Vanguard IB Testimonials
Vanguard IB Class of 2016
"In my IB classes, I was always encouraged to ask “why” instead of settling on “how.” At the time, it was challenging, but I am so happy that academic exploration was encouraged! Developing a habit of thoroughly understanding the details of my course material served me well in college, especially when it came to writing essays or settling in for a late-night working on math homework. Beyond my classwork, the IB program helped me to build useful life skills. Managing classwork, clubs, and sports in high school was challenging at times. However, the time management skills I learned in high school were critical in helping me maneuver my classes and internships in undergrad.
Since graduating high school, the IB program has helped me navigate college as well. I met a lot of fellow IB students at UChicago. We all had stories about our Extended Essays, our CAS projects, and our choices for SL and HL classes. The common experiences helped me to bond with people from all over the world. In my final year of university, my IB background really came in handy. When I was writing my first book, Uplift and Empower, it reminded me a lot of the times in high school when I would dive deep into a topic solely because it sparked my interest. I even used some of the notes from my HL History classes in one of my chapters!
In hindsight, I know that I would not have had such a wide range of experiences in undergrad if I hadn’t explored my academic and personal interests while I was in the IB program at Vanguard. I will always be grateful to all of my classmates and teachers!"
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Vanguard IB Class of 2020
"As a first-year student at a university that is infamous for being fast-paced and rigorous, I think it’s fair to say that I would be way out of my league without the skills and experience I developed as an IB student. In my IB classes, I learned how to think independently and adapt quickly to changing circumstances – two things that I’ve been doing a lot of since starting college.
Most importantly, though, the IB program allowed my love of learning to flourish by creating an environment in which students could learn from passionate, caring instructors. Many of the teachers I had at Vanguard possessed a palpable, infectious love of their subject that showed us how interesting those books, equations, chemicals, and battles could be. Through the examples of these teachers I was able to find value in all subjects that I encounter, and this attitude has given me a really positive outlook on school and learning in general.
When I was in eighth grade, I chose to be a Vanguard IB student because I knew I wanted to someday go to a school like the University of Chicago; if it worked out for me, then it can for you too."
Harrison entered the University of Chicago with the following accolades:
Odyssey Scholar, Humanities Scholar, National Merit Scholar, National Hispanic Scholar
Harrison also was offered entrance to:
Columbia University as a John Jay Scholar
Emory University, Vanderbilt University, UF Honors, and FSU Honors
Scott and Susan Mitchell, Parents of Anna Mitchell
Vanguard IB Class of 2020
"We can't say enough about how much impact the IB program had on our daughter Anna during her time at Vanguard High School.
The teachers and general philosophy of the IB program not only broadened her horizons during her formative years as a student, but thoroughly prepared her for college. Since starting classes at Florida State University, Anna has mentioned several times that she missed the IB program. She has even told us she felt that high school was far more challenging than her freshman year at college.
During her time at Vanguard, she not only challenged herself but was also challenged by some of the finest teachers we've had the pleasure to deal with - and we both work in education. The VHS IB teachers truly care about the educational experience! They consider the WHOLE student, not just the math, literature, or science grades.
We also appreciate that the IB students are called to embrace a service component. It helps them see that there is so much more in the world outside of their own four walls.
We highly recommend the IB program at Vanguard for any family that wants their student to be well-rounded, challenged, inspired, loved, surrounded by other students who are serious about education, and completely prepared for higher education!"
Scott Mitchell is the Director of Marion County's Silver River Museum
Susan Mitchell is the Media Specialist at Osceola Middle School
Vanguard IB Class of 2016
"Besides the comprehensive and stimulating curriculum, I believe the most impactful thing about Vanguard IB was the constant support from the IB teachers and IB staff. Their undivided attention helped me to value learning and the learning process. Vanguard IB prepared me so much for university. Future IB Knights should know that they're in good hands."
Vanguard IB Class of 2012
"I was a Vanguard IB student from 2008 to 2012. Today, I'm writing this from the library at National Taiwan University, located in Taipei, where I have received a scholarship to student intensive Mandarin Chinese. Without IB, none of this would have been possible. I remember struggling to keep up with classes and tests while also preparing for IB exams and thinking, "What have I done?" While the workload was heavy, I felt like I had total support through the community of teachers, parents, and friends that make the IB family. I remember thinking how horribly cheesy it was when people talked about the 'IB Family' ... it turns out, the people I FaceTime from overseas, the people who have visited me, and who I send postcards to everywhere I go are those people in that family.
When I got to college, not only was I prepared for the workload, but I save a lot of money because my IB credits were worth a year of credits at the University of Florida. I graduated early with highest honors, studied abroad in Beijing, China, then Taipei, Taiwan. I went on to get my master's degree in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, then interned at NPR in Washington, DC. Looking back, IB taught me how to work hard, balance my time, and most importantly, build a community to lean on when I needed help."
Global IB Alum Write About Their Experiences Here: