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Scecina junior enjoys challenge of Advanced Placement courses


 Junior Ingrid Ruiz (left) takes four Advanced Placement courses at Scecina this school year, including AP Psychology and AP U.S. History with teacher Jeff Getty.

By Beth Murphy, Director of Marketing Communications 

Ingrid Ruiz is an AP machine. 

The Scecina junior is taking four AP (Advanced Placement) courses this year, including two with teacher Jeff Getty

“The Scecina counselors recommended that I take the AP classes, and I really didn’t know much about it,” said Ingrid, an honors student who went to St. Philip Neri Catholic School. 

“At first I thought they were just like my regular classes, but then with the exams and all the homework, I thought, yeah, this is definitely an AP class. Now I know this was a good decision.” 

Scecina offers several AP classes. Good AP scores show colleges that a student is ready to succeed at college-level work and can even earn them college credits. Earning college credits in high school can save money on college tuition and that is something that parents like to hear. 

Ingrid takes AP Spanish and AP Language and Composition, as well AP Psychology and AP U.S. History with Mr. Getty, who has been an inspiration, she said. 

“He’s just so real and authentic with all of the students,” she said. “He’s so interactive with everything and he really helps me learn. He always shares his stories about when he was in the military.” 

Click here to read Scecina Teacher Spotlight: Jeff Getty

Mr. Getty, who served in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Infantry, said he uses his military past more in teaching psychology than in his AP U.S. History class, because he's seen and experienced the psychological effects of war. 

“We were talking about sleep issues (in AP Psychology) and he brought up his own night terrors,” said Ingrid. “I thought that was really good that he could talk about it with us. 

“Some of the kids don’t always believe what he says, because they haven’t experienced it. And it is crazy to me. He has details and details, and people are surprised by it.” 

Ingrid, who plans either to study law or government and public policy, has discussed her future with Mr. Getty. They’ve discussed a military career, because of her leadership skills. 

Ingrid hopes the AP classes will help her earn college credit. She will have to take the AP exam in each class and score well to earn any college credit. 

Ingrid says she studies a lot because she knows that if she doesn’t, her scores aren’t as high. Yet she also makes time for some other Scecina activities. She has been on the soccer team for three years, and also was a basketball cheerleader last winter. This winter she plans to join the Crusaders gymnastics team. 

She also has been a shadow host for eighth-graders who are considering Scecina as their high school. 

“I tell them that it’s really family here, and the teachers really get to know you,” she said. “I also tell all my shadows to do a sport, because you create a group of friends. It’s such a good community to be a part of.”