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AMC class supports freshman, creates community

Photo by Bryce Owen ’17 – Students work in the AMC after school study session.

By Chase L. Manson ’16

It’s after school and instead of heading home, a select few freshman students walk into Mr. John Taylor’s classroom.

This is the Ad Majorem Community or the AMC program, a yearlong after school program lead by Mr. Taylor.  

The program is designed to help high potential academic students who come from a different background.

“The program really provides support for students,” Mr. Taylor said. “It’s really in tandem with a other programs to help students.”     

The program starts in the summer before freshman year with History course taught by Mr. Joe Klein ’86, an English course by taught Mr. Steve Smith ‘96 and a math course taught by Ms. Monica Castaneda.

Mr. Taylor runs the year program with a first-hour class and an after school “study hall.”

“I really enforce good study habits for them,” Mr. Taylor said. “We also read some high level literature like the book “Outliers.”

The freshmen are selected by Mr. Mike Ward and the admission committee.

Mr. Taylor also checks his students grades to make sure they are on the right track.

“We want to lift up students,” he said, “but also make sure they keep growing, that’s really important.”

Cesar Lopez ’18 was a part of the program last year and said he loved every moment of it.

“I loved AMC,” he said. “The program really got me through freshman year.”

Lopez noted that when Mr. Taylor checked his grades it kept him on track and focused.  

Mr. Taylor has run the program for seven years and said it started before him.

“I was asked to takeover my first year here,” he said. “Mr. Ward asked me to do this and I have loved every moment.”

Mr. Taylor said he believes that the program has been very successful with student’s learning.

“It has been very successful,” he said. “It has really grown students and helped achieve success not only with regular class but with AP and Honors classes.”  

In the end Lopez said one thing about AMC:

“AMC is family,” he said. “That’s what it is; it’s family.”