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Posted May 17, 2013

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Manzano Grad Earns a 5.0, the highest GPA in APS History

Valedictorian Katherine Cordwell got straight As in weighted AP and honors classes that she began taking in middle school.

Manzano High School valedictorian Katherine Cordwell has earned a 5.0 grade point average, the highest GPA in Albuquerque Public Schools history.

Katherine earned straight As and more than 36 high school credits. She only needed 25 credits to graduate. In addition, she earned 19 college credits from the University of New Mexico through dual-enrollment.

“Katherine not only is the valedictorian of Manzano, she is the valedictorian of Albuquerque Public Schools,” said APS Superintendent Winston Brooks. “What she has accomplished is nothing short of spectacular. She also is representative of so many of our students who take challenging classes, work hard, earn good grades and prepare themselves for success in college and careers.”

Katherine took 20 honors and Advanced Placement classes, which are weighted. Classes that are more academically challenging carry more value than regular classes in calculating a student’s GPA. Any course designated as AP or honors is awarded an additional .025 per semester. So a B in honors algebra is worth 3.025; an A is worth 4.025.

Katherine, who turns 18 in July, took her first honors math class in sixth grade while a student at Hoover Middle School. She took two more honors classes during seventh grade and an AP math class in eighth grade along with high school biology and chemistry.

Not only did she take honors and AP math classes, she also took advanced classes in physics, chemistry, English, history, biology, psychology and music theory

She took her first UNM math class, linear algebra, as a Manzano sophomore.

Katherine has been offered nearly half a million dollars in scholarships. She plans to go to the University of Maryland and major in math.

Brooks also congratulated Katherine’s parents, Bill and Rosemary Cordwell, on the success of their youngest child. Katherine’s two older siblings also were valedictorians at Manzano.

“We know that much of the success of our students is attributed to the support they get from home. Our hats are off to the Cordwells and to the parents of all of our successful APS high school graduates.”

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