15-Year-Old Student Opens 2018 AP Summer Institute with a Challenge for Teachers

July 9, 2018

“Hi. My name is Irie Sentner. I’m 15 years old and a rising junior at Durango High School.”

With those words, Irie Sentner kicked off the 2018 Advanced Placement for All Summer Institute (APSI) with a powerful keynote address that encouraged teachers to “recruit broadly, recruit inclusively” for their Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Sentner spoke passionately about the extreme disparities in ethnic demographics among AP students. He discussed why these disparities exist, and expressed an urgent need for closing the gap.

“It is the responsibility of the teachers in this nation to nurture the ability of every student and to present them every single possible opportunity in order to provide my generation both the skills and the confidence that we need for success,” he said. “Students cannot change their race or their class, but you (the teachers), as the people that we look up to most, can ensure that every single person that walks into your classroom has the ability to forge the life that they want and the opportunity to succeed.” Read the entire speech here.

More than 600 AP educators from across the nation and around the world are attending this year’s College Board-endorsed professional development event. Teachers from a diverse range of educational environments will spend the week discovering strategies to ensure all students succeed — including students typically underrepresented in AP courses such as students of poverty and color. Follow #CEIapsi2018 on social media for more insight into this year’s event.