Waltrip HS senior wins car at Cool to Be Smart

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Nearly 2,000 HISD sophomores, juniors and seniors got together Sunday to let the world know it’s Cool to Be Smart. It also pays to be smart – many students left with prizes — and one senior won a brand new car.

The event honored students who have taken Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or dual language courses and their corresponding exams.

The event was all fun and games. The students played musical chairs, limbo and Name That Tune. There was also a best selfie contest.

You can’t have games without prizes. Thanks to generous donations from the HISD Foundation and the National Math and Science Institute, nearly $15,000 worth of prizes, including Chromebooks, iPads, American Express and iTunes gift cards, and several $1,000 scholarships were awarded. A few students even got to step into a money grab machine to get as much cash as they could in 30 seconds.

The big winner of the night was Waltrip High School senior Muriel Foster. She took home a Ford Fiesta worth nearly $17,000.

“I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say. I love it,” Foster said.

The attendance was a reflection of the increased emphasis on rigor in HISD. In the past five years, AP exam participation at HISD has increased by 94 percent, and AP scores of 3 or higher have increased by 55 percent. In spring 2013, nearly 14,000 HISD students took more than 23,000 AP exams.

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