With the 20-year renovations underway and the start of construction on the Redwine golf cart tunnel, the upcoming school year looks bright for Starr’s Mill. However, one change is not as anticipated for the Mill as the others. AP World History teacher Diane Ruane is putting up her globe and not teaching the course after five years of doing so.
“I want to get my Master’s,” Ruane said. “In order to do that, I have to have a little more margin, and AP World History is a very demanding class to take, but also to teach.”
Ruane has enjoyed the last five years, with her favorite memories coming from her students who she calls “WHAPchickidies.”
“I usually referred to my own children as a group, when they were younger, as my sweet ‘chickadees.’ When I started teaching the AP World kids, one of the acronyms for AP World is WHAP, and just like my own sweet chickadees, my kids, it emerged [and] thus, my sweet ‘WHAP chickadees’ was born,” Ruane said.
Even though Ruane is leaving WHAP next year, she will stay at the Mill. She will still be on staff as the AP Government teacher, since she is most experienced in that field.
Ruane has a lot of good memories from her time in the course. Her favorite topic cannot be narrowed down to one thing as there is so much each subject offers.
“I feel most comfortable with [European history],” Ruane said. “But I also love the Mongols and the Ottoman Turks and the casa and cage system and the trends you see with modern history. I just love it all.”
WHAP has been described as one of the hardest courses the Mill offers. Demanding homework loads, late nights, and difficult tests like Ruane’s famous “85 and you are alive” dates quiz, are just some of the difficult tasks sophomores complete every year. However, Ruane is aware of the courses difficulty and is extremely proud of what her students have accomplished over the years. She loves and admires each sophomore who takes on the hard work and knows they will do great things in life.
“I can’t even say how impressed I am with any kid who takes this class,” Ruane said. “Sometimes they don’t realize it, but I get how difficult this class is. I had two of my own kids take this class with a different teacher and I know they are asking [students] to do things I never did in my high school. I’m so impressed with all the students.”
AP World will be going through some huge changes in the coming year. Aaron Buck will take over the class and is completely redoing how the material will be taught.
“[I want to] maintain the high academic standards that are there,” Buck said. “And achieve a great academic year.”
Only time will tell on what the new class will hold. What is known is that Ruane will likely not return since she already has one AP. “I think it [returning to WHAP] would depend on a lot of factors. One is if Coach Buck will be okay with teaching AP World and if he wants it forever, and ever, there wouldn’t be a need for me to go back to it. I wouldn’t expect to ask for it back,” Ruane said. Ruane, however, did say that she is willing to go back, if demand for the class reached a peak and more teachers were needed.
Ruane is counting down her last days and will have her final AP World Exam on May 17, 2018. She has prepared her students well and another successful year of testing will likely occur this year. While the high score trend for WHAP will probably continue in years to come, it will not be the same without Ruane. She has made a huge difference on WHAP and all of her students. She has truly made World History out of this world. Or rather — around this world.