Bellaire High School Awards 12 Students With International Baccalaureate Diplomas

Front: Bellaire IB coordinator Ann Linsley, HISD School Improvement Officer for IB Programs Esti Arriaga, Rohini Sigireddi, Mengwei Ni, Ngozi Lawanson, Katya Kabotyanski. Back: HISD School Improvement Officer John Allen, Bellaire Principal Tim Salem, Edward James, Leonardo Setyanto, Jimmy Moon, George Fan, Joseph Ong, Annirudh Prasad and HISD Superintendent Terry Greer.

Bellaire High School presented 12 International Baccalaureate (IB) diplomas this week to students at an awards ceremony attended by parents, current IB students, teachers and administrators.

The students who received the diplomas were Rohini Sigireddi, Mengwei Ni, Ngozi Lawanson, Katya Kabotyanski, Edward James, Leonardo Setyanto, Jimmy Moon, George Fan, Joseph Ong, Annirudh Prasad, Suna Wilkerson and Erik Nelson.

IB classes, like AP classes, have an advanced, college-level curriculum.  Unlike AP classes taken in individual subjects, IB classes are part of a curriculum that can lead to a diploma recognized by universities worldwide.

Over the course of their junior and senior years, diploma candidates take six IB courses in addition to an epistemological class called The Theory of Knowledge.  The program cultivates internationalism and teaches students to be active learners and engaged citizens.

The students graduated from Bellaire last May, but the IB diplomas are not conferred until late in the summer.  The ceremony was held in January because the majority of the students were home on break from their universities.

Joseph Ong, a freshman at Harvard University, said that the IB program teaches students not only the material but how to view the world.

“IB teaches you to go deeper, to find patterns, see how things interact,” Ong said. “I grew to know my high school teachers better, especially in math and music, and to understand what makes them want to share their passion for their subjects with students.”

Mengwei Ni, a biomedical engineering student at Rice said that IB classes prepared her for the concept questions that were common on college exams.

Katya Kabotyanski, a freshman at Duke in aerospace engineering, said that for her, the IB program represented a different style of learning.

“It’s deeper, beyond the usual level of coursework, more holistic,” Kabotyanski said.  “IB also develops excellent time management skills.”

“I was able to walk into UT Austin as a junior with all of the credits I earned in IB.  That is a huge advantage,”   Jimmy Moon, physics major at the University of Texas at Austin, said.

“Working closely with my teachers made me appreciate the teacher’s journey.”  UT petroleum engineering student Ngozi Lawanson said. “The IB program prepared me for anything I want to tackle later in life.”

Bellaire News Staff

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