240 DMPS Students Named AP Scholars

Graphic announcing AP ScholarsTwo hundred and forty Des Moines students earned Advanced Placement Scholar honors from the College Board, it was announced today, the second most ever recognized at Iowa’s largest school district. Students from East, Hoover, Lincoln, North and Roosevelt high schools were all represented among the honorees.

“The success of these students is an inspiration, and their accomplishments in the classroom are testament to their talent and intelligence as well as to the great teachers and educational opportunities available to all of our students here in Des Moines,” said Superintendent Tom Ahart.

Among the 240 students are 20 recognized as AP National Scholars (up from 14 last year). To earn the prestigious AP National Scholar Award a student must take eight or more AP exams and receive a score of four or higher (on a scale of 1-5) on each exam. Recipients of the AP National Scholar Award for the 2015-16 school year are:


  • Payton McBurney – Iowa State University


  • Terry Nguyen
  • Nathan Rider – Iowa State University


  • Bryan Richter – Carleton College


  • Thomas Butruille
  • Eli Dotson – Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Daniel Drane – George Mason University
  • Alexander Fleming – Missouri Institute of Science and Technology
  • Miles Grahm – Drake University
  • Maeve Greising
  • Connor Johnson
  • Shivani Kumaresan
  • Zachary Lin – Washington University in St.Louis
  • Peter Oswald – Purdue University
  • Finnegan Pilcher – Northwestern University
  • Jack Romp
  • Andrew Shumway – US Naval Academy
  • Matthew Voss
  • John Wahlig – Iowa State University
  • Matthew Wells – Coe College

NOTE: Students without a college or university listed next to their name are currently high school seniors.

In addition to the 20 AP National Scholars, 66 Des Moines students were recognized as AP Scholars with Distinction, 32 as AP Scholars with Honor, and 122 as AP Scholars. Since 1991, 3,108 DMPS students have earned AP Scholars awards, including 356 AP National Scholars.

Over the past several years DMPS has made significant expansions in the Advanced Placement courses offered at both Central Academy as well all five of the district’s comprehensive high schools as each now provides a full range of AP courses in social studies, science, English, mathematics, world language, and the fine arts.

As a result, over the past five years, enrollment in AP courses has increased more than 181%, participation in the AP exam has increased nearly 150%, and the number of students earning a college-credit score of 3 or higher on AP exams has increased 42%.

For the third year in a row, all five comprehensive high schools in Des Moines were listed on the Iowa AP Index released by the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa, with two high schools ranked in the top five: Roosevelt (#2) and North (#4). In addition, North High teacher Jean Schwendau was named the 2016 AP Teacher of the Year for the College Board’s Midwest region.

The College Board, which administers the Advanced Placement program, annually releases the AP Scholars list for each school district following the results of the Spring Advanced Placement testing. The College Board’s mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. In addition to the Advanced Placement program, its programs include the SAT college entrance exam and the PSAT/NMSQ. Additional information regarding the Advanced Placement Program is available at www.collegeboard.com.