In July, 22 Zachary High School students earned status as Advanced Placement scholars.

The AP program recognizes high school students who have demonstrated outstanding college-level achievement through AP courses and exams.

On July 30, the students were honored at a reception and given, based on their award, a Macbook Air, iPad Mini or equivalent cash value.

Zachary High valedictorian Yara Hantash and salutatorian Kelsey Olson earned national AP scholar status, which is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more exams.

Assistant Principal Erica Henry, who moderated the AP program and worked closely with students, said in her 18 years, she has not known of any other ZHS students earning national AP scholar distinction.

Hantash was unable to attend the ceremony but was represented by her parents and brother, who said she’ll be attending Tulane University and pursuing architecture and political science.

Olson will attend LSU and major in biological sciences.

“You are Zachary’s top performing students, the ones who went the extra mile and challenged yourselves. We know you’ll be successful and want you to know we’re proud of you,” Superintendent Scott Devillier said. “Remember where you came from and know that you can always come back and ask for help.”

Christopher Goff, Katelyn Hardin, Hantash, Carly Miller, Avery Neal, Olson, Stephen Samuel, Kyle Serrett, Quinton Townsel, Eddie Veal and Luke Wojohn earned AP scholar with distinction status, granted to students receiving an average of at least a 3.5 on all AP exams and scores of 3 or higher on five or more exams.

Connor Fontenot, Rachel Kitchens, Gabriella Morales and Luke Troth were recognized as AP scholar with honor students, granted to those earning an average score of 3.25 on all AP exams and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of those exams.

Jaycen Harris, Corianna Hubbard, Deanna Kaufman, Jordan Kozar, Emma McDermott, Bailey Valentine and Madison Weems are AP scholars, which means they received scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.

The students named the schools they’ll attend in the fall, including LSU, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana Tech, University of New Orleans, Tulane, Xavier and Ole Miss, pursuing majors ranging from architecture and biological sciences to film and mass communications.

Principal Joe LeBlanc challenged the graduates to go out into the world and make a difference by influencing others with their minds and hearts.

The ceremony was held at the Zachary School Board office and attended by School Board members, district staff, school administrators, teachers, family and friends.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was changed Aug. 7, 2015, to reflect that student Kelsey Olson earned national AP scholar status as well.