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Four Mount Dora Christian Academy students have earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate and are currently working toward completing the AP Capstone Diploma. 

Saran Alexander, Maisey Anderson, Jordan Graves, and Ethan Priest have all earned scores of 3 or higher in both AP Seminar and AP Research. Rather than teaching subject-specific content, these courses develop students’ skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing, and presenting. 

Students who complete the two-year program can earn one of two different AP Capstone awards, which are valued by colleges across the United States and around the world.

To earn the AP Capstone Diploma, they must earn scores of 3 or higher on four additional exams, which will be administered in May. Participating in AP Capstone can help students stand out to colleges, become independent thinkers, and develop key academic skills.

Congratulations to these four outstanding students @mdcacademy!

Read below for more about MDCA's AP accomplishments.

MDCA welcomes first Scholar-in-Residence

Harding University’s Dr. Keith Schramm joins science faculty for spring 2024

Mount Dora, Florida: Mount Dora Christian Academy is proud to announce the launch of its Scholar-in-Residence initiative, designed to provide students with unparalleled access to academic expertise and real-world knowledge taught from a Christian worldview. This innovative program aims to bridge the gap between high school and higher education by bringing distinguished educators and successful men and women into the MDCA community to engage, inspire, and mentor our students.

Dr. Keith Schramm will join the MDCA faculty as the first scholar for the spring 2024 semester. He comes to us from Searcy, Arkansas, where he taught for 30 years in Harding University’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. He holds a Ph.D. in science education from Western Michigan University and has been a member of both the American Chemical Society and the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. He will be teaching chemistry.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Schramm join us as our first Scholar-in-Residence,” said MDCA Head of School Keith O’Neal. “We believe our students will benefit from the scientific expertise and perspective Dr. Schramm will provide and look forward to having him on campus.”

The Scholar-in-Residence program is a testament to MDCA’s mission of educating, equipping, and empowering students to love God and others, pursue excellence, and impact our world. It will offer unique opportunities for students to interact with accomplished individuals across disciplines who will bring their expertise, passion, and insight to the learning experience.

Key features of the program will include the following:

  1. Professors and successful individuals from a variety of disciplines, including science, mathematics, communications, business, and Bible and missions

  2. Guest lectures that expose students to current research topics to inspire their intellectual curiosity

  3. Mentorship and the opportunity for students to work closely with experts as they explore academic interests

  4. Career guidance and community engagement to help students make informed decisions about future educational and professional pursuits

About Mount Dora Christian Academy: Established in 1945, MDCA currently serves 800 students from preschool through grade 12. We believe in the power of a Christ-centered community to cultivate faith-driven world changers. Building on our legacy of faith and service, we educate, equip, and empower our community to love God and others, pursue excellence, and impact our world. The fulfillment of our mission can be seen in our 2023 graduates, who earned $4.8 million worth of scholarships and logged more than 8,500 hours of community service.

Each year, the Advanced Placement Program recognizes high school students who have demonstrated outstanding college-level achievement through their performance on multiple AP Exams. 

Twelve MDCA students were recognized as AP Scholars this fall: Saran Alexander, Maisey Anderson, Elijah Atwood (Class of 2023), Emma Ferebee (Class of 2023), Jordan Graves, Allison Horsford (Class of 2023), Rachel Horsford, Gabriella Llano, Dillon Mancauskas, Ethan Priest, Dakota Williams, and Jomar Yournet (Class of 2023).

To qualify for the AP Scholar award, a student must earn a 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.

Read below to learn more about MDCA's achievements in the AP Program.

Minds on fire: MDCA recognized by AP Program for igniting academic excellence

Every fall, the Advanced Placement Program recognizes high school students who have demonstrated outstanding college-level achievement through their performance on multiple AP Exams. This year, the program has also begun recognizing successful schools that have met criteria anchored in research-based relationships between AP and college outcomes.

This year, Mount Dora Christian Academy met two significant criteria set out by AP and the College Board.

