitehurst sees a pattern in his Advanced Placement classes.

“It looks Caucasian and Asian,” Whitehurst said of his average AP class. “I’m the only black male in any of my classes. If there have been other black people in my AP classes they’ve been girls.”

Whitehurst, who was a member of the now defunct African-American leadership club Giving It Back during his freshman through junior year, said that his experience is typical of minority students.

Of the 691 students here who took an AP test last May, just 12 percent identified as African-American or Latino, guidance department chairman John Komosa said.

These rates have not changed since 2014, according to the school’s county profile on its website.

According to Komosa, the guidance department is working to improve the presence of minority students in higher level classes.

“We make a concerted effort to utilize a number of data points to identify students who may be what we call ‘under enrolled’ in terms of rigor,” he said.

For sophomore Aja Irving, being the only African-American girl in her Gifted and Talented English class hasn’t deterred her from pushing herself.

“Of course I’ve noticed it but I haven’t let it affect my education,” Irving said.

There isn’t a single way to tackle equity, behavioral interventionist Daron Reid said. Reid works with students individually to figure out what course of action is best for them.

“I try to see what motivates them, what they’re passionate about and what drives them to come to school,” Reid said. “Some students just need to have someone who listens and others need someone to hold them accountable and stay on top of them.”

Irving saw increasing the diversity of higher level classes as beneficial to everyone involved.

“You get to experience different racial views and backgrounds,” Irving said. “Having more perspectives in higher level classes can make them ten times more interesting.”

 

Editor-in-chief Sophie Bates and staff writer Anna Jensen also contributed to this report.

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