News from West Ottawa High School

IB Testimonial

WOHS and IB Graduate, Isaac Sierra

Isaac SierraUpon arriving to the high school as a freshman, I had already accumulated an enormous amount of high school credits, and I quickly realized that despite the plethora of AP opportunities, I would eventually run out of options come junior and senior year. After exploring the numerous options including resorting to online classes, I began to take interest in the IB program.  I had only heard of glowing reports from students who had participated in the diploma program, and I figured I did not have much to lose at this point.

Just a couple weeks into the IB program, I felt the intensity of the courses. The homework was undeniably extensive, and the course material was relatively difficult as well. However, instead of being deterred, I embraced the challenge alongside my fellow candidates, and we tackled each class with vigor. After a few more weeks, I began to realize that the IB program is so much more than basically anything I had ever experienced before. The courses were hardly streamlined and they certainly did not teach to the test, which I adored after taking multiple AP courses which taught entirely to the test. Classes like IB History and IB Theory of Knowledge were especially interesting as they delved into topics that most curriculums ignore due to potential controversy.  After two years of compelling education, I cannot imagine receiving a better education from any other high school program than IB.

The final important takeaway that I have from IB is the life lessons it has taught me. IB allowed me to look at common topics in a whole new light, and I was constantly challenged to make my work stand apart from the rest. This simple takeaway has changed my life for the better, and though I have not begun college studies yet, I have no doubt that this valuable lesson will fuel my success in the future. I saw many aspects of my life improve dramatically due to the IB program: my work ethic, my ability to take criticism and work off of it, my writing skills, my ability to interact with my community, and my willingness to take risks.

The IB program has definitely helped shape me into the person I am today, and I strongly recommend anyone to consider it. The successes that I have gleaned from the program (including the opportunity to attend the number 3 school in the country) are considerable and I cannot express just how appreciative I am for this experience. As long as you are willing to put in the necessary work, I can guarantee that you will be amazed with what you achieve through the IB program.

-Isaac Sierra, WOHS Class of 2018, Top Scholar

IB Diploma Program Graduate

Freshman at University of Chicago


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