The first of these is College Culture. To meet this criteria, 40 percent or more of the graduating class must take at least one AP Exam during high school. MDCA earned the Silver Level in this category, with 59 percent taking at least one AP Exam.

The Academy was also recognized for College Optimization. To meet this standard, at least 2 percent of the graduating class must take five or more AP Exams during high school. At least one of the exams must be taken in ninth or tenth grade so that students are spreading the AP experience across grades rather than having the pressure to complete them all in one year. MDCA earned the highest-level award, Platinum, for having 17 percent of the 2023 graduating class take at least five AP Exams.

The AP Program, administered by the College Board, offers college-level courses and exams for high school students. The advantages of AP include earning college credit and placement, saving time and money, helping students stand out to colleges, and helping students keep their college and career options open.

MDCA School Counselor Amanda Nunez further explains, “Taking AP classes allows high school students to demonstrate success with the highest academic rigor available to them. This is important for the college application process as it shows universities that our students are successful in college-level coursework, including skills such as analyzing, synthesizing, and writing. Students can also earn college credit hours by earning a passing score on the AP Exams each May, which will save them time and money later on in college.”

The Academy currently offers 10 AP classes on campus. Students also have access to additional courses through MDCA’s partnerships with Ethos School and FLVS. To learn more about AP, visit https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/.

Mount Dora Christian Academy to honor veterans with annual parade and program

Mount Dora, Florida: Mount Dora Christian Academy is proud to announce its upcoming Veterans Day Parade and Program, dedicated to honoring and celebrating the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. This event will take place on Friday, Nov. 10, and is open to the public. 

The parade begins at 9:15 a.m., with the program following immediately in the MDCA gymnasium. Highlights of the event include a performance of the national anthem by the Academy Band and recognition of veterans from each branch of the Armed Forces.

This year’s featured speaker is MDCA alumnus Capt. Aaron Monkman.

Monkman enlisted as a specialist in the Infantry in February of 2012 and was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He then deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Khost-Gardez area of the Paktiya Province from May to December of 2013. Upon return, he was accepted into Officer Candidate School and commissioned from OCS in September 2014 as an infantry officer. He attended Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was subsequently assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia. While there, Monkman served as an assistant operations officer, a mechanized platoon leader, and a mechanized company executive officer. He deployed to Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, and Estonia in support of the Regionally Aligned Forces Europe in 2015 and 2016.

Upon completing Maneuver Captain’s Career Course in 2019, Monkman served as an OSUT Company Commander of Delta Company 2-58 IN. Following this assignment, he served as assistant operations officer until taking command of Crusher Company from May 2021 to August 2022.  He is now assigned as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at Ohio University, teaching tactics and other classes to ROTC Cadets.

Monkman is a graduate of the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course, Captain’s Career Course, Ranger School, Air Assault School, and Bradley Leader Course. His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (2), Army Commendation Medal (3), Army Achievement Medal (5), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal,  Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Ranger Tab, Air Assault Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, and Expert Infantryman Badge.

Event details

Date: Friday, Nov. 10

Time: Parade begins at  9:15 a.m., followed by program at 9:30 a.m.

Location: Parade starts from clock tower and ends at gymnasium

Speaker: Class of 2006 alumnus Capt. Aaron Monkman

The Veterans Day Program at MDCA is a testament to our commitment to honor the sacrifices made by veterans and instill a sense of gratitude and responsibility among our students. We encourage the community to share in this special occasion. Veterans who would like to participate in the parade may contact Arin Wales at arin.wales@mdcacademy.org or (352) 729-9159 for more information.

About Mount Dora Christian Academy: Established in 1945, MDCA currently serves nearly 800 students from preschool through grade 12. We believe in the power of a Christ-centered community to cultivate faith-driven world changers. Building on our legacy of faith and service, we educate, equip, and empower our community to love God and others, pursue excellence, and impact our world. The fulfillment of our mission can be seen in our 2023 graduates, who earned $4.8 million worth of scholarships and logged more than 8,500 hours of community service.