Pushing students: Pleasant Valley’s model for excellence creates higher academic achievements for students

A famous Pleasant Valley logo where students and staff are committed to excellence.


A famous Pleasant Valley logo where students and staff are committed to excellence.

Alex Clemons, Sports Editor

Pleasant Valley’s motto of committed to excellence challenges students to achieve higher academic success. This higher academic success looks better when students try to apply to colleges. 

One of the largest questions of college admissions is, do colleges prefer students who take honors courses or students who take regular classes? This question’s answer is all situation dependent. According to Valerie Tucker, a PVHS counselor, the answer is dependent upon the college. 

The main two categories that colleges fall under are highly selective universities and not highly selective colleges. “Universities that are highly selective evaluate candidates individually and expect that students perform exceptionally in the most demanding courses available to them at their high school,” Tucker stated. “Other schools will evaluate on a combination of GPA, test score and core courses taken and will use whichever GPA they feel is most beneficial to the student.”

The committed to excellence motto challenges students to take the more challenging honors courses. Given that the student can handle the new challenging class, their GPA will be increased because honors classes are on a five point scale instead of a four point scale like regular classes are.

This increase of GPA will make students more likely to be accepted to the colleges they applied to. Also, if the student does exceptionally well in those honors classes, their likelihood to be accepted into the highly selective colleges will also rise. 

The increase in probability to be accepted into higher level colleges spurs from the students embracing PV’s motto; committed to excellence. 

Whether or not a student is enrolled in honors classes or not, the motto still benefits them tremendously. Students who embrace the motto are pushed to do better in their classes. Nathan VanUtrecht, a PVHS senior, has been greatly affected by PV’s model and by other who take up PV’s motto.

“I always strive to be intrinsically driven. Whenever it’s difficult to keep myself motivated, I look around at all the successes of my peers,” VanUtrecht said. “Seeing everybody around committed to excellence gives me motivation to always give 110 percent towards my academics.”

Having students take up PV’s model for success, incurs an environment that breeds more success. When one student is committed to excellence and succeeds, it spreads like wildfire. This environment creates success for students and with this success comes higher achievements, whether that be academic awards, scholarships, or college admissions. 

A big advantage of the PV model is that it not only allows students to be the very best they can be, but teachers as well. “It is a promise from the district and staff to provide the best possible academic and extracurricular opportunities to students, and should also be a promise from students to take advantage of those opportunities and maximize their individual potential,” Tucker stated. 

PV’s motto, committed to excellence, is not only a challenge for the students, but also a promise from the teachers. This relationship from teacher to student also enhances a students ability to be successful and find higher academic and extracurricular feats